On May 27, a full house packed Toronto City Council chambers to learn about legislation proposed by the Ford government that would bring back the controversial Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), a provincial body known for running roughshod over city planning.
Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, was introduced on May 2 and weakens 13 existing laws regulating the development industry. Notably, the bill will bring back the rules of the old OMB, allowing provincially-appointed panels to decide what development is allowed, in the process overruling decisions of local councils.
It was just a year ago that the Liberal government phased out the OMB and replaced it with the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which was to have much less power over local decision-makers. Now those reforms will be reversed.
If the new law is passed, we can expect the old ways to continue, with towers being built that are much taller and denser than what city planners calls for. But it will be worse, as the bill also merges — and significantly weakens — the tools used by cities to negotiate funds from developers to create new parks, schools, community centres and other infrastructure.
The changes are being rushed, with little time for consultations. City Council has asked the province to provide the city and others with more time to officially comment on the proposed changes.
For more information on Bill 108, see the City's web page:
Bill 108:Changes to Ontario's Planning System.
Make your voice heard!
You can provide written comments to the Committee on Justice Policy:
Doug Ford, Premier
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing: