Niagara Falls: Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he is reversing his plan to open the protected Greenbelt lands for housing development and won’t make any changes to the Greenbelt in the future.

While meeting with his caucus during a retreat this week in Niagara Falls, Ford says his caucus members shared with him what they have been hearing about the Greenbelt from people in their communities and he is listening.

Last year, the province took 7,400 acres of land in more than a dozen sections out of the Greenbelt to build 50,000 homes, citing the housing crisis, and Ford has faced large amounts of opposition to the plan since then.

Reports from the auditor general and integrity commissioner found that the process to select lands was rushed and favoured certain developers.

Ford says today that he is sorry that he broke his original promise not to touch the Greenbelt, and it was a mistake to open it up for development.

He says in order to earn back people’s trust he will be reversing the changes he made to the Greenbelt and putting the lands back under Greenbelt protections. — The Canadian Press

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