The Burlington you know might begin to unravel if Bill 97 passes.

By Pepper

April 13th, 2023


Kilbride, Lowville, Mt Nemo are at risk and, when – not if – Bill 97 is passed the Burlington you know will have begun to unravel.

That does sound somewhat alarmist – but it is real.
Last Thursday afternoon, just before Easter, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing stood up in the Legislature and tabled a piece of legislation – An Act to amend various statutes with respect to housing and development.
This Act impacts seven different pieces of existing legislation.

Could small residential developments get built within Lowville ? Who owns the property in the community ?

Building Code Act, 1992
City of Toronto Act, 2006
Development Charges Act, 1997
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Act
Municipal Act, 2001
Planning Act
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

The parts that will impact Burlington are:
Building Code Act 1992
Development Charges Act 1997
Ministry of Municipal Affairs Act 2001
Planning Act

A very reliable source with significant expertise told the Gazette that rarely does the provincial government introduce an Act that changes several other pieces of legislation.

The changes are being made to let the province pass the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, 2023.

An example of a change from the current Municipal Act::
“… providing the Minister with authority to make regulations with respect to a variety of matters including governing the powers of local municipalities under section 99.1 and authorizing certain local municipalities to require certain owners of land to make payments and provide compensation. New subsection
99.1 (8) provides that in the event of a conflict, the provisions of the regulations made under section 99.1 prevail over the provisions of the Act or any other Act or regulation.

And what does this mean? Doesn’t sound good.

Is this property in Kilbride the kind of place low rise apartments could be built?

Or this from the Municipal Affairs and Housing Act
1. A new subsection 47 (4.0.1) is added to provide that the Minister may, in an order made under clause 47 (1) (a), provide that policy statements, provincial plans and official plans do not apply in respect of a license, permit, approval, permission or other matter required before a use permitted by the order may be established.

2. A new section 49.2 is added to give the Minister the power to make an order requiring an owner of land to enter into an agreement with the Minister or a municipality in matters where the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator or the Deputy Facilitator has been directed by the Minister to advise, make recommendations or perform any other functions with respect to the land.

And what does this mean? That they can do whatever they want. Remember, municipalities are the creatures of the province – the province creates them and can make whatever change they wish.

More from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Act

Minister of Municipal AffairsSteve Clarke displaying the documents that he will change in order to pass the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act.  He introduced the legislation in the mid-afternoon the day before the Easter holidays began.

The Minister may make regulations,
(a) governing the powers of a local municipality under this section, including regulations,

(i) imposing restrictions, limits and conditions on the powers of local municipalities to prohibit and regulate the demolition and conversion of residential rental properties,
(ii) prescribing requirements to be contained in by-laws made under this section,
(iii) prescribing conditions that local municipalities must include as a requirement for obtaining a permit, and
(iv) prescribing requirements that the local municipality must impose on owners of land to which a by-law passed under this section applies;

(b) authorizing local municipalities that pass a by-law under this section to require an owner of land to which a by-law passed under this section applies to make payments and to provide compensation;

(c) for the purposes of clause (b), prescribing the amounts to be paid, the compensation to be provided, the persons to whom payments and compensation shall be made and the circumstances in which payments and compensation shall be made, and otherwise governing the payments and compensation;

(d) prescribing steps local municipalities must take or conditions that must be met before passing a by-law under this section and governing any transitional matters with respect to the implementation of such conditions;

From the Planning Act:
This part is mind numbing – don’t expect to understand much of it – we include it to give you a sense of what is going to happen – if the legislation passes.

(e) defining, for the purposes of this section and any regulations under this section, any word or expression not defined in subsection 1 (1) of this Act.
The definition of “area of employment” in subsection 1 (1) of the Planning Act is repealed and the following substituted:
“area of employment” means an area of land designated in an official plan for clusters of business and economic uses, those being uses that meet the following criteria:

1. The uses consist of business and economic uses, other than uses referred to in paragraph 2, including any of the following:

Gerrie Electric has a large distribution centre in Burlington.

i. Manufacturing uses.
ii. Uses related to research and development in connection with manufacturing anything.
iii. Warehousing uses, including uses related to the movement of goods.
iv. Retail uses and office uses that are associated with uses mentioned in subparagraphs i to iii.
v. Facilities that are ancillary to the uses mentioned in subparagraphs i to iv.
vi. Any other prescribed business and economic uses.

2. The uses are not any of the following uses:

i. Institutional uses.
ii. Commercial uses, including retail and office uses not referred to in subparagraph 1 iv; (“zone d’emploi”)

(2) Section 1 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Doug Ford had plans for the kind of Ontario he wanted well before he was elected Premier. Should he be returned to office in 2026 – it will be the same.

Area of employment
(1.1) An area of land designated in an official plan for clusters of business and economic uses is an “area of employment” for the purposes of this Act even if the area of land includes one or more parcels of land whose use is excluded from being a business and economic use under paragraph 2 of the definition of “area of employment” in subsection (1) provided that the following conditions are satisfied:

Bronte Meadows was once considered as part of a package of properties that Amazon would use had they decided to locate more of their operations in Canada

It doesn’t get any easier.

There are members of Council who will not understand what all this means.

City Staff will be pulled of assignments to study the Act, discuss the complexities and how it is all going to impact the development work that is ongoing now.

Meanwhile the government will move the legislation through the process where it goes to committees for detailed review.

Some changes may get made – but the government has a strong majority and the NDP opposition does not have the depth that is needed to get into the details and come up with changes they might want to put forward.

The Liberals don’t have a leader and very few members who can adequately represent the public.

Does that mean there is no hope for public input?

Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre

Some group of interest and concerned citizens might invite Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre to an Open House to explain the Act, something we expect she would be challenged to do – development issues are not her strength. She is a Parliament Assistant to the Ministry of Education where her experience can be put to good use.

The developers will have their lawyers and the planning consultants going over this with a fine tooth comb.

The owners of stretches of property along some of the side roads have been waiting for this day.

Lowville has the local talent that can put up a good fight, Mt Nemo doesn’t. Kilbride could put up a battle.

Most informed people know what is taking place; the Premier has made his position very clear to the development community – he has consistently hood winked the public.

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