Ontario's New Approach to the Provincial Housing Shortage
Ontario is reporting a housing supply shortage. In response, the provincial government has set an aggressive target of 1.5 million new homes to be built in the province by 2031. The province is taking forceful steps through controversial legislation in the name of this housing goal. While MVCA agrees action needs to be taken, there are concerns about the province's approaches and how it may affect residents in our area. Here is the chronology. Click on the title of any of the topics to be directed to more information on the page and to find links to external resources
Why this is important to our community
While there are many specific reasons for concern within each of these Bills, the overarching ones from MVCA's perspective are:
1. No Voice
Citizens will have little or no time to be consulted on development in their own community.
2. Higher Taxes, Reduced Services or ??
Development charges are key contributors now to the building of infrastructure. If there is no provincial program to offset
the loss of this income, the City will need to make decisions. It could be higher taxes. If not, it could mean reduced services. It
is uncertain what the impact will be and how Ottawa might respond.
3. Less Protection for the Environment
Conservation authorities would be weakened leaving them less able to protect natural infrastructure and resources and
support responsible, successful, long-term development.
4. Threatens Heritage Sites
Currently protected heritage sites could be rezoned for development.
Read on for information on each specific Bill or Report
December 8, 2022: Bill 39; Better Municipal Governance Act
Bill 39 has passed and is being sent for Royal Assent. In summation, Bill 39 would extend powers to the Mayor and Council of Toronto and Ottawa (and potentially others) to permit the Mayor to pass specific bylaws, primarily related to housing development, only one third of votes from Council.
On November 30, Mayor Sutcliffe and Ottawa City Council passed a resolution denouncing the Bill and promising to maintain a democratic 50% + 1 vote to pass such bylaws.
Due to the tight timeline to issue a submission, MVCA did not send one of our own. However, as Members of the Federation of Citizens Associations of Ottawa we endorse and support their submission.
November 29, 2022: Bill 23: More Homes Built Faster Act
Bill 23 has been passed though the government is accepting comments on the Bill until December 9.
There are many elements of concern in this Bill that will directly and negatively impact all residents of Ontario. It will impact municipalities abilities to manage growth affordably and still provide necessary infrastructure. Tax increases would seem inevitable. It undermines residents' abilities to comment on development and threatens the important work of conservation authorities to help navigate the balance between ecological preservation and residential expansion.
Citizens' groups across the province have been issuing submissions to the Standing Committee requesting an extension of consultation and an expansion to hear from citizens' groups and organizations across the province, not just those in the GTA.
MVCA has sent its own submission to the Standing Commitee expressing our concerns about this Bill.
August 28, 2022: Bill 3: Strong Mayors Bill, Building Homes Act 2022
Bill 3 gives the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing authority to designate municipalities to be subject to its provisions without consultation nor consent from residents. It permits the Mayor to take over powers currently shared by all of City Council, to hire and dismiss the City’s chief administrative officer and senior members of City staff, including the city clerk, police chief, fire chief, and medical officer of health (among others). This power does not relate to housing issues in any fashion.
Bill 3 permits the Mayor to veto any bylaw that they feel may violate provincial policy. The Minister already has such powers under the Municipal Act to veto any such bylaw. There is no need to complicate matters by granting such powers to the head of Council.
Enabling the Mayor to propose the City’s annual budget and veto any amendment from Council is entirely unwarranted and undemocratic. We elect our local Councilor to represent our interests at City Council.
On August 28, the MVCA joined a host of community associations across Ontario in submitting a letter of opposition to Bill 3.
April 14, 2022: Bill 109; More Homes for Everyone Act
The MVCA called on local residents to write to local MPP Goldie Ghamari about Bill 109, the affordable housing legislation that would dramatically reduce the opportunity for communities to have a say in future development in their community.
The Province was moving quickly to get approval for their affordable housing legislation. Community associations raised concerns about the plan to delegate site plan approvals to City staff with no need for public consultation. Associations believe that input from communities result in a better product that fits within the existing neighbourhood. Since site plans for smaller projects (fewer than 3 units or smaller than 4 stories, for example) are already delegated to staff, this new requirement would only apply to larger developments such as Mahogany.
There were concerns about the Community Infrastructure & Housing Accelerator which would give the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the authority to impose zoning provisions to facilitate development without consideration of the Official Plan or the City’s zoning by-law.
MVCA encouraged everyone to write to their MPP Goldie Ghamari, objecting to these clauses which will have a detrimental impact on how our City is developed moving forward. The Bill was passed too quickly to permit time for MVCA to submit a letter of concern.
Bill 109 passed and received Royal Assent on April 14, 2022
March 18, 2022: Report of the Ontario Housing Affordabiltiy Task Force
In preparation for the introduction of Bill 109, the province released a report from the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force. MVCA agrees there is a need for more affordable housing in our community, city and province. There is also an obvious need to make the approvals process more efficient.
The recommendations in this report are only for market rate housing. They do not provide a solution to the need for affordable options. Furthermore, the recommendations would give the Ontario government the ability to approve housing development without city involvement or community input. Municipal plans, policies and zoning could simply be ignored. Undeveloped land could be approved for development with no discussion with the city.
Release of the
Report of the Ontario Housing Affordability
Bill 109; More Homes for Everyone Act receives Royal Assent
Bill 3; Strong Mayors Building Homes Act
receives Royal Assent
Bill 23; More Homes Built Faster Act
Bill 39; Better Municipal Governance Act receives
What you can do
If you have comments about these legislations, contact MPP Ghamari and Premier Ford and the appropirate Ministers with your opinion
MPP Goldie Ghamari Hon. David Piccini, Minister of Environment, Conservation
Premier Doug Ford
Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing firstname.lastname@example.org