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Despite protests and criticism, province passes More Homes Built Faster bill

On Monday, Ontario passed Bill 23 “More Homes Built Faster” which spurs development despite heavy criticism from the province’s cities, conservation authorities and environmental groups.

The new law is one of several moves the progressive conservative government plans to open up areas of once protected greenbelt land to development, and allowing mayors of Ottawa and Toronto (and expected to open up to other municipalities) to pass bylaws with just one-third of council support.

The Ford government says it wants 1.5 million homes built in 10 years but high interest rates and inflation have already forced the projections of housing starts downward.

Controversy over the bill also includes exempting, freezing and reducing fees developers pay to municipalities to build. Those fees are used by municipalities to pay for roads, sewers and other infrastructure.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario says the changes could leave municipalities short billions of dollars – which will see taxpayers footing the bills, without any guarantee of affordable housing.

The bill also limits the need for development permissions consideration from the province’s conservation authorities, removing factors such as pollution and natural hazard concerns such as flooding.

The Greenbelt Act was created in 2005 to protect agricultural and sensitive lands from development.

The CBC, Globe and Mail and Toronto Star are among media outlets investigating some prominent developers who are Progressive Conservative donors buying land previously undevelopable and may stand to benefit from the new law allowing them to build homes on protected greenbelt land.

The Chiefs of Ontario also issued a statement saying the government’s passage of the bill violates the province’s duty to consult as there were no talks with First Nations.

The Ford government states its plan will also support the development of “gentle density,” which will create more rental housing while minimizing the impact on existing neighbourhoods. These changes will give most urban residential property owners the right to build up to three units on their land – including a basement apartment or a laneway home – without lengthy planning approvals or development charges.

Information can also be found on the Environmental Registry of Ontario website where comments from the public can be submitted up until Dec. 9 at https://ero.ontario.ca/

At the last meeting of the Prince Edward County Council Nov. 8, two resolutions were unanimously passed rejecting the province’s Bill 23 proposal.

Council opposes proposed sweeping provincial powers

Prince Edward County environmental groups and friends protest Bill 23

 

 

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. SS says:

    Angus, Doug Ford and friends will define whatever they need to, because Ontario voters gave them the power to do that.

    Next election we’ll see if anything was learned.

  2. Angus Ross says:

    Bruce They also promised to protect the greenbelt! I heard about the announcement after I had posted but their decimation of the powers of municipalities and conservation authorities makes me wonder who will define a floodplain that you cannot build on?

  3. Vic Alyea says:

    Ah of course! Didn’t the premier also promise he would not touch the Green Belt? Less and less reason to trust this government it would seem.

  4. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Angus: The PC’s have announced that they have no plans to allow development on flood plains.

  5. Angus Ross says:

    Unfortunately the PC’s can’t remember back as far as 1954 when Hurricane Hazel killed 81 people around Toronto – nearly all in properties on flood plains or low-lying land. Now they propose to let people build on a flood plain?! Absolute insanity. Perhaps the insurance and financial industries could put a stop to this madness by refusing to insure or offer mortgages on new builds in flood plains.

  6. Susan says:

    Perhaps Doug will allow property owners more control on how they develop rural properties rather than Government and Municipal over control. If you want 3 lots on your farmland for children you should have the right especially now with ridiculous land costs.

  7. Vic Alyea says:

    So sorry to see our MPP Smith and his government go down this road. Higher municipal taxes eventually for us as their developer buddies line their pockets and we cover the costs. Farmland and the environment no longer matter to Ford and Smith it seems.

  8. Don says:

    Power corrupts.
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Witness Doug, Alberta, Trump, Erdogan, Putin, etc.

  9. Chuck says:

    Comes of little surprise. They were elected as a majority and when they introduce a bill to increase housing in the Province one would expect they would pass it.

  10. SS says:

    Absolute power is awesome, eh?

    Watch for the next step being what Alberta has just done.

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