The province is proposing changes to the Provincial Policy Statement - this could hurt.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 22, 2019

Burlington, ON


It is the document developers just love – it covers a multitude of sins and can almost be used to say whatever you want it to say in a development application.

It was used to devastating effect in Burlington on a proposal for 26 storeys on land zoned for four to eight storeys – the developer got 24 storeys.

That document, the Provincial Policy Statement is about to undergo some changes.

The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) sets out Ontario’s land use planning direction for:

high profile 421

… and it was used to justify this structure.


The existing Provincial Policy Statement PPS was used to justify this structure ….

Managing growth and development;
Ensuring the wise use and management of resources, such as farmland and natural features; and

Ensuring that public health and safety are protected – such as directing development away from flood-prone areas.

Municipalities implement the PPS through policies included in their official plans, zoning by-laws and local land use planning decisions.

The province is holding a 90-day consultation on proposed changes to the PPS. The proposed changes are focused to help:

Increase the supply and mix of housing by increasing land supply for housing to help people find homes close to where they work and give municipalities more flexibility to plan for a range of homes, like single-detached, townhouses, mid-rises and duplexes that meet people’s needs.

Protect the environment and public safety by encouraging transit-oriented development and ensuring municipalities prepare for the impacts of a changing climate while continuing to protect important natural features, including wetlands, wildlife habitat, and the Greenbelt.

Support certainty and economic growth by giving more flexibility to municipalities to ensure areas designated for employment are planned to reflect local needs and to help facilitate the conditions for economic investment, and to ensure that local infrastructure investments are efficiently used, and that protections for transportation and energy corridors for future needs are in place.

Reduce barriers and costs by proposing to add new policies that require municipalities to take action to streamline and fast-track development applications for housing and economic development proposals.

Support rural, northern and Indigenous communities by providing more flexible sewage and water servicing policies, enhancing municipal engagement with Indigenous communities on land use planning matters, and continuing to support the agricultural sector.

The consultation closes on October 21, 2019. Feedback is encouraged and may be sent by:

Submitting an email to

Submitting comments on the Environmental Registry of Ontario at in response to posting #019-0279

Writing at:
Provincial Policy Statement Review
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Provincial Planning Policy Branch
777 Bay St., 13th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
Fax: (416) 585-6870

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4 comments to The province is proposing changes to the Provincial Policy Statement – this could hurt.

  • Anna Romano

    Changes to the PPS are gifts to the development industry. Follow the money.

  • Stephen White

    Come on Alfred! The lack of housing affordability is a province-wide problem not specific to Burlington, and the Mayor and this Council didn’t create it. Moreover, the Mayor isn’t the only one opposed to the policy direction of the Ford government.

    The Mayor and this Council are acting in accordance with the priorities, needs and expectations of electors. That should have been made painfully evident during the last municipal election. Local residents are tired of having the provincial government’s ill-conceived intensification agenda stuffed down our throats, and being treated like recalcitrant children by politicians, public servants and developers alike.

    Finally, please spare us these constant references to NIMBYISM. It is not only tiresome, it is factually incorrect. It is not a question of development vs. no development. It is a debate around the quality, extent and form of development. If you miss the subtleties and nuances of the debate then you miss the potential for understanding and compromise. Mind you…if you keep bandying around terms like “Republic”, and “Queen” and NIMBYISM I suppose you aren’t so much interested in a debate as you are in a diatribe.

    BTW…the Editors’ note is very apropos!

  • Elan

    yeah, Alfred is a developer. moving on….

  • Alfred

    Is anyone surprised? The newly elected nimby Mayor Meed Ward and a few very vocal anti-development councilors. Have brought down the wrath of the Provincial Government to bare upon the City of Burlington. It has placed the citizens in a fight with the Premier that thanks to the Mayor they will never win. All this as she preached she would stop development in Burlington. As if our City was a Republic upon itself. That she ruled as it’s Queen. She has created chaos in this City. It is now one of the most expensive medium size Cities to buy a home. Very few people that work at City hall or elsewhere can even afford to live here and these are great people, good paying jobs. She refuses to understand or for political reasons( keeping the 75 year old nimby’s happy.) That are Official Plan and Zoning by-laws are outdated and do not line up with Provincial Growth Plans that she supported when running for the Liberals. Creating unrealistic expectations about land development for the general public. This causes community opposition to intensification. Development process takes a very long time. Out of date Plans and by-laws add to this making delays even longer. Which can add to the price of a single family home by as much as $100,000 and easily delay the construction by a year or much more. Municipalities are required to review their Official Plan every 5 years. I have counted my toes twice our City seems to be 5 years behind. Zoning by-laws to follow no later than 3 years after the Official plan is passed. We have most of the Low density areas that have no zoning in place 12 years after the Official plan was approved that would permit housing mandated in the Official plan. Did the Mayor think that no one would notice. The resources of the Province are being used against her and as a result our City will pay the consequences. She is the poster child for the new Provincial Policy statement. We might also hear from the office of the Ombudsman on this one. Sounds like fun. NOTE: The term nimby refers to :Not in by back yard:. No insult intended or implied.

    Editor’s note: It is time to stop referring to the Mayor as a NIMBY Mayor. No one refers to you with slangy language. The Mayor was elected by a clear majority of the people. The public knew what they were getting when they elected her. Help her get the job done or get out of the way. The comments section was meant to be a place where ideas were exchanged – not a place to spout the same opinion again and again.