Addressing Housing Affordability Requires Municipal Partnerships To Get To 1.5 Million New Homes

Posted on Feb 25, 2022

February 25, 2022 - Ontario’s Big City Mayors met today to discuss housing affordability and supply, the provincial election, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Caucus also unanimously passed a motion in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty in these unprecedented times, along with motions to both federal and provincial governments furthering OBCM’s position on addressing the revolving door of justice. 

OBCM members unanimously approved the Mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie, as Interim Chair until December 2022.

Housing

The OBCM caucus is committed to working with the Ontario Government and Minister Clark to develop solutions to address the ongoing housing affordability challenges faced by Ontarians. There is strong support for an ambitious target of new homes amongst OBCM members and a stronger belief that the fastest way to get there is through building collaborative partnerships with municipalities.

OBCM encourages the provincial government to take into account the appropriate role of local governments in building their communities as they finalize plans to encourage more housing. Together, through hard work and collaboration, we can build a land use planning process and invest in housing supports that create more housing options for Ontarians.  OBCM will be submitting a more formal response to the province shortly.

Interim Chair

As Mayor Jeff Lehman seeks elected office as a Member of Provincial Parliament, OBCM unanimously appointed former Chair and Mayor of Guelph Cam Guthrie as Interim Chair for the remainder of 2022.

“I am pleased to serve as Chair during this crucial time, as OBCM continues to engage the provincial and federal governments on a number of key issues,” says Mayor Guthrie. “I look forward to working with my fellow mayors to keep up the momentum and deliver on the priorities that matter to big city residents and businesses.”

OBCM would like to thank Mayor Lehman for his leadership and advocacy work as Chair the past year and a half.

Provincial Election

OBCM has begun to engage with provincial party leaders, and their teams, and look forward to continuing discussion with all provincial parties about our priorities for the 2022 election.

Pandemic Support

OBCM is continuing to work with the Ontario and federal governments to confirm the announced transit support to address revenue shortfalls due to decreased ridership from COVID19. OBCM is also reiterating the need for additional funding to support municipalities by addressing other pandemic related shortfalls to prevent unfair property tax increases or service reductions.

Motions

OBCM Motion in Support of Ukraine’s Sovereignty

Moved: Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga

Seconded: Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of Burlington

WHEREAS Ukraine is facing an unprecedented and unjustified attack on their people, their sovereignty, and their territory.

WHEREAS We are deeply troubled by the situation on the ground, including images of hardship, violence and families seeking refuge in bomb shelters and in subway stations.

WHEREAS OBCM Mayors stand with the people of Ukraine, Ukrainian communities across Ontario and those around the world in strongly condemning this brazen and unprovoked attack.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Our thoughts go out to our respective Ukrainian communities and their loved ones during this deeply troubling time;

That OBCM Mayors stand for peace and are in full support of the strict sanctions the federal government has imposed on Russia;

THAT OBCM Mayors call for the immediate cessation of all military activity and instead pursue a diplomatic resolution;

AND THAT OBCM Mayors call on the Federal government to welcome those fleeing the conflict with Ukraine into our country with open arms.

 

OBCM Motion in Support of Closing the Revolving Door of Justice – Federal Resolution

Moved: Kevin Davis, Mayor of Brantford

Seconded: Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton

WHEREAS many municipalities across Ontario are experiencing a substantial increase in criminal activity leaving residents fearful for their personal safety and losing confidence in the criminal justice system.

WHEREAS the increase in criminal activity is due in part to the failure of the justice system to hold in pre-trial custody many of the likely-to-reoffend individuals, including those who are in serious breach of prior bail conditions, a situation commonly referred to as the “revolving door of justice”.

WHEREAS those involved in the justice system, from Justices of the Peace to those who have been arrested, acknowledge the “catch and release” bail system contributes to an increase in crime.

WHEREAS concerns continue to be raised by businesses, post-secondary institutions and their student bodies, neighbourhood associations, and citizens regarding the increased criminal activity; and WHEREAS there is a pressing need for common sense bail reform that gives priority to the dignity and safety of victims over the wellbeing of criminal.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT OBCM joins with a number of member Cities in requesting that steps be taken immediately by the Federal government to strengthen the bail system, including:

  1. Imposing more demanding and stringent surety and supervision requirements; and
  2. imposing more substantive and effective consequences for continued breaches of a judicial interim release order (as known as “bail”) resulting in pre-trial incarceration, which changes are required to safeguard law abiding citizens and to restore citizens faith in the criminal justice system

 

OBCM Motion in Support of Addressing the Revolving Door of Justice – Provincial Resolution

Moved: Kevin Davis, Mayor of Brantford

Seconded: Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton

WHEREAS municipalities across Ontario have experienced a substantial increase in criminal activity leaving residents fearful for their personal safety and losing confidence in the criminal justice system.

WHEREAS OBCM member municipalities strive to create vibrant, safe, livable neighbourhoods in their communities.

WHEREAS concerns continue to be raised by businesses, the post-secondary and their student bodies, neighbourhood associations, citizens and others.

WHEREAS bringing matters related to criminal charges more expeditiously through the court system will create a greater deterrence to such behaviour, and therefore improve the safety and security of citizens throughout Ontario.

WHEREAS each year a significant sum of surety money is forfeited further to breaches of the conditions of judicial interim release orders (“bail”); however, the necessary steps are not taken to collect this forfeited money, thus leaving a substantial financial resource unavailable

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT OBCM requests that steps be taken immediately by the Ontario government to:

  1. Provide additional judicial resources to allow for matters to move as expeditiously through the court system as possible;
  2. Provide such additional space and/or technological resources for the local court systems to ensure there is adequate space and technological resources to address the significant local caseload most efficiently and consequently decrease the time a matter takes to be fully resolved;
  3. And dedicate the required resources to collect the forfeited surety monies and reinvest that money back into the provincial judicial system.

 

Media Contacts:

Mayor Cam Guthrie, 2019-2020, Interim Chair

mayor@guelph.ca

519-837-5643

 

Michelle Baker

Michelle@ontariobigcitymayors.ca

647-236-6602