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Ford government to move Ontario Greenbelt legislation forward Monday amid RCMP investigation

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The Ontario government will be going forward with legislation to codify Greenbelt boundaries as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) launches a criminal investigation into their original changes.

The ministry confirmed to CTV News Toronto that the promised legislation will be tabled on Oct. 16 as planned.

The bill will return 15 sites to the Greenbelt while also codifying the boundaries so that any future changes would need to be done in the legislature, as opposed to regulation.

Little else is known about what will be in the bill, but Housing Minister Paul Calandra previously said it will be an “added extra layer of protection that doesn’t currently exist.”

The government’s decision to develop those 15 Greenbelt sites is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the RCMP’s Sensitive and International Investigations Unit.

The scope of the investigation has not been made public, with a spokesperson saying only that it involves “allegations associated to the decision.”

Experts have said this doesn’t bode well for the Progressive Conservatives, who were hoping their reversal of the development and the new legislation would put them back into the good graces of Ontarians.

Michael Kempa, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa, told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday that going forward with any changes to the Greenbelt would have significant political implications.

“I think the public optics of carrying forward with the general program while a part of that earlier program is under criminal investigation would be political suicide.”

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