It has become a 'Place to Grow' - faster than you thought possible.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 13th, 2019


It just doesn’t stop.

PC Leader Doug Ford faced a barrage of questions from Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in Monday's CityNews debate in Toronto.

PC Leader Doug Ford faced a barrage of questions from Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath during the election debates. We are now seeing the answers to many of those questions.

That’s what happens when you elect a government that promised change – this time you get it.

The provincial government tabled Bill 108. It’s not good news.

The Bill affects 13 pieces of legislation including the Conservation Authorities Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal through changes to the Planning Act.

Set out below is a brief overview of some of the changes.

Susan Lloyd Swail, Senior Manager, Livable Communities is calling it the Developers Dream Bill; the Ontario Home Builders Association got pretty much everything they asked for. In her comments she points out that:

Click to view report

An update is due later this month.

The Bill enacts changes to legislation that implement the provincial Housing Action Plan. Overall it makes it easier to build housing anywhere in the province. The new Growth Plan, A Place to Grow comes into effect May 16th, 2019. It permits expansions of settlement boundaries (up to 40 ha- 100 acres at a time) and conversions of employment land ahead of an MCR- Official Plan review. Expect more sprawl onto farmland.

The government is cutting regulations and policies that protect the environment, endangered species, and allow citizen input to speed up development approvals. Not that we are running out of housing. Municipalities plan for housing and are required to keep a 10 year supply of land designated for growth and a 3 year supply of draft and registered housing- that means housing ready to build.

Ironically, many of you will recall that developers taking OP’s to the OMB created on average a 3 year delay. There is no doubt we need more low income subsidized housing in than is currently available especially in the GTA but there is no shortage of unaffordable single family homes.

Many of the changes to the Planning Act affect LPAT- We are going back to the old OMB with a twist- it will still be called the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

The new LPAT disallows third party appeals (non-profit groups) on certain matters, like subdivisions and matters where Council hasn’t made a decision. We also expect the cost of participating in hearings to increase. Rather than policy conformity the new LPAT will go back to an interpretation of good planning. Progressive municipalities with strong planning are not happy with this change as it is seen as undermining their authority. In municipalities that don’t follow good planning this change could be positive.

Environmental Defence plans to launch a campaign to kill various aspects of Bill 108 in the coming weeks.

Democracy at its best – the electorate getting what they elected.

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11 comments to It has become a ‘Place to Grow’ – faster than you thought possible.

  • BJ

    Steven C. Gardner: Burlington voted for 2 PC MPP not MP. MPP is The designation for Ontario Provincial Government. MP is the designation for Federal.

  • Penny Hersh

    Sorry should have said canola products not soy products.

  • Penny Hersh

    What makes anyone think that voting in this Federal Liberal Government with Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister is the answer? Look around – Alberta’s economy has tanked, relations with China are at its worst. Farmers will have soy beans and pork products with no market to sell to. Oh yes, let’s not forget Federal women employees will have access to free sanitary products. Really!!!!

    Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that Andrew Sheer is the answer, but neither is Justin Trudeau. Both of these men, in my opinion, are not the right ones leading their parties. Unfortunately this is the hand we have been dealt. The answer seems to be who will do the least damage and remember “be careful what you wish for”.

  • Adam

    So many conflicting comments in this article and on these message boards in general. Your article says “Not that we are running out of housing. Municipalities plan for housing and are required to keep a 10 year supply of land designated for growth and a 3 year supply of draft and registered housing- that means housing ready to build.” This is just simply wrong. Municipalities like Burlington and many others have no where near a 10 year “supply” of land, and definitely not another 10 years worth of land after the current supply is used. In other words, they are full, especially when it comes to greenfield land for low rise development. There is a major supply issue in housing which is causing skyrocketing prices. This is what the government is trying to fix, this has nothing to do with developers profits, donations etc. They are simply trying to get more housing built to help with affordability, demand is growing but supply is restricted causing prices to increase.

    The other major conflict is the comment that we should “Expect more sprawl onto farmland.” I’m confused by this one. Where do we want new housing to be built? We clearly don’t want intensification and mid/high rise construction within existing communities in Burlington, now we also don’t want it on farmland either? Where are we going to build then? What do we do with the 100,000+ new people that come to the GTA every year? The reality is that the GTA is ring fenced with the greenbelt. If we want to keep the greenbelt intact then we need intensification. If we don’t want intensification then we need to scale back the greenbelt. These policies, Greenbelt and the push to Intensification, are Liberal policies.

  • Rob Allan

    Mike Wallace lost his seat because people were tired of the Conservative leader Stephen Harper. Eleanor McMahon lost her seat because they were tired of Wynne’s Liberals. Both Mike Wallace and Eleanor McMahon were good people as is our MP Karina Gould.

    Jane McKenna isn’t in their league. Her nomination was troubled and her experience weak but she was in the right place at the right time. She was elected by default.

  • Elan

    The Provincial PC’s did not get the majority of Burlington votes. The majority of votes were split between NDP and Liberals. Which means Jane McKenna is riding high with a 40.49% mandate. I don’t think this was a ringing endorsement for PC style downloading.
    And I believe the past council was heavily indebted to the developers (see the election spending documents from their preferred candidate – Kim Calderbank – in Ward 2 who lost…all donations from developers, few real citizens. they tried to hide it by recording the developer’s spouses and other family members). Also, I do not believe the ‘housing’ being proposed is in any way intended to be affordable…only lucrative for those doing the building.

    • Lynn Crosby

      Oh yes, the list of donors for the 2018 candidates is MOST telling (including the ones we know are trying to hide, as you say). Follow the money. Thinking about who was behind the attack ads and which candidates were pictured with whom on their social media accounts is also telling.

      • Louise F.

        Elan – So using your rationale regarding the percentage of votes that Jane McKenna received, does that same rationale apply to the Mayor? Rick Goldring and Mike Wallace split the majority of the votes with 52.02% (and that doesn’t include Greg Woodruff’s 1.94%). And it’s not like Eleanor McMahon had a landslide mandate in 2014 with 43.41% of the vote.
        I would encourage people to look at the candidate’s donor lists. But as Lynn Crosby pointed out, “follow the money”. For instance why did Rory Nisan donate $1,200.00 to Lisa Kearns and why did Lisa Kearns donate $1,200.00 to Rory Nisan??? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense now does it??? I have my thoughts on where those donations came from and it wasn’t from either of them. Just saying, it’s probably not fair to jump on Kimberly Calderbank when you look at the financial statements of other candidates and elected officials.
        I remember the days of basically nothing north of the QEW except for Mountainside and farmland. But all towns and cities to the north, east and west of Toronto have grown. People have to live somewhere. So let’s be respectful about growth and remember, there is much needed tax revenue that goes along with development.

  • Carol Victor

    We need to think twice before voting anything but Liberal again….any vote in the Federal election other than one for the Liberals will put Sheer in the PM’s office and we will have no recourse on the environment or anything else. The Conservative leader has had a year to get an environmental policy in place but instead has spent that time criticizing the PM, perpetrating “scandals”, and approving disgusting television ads that put our PM on the same level as Donald Trump…this is truly a new low for Canadian politics!!!!
    Carol Victor

  • Steve

    Wouldn’t making it easier to build housing have a positive effect on creating more affordable housing?

  • steven craig Gardner

    Very ironic here in burlington. Folks claimed to throw all almost all the past council because they were pro-development. Then Burlington voteds in two PC MP’s whose party looks to be doing far worse things than the previous council could ever have done. You are right Pepper the electorate are geting what they elected. Hope theye are happy and we have 3 + more years to look forward to.