Premier to the municipal sector: 'We need to stop doing things that aren't working.'

By Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2022



During a meeting with the Toronto Board of Trade yesterday the Premier and the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs talked about what a new piece of legislation is going to do to get more homes built.

The following are short excerpts from the 45 minute session.

Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs Steve Clarke and Premier Doug Ford talking to member of the Toronto Board of Trade

The Premier said:

“So I’ll just expand upon a bit on the gentle density. So we feel as a government that another way to unlock more housing is to allow more gentle density. And one of the ways that we propose to do this is by expanding what’s allowed to be built without further planning applications.

“Our plan would permit up to three additional residential units on most pieces of urban land, right including up to three in the main dwelling or two in the main dwelling and then one in an associated building.

“These would be as of right. That’s to say they’re not going to need a bylaw amendments, they’re not going to need any additional permits. This is going to create a broader mix of rental housing that could help homeowners pay their mortgages.

“There’s more that we’re also going to be putting some protections in for new home buyers.

“We the doubling of those maximum fines for those builders and vendors who try to make money on the backs of new homeowners. By unfairly cancelling those contracts. We have to come down hard on them. We have to allow the home construction regulatory authority to be able to use those fines to compensate those homeowners who have been treated unethically.

The Premier added:

“We need to stop doing things that aren’t working. We need to start doing things that get shovels in the ground faster.

“We need to speed up the approval process and work with partners for the first time.

“We’ve heard the municipalities as well. They have challenges as well if you don’t give them the tools to to get the permits done because it nothing’s more frustrating to a developer. And I’m sure it’s frustrating. When I was down there. I got frustrated. And I’m not telling you something that these developers if you’re out there don’t know already.

“You put your application into what I called the carousel. It gets on the carousel and it goes around for comments. It goes to transportation, it goes to parks, it goes to heritage and goes around and then it comes off the carousel. God knows when and guess what? They look at it and it goes back on the carousel again, and it just keeps going around so we have to make sure that we call it the shot clock, the shot clock, be it in football or being in basketball.

“You know we have a certain time frame for the municipalities to get an answer back because when we look around the world this becomes our number issue with our number one trading partner – the United States.  We do approximately $400 billion of two way trade every year with them.

“So I like using them as an example. No matter if it’s a commercial sit,e industrial site, or housing. I’ll use Ohio for example. You can get a permanent in six months. That’s what we need to do.”

There is more – we will double back to that event and pass on what the Premier is telling the municipalities.


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8 comments to Premier to the municipal sector: ‘We need to stop doing things that aren’t working.’

  • Stephen White

    You can certainly tell Doug Ford has a marketing background. Only a marketing guy could coin a term like “gentle density” and then try to sell it to a gullible electorate as a panacea for everyone’s problems. A true “snake oil salesman” if ever there was one.

    If Doug wanted to actually be constructive in this debate he and his Housing Minister, Steve Clark, should at least acknowledge some of the valid concerns being raised about GTA intensification (i.e. traffic congestion; environmental degradation; potential loss of green space; etc.), and then task the minions in Clark’s Ministry to come up with a plan that minimizes duplication while preserving the character of existing neighbourhoods and communities and permitting appropriate public consultation. Part of that plan should recognize municipal governments as a key partner in the process, not the enemy.

    Since the provincial Tories are so bereft of ideas, imagination and creativity why not start with this: 1) identify all the communities in Ontario outside the GTA that are forecasted to have a net population decline in the next twenty years. We don’t need to cram everyone into a hundred mile swatch between Oshawa and Niagara Falls; 2) provide financial incentives for young people and immigrants to relocate to these communities; 3) in the GTA cap new development applications at 10 storeys in Toronto, 4 storeys elsewhere. If mid-level development is what the public wants and needs (assuming couples with 3 kids don’t want to live in a 50 storey condo with jacuzzis and concierge service) then it’s time to set a standard; 5) take all those office buildings that are now empty because no one is working in them since employees now operate virtually and prioritize re-zoning these sites for residential.

    I suspect though that this isn’t in Doug’s wheelhouse. No surprise. Marketing folks are usually only good at sloganeering. Adding real value requires a some awareness of the issues. Doug prefers to deal in generalities.

  • Alfred

    Rick and Sharon.

    The Premier did say Ohio, not Cleveland specifically. Nice try. I googled average wage in Ohio. It appears to be much higher than Ontario. You neglected to point that out as well. When a Municipality or City takes 9 years to approve a highrise complex or 20 years to approve a 7 unit subdivision of single family homes when the layout was already approved decades ago. You know the suits from the top floor are going to figure out and find the incompetence in the running of Burlingtons housing policies. Then hopefully fire all of the managers who had anything to do with these money and time wasting policies. Also remove the disfunctional Mayor from the process. That achieved nothing but send prices and wait times through the roof. I’m surprised it took this long.
    Some of the most beautiful places in Burlington were built without all these silly regulations.

  • Sharon

    Wow, all I can say is “haste is waste” and fast tracking anything is only trouble down the road! We do have leaders that can stop the population surplus needing housing until such time as we take care of those that are already here supposedly homeless. Where is our planning balance?


    “Ohio “. He wants us to be more like Ohio? Has he ever been to Cleveland?

  • Premier Ford talks about taking action against developers who have brought financial harm to home buyers who are mostly purchasing from site plans, which is a must. He is not, however, even thinking about addressing those municipalities who have brought financial and health harm to those who are on geared to income/affordable housing waiting lists or living in one of the municipality’s housing projects with mold, safety and accessiblity issues.

    This is something we have been involved in addressing for the last 30 years in Ontario and found nothing substantial has changed with the cause of very negative financial and health issues from the first Burlington/Halton Region geared to income housing issue we took on at least 25 years ago. The date can be checked as it was around two years before Anne was campaign manager for a Hamilton mayor candidate, former Burlington geared to income resident, Fern Rankin who went to Hamilton after first trying to see if Peterborough was any better than Burlington and finding it was not! The first municipal election after her arrival in Hamilton she ran for Mayor on the mandate “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” The Spec. phogoraphed her in front of prison cell bars.

    Fern ran for Hamilton Mayor to expose how Burlington homeless were treated i.e. given a choice of a bus ticket to Hamilton or Toronto. Last we heard of her Fern was in the States and would be delighted to have her story told if it could help Burlington families of today

  • Alfred

    I honestly believe they don’ t have an idea of what they are talking about. People are looking to have prices of housing reduced. Will these triplexes be able to be sold off as 3 seperate housing units to 3 seperate owners? If so that would split the cost of the lot for 3 owners instead of 1 clearly making the price of housing more affordable. If on the other hand these units have to be made bigger to allow for 2 extra rental units.( One owner owns the whole property) Then the initial cost will be higher at a time when prospective home owners can’t already qualify for a mortgage. Some people don’t want to be landlords and just want to buy a home that is more affordable. Semi- detached homes appear to make more sense or triplexes that can be sold off as 3 individual units.

    Clearly there has to be more clarification on this issue. The affordability clock is ticking. Time for the citizens of Burlington to come up with some suggestions on housing types in the low density areas, or the Province will do that for you.

  • perryb

    About the “carousel”: When a developer complains about facing a City’s Official Plan (already approved by the Region and Province) that considers these things, the OLT squashes them as irrelevant. The new condo tower is assumed to stand alone in an empty green pasture – just like the promotional drawings. In the real world the OLT is not required to consider the things that make a development livable. Ford named a few of them: transportation, parks, heritage – he didn’t mention schools, hospitals, and much more. Minister Clarke and the Premier know this very well but choose to ignore it. An inconvenient truth.