New Planning and Growth Division, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

London, Ontario

Kate Manson-Smith, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has announced changes to the organizational structure of the Ministry as of September 20, 2021.

“The work of the Ontario Growth Secretariat (OGS) will be integrated into other parts of the ministry and a new Planning and Growth Division (PGD) will be created that integrates policy portfolios related to provincial, regional and municipal lan d use planning as well as buildings and construction.  This realignment will integrate key land use and development related policy functions into a single division which will result in a clearer mandate and enhanced stakeholder relationships.  Bringing together the entire growth, land use planning and buildngs policy continuum will result in better alignment and allow us to work together in a more effective manner.”

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Foundry Update – demolition stopped

Dominion Foundry

The City of Toronto and the Province have come to an agreement regarding the fate of the Foundry site on Eastern Ave. The main details of that agreement are outlined in a new Heritage Impact Assessment, made public on August 20, 2021.

The key points are:

  • The Machine Shop and Foundry Building (a.k.a. the Cleaning Building) will not be demolished
  • The Office Building and the Warehouse will be demolished
  • When the property is sold, conditions of sale will constrain the purchaser to protect the two heritage buildings
  • The percentage of affordable housing to be built on site has been increased from 25% to 30%

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Greater Golden Horseshoe Transportation Plan Consultation

Greater Golden Horseshoe roads

This is the response of the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods (Ontario) to the discussion paper re: the 2051 Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) Transportation Plan. According to the paper a 2051 GGH transportation plan will help:

  • Prepare the transportation system to serve an expanding economy and population. By 2051, population and employment are forecasted to grow from 10 million to 14.9 million people, and 4.5 million to 7 million jobs, respectively.
  • Identify necessary actions to address mobility and congestion in the GGH.
  • Guide and support Ontario’s transportation investment decisions.
  • Coordinate strategic planning across the region for the next 30 years.
  • Prepare for new technology and changes, “like automated vehicles and mobility as a service platform that could change the way we move around the region.”

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NO MORE HIGHWAYS Day of Action – July 24

No More Highways Day of Action - July 24, 2021

The Ontario government is planning two new highways through Ontario’s precious farmland and Greenbelt – Highway 413 and the Holland Marsh Highway (Bradford Bypass).

If built, the highways would pave over farms, forests, wetlands and a portion of the Greenbelt and cost taxpayers upwards of $6-10 Billion. Highway 413 alone would also add over 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, at a time when cutting emissions is more urgent than ever.

Enough is enough.We need to show the province that Ontarians do not want more megahighways, we want local produce, effective public transit and livable, walkable communities.

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Ontario makes it easier for businesses to launch new bus routes

Northland Bus

TORONTO – The Ontario government is cutting red tape and making it easier for companies to provide passenger transportation services between communities in Ontario effective July 1, 2021. This is part of the province’s efforts to improve transportation options for Ontarians as the province recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under the previous system it was difficult for businesses that offered bus service to begin operating on a new route, even in situations where there was no service being offered,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “By cutting red tape, we are making it easier for carriers to offer transportation services to communities where there is a need.”

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Province seeks input on Transportation Vision

GO Train

TORONTO – Today, the Ontario government released a discussion paper for public feedback that will inform the province’s first transportation plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Ontario is building a better transportation system to connect communities and keep goods and people moving across the province, including in Ontario’s economic engine, the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

“We have a long-term vision for the Greater Golden Horseshoe that takes us to 2051, built on connected transportation that’s safe, seamless and accessible,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “This discussion paper is an important opportunity to gain further insights that will help shape a better transportation network for our province’s future.”

Through a consultation posting on the Environmental Registry of Ontario as well as an online feedback form, the Ontario government is seeking public input on ways to achieve our vision.

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President’s Report – June 5, 2021

Hamilton, Ontario

The events of the past (over) one year once again reinforce the critical role of residents’ associations at the local level, and federations of residents associations, especially at the provincial level, to address policy issues. The mantra “municipalities are a creature of the province” is regularly demonstrated in legislation introduced and passed by the provincial government “under cover of COVID.” COVID, as they say, “consumes all the oxygen in the room,” resulting in even less public attention than usual being paid to legislative and program changes, some positive, but many with long term negative implications for such areas as cultural heritage, urban sprawl, and climate change.

The government passed legislation exempting Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) from complying with the Government’s own Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The PPS covers a myriad of policy areas from cultural heritage to environment.

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Phasing-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants

Lennox-power-station-Bath-Ontario

The greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from Ontario’s gas-fired power plants will increase by more than 300% by 2030 and by 500% or more by 2040 as the province uses gas to replace aging nuclear plants and to meet growing demand for electricity from population growth and increased electrification (electric cars, home heating). If this occurs, Ontario will lose roughly 40% of the pollution reduction benefits it achieved by phasing-out its dirty coal plants.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is launching a public engagement process on how Ontario can reduce its greenhouse gas pollution by phasing out its gas-fired power plants. This is your chance to tell the IESO that we need to phase out gas by 2030 to help our climate and clear our air.

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Highway 413 designated for Federal Environmental Assessment

Hwy 400 crossing the Holland Marsh

We are elated to share the News! The federal government has decided to go ahead with an environmental assessment of the controversial GTA West Highway.

Federal Environmental Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in his statement issued on Monday “after consideration of the available science, evidence and other relevant information gathered by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC), as well as the agency’s recommendation to designate the GTA West project, I have decided to designate this project under the federal impact assessment process.”  

Wilkinson said that the IAAC had identified “clear areas of federal concern related to the project. My decision is based on their finding that this project may cause adverse direct or incidental effects on federally listed species at risk and the uncertainty that officials have brought to my attention around whether these updates can be mitigated through project design or existing mechanisms.”

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Bill 238 – Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS Act)

Toronto Streetcar

What’s in the MOMS Act?

The Act gives Toronto permission to install safety cameras on streetcars to find and fine drivers who speed by a streetcar at a transit stop, putting riders at risk.

The Act also includes Bill 148 The Doored But Not Ignored Bill to provide better protections for cyclists. Dooring is one of the most common causes of injury for cyclists, but it’s not considered a collision under the Highway Traffic Act. That means a cyclist can end up in an emergency room after being hit by a car door, but the police aren’t required to report the incident or charge the driver. If passed, this Act will mean that accidents involving a vehicle’s door coming into contact with a cyclist, bicycle or moving vehicle must be reported to the nearest police officer.

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