Revocation of Municipalities’ Authority to use Ranked Ballots

election ballot

This is to express our strong opposition to your Bill revoking Ontario municipalities’ authority to use ranked ballots in local mayoral and council elections. The local option to use ranked ballots was instituted in 2016 by the previous government, and several municipalities, including London, have adopted it.

Furthermore this revocation is being proposed without notice, consultation or any credible rationale. And in a bill addressing pandemic issues! This is reminiscent of your 2018 slashing of Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 members in the middle of an election, cancelling Regional Chair elections in Niagara and York, also without notice or consultation.

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Fall 2020 Budget Consultation

Canadian coins

FUN recognizes the significant fiscal challenges facing the Government of Ontario, especially in light of the current and worsening Pandemic. We also believe that investing in and maintaining physical and social and health infrastructure, all the while addressing the Climate Emergency are critical to the future well-being of all Ontario residents. Recognizing this, our organization offers the following recommendations for inclusion in the Fall 2020 Ontario Budget.

Urban Infrastructure:

High functioning infrastructure is a key requirement to attracting and keeping businesses in Ontario. The provincial government should provide increased funding and support for urban municipalities to maintain and enhance their facilities, with an emphasis on “green” infrastructure.

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Stop the 413 – update

Stop the 413

The Ontario government proposes to build a new highway in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), from Highway 401, near Milton in the west, to Highway 400, near Kleinberg, in the east. The project, and its review, should be cancelled. The highway would cause significant negative impacts on the environment and on local communities. It would do little to ease congestion, and would consume billions of dollars that could be better spent on other transportation projects and solutions.

Environmental Defence has organizing tools and background information available now for GTA West groups opposed to Highway 413 to use and share with their networks.

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Highway 413 Information

413 map

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.

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Proposed Changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe

cycling through park on former brownfields

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on ERO 019-1680, the proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (“Growth Plan”) and ERO 019-1679, the Lands Needs Assessment Methodology (“methodology”).

The Growth Plan is a unique land-use planning framework that proposes to balance urban growth with protection of the natural environment and farmland within the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH)…

According to the Growth Plan, these “valuable assets must be wisely protected and managed as part of planning for future growth.”

We, the 63 undersigned organizations, believe both proposals, if implemented, would cause significant adverse effects on the GGH.

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Provincial Policy Statement 2020

new development in Toronto

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.

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Growth Plan Amendments: FoNTRA Letter to Ontario Government

suburban development

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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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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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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Cancellation of the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre

Nobleton development

Less than one year into its operation, the Province has announced that the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC) is being shut.

LPASC was launched in April 2018 to help people understand and navigate the land use planning and appeal process in Ontario. The LPASC Act, 2017 mandated the establishment and administration of a cost-effective and efficient system for providing support services, and to establish criteria for determining the eligibility of persons to receive the support. The LPASC has until June 30, 2019 to wind down the business. Effective immediately, LPASC will no longer be accepting new requests for professional services from the public.

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods (Ontario) has sent the following letter to the Ontario Government protesting this action.

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