Growth Plan Amendments: FoNTRA Letter to Ontario Government

suburban development

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.

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Queen’s Park Report November 2019

Toronto at sunset

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:

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Queen’s Park Report – October 2019

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:

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Greater Toronto Area West Corridor Project (Highway 413)

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.

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2019 Annual General Meeting Notice

Saturday, May 25, 2019, 2 to 4 p.m.
Kensington Apartments
21 Dale Avenue
6th Floor Board Room
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1K3

Approval of Minutes of AGM held October 27, 2018
President’s Report Treasurer’s Report Budget for 2019/2020
Ratification of Decisions taken by Executive Committee since last AGM
Appointment of an auditor for 2019
Confirmation of Membership Dues
Election of Officers and Executive Committee for 2019/2020

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Local Planning Appeal Support Centre Has Been Closed

The Ford government is closing a provincial agency that gives legal assistance to residents battling development changes in their local municipality.

The Local Planning Appeal Support Centre was created just last year as part of the Wynne government’s reforms to the former Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), a body long criticized for favouring developers in its decisions about zoning.

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The High Costs of Sprawl

Sprawl report

The Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), Canada’s largest urban region, will undergo a profound change as it grows to accommodate an anticipated 4.4 million new residents by 2041, making it home to nearly 13.5 million people.

The decisions we make about how to accommodate this growth will determine what types of communities we live in, how much time we spend stuck in traffic, the quality of the air we breathe and whether our farmland and forests continue to provide us with food and habitat for our unique wildlife. There’s no question that new housing will be needed. The question is what form it will take.

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Housing Supply Consultation

New housing development

The Housing Supply Consultation document appears to start from the premise, one frequently expressed by the private sector, that the housing supply issues may largely be blamed on government “red tape”, and difficulties in delivering housing as being snarled in delays and confusion. If you view the amount of development activity under way in Toronto, it is incomprehensible to state that our current progress is “too slow”. Thousands of units are currently being held up due to the LPAT transition date delay. It’s even more incomprehensible when you factor in the lack of public investment in infrastructure, transportation, schooling, community services, etc. It is utterly ridiculous to attempt to “reduce red tape” without addressing the need to increase investment in public infrastructure.

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