Mississauga MPP Kaleed Rasheed vows to clear his name from PC Greenbelt scandal, but won’t explain how
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Mississauga MPP Kaleed Rasheed vows to clear his name from PC Greenbelt scandal, but won’t explain how

Despite vowing at Queen’s Park to clear his name, Mississauga East—Cooksville MPP Kaleed Rasheed refuses to explain how he plans to do this. 

Details about his involvement in the $8.3 billion land deal between the PC government and developers were laid out in an Integrity Commissioner investigation of the Greenbelt property swap scandal.  

In September, Rasheed, who was minister of public and business service delivery at the time, resigned from Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet and the PC caucus in the wake of the Integrity Commissioner probe into the PC decision to open up portions of the Greenbelt, which revealed a series of backroom deals that helped remove lands from the protected, environmentally sensitive area to pave the way for housing development. 

A day after Rasheed’s departure, Ford nixed the $8.3 billion land swap, stating “it was a mistake to open the Greenbelt” and “to establish a process that moved too fast.” He announced a new review of the protected lands, including looking at the sites that were removed. Following the flip flop and evidence that implicated PC elected officials and staffers, the RCMP launched a criminal investigation into the land swap.

The highly publicized scandal that stood to create billions in property value for select developers itching to get their hands on the Greenbelt lands included evidence of Rasheed on a “boys trip” to Las Vegas that allegedly involved the Mississauga East—Cooksville MPP, Ford advisers Amin Massoudi — the then principal secretary — Jae Truesdell, Ford’s director of housing policy at the time, and developers who stood to make a sizeable profit if portions of the protected Greenbelt were opened up for housing construction.

On April 17, in his first appearance at Queen’s Park since leaving the PC caucus, Rasheed said he made “an honest mistake” (as reported by the Toronto Star) when he gave Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake the wrong dates of a trip to Las Vegas with senior staffers in Ford’s circle while a Greenbelt developer happened to be there at the same time. In the same breath, he vowed to clear his name. 

“It was just a date difference of three weeks, I think,” Rasheed, who was not a member of the cabinet at the time of the trip, told reporters last week, maintaining the same version of events the MPP and the political staffers previously gave when they told the commissioner, after his report was released in August, that the dates initially provided were a mistake. However, contrary to what Rasheed is now claiming, according to Wake's report, the initial dates provided would represent a discrepancy of almost eight weeks: instead of taking place at the end of the first week of December, 2019, which Rasheed originally reported, he now says the trip took place in early February of 2020.

Developer Shakir Rehmatullah, who was trying to get properties he acquired in the Greenbelt included in the land swaps by the PCs, was also in Las Vegas in early December, 2019, during the same dates Rasheed had originally provided.

Rasheed said last week that it was a simple mistake, and the Vegas trip he was referring to when interviewed by Wake actually took place in early 2020.

This does not square with what he provided as evidence of the trip when the commissioner was interviewing Rasheed for the August report. Rasheed provided Wake with an invoice from a travel agent for three flights to Las Vegas on December 6, 2019, returning December 8, 2019, indicating he paid $4,550 in cash for the flights, including two at $1,400 and one at $1,750 for himself, Massoudi and Truesdell. He also provided an email from the Wynn Las Vegas hotel indicating he had booked three rooms, but Rasheed said he could not find proof of payment for the stay. He told Wake he “contacted the hotel numerous times” to obtain proof of payment “but received no response.”

The Pointer tried to contact Rasheed multiple times over the last week since he broke his silence at Queen’s Park. He has refused to acknowledge or respond to questions seeking further details about the initial information he gave to the Integrity Commissioner and his recent explanation regarding the mistaken dates. 


Premier Doug Ford axed the Greenbelt land swaps a day after Kaleed Rasheed’s resignation from the PC caucus and announced a new review of the protected lands.

(Government of Ontario) 


Rehmatullah is the founder and president of Markham-based Flato Developments, which the Integrity Commissioner identified as being behind three successful requests to remove land from the Greenbelt in Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville in 2022. His company owns land that was among the parcels removed from the Greenbelt in November 2022 for housing development.

