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Mobilization Against Ontario Bill 23

On Oct 25, 2022, Bill 23 (More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022) was introduced in the provincial legislature. Bill 23 is an omnibus bill that overhauls development statutes, including the Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Ontario Heritage Act, and Conservation Authorities Act.

There are many flaws in the proposed Bill which severely attack and undermine Conservation Authorities and Regional Planning making it counterproductive to housing affordability and environmentally distastrous. The government intends to push the bill through at a lightning pace. It was introduced the day after the municipal elections and may be passed before new councils are sworn in.

About Bill 23 and Why You Need to be Concerned

(These are only a few of the reasons. There are many more)

Removes key protections to our environment (wetlands, farmland, sensitive areas opened up and conservation authorities lose even more power).

Reduces affordable housing protection and money collected from municipalities to pay for affordable housing projects.

Significantly curtails all third-party appeal rights.

Reduces development fees which means our municipalities will have less money to fix roads, etc.Taxes will most likely increase because money will have to come from somewhere.

Allows the Minister to make amendments to an official plan.

Reduces the influence of conservation authorities that protect watersheds and green spaces and gives them much less say over where housing developments can proceed.

Weakens the rules on how to identify provincially significant wetlands so fewer of them would qualify for any protections that remain.

Potentially reduces all environmental review of all planning proposals by removing conservation authorities’ roles in development approval, planning, and environmental protection

The bill also proposes to allow development in currently protected wetlands, woodlands and wildlife habitat under a yet-to-be-defined “offsetting” program.

Conservation authorities will no longer be allowed to consider factors like pollution or land conservation when approving building permits.

Sharply limits 'Site plan control', which currently deals with design and compatibility issues like landscaping and drainage. Requirements for developments with less than 10 units would be removed, and site plan reviews for larger projects would focus only on health and safety issues rather than on overall compatibility and neighborhood impact

Sets a cap on the number of affordable units and the affordability period.

Nothing in the bill ensures new homes, built with public incentives, are kept affordable

Restricts who can engage in tribunal hearings, and what issues they can engage on, and increases the ability of the Tribunal to reject appeals, remove participants, and penalize those who raise concerns.

Recordings from recent events

Nov 2 Meeting

Guest Speakers:

Dianne Saxe, former Environmental Commissioner for Ontario, top environmental lawyer, newly elected Toronto Councilor

Phil Pothen, Environmental Defense

Nov 4 Meeting

Guest Speakers:

Gabby Kalapos, Clean Air Partnership 

Jeff Henry, Current City of Waterloo Councilor, Planner, and Environmental Advocate.