Statement from Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager at Environmental Defence, on Housing Minister Clark’s Resignation re: Breach of Integrity Rules

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – Phil Pothen, Environmental Defence’s Ontario Environment Program Manager, is available to provide insight following Housing Minister Clark’s resignation over the Ontario government’s Greenbelt scandal. His statement is as follows:

“The resignation of Minister Clark is a predictable attempt at damage control but that is no substitute for reversing the $8.3 billion Greenbelt giveaways in their entirety.

“Given the findings of the Auditor General and the Integrity Commissioner and the vast 350km2 supply of designated development land we had in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area alone (before this government took office), sprawling further outwards, let alone into the Greenbelt, cannot be justified and will only make things worse. Any Minister who persists in claiming otherwise, will only be implicating her or himself in what, going forward, they will know is a false story and disreputable, harmful policy initiative.

“It is clear that the Greenbelt removals are not about housing, therefore the Premier, Cabinet and PC MPPs need to immediately take the following actions:

  • Restore protection to every acre of land Minister Clark removed from the Greenbelt and prohibit any further removals

  • Reinstate the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Act

  • Reverse the various boundary expansions and sprawl MZOs authorized by the Minister’s Office

  • Overhaul land use rules to slam the brakes on sprawl and focus development on adding compact, affordable homes to existing neighbourhoods and settlement areas

Interview availability today by Zoom and in Toronto with Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager

Background Information:

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Stephanie Kohls,