The news released today by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in regards to The Housing Supply Action Plan is simply shocking.
Following hard on the heels of its decision to close the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre – the agency that was to provide legal assistance to residents/ratepayers seeking to object to development applications in their communities - the Province has announced sweeping changes to land-use planning legislation. Under the guise of supposed efficiency and improved access to affordable housing, the Province is reverting back to the old playbook of rules under the abolished Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) for approving development applications.
The review and reform of the OMB was a decades long process that resulted in a new regulatory framework. A significant element of that new legislative framework was to give greater weight and consideration of Municipal Council decisions as they relate to land-use planning. The final version of the legislation secured all party support. Its approval was a unanimous decision.
Should the proposed legislation pass as is, municipalities will again be relegated to the sidelines when it comes to land-use planning decisions for their own communities.
Once again, an unelected, unaccountable body will get to decide what’s best for our community when it comes to growth and development. This is not a decision “for the people.”
The ability to manage growth in our communities has just taken a huge step backward and I consider it to be completely unacceptable.
As the Chair of the OMB Reform Working Group and Planning Matter, I will be reaching out to my colleagues and plan to meet as soon as possible on this matter.
Mayor, Town of Aurora