Minister explained how much he is doing for the municipalities.

By Staff

August 28th, 2023



Clark was booed at one point during his remarks.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark started off on a high note when he addressed municipal council members and staff at the annual AMO conference held in London Ontario.

“This is an exciting time for Ontario, Ontario, Ontario, Our province is leading the nation in job growth with more than 700,000 full time jobs created in the province since 2018.

“Over the last two and a half years Ontario has attracted more than $25 billion in investments in the auto and the electrical vehicle battery sector alone.

“These investments lay the foundation for a resilient Ontario with opportunities for every community to thrive. And let’s be clear, Ontario is thriving; last year alone our province welcomed nearly half a million permanent residents. This is exciting, but we know that our communities must have the proper tools in place to support growth.

“That’s why we recently introduced the community infrastructure and housing accelerator (CIHA) it’s a tool that allows municipalities in partnership with the province to speed up approvals for important projects like housing and hospitals, while increasing transparency and accountability.

“I encourage all municipalities to look into ways to use CIHA to support projects worthwhile projects in their communities.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing first announcing strong Mayor concept.

“Our government has also taken decisive action to extend strong mayor powers to 28 municipalities that have committed to a housing target, helping these communities speed up delivery of key projects such as housing and infrastructure. And you all heard the premier yesterday as he announced the extension of strong mayor powers to an additional 21 municipalities provided that they commit on delivering on our provincially assigned housing targets.

“The premier also made a tremendous announcement in announcing our government’s new building faster fund that’s going to provide up to $1.2 billion over three years to help municipalities that are either on track to meet or hopefully to exceed their housing targets.

“This one will help municipalities pay for housing enabling infrastructure and related costs that support community growth. I want to assure you that our government will continue to look for solutions that help municipalities get more people into homes that meet their needs and their budgets.

“With that in mind, I’m announcing today that the government will be unveiling a slate of regional facilitators in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe County, Waterloo and York by September 11 of this year. These facilitators will be tasked with reviewing the structures that are in place in these fast growing areas to ensure that they’re up for the job in delivering efficient effective and accountable government that residents both expect and deserve. I know that those of you who represent these communities; you’ve been waiting too long already. I really appreciate your patience. I want to assure everyone that our focus has always been to get this right. We’re nearly there.

“As Housing Minister, I’m also too aware of the challenges Ontarians face when it comes to finding a home that’s why our government committed to building at least 1.5 million homes by 2031.

“We’re already making steady progress to that goal. We released four housing supply action plans since 2019. We’ve been advancing and committed to advancing a plan each and every year under the leadership of Premier Ford.

“I’ve also made several decisions on official plans which govern growth in municipalities that are home to more than six million Ontarians. These official plans are critical to our provinces future and I want to acknowledge and thank municipalities that were involved. I want to also thank them for their ongoing cooperation.
We’re also moving forward with the proposed provincial planning statement. We’re really encouraged by the amount of feedback that we received through our consultation on the statement. The consultation as all of you know, closed on August 4th.

“November is going to be a further opportunity to provide input by you to our government’s plan to get more homes built. The province is going to be hosting a housing forum in November with key municipal associations and key stakeholders to discuss the next housing supply action plan and how we can work together to deliver on those housing targets.

Is this going to be the definition of affordable housing?

“I know as we deliver on these targets, it’s critical that we’re building a range of housing, including affordable housing. Over the past year my ministry has been working very closely with municipalities and stakeholders to arrive at the definition of affordable housing that’s genuinely affordable, but which doesn’t stand in the way of getting shovels in the ground. I heard very clearly about the need to provide both clarity and stability so affordable homes can be built without delay. So that’s why I intend to introduce legislation in the fall that if passed would update the definition of affordable housing for the purpose of accessing development charge discounts and exemptions.

The definition would be largely based on the definition included in the 2020 provincial policy statement and would take local income levels into account. So that means the definition used to determine eligibility for these discounts and exemptions would reflect the ability of local households to pay for housing, and would reflect the reality of different housing markets across Ontario.

“We need to do this together. But we also need the federal government to do its part that’s why we’re again calling on Ottawa to work with us to defer the HST on all new large scale purpose built rentals If Ottawa refuses to take the step, Ontario is prepared to lead by example, and take action ourselves so that we can build housing that our residents need and they deserve.