When interviewed for the investigation into the Ford government’s handling of the Greenbelt swaps, Rasheed said he ran into Rehmatullah, a friend of his, in the lobby of a Las Vegas hotel where the parties “exchanged pleasantries” with Rehmatullah. According to an interview with Massoudi, “it was mostly Mr. Rasheed who spoke with Mr. Rehmatullah, asking him what he was up to and what was he doing there in Las Vegas.”

According to Massoudi and Rasheed himself, Rasheed made the flight and hotel bookings for the Las Vegas trip.   

Along with Rasheed, former housing minister Steve Clark left the cabinet in September after the Integrity Commissioner concluded he broke ethics rules when the Greenbelt land swap scandal was unfolding. Truesdell also resigned. Just weeks earlier, Clark’s chief of staff Ryan Amato, who was implicated in secretive dealings that played a key role in opening the Greenbelt lands for housing development, resigned from his government position in August. Massoudi left after the June 2022 election.


Former housing minister Steve Clark left the PC cabinet in September following repeated calls to resign.

(Government of Ontario)


The IC reported, based on interviews, that Rasheed “has been close friends” with Rehmatullah for several years, but had never gone to Las Vegas with him previously. Rasheed recalled seeing the developer in Las Vegas around December 7, 2019, when they allegedly bumped into each other in the lobby of the Wynn hotel, but was “shocked” to see him there. Rasheed said he could not recall which day of the trip the chance meeting occurred, but recalled Massoudi was there. He said he did not make plans to see Rehmatullah later in Las Vegas as he was there “with his own people.”

Meanwhile, Rehmatullah told Wake in a separate interview that he was in Las Vegas in December 2019 and late January to early February 2020 and recalled seeing Rasheed in a hotel lobby during one of the trips. Media stories after the release of the IC report in August reported that Rasheed and the others had changed their story and attempted to inform the commissioner of the mistake they made with the dates, which they said had been  postponed to January 30, 2020. It was reported that Rasheed, Massoudi and Rehmatullah had massages at the same time in the hotel spa on February 1. A spokesperson for Rasheed at the time said when the trip was originally booked for December 2019 it was later rescheduled and Rasheed "mistakenly" shared the wrong information with the Integrity Commissioner based on the original itinerary.

The report highlighted that in December 2021, Rasheed took steps to establish an ethics screen with Rehmatullah after Wake advised him to put one in place after learning Rasheed’s wife worked for the developer. During his interview for last summer’s report, Rasheed told Wake he recalled being asked to step out of a fall 2022 cabinet meeting by a staff member of the Cabinet Office, and that “while he was not told the subject of that Cabinet discussion, he now believes that was the meeting when the Greenbelt matter was discussed.”

Rasheed assured during the interview that he keeps his work as an elected official separate from his friendship with Rehmatullah and “they do not talk about their work, except that he is aware of Mr. Rehmatullah’s general request to ‘cut the red tape.’” Rehmatullah also confirmed “he is a long-time friend” of Rasheed and “that they and their families are close.” He added, however, he does not discuss his work with Rasheed and the Mississauga MPP told him “he cannot discuss anything and he should not bring anything up.” 

In November, after the date discrepancy was brought to his attention, the Integrity Commissioner determined his office would not do any further investigation of Rasheed’s Las Vegas trip in the wake of the broader RCMP investigation into the Greenbelt scandal in accordance with the Members’ Integrity Act. Under the Act, which governs MPP conduct, the Commissioner “shall suspend” any “inquiry until the police investigation or charge has been finally disposed of, and shall report the suspension to the Speaker” of the legislative assembly. 

The Premier’s office has maintained Rasheed can not return to the PC caucus until he is cleared of any wrongdoing. 

Rasheed has not explained how he plans to clear his name, beyond the statements that he has already provided, which place him in Las Vegas at the same time as Rehmatullah, on a trip paid for by cash with Ford’s principal secretary and chief housing adviser at the time, while the developer was trying to get properties in the Greenbelt approved for housing construction. 



Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @mcpaigepeacock 

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