The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods is a province-wide volunteer-based umbrella organization of community and neighbourhood associations. We promote awareness of urban issues, undertake projects which will enhance quality of life for residents of urban settings, maintain a resource base for information, share expertise, represent the common interests of member organizations before public and private bodies as well as to encourage citizens to actively participate in and become informed about community and civic affairs.
Ontario is planning Highway 413, a redundant and unnecessary toll highway that would pave over farm, forests, wetlands and a portion of the Greenbelt and cost taxpayers billions.
Right now Highway 407 (another toll highway) is underused. Yet the province is proposing to build another east-west toll highway just 15 km away.
The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods responded to the request for comments on the proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) in the fall of 2019. Almost 500 responses were received and a summary of the comments and results of the consultant on the decision are available at the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (“FoNTRA’) is an umbrella organization representing over 30 residents’ associations in central Toronto engaged in public policy debates on planning and development issues that directly affect our member organizations.
According to the government, the “proposed changes address implementation challenges with the Plan that were identified by the municipal and development sectors and other stakeholders” and “are intended to provide greater flexibility and address barriers to building homes, creating jobs, attracting investments and putting in place the right infrastructure while protecting the environment.” We note for the record that FoNTRA, as one of the most significant stakeholder organization in the Province representing the interests of residents, had not been consulted.
The Province, through Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019, introduced sweeping changes across 13 statutes, including the Planning Act and the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, 2017, with the stated intention of cutting red tape, reducing costs, and increasing the supply of housing in Ontario. Although Bill 108 was passed on June 6, 2019, the vast majority of the amendments are presently not yet in effect.
On September 3, 2019, the Province proclaimed into force key amendments to the Planning Act and the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, 2017 that in essence return the development process and the planning appeals regime back to where they were before the reforms introduced by the previous Government. These changes include:
The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) is a consolidated statement of the government’s policies on land use planning. It applies province-wide and provides provincial policy direction on key land use planning issues that affect communities. The government held a 90 day consultation period which closed October 21 2019, during which they sought feedback on proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement. The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods submitted comments as follows:
The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods Ontario (FUN) deplores the Ontario government’s recent decision to reactivate the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Greater Toronto Area West Highway Corridor, the study area covering portions of York, Peel and Halton regions, which was suspended in 2015. This project if given the go-ahead, would cost billions of dollars, pave over prime farmland and part of the Greenbelt, increase water pollution and raise emissions that cause climate change.