On November 28, 2022 the Government of Ontario passed Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, despite province-wide public protest. This government, emboldened by the new majority it received from the electorate this past June, has simply gutted any provisions in Ontario law that have enabled the municipalities to manage the planning, and pay the costs for development expansion, leaving municipal taxpayers to foot bill.
Of particular concern to the MLA is that Bill 23:
weakens the ability of conservation authorities to continue protecting people and property from natural hazards such as floods;
diminishes the ability of conservation authorities to protect critical natural infrastructure like wetlands which reduce flooding, droughts, and improve water quality in lakes and rivers; and
places new downloaded responsibilities on municipalities related to natural hazards and natural resources that many municipalities are not currently resourced or have the expertise to undertake. This again will add costs to the municipality. (taken from CP Scoop December 14, 2022)
What this adds up to is:
More development pressure for the lake and consequential environmental degradation. Note also that an individual’s right to appeal a development project for any reason is no longer possible.
Higher taxes, since our municipalities will no longer be able to charge developers for infrastructure expansion including parkland, roads, sewers, water etc. Those costs will be loaded onto the existing tax base.
Sadly, the More Homes Built Faster initiative doesn’t even consider the cost for new home buyers. Will the development community pass along savings from lower development fees to the young families that are struggling to pay rent? No, because the cost of housing is market driven. And even more concerning is that the development community will only build the type of housing that has the potential to make the most profit, not necessarily anything affordable. Note also that if there is a collapse in the price of houses the development community may simply sit on their land holdings and wait until the prices go back up. Where do people live in the meantime?
In summary, with this Bill, the government has gutted the planning act and any other legislation intended to protect our environment in favour of development profiteering.
Please register your concerns with John Jordan, the new MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston:
Constituency office: Unit 207, 91 Cornelia Street W., Smiths Falls, ON K7A 5L3