FUN opposes proposed changes to Ontario’s land use planning framework

The Honourable Steve Clark
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay St., 17th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2J3

RE: ERO Nr. 019-6813: Review of Proposed Policies adapted from A Place to Grow and Provincial Policy Statement to form a new Provincial Planning Policy Instrument

Dear Minister Clark,

On April 6, 2023, the Ontario Government announced new components of its Housing Supply Action Plan, which seeks to encourage the construction of 1.5 million homes by 2031. Two key elements of the announcement are the introduction of Bill 97, the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, 2023which is currently at second reading stage in the Ontario Legislature, and the release of a draft Provincial Planning Statement, 2023 (the “Statement”), which is out for public comment until June 5, 2023. The Statement, if it is adopted by the Province, will replace A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe(“Growth Plan”) and the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 (“PPS, 2020”).

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, prioritized intensification and higher densities to make efficient use of land, supported a mix of housing options, ensured smart use of transit and infrastructure, and protected agricultural and natural areas. Municipalities were expected to align their own official plans with its priorities. Under the new draft Planning Statement, density targets have been watered down or eliminated altogether, and municipalities given flexibility to expand their boundaries. This change is expected to remove the requirement for municipalities to prioritize infill development before expanding urban boundaries to overrun natural lands.

In response to the call for comments, the Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations (FoNTRA) has prepared the attached report, which concludes that the proposed Provincial Planning Statement (PPS) and the simultaneous repeal of the Growth Plan should not proceed since these initiatives are not only harmful, but also entirely unnecessary. The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods (Ontario) strongly supports the FoNTRA report (below) and respectfully, urges the Ontario Government to withdraw the proposed Provincial Planning Statement and to maintain the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Yours truly,

Geoff Kettel

Cc: Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
John Fraser, Interim Leader, Liberal Party
Mike Schreiner, Leader, Green Party
Marit Stiles, Leader, New Democratic Party

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