Bill 108 on its Way to a Vote!
June 6, 2019 at 1:53 PM
Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019, is set to pass 3rd reading in the Legislature later today. The Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that impacts the aggregate industry in many ways. OSSGA is pleased that the Bill puts forward a number of recommendations that OSSGA has been making to the Government of Ontario over the past year. Included in this legislation are changes to the following statutes:
Conservation Authorities Act
The Conservation Authorities Act has been amended under Bill 108 to more clearly define the core mandatory programs and services provided by the Conservation Authorities. This change is directly aligned with OSSGA’s ask in our Red Tape Submission to help eliminate duplication and reduce overlap between agencies. Changes also seek to improve transparency as to how Conservation Authorities levy municipalities for both mandatory and non-mandatory services. CAs will still have the ability to comment on aggregate applications as part of their municipal service agreements, and OSSGA is working with government to ensure that in this capacity, CA’s do not duplicate the review efforts of other provincial agencies.
Most importantly, OSSGA was successful in ensuring that Section 28(11) of the Act remains intact. This section provides an exemption for aggregate operations, such that no permit is required from a conservation authority if the activity is approved under the Aggregate Resources Act. This exemption was incorporated in the Act as a red tape reduction measure, to avoid duplication of review and approvals process. The exemption is a critical component to the aggregate industry and it is important that it was not eliminated.
Local Planning Appeal Tribunal
Bill 108 introduces changes to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) which OSSGA strongly supports.
The procedures introduced in 2017 have proven ineffective and cumbersome for all parties involved. Many of the changes that OSSGA has been advocating have been adopted in Bill 108, including:
- Hearings will once again be de novo, meaning that a party will be able to present information and material to LPAT that was not considered by council.
- The LPAT will have the power to make final determinations following the hearing of an appeal.
- The right to examine and cross-examine witnesses will be restored. The LPAT will have express authority to limit oral evidence.
- The basis for appeal test will be eliminated. An appellant will no longer be required to establish that the decision under appeal is inconsistent with a provincial policy statement or fails to conform or conflicts with a provincial or official plan.
- Third parties will no longer be able to appeal the failure of an approval authority to make a decision within the applicable timeframe.
- The timeframes for councils and approval authorities to make decisions following receipt of a complete application will be reduced for official plan and zoning by-law amendments.
- The LPAT will continue to be required to direct parties to an appeal to participate in a mandatory case management conference for Planning Act appeals.
- The Tribunal will be able to require that parties to an appeal participate in mediation or another dispute resolution process.
Endangered Species Act
With respect to the changes to the Endangered Species Act, OSSGA was pleased with some of the changes, including:
- The increased predictability and certainly associated with the proposed changes to COSSARO’s earlier public notice and reporting timelines
- COSSARO’s requirement to consider a species’ condition around a broader geographic range.
- The payment in-lieu option OSSGA believes has the potential to help proponents achieve overall benefit for eligible species at risk, particularly for species for which their threat is not a loss of habitat.
- New transition provision for existing permit holders to continue to operate for twelve months while they seek amendments to their permit or agreement to address newly listed species.
Not in Bill 108?
OSSGA was hopeful that the Bill would include a repeal of the two-year moratorium on applications to amend Operational Plans and Zoning Amendments. We continue to work closely with the government on this issue, as well as many of the issues that OSSGA outlined in our Red Tape Submission.
For more information contact Norm Cheesman, 647 727 8774 or email@example.com.