“We’re also calling on the federal government to guarantee that at least 10% of the housing accelerator fund is reserved for small northern and rural communities.

“We need to ensure that these part of the these parts of the province are not left behind and we want to ensure that our fair share of federal funding comes forward so municipalities and service managers can properly fund affordable and supportive housing.

“We’re also going to continue to work with the federal government to secure our fair share of funding under the national housing strategy.

“Ontario has secured about $2.9 billion for housing programs through 2027 2028. I can assure you that we’re not done advocating for Ontario yet, the federal government still underfunding our province by $480 million dollars over the term of the strategy based on our core housing; these are dollars that should be going to your communities. I know that they’re needed. I encourage you to join us in making the case directly to the federal government to ensure that communities are receiving the funding that they need.

“We’re also continuing to work closely with municipalities when it comes to supporting newcomers to our province and you know, Ontario, we’re proud to welcome more immigrants than any other province, but we need our federal partners to step up with long term solutions to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers can access both shelter and supports because helping those experiencing or at risk of homelessness must be a shared priority for all levels of government.

Reasons for

“That’s why Ontario invested an additional $202 million in our Homelessness Prevention Program, bringing that annual investment to close to $700 million. We have put in place tangible long term solutions, such as the comprehensive By Name List of people experiencing homelessness, along with information about their needs. We’re also working with our partners to implement a new regulatory framework that protects critical community housing supply, encouraging housing providers to continue offering affordable rents for tens of thousands of households and continue to prioritize survivors of abuse and trafficking for rent geared to income assistance through the special priority policy.

“My ministry is also developing a guide that will help service managers who administer this policy and support survivors so they can access the homes that they need.

“Let me be clear, we are ready and willing to do that work. We will continue working with AMO and all of our partners to create a stronger future for our remarkable province.”

Now we are able to understand why the Minister was not able to keep in touch with his Chief of Staff who was selecting the properties that were to be taken out of the protected land within the Greenbelt – he was a very busy cabinet Minister.

During the twenty minute oration the Minister never once uttered the word “Greenbelt”.

There were reports that Minister Clark was booed at one point during his remarks.

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2 comments to Minister explained how much he is doing for the municipalities.

  • Lynn Crosby

    He should resign. Unbelievable corruption. Clark is so arrogant that he believes, as written recently in the Spectator by Fred Youngs, that “the long-standing parliamentary tradition of ministerial responsibility – the principle that a cabinet minister is responsible for everything that happens in his or her department, and in cases like this, the minister resigns,” doesn’t apply to him. Ford should resign too but there is no integrity in this government.

    And our MPP Natalie Pierre hides as usual. Several of us have called and written to her, we’ve been told weeks ago she’d have a response imminently, but as is typical, that hasn’t happened. Instead we get ignored, time and again. But hey, she tweets about ice cream so that’s helpful. Ears plugged and saying “na na na na”, hoping this goes away? We won’t be forgetting.

    Wonder if Natalie was at the infamous Ford daughter’s wedding here in Burlington? Another corrupt practice which should have resulted in Ford’s resignation. Hello? He invites developer donors to his daughter’s wedding! $8 Billion profits for his pals, destroying our greenbelt and showing he lied to us all. How have heads not rolled? Who believes their nonsense? And why don’t our mayors speak out and ask why they should believe any of the supposed housing numbers they’re supposed to follow? Instead they turtle too and suck up. Just gross.

  • The question is will those who know what the problems are with the Region and their ability to shut knowledgeable people out from the decision making process, have access to the facilitators or is this just another Region review that we pay for but are excluded from the process of identifying the issues. Or ha having action taken to deal with the issues.

    We made a presentation to the last review and gave them a whole book of issues with service and legislation compliance. We also spoke one on one with Steve Clark who asked for our audits to be sent to him through a staff person. We got no response to any of our submissions. We also met one on one with Senior Minister Cho at his request to identify the numerous access issues that are never addressed. Again no response. Granted the pandemic was number one priority, but hope this is not going to be more expense with nothing to show, as occurred with the last review.