Steve Clark, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced his resignation from his ministerial position on Monday morning. This decision follows the release of two critical reports that exposed significant flaws in the process of land development within the Greenbelt.
Clark, who has been a Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) since 2010 and held the position of Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing since the Ford Government assumed power in 2018, expressed his unwavering commitment to accountability. In a statement issued earlier today, he emphasized the paramount importance of addressing the province's unparalleled housing crisis.
Clark stated, "Since the Integrity Commissioner's report was released, I have continued to reflect on my role and my obligations to the people of Ontario. It has been the greatest honour of my career to serve my constituents and the people of Ontario, and I have always tried to do so in a way that brings integrity and respect to my position as a parliamentarian."
The catalyst for Clark's resignation was the Integrity Commissioner's report, which raised serious ethical concerns regarding the ongoing Greenbelt land deals. These deals had already led to the resignation of the Minister's Chief of Staff in late August. Clark's response to the report highlighted his commitment to taking responsibility for the errors that had occurred during his tenure. He pledged to create a more transparent and accountable process to prevent such issues from recurring.
In his own words, Clark noted, "When I received the Integrity Commissioner's report, my first instinct was to take responsibility for the mistakes that were made and create a process so that this would never happen again. Thank you for having the confidence in me to be able to correct these issues."
Effective immediately, Steve Clark formally tendered his resignation as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. However, he intends to continue representing and serving his constituents as the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
Premier Doug Ford in a social media post, thanks Clark for his work as Minister, " Thank you
(Steve Clark) for your years of service in Cabinet. As Ontario grows, our government is on a mission to build at least 1.5 million homes. After decades of inaction, we’re seeing real results: 2022 and 2021 had the most housing starts in 30 years. Our work won’t stop."
This unexpected resignation comes at a critical juncture for Ontario, as the province grapples with an escalating housing crisis.