FUN Supports FoNTRA’s Submission on the Development Approval Roundtable Action Plan, November 2017

December 8, 2017

Premier Kathleen Wynne
Honourable Bill Mauro
Honourable Brad Duguid
Honourable Jeff Leal
Honourable Steven Del Duca
Honourable Kathryn McGarry
Honourable Chris Ballard
Honourable Eleanor McMahon
Honourable Bob Chiarelli

RE: Development Approval Roundtable Action Plan, November 2017

Dear Premier and Ministers,

The Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations, FoNTRA, wishes to express its comments on the above noted initiative, which was established under the 16-point Housing Action Plan with senior representation from the province, GTHA, municipalities, and the development and real estate industries1 but without any public input or engagement!

The Development Approval Roundtable’s “14-point action plan”, released on November 13, 2017, includes recommendations for ” better aligning infrastructure and land use planning, supporting forward-looking zoning, providing additional guidance for municipalities implementing provincial land use policies, and creating a task force to determine how best to advance electronic permitting (e-approvals) in Ontario.”

Given the composition of the Roundtable it is unsurprising that the document displays a lack of balance, favouring actions in the interest of the real estate and development industry over the general public, and groups having specific rights, such as Aboriginal peoples.

Of the 14 proposed actions, 52 explicitly promise draft document sharing with representatives of the development industry and municipalities, presumably ahead of wider distribution to the public. For example with respect to 7(b) Cultural Heritage Landscapes, guidance on the identification, evaluation and management of cultural heritage landscapes, the Action Plan makes a commitment to sharing a draft “with representatives of the development industry and municipal sector, prior to finalizing”. There is no commitment to involve the public in the review. Nor any mention of Aboriginal peoples, with whom the province has recently committed to improve its consultation.3

We respectfully request that the government involve the public, and Aboriginal peoples in the Development Approval Roundtable Action Plan, and not just the real estate and development industry, and the municipal sector.

Yours truly,
Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA
129 Hanna Road
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3N6

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA
57 Duggan Road
Toronto, ON M4V 1Y

Cc:      Mayor John Tory,
Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Archie Campbell, Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods (Ontario)

1 12 provincial members from 10 ministries, 7 municipal staff from 6 municipalities, and 6 officials from 5 real estate and development industry organizations
2 Including 4(a), 5(a) 3, 7(a) and (b) , 12(c)and 14(a)
3 “Consistent with its respect for Aboriginal rights and treaty rights, and its commitment to meeting the province’s constitutional obligations to consult Aboriginal peoples, Ontario is working to develop effective consultation processes. Ontario believes that better processes will mean clearer communication, better decisions and lasting outcomes that benefit both Ontario and Aboriginal peoples.” – Draft guidelines for ministries on consultation with Aboriginal peoples related to Aboriginal rights and treaty rights – February, 2017