Ontario's New Housing Bill Includes a Number of Wins for the Aggregate Industry October 26, 2022
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Ontario's New Housing Bill Includes a Number of Wins for the Aggregate Industry

October 26, 2022 at 10:53 AM

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Ontario’s New Housing Bill Includes a Number of Wins for the Aggregate Industry

MMAH Minister Steve Clark has introduced a new housing Bill designed to meet the recommended housing target of 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years.  OSSGA staff and members have been busy working with both bureaucrats and political staff over the past number of weeks (and months) on providing input to many of the policy areas included in the new Bill. 

Of particular note to the aggregate industry are the following:

  • The government recognized the importance of supplying aggregate material needed to build new homes and the infrastructure that supports them, and are proposing to remove the two-year freeze on planning applications needed for aggregate projects. This change will remove the need to go and seek a special exemption from the local council to waive the moratorium, as we had to do in Ottawa a year ago.
  • They are also proposing a Delegation of Authority to allow some decisions to move from the Minister to the Director level to speed up application times.

The government is also interested in speeding up decisions at the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).  As such they are:

  • Prioritizing cases that create the most housing.
  • Establishing service standards.
  • Clarifying the OLTs powers to dismiss appeals due to unreasonable delay.
  • Additional resources to help the OLT move faster.
  • Limiting third-party appeals by individuals/groups who are not directly involved in the case, like community groups.
  • Providing clarity with respect to OLT’s powers to order an unsuccessful party to pay costs.

With respect to Natural Heritage Planning:

  • The government is considering a program to offset development pressures on wetlands – requiring proponents to demonstrate a net positive impact.
  • Updating the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System to remove duplicate requirements and streamline evaluation processes.
  • Streamline the Conservation Authorities development regulations from the current 36 into one regulation.

Of major significance:  The government is also planning to seek input on integrating A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Provincial Policy Statement into a single, provincewide planning policy document.  This process will provide OSSGA the opportunity to correct previous changes to the Growth Plan which threaten the availability of close-to-market aggregate.

These are only some of the highlights of the Bill which includes more than 50 action items the government is proposing.  The Bill will set the stage for multiple consultation processes to be launched.  OSSGA will continue to monitor and participate to move the agenda forward.  There’s no question that this government is full speed ahead and your team at OSSGA is right there with them.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out.