Among a Host of Assaults on Ontario’s Natural Heritage and Municipal Taxpayers, Act Proposes Paving Over Conservation Areas, Woodlands and Wetlands, and Weakening Role of Conservation Authorities in Protecting and Preserving Our Precious Watersheds.
A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a News Release from Niagara West Tory MPP Sam Oosterhoff
Posted October 31st, 2022 on Niagara At Large
A Foreword by Doug Draper –
At a time when growing numbers of us – especially during this awful pandemic – have grown to appreciate how much a walk through nature areas means to our mental and physical health, and the mounting evidence that protecting and preserving our wetlands and woodlands all of the biodiversity they host can protect us from the impacts of climate change, Ontario has a jackass in the Premier’s Office who has proven, once again, that he could give a damn.
Ontario’s Tory Premier Doug Ford and his caucus of puppets have just tabled a piece of legislation they call the ‘More Homes Built Faster Act’ which they have the nerve to say will address a very real affordable housing crisis we face in Niagara and elsewhere across the province.
There is nothing in this poison bill of a bill that mandates developers to include affordable housing in their building proposals or that deals with the out-of-control profiteering in the syndicates that speculate on land and build homes and condos for the upper per cent of those who can afford them.
Instead, Ford, who thinks and acts like a man who’s brain is buried in the 1950s where almost anything was okay when it came to blowing away green space for a subdivision or shopping mall, tables a bill that says just building as many housing units as possible, on floodplains, conservation lands or anywhere else, and maybe some of those houses will trickle down to people who are now virtually homeless.
It is a thinly-masked gift to his friends and donors in the development industry that will, if it is executed, threaten the quality of life and the economy for all of us in Ontario for generations to come.
And quite ironically, it will pick the pockets even more of current homeowners in Niagara and elsewhere in the province because it aims at reducing and even eliminating development fees his donor friends would normally have to pay for the infrastructure (i.e. roads and wastewater systems) to sprawl further out into the countryside. Those costs would be passed on to current homeowners, including seniors and others on low or fixed incomes.
Yet here is Niagara West Tory MPP Sam Oosterhoff (who really has no choice if he wants to remain in his bully leader’s favour) coming out with the following news release.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
Now here is the News Release from Niagara West Tory MPP Sam Oosterhoff –
Ontario Taking Bold Action to Build More Homes
Next Steps in Province’s Plan Will Get 1.5 Million Homes in Ontario Built Over the Next Ten Years
BEAMSVILLE (in theTown of Lincoln, Niagara,Ontario) – The Ontario government has introduced the More Homes Built Faster Act, which takes bold action to advance the province’s plan to address the housing crisis by building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years.
The proposals in the More Homes Built Faster Act would, if passed, ensure that cities, towns and rural communities grow with a mix of ownership and rental housing types that meet the needs of all Ontarians, from single family homes to townhomes and mid-rise apartments.
“Ontario, and Niagara specifically, are expected to grow significantly over the next ten years and we need to be able to accommodate this growth,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.
“The More Homes Built Faster plan will allow Niagara to unlock more housing and give people the foundation they need to thrive.”
“For too many Ontarians, including young people, newcomers, and seniors, finding the right home is still too challenging. This is not just a big-city crisis – the housing supply shortage affects all Ontarians, including rural, urban and suburban, North and South, young and old.” said Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“Our Housing Supply Action Plan is creating a strong foundation on which 1.5 million homes can be built over the next ten years. Our government is following through on our commitment to Ontarians by cutting delays and red tape to get more homes built faster.”
The plan puts in place actions to support the development of ‘gentle density’ – housing like triplexes or garden suites – that bridge the gap between single family homes and high-rise apartments. For example, it would remove exclusionary zoning, which allows for only one single detached home per lot. Instead, it would allow property owners to build three units without lengthy approvals and development charges.
The plan, which contains around fifty actions, addresses the housing crisis by reducing government fees and fixing developmental approval delays that slow down housing construction and increase costs.
Actions in the plan include:
* Creating a new attainable housing program to drive the development of housing. Sites across all regions of Ontario will be considered, including those in the North, central, East and Southwest regions.
* Increasing the Non-Resident Speculation Tax rate from twenty percent to twenty-five percent to deter non-resident investors from speculating on the province’s housing market and help make home ownership more attainable for Ontario residents.
* Freezing and reducing government charges to spur new home construction and reduce the costs of housing.
* Building more density near transit, unlocking innovative approaches to design and construction, and removing red tape to get shovels in the ground faster.
* Increasing consumer protection measures for home buyers and consulting on ways to help more renters become homeowners.
The government will also consult with the public, stakeholders and municipalities while engaging with Indigenous communities to review provincial housing and land use planning policies to find ways to remove more barriers to getting homes built.
* Ontario is expected to grow by more than two million people over the next ten years, with approximately seventy percent of this growth taking place in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region.
* Ontario’s first housing plan, More Homes, More Choice, was released in 2019. It was followed by More Homes for Everyone in spring 2022. Ontario is seeing strong progress resulting from these plans, with annual housing starts well above average for the past thirty years.
* The government is committed to developing a new housing supply action plan for every year of its current mandate to continue delivering real, long-term housing solutions.
* In Fall 2022, the government passed the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act which gives the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa more powers to work effectively with the province to reduce timelines for development, standardize processes and address local barriers to increasing the supply of housing.
* Ontario’s More Homes Built Faster Plan<https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/1002422/more-homes-built-faster-act-2022>
* Ontario’s Housing Supply Progress<https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-housing-supply-progress>
* Ontario’s More Homes for Everyone Plan<https://www.ontario.ca/page/more-homes-everyone>
* More Homes, More Choice<https://www.ontario.ca/page/more-homes-more-choice-ontarios-housing-supply-action-plan>
NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.