President’s Report – November 18, 2023

Thank you for your Association’s membership in FUN and for your (virtual) attendance at the 2023 AGM on November 18.

The events of the past few years in Ontario reinforce the critical role of residents associations at the local level, and federations of residents associations, at the regional and provincial level, to address policy issues and advocate. The mantra “municipalities are a creature of the province” is regularly demonstrated in decisions, and legislation introduced and passed by the provincial government, some positive, but many with long term negative implications for such areas as greenbelt protection, cultural heritage, urban sprawl, and the climate crisis. Of course we are now seeing reversal of some of these changes, but many more remain. And changes are ongoing, that need to be analysed and understood.

So what has FUN been doing about these matters in the past year? 

  • We have submitted briefs to consultations (where these were provided) and comments to the Environmental Registry;
  • We have deputed at Standing Committees of the Legislature, notably on Bill 39 – Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022 (the “Strong Mayor” legislation) in November 2022 and on Bill 97 Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, 2023 in May 2023.
  • We have written letters to the Premier, the Ministers, MPPs and municipalities, regarding new legislation and programs impacting on land use and communities, e.g. the GTA West Highway (413), the reduced powers of conservation authorities; Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 and the proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement and its merger with the Growth Plan, to become the Provincial Planning Statement.
  • We have communicated and promoted action locally through e-blasts to our members, and we have made our website a “go-to” resource about these matters
  • We have also, where possible, worked in coalitions with not for profit organizations such as Environmental Defence, Nature Canada, David Suzuki Foundation taking advantage of their skills, expertise, and good reputation.

We note that finally some retrenchment is happening following the Provincial Auditor’s revelations on the Greenbelt.

The web site has been upgraded, expanded and modernized – view it at

FUN also co-sponsored with the Federation of North Toronto Neighbourhoods Associatin (FoNTRA) a presentation (Webinar) by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) on March 30, 2023 regarding the transition to the new Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act, 2010.

The Executive Committee remembers with much sadness the passing of Sheila Harrison in November 2022. Sheila worked tirelessly as FUN Membership Director (particularly with Paddy Duncan, web specialist), in web site modernization and updating, posting relevant events and articles, and managing FUN submissions, letters and records.

We also acknowledge the resignation of Bill Phillips (FUN Vice-President) in May 2023, the joining to the Executive of: Al Kivi, picking up some of Sheila’s role and advancing other strategies like e-blasts on events and campaigns, and Graham Churchill, strong advocate for improved planning and transportation in the GTA.

We wish to thank continuing directors Don Stewart (Treasurer), Archie Campbell (Past President), Robert Murray, and Jeff Levitt (Members-at-Large) for their support and efforts throughout the year. (See bios of our directors).

To expand our website content and communiqués to our members require funds. Your donations over above the membership fee would be much appreciated.

During the past year the Executive has met monthly and we have reached out to residents associations across the province. We want to increase our network of urban neighbourhoods, locating additional organizations and increasing communication. Anyone who is interested in volunteering with us please let us know.

FUN’s niche is proving to be critically important and a major opportunity. However it is also a major challenge for an organization whose raison d’etre is to link organizations which tend to be focussed on their own issues, and relies for support on people who are already locally engaged in resident association activities. We need everyone’s ideas and help to do so. It is a work in progress and we look for ideas and help from all.

Respectfully submitted,

Geoff Kettel,

November 16, 2023