On the link between charitable donations and Flato's MZOs
Toronto Star Reporter Noor Javed has investigated the links between the PC party, philanthropic donations and Flato. This is an excerpt from one of her articles:
In 2018, Flato’s Rehmatullah donated at least $1 million to fund a new cancer clinic at the Markham Stouffville Hospital.
Markham staff, dozens of residents, and five of 13 councillors had recommended against both. Staff called the MZO proposals “premature” because York region is in the midst of a comprehensive review of land use needs.
Like Bevilacqua, Mayor Scarpitti said there is no connection between donations and MZOs and that the orders were in the public interest, as they would bring in water and sewage infrastructure into northern Markham years ahead of schedule.
"We approved this MZO not because it’s Flato, and not because they are philanthropic. It’s because of the context of where this MZO was located,” Scarpitti said, “and we saw that it would bring mutual benefit to the city, as well.”
That same day, Flato received another MZO for a housing project in New Tecumseth. In 2017, Rehmatullah had donated $50,000 to New Tecumseth’s hospital.
And in 2019, Flato and a partner donated $500,000 to the Whitchurch-Stouffville mayor’s gala. The following year, Flato was granted two MZOs for properties in Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Flato did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Excerpted from "How the Ford Government's love of MZOs is increasingly benefiting developers with ties to PC and local politicians" by Noor Javed, The Toronto Star, June 14, 2021.
At the clinic’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Ford was standing next to the developer, each with their hands on the oversized scissors. On the other side of Rehmatullah was Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, co-chair of the hospital’s capital fundraising campaign.
On March 5, 2021, Rehmatullah’s Flato Developments received MZOs for two Markham properties.
Flato's MZOs are used to avoid due process on lands with environmental concerns.
The following article highlights how three MZO's granted to Flato in March 2021 were used to over-ride environmental concerns: "We Will Never Stop: Ford approves six new zoning orders as backlash grows."
See also this article on Flato's controversial MZO in Stouffville.
Both articles highlight links between Flato and the PC party.