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.
Queens Park Update is a periodic publication of FUN. In this Spring 2012 Edition, we highlight several issues of interest to residents’ associations and citizens:
The Ontario Municipal Board
Five Year Review of the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005
Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP)
Protecting Heritage Views of Queen’s Park, and Preserving the Dignity of Ontario’s Capital Precinct
Election Financing Reform
Private member’s bill requiring paved shoulders
Mega-Quarry in Dufferin County and Review of the Aggregates Act
On October 20 2011 the new Ontario Cabinet was sworn in at Queen‘s Park. Kathleen Wynne is now responsible for working with municipalities as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. She will also serve as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. She was most recently Minister of Transportation. Dwight Duncan remains Minister of Finance and adds Deputy Premier to his responsibilities. Brad Duguid becomes Minister of Economic Development and Innovation. This ministry brings together Ontario’s economic development, international trade and innovation initiatives to focus on job creation and economic growth.
Affordable housing – The Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, 2011, was passed by the legislature on April 19 with the support of all parties. When the legislation comes into effect, it will reduce barriers to affordable housing, eliminate complicated rules, clarify roles, require secondary suites in municipalities and mandate measuring and reporting.
Greenbelt Protection – February 28, 2011 marked the sixth anniversary of Ontario’s Greenbelt – the world’s largest greenbelt at 1.8 million acres of working countryside, it spans across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and extends to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula.
With a provincial election happening in October 2011 there is a sense that things are being viewed and created increasingly from a political and less from a policy perspective. This is to be expected but it makes it less likely that there will be substantial legislation carried forward in the next few months.
Two matters where there was substantial public involvement in 2010 and on which consequently there is interest and expectancy that the government will deliver new policy in 2011 are the anti-SLAPP Advisory Committee (chaired by Dean Mayo Moran from University of Toronto Law School), and the Five Year Review of the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement.