Update on Bill 23

The Ford government introduced Bill 23 which changes many of the City's planning rules. Read more about the bill and why I oppose it.

I want to provide you with an update on Bill 23, which changes many of the City's planning rules as well as opens up areas of the Greenbelt to development. I wrote about this Bill in my update last week - you can read it here. At the first meeting of City Council on Thursday, Council considered a report from City Staff on the impact that Bill 23 will have on our City if it's passed as currently written.
These impacts include:

  • An estimated $230 Million dollars annually in lost development charges that fund infrastructure like sewers and roads to serve developments as well as funding the City's affordable housing commitments.
  • Opens up the City's Rental Replacement by-law, which has saved nearly 5,000 purpose built rental units from demolition since 2007, to potential changes or modifications that City Staff say would likely result in increased rates of eviction, housing instability for renters, and increased demand for homeless services.
  • Guts the City's Inclusionary Zoning targets by reducing the percentage of units that the City can require to be affordable and raising the price of those units that are designated as affordable.
  • Kills the Toronto Green Standard, which required new buildings to be built to a high standard of sustainability.
  • Limit the City's ability to protect heritage buildings.
  • Increase sprawl in the GTA which has numerous environmental impacts on the local region.

At City Council there were a number of motions that were adopted unanimously including calling for the Bill not to be passed. City Council also unanimously supported my motion calling on the Province to not make any changes to the Rental Replacement By-Law, at least until the City can be sure that our ability to protect renters is maintained.
You can see the full City Council item here.
During the debate on Bill 23, Councillors attempted to discuss Bill 39, a different Bill that would allow the Mayor to pass a resolution through Council with the support of only 8 other Councillors. Those questions were ruled out of order by the Speaker. Council then voted on whether to uphold that ruling. I voted in favour of discussing Bill 39, but that motion was narrowly defeated 13 to 12.

Both Bills will greatly impact our City. You can read my full remarks to the Provincial Standing Committee on Bill 23 here.
Several advocacy groups are taking a stand against Bill 23. I encourage you to learn more and consider signing these petitions:

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