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

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 land 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.”

Planning and Growth Division (PGD)
Will be led by Jonathan Lebi. Branches from the former Ontario Growth Secretariat, the Municipal Services Division, and the Local Government Policy and Planning Division “will come together to create a continuum from regional level to site specific planning and development policy to support a better built environment.” Priorities for this division include Growing the Greenbelt, streamlining development approvals, enhancing the land use planning system, harmonization of the Building Code, and transformation of regulated Building Services.

The PGD will contain the following branches:

  • Provincial Land Use Plans Branch (led by Anna MacDonald)
  • Planning Policy Branch (led by Ewa Downarowicz)
  • Building and Development Branch (led by Mansoor Mahmood)

Municipal Services Division (MSD)
With Hannah Evans, Assistant Deputy Minister, MSD will continue to lead the delivery of advice and services to municipalities on municipal governance and finance, land use planning, and housing priorities. The work supporting municipal Growth Plan conformity in land use planning will be integrated into the Central Region Municipal Services Office.  “Brining Growth Plan conformity expertise together with MSD’s land use planning implementation role will help to streamline Plan implementation and support effective decision making.”

Local Government Division (LGD)
The former Local Government and Planning Policy Division (LGPPD) will be renamed to the Local Government Division (LGD). The division will continue to focus on managing the ministry’s partnerships with municipal sectoral associations and developing policies and legislation related to municipal finance, elections, accountability, and governance. Caspar Hall has been appointed as the ADM of this division for a one-year assignment.

The LGD will have the following branches:

  • Intergovernmental Relations and Partnerships Branch
  • Local Government Policy Branch (led by Tanzeel Merchant)

Municipal Finance Policy Branch (led by Ruchi Parkash)