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:

Read more

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:

Read more

Queens Park Report – February 2019

Land use planning primer

If you or members of your organization are looking to understand how land use planning works in Ontario, the following may help. The City of Ottawa has put together a series of classes covering the basics (called Primer I and II) and specific topics, such as development charges.

While these courses were developed with Ottawa in mind, most of the content is universal. You can use the material as is, or approach your Planning Department to create classes tailored to your municipality using the Ottawa material as a base.

Read more

Queen’s Park Report February 3, 2019

If you or members of your organization are looking to understand how land use planning works in Ontario, the following may help. The City of Ottawa has put together a series of classes covering the basics (called Primer I and II) and specific topics, such as development charges.

While these courses were developed with Ottawa in mind, most of the content is universal. You can use the material as is, or approach your Planning Department to create classes tailored to your municipality using the Ottawa material as a base.

Read more

Queen’s Park Report – December 2018

The government’s recently introduced Bill 66 has been met with widespread concern about the threat to Ontario’s framework for environmental protection. What the Bill does (in Schedule 10) is to allow municipalities to pass “Open for Business” bylaws that give developers permission to circumvent planning and environmental legislation that includes: The Provincial Policy Statement, The Planning Act, The Clean Water Act, The Great Lakes Protection Act, The Greenbelt Act, The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, The Places to Grow Act, The Environmental Assessment Act, The Environmental Protection Act, The Nutrient Management Act, The Ontario Water Resources Act, and other less well-known legislation that was designed to protect the people of Ontario!

Read more

Queen’s Park Update – November, 2018

As reported by Environmental Defense Canada (EDC), the government has been meeting with municipalities and development industry members who have identified five challenges: Intensification and Density Targets, Major Transit Station Areas, Settlement and Boundary Expansions, Planning for Employment and Agricultural and Natural Heritage Systems.

The EDC is concerned that if the density targets are loosened in the Growth Plan, or if settlement boundary expansions are permitted (without the math to determine the land need –LNA), we can expect more sprawl and more low density growth putting increasing pressure on the Greenbelt.

EDC is also concerned that there is interest in proceeding with land swaps- trading Greenbelt land for other farmland or natural heritage land beyond the Greenbelt so lands in the Greenbelt can be developed. Even if there is no net loss of Greenbelt lands, the Plan will be eroded. The Greenbelt Plan as a provincial policy that permanently protects land will basically be kaput, signalling open season to the development industry. EDC will be developing a media strategy but needs your local voices to challenge these changes.

Read more

Queen’s Park Report – November, 2018

FUN’s Role in the Province of Ontario

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods (FUN) of Ontario supports and advocates for the interests of community, resident and ratepayer associations throughout the Province of Ontario.

FUN’s mandate includes:

fostering communication among these associations and keeps them informed of decisions and actions taken by the Provincial Government, official bodies such as the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) (which replaces the Ontario Municipal Board) as well as actions of individual municipalities that have province-wide significance.

Read more

Queen’s Park Update – November 1, 2018

Ranked Choice Voting – London Ontario – What Happened?

The City of London, Ontario was the first Ontario municipality to use Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to elect its mayor and councillors. How did it work out?

Each voter was able to rank their choices for mayor and councillor first, second and third. Then the candidate receiving the fewest votes would drop out and the second choice of the voters would transfer to the remaining candidates. This would continue until one candidate received the necessary number of votes to have a majority.

Read more

Queen’s Park Update – May 7, 2017

SpreadofDevelopment

For the last 5 years, elements of the development sector have invested significantly and intensively in mounting a multi-faceted communications campaign to undermine the Growth Plan and Greenbelt Plan. The campaign is comprised of:

– the commissioning and/or funding of reports and publications conveying incomplete, selective and/or inaccurate information;
– rhetorical opinion pieces released through various media, presentations and conferences; and,
– intensive lobbying of elected representatives and senior executives at both the provincial and municipal levels – relying on materials based on the reports/publications described above.

Read more

Queen’s Park Report – April 2013

It is time for the Ontario Government to amend both the Municipal Elections Act and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario has written to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to ask for immediate action on amending these two Acts.

Read more