July & August Newsletter 2023

  • Community Update

Message from Stephanie

I hope you have had a wonderful summer with your friends and families. While the Ontario Legislature has been out of session for the season, my work as MPP continues. We had our Canada Day festivities alongside the Honorable Rob Oliphant, MP for Don Valley West, at Go Green Cricket Field, and it was a pleasure to see so many of you there! For the past month, I have been meeting with constituents and local stakeholders like Epilepsy Toronto, supporting the Unifor workers striking at the Metro grocery store, and attending a forum in Northumberland County to support our rural neighbours and the Greenbelt.

At the end of July, there were two by-elections. I am delighted that Andrea Hazell of Scarborough—Guildwood and Karen McCrimmon of Kanata—Carleton will join our Ontario caucus in Queen’s Park. Please read below about my activities and the recent bombshell report by the Auditor General regarding the government’s destruction of the people’s Greenbelt.


Stephanie Bowman

Auditor General Report

Ontario’s Auditor General has released a comprehensive report shedding light on the government’s actions to remove lands from the Greenbelt. It indicated that the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Housing, a position appointed directly by the Premier, hand-picked a substantial portion land to be removed from the Greenbelt based on connections to specific developers.

An astonishing 92% of the affected land is owned by the developers who were in direct correspondence with the Chief of Staff, having shared their proposals for altering the Greenbelt over dinner. These changes could give the developers an estimated $8.3 billion in profits.

The report exposes the misconduct of government staffers who breached the Archives and Recordkeeping Act by erasing emails related to the Greenbelt. It highlights the skewed procedure that deprived the public service of adequate time to thoroughly assess the ramifications of removing lands from the Greenbelt. A staggering 4,700 acres of prime agricultural land, stands to be developed.

The report highlights that the connection between these actions and the housing crisis is tenuous at best. The Minister of Housing, Steve Clark, must assume responsibility and resign from his position without delay and undo the Greenbelt deals in the process. The integrity of public trust in government and preserving our cherished natural landscapes demand nothing less. The government must accept the recommendations of the AG and re-evaluate the 2022 decision to change the greenbelt boundaries.

Financial Accountability Office

Recently, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) released their report on government spending, showing that the government did not spend $7.2 billion that had been budgeted for priorities like healthcare and education. In a time of closing emergency rooms, a mental health crisis, and an affordability and housing crisis, the fact that this government is not spending what they promised is not just fiscally irresponsible, but a failure in leadership. 

This underspending has a direct impact on our lives: it is felt when the local hospital ER is closed, when children do not get the classroom supports they need, and when people are on the streets because this government is failing to provide housing and mental health supports. The government has spent less than they said they would on every program: healthcare, post-secondary education, children’s and social services, justice, and education. 

This government seems to want to pretend that they are broke so they cannot be asked to fix what is broken. I greatly appreciate the FAO’s work which sheds light on public spending to help bring transparency to our public finances.