Housing Minister mocks Doug Ford’s concerns with quads. This is what happened in Ontario’s Queen’s Park this week

Canada’s Housing Minister openly mocked Ontario Premier Doug Ford on social media Friday for his concerns about quads.

Throughout the week, the premier has made clear that he does not support a provincial mandate to build fourplexes in residential neighborhoods, something that both the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force and the federal government have recommended.

He later clarified that he was simply against four-story “towers.”

“You have to differentiate between putting four units in an existing house or your neighbor tearing down the house and putting in a four-story tower,” Ford said Friday.

“But what I’m not in favor of is putting four, six and eight-story towers in the center of a community with regular housing.”

Ford said the reason was that neighbors would “scream” if a four-story building was built right next to them.

In a social media post, federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser posted three photographs of four-plexes built within neighborhoods, saying the following images “may scare some politicians.

“Maybe my older millennial generation is coming along, but these houses in great locations seem like good options to me.”

This is what happened at Queen’s Park this week

Could the feds withhold Ontario funding?

Fraser, in a letter sent this week to Ontario Housing Minister Paul Calandra, said the federal government could withhold funding for affordable housing unless the province could demonstrate how it would meet its goals.

In a letter sent March 21, Fraser wrote that Ontario had committed to delivering 19,660 units of affordable housing as part of a 10-year bilateral agreement signed in 2018.

As things stand, Ontario is expected to have 1,184 new units by the end of 2024-2025.

Calandra did not appreciate the threat even though the province also withholds funds from municipalities that do not meet their housing targets.

A billion rapes and secrecy

The names of doctors and facilities found to have overbilled for health services are being kept secret.

In data obtained by CTV News Toronto in a freedom of information request, the government omitted the names of service providers who violated the Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act.

They argued that disclosure of the records could harm the competitive position of a person or organization and are therefore exempt from freedom of information laws.

Jones makes a health care announcement with Premier Doug Ford in Toronto, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

However, advocates and opposition parties say the lack of transparency breeds distrust in the health care system and fails to hold bad actors accountable.

To read this exclusive article, click here.

Provincial park details revealed

New details about Ontario’s new operational provincial park were released this week.

In a draft management plan, the provincial government outlines its proposal for Bigwind Lake Provincial Park, east of Bracebridge, Ont. It includes a boundary extension, a possible name change and an integrated trail system.

Full details can be found here.

Ford will not pave the Ontario Place waterfront

The Ford government has said a previous plan that could have filled part of Lake Ontario near Ontario Place is void.

Heavily redacted documents released by the Ontario New Democratic Party in September 2020 revealed maps showing up to 25 acres of “potential future development opportunities” on a section of East Island that stretches across the water.

A map within those documents reveals that to begin construction, a land gap along the East Island coast may need to be filled.

A map shown in 2020 documents reveals a possible second phase of the Ontario Place development. (PND)

But the government said those plans are no longer being considered, adding that there is no “phase 2” for Ontario Place.

“What we decided to do was expand the public space to 50 acres. We are building a completely new stage, a wellness facility, a park and, in addition, a new science centre, a marina and a food and beverage centre. [locations] in the place. That’s what we showed to the public in April; That is what we are building today.”

Will Highway 413 finally move forward?

The province appears to have reached an agreement with the federal government on at least one issue: that an environmental assessment of Ford’s iconic Highway 413 should not be conducted.

A joint consent order, which still must be approved by the courts, would cancel an environmental impact study on the proposed highway.

The government has been actively fighting this process and, in October 2023, took the matter to court.

$200 Million Class Action Lawsuit Proposal

The Ford government is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit for ending a basic income pilot project in three Ontario cities early.

In 2017, the Ontario government launched a three-year basic income pilot program for low-income people in Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay, but Ford ended it after being elected in 2018.

The class action lawsuit argues that the cancellation of the program was “devastating” for applicants whose last payment date was March 25, 2019.

Other regulations, bills and announcements:

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