GUELPH, March 30, 2022 – As municipalities continue to find solutions to Ontario’s housing crisis, Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) would like to thank Premier Doug Ford and Minister Steve Clark for their continuing efforts on this critical issue for our communities.
“Portions of today’s legislation will provide more opportunities to build much needed housing in Ontario, in partnership with municipalities. It also reaffirms the long-held practice of local governments being responsible for local planning decisions,” said Cam Guthrie, Chair of OBCM and Mayor of Guelph. “OBCM looks forward to reviewing the legislation in greater detail. Our municipalities are committed to a collaborative process as we find ways to increase all types of housing supply.”
OBCM also welcomes the opportunity for municipal participation in the Housing Supply Working Group as the Housing Supply Action Plans are created alongside recommendations from the Housing Affordability Task Force and the public.
While OBCM welcomes today’s legislation, the Caucus does have some concerns we hope the government will consider.
Planning Delays and Timelines
“While the province encouraged municipalities to look in our own backyards for solutions to planning delays, we are encouraging the province to continue to do the same,” said Cam Guthrie, Chair of OBCM and Mayor of Guelph.
De novo Hearings at the Ontario Land Tribunal
OBCM is concerned that the matter of de novo hearings at the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) is not addressed in the proposed legislation. The Caucus believes strongly that the ability to introduce entirely new information at the OLT undermines good planning and disadvantages communities.
OBCM remains supportive of initiatives grounded in the following principles and we are pleased to see the government has addressed many of these through their new plan and recent announcements.
- Share in communicating to residents the need for growth to help overcome NIMBY opposition;
- Ensure that every level of government is part of addressing the solution;
- Improve the way we collect and analyze data, so we have the tools to define problems, set goals and track progress on implementing solutions;
- Reduce the time for approvals by applying digital tools and streamlining the process;
- Invest in training to ensure we have the skilled trades needed to build new homes;
- Develop a suite of tools to address housing costs and supply shortages; and
- Ensure local flexibility in building the right mix of housing.
“Ontario’s Big City Mayors are pleased to see the implementation of two key positions from our caucus that we brought forward to the government. The initiating of the increase of the foreign buyer’s tax, and putting in place further consumer protections for homebuyers,” said Cam Guthrie, Chair of OBCM and Mayor of Guelph. “OBCM urges all levels of government, alongside the development community, their associations, and the public, to be involved in solving Ontario’s housing crisis. We all have a role to play.”
Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair
Michelle Baker, Executive Director