Port Hope Mayor Decries Bill 23

In Local

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland

Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, became law in Ontario Monday, drawing an immediate response from Port Hope Mayor Olena Hankivsky.

Her letter of objection pointed out concerns specific to the Port Hope community, including:

  • The inability to leverage the expertise of the Ganraska Region Conservation Authority for their value-added input during the development review process in terms of natural heritage, ecology and wetlands.
  • The proposed reduction of safe and accessible parkland to accommodate an increased mix of housing supply – which could ultimately result in a financial burden on taxpayers who may have to purchase new parkland.
  • The threat to listed heritage properties that can be removed from the register, leaving them with no heritage status or protection.
  • The risks to municipal coffers through large reductions in development charges and community benefit charges, in effect shifting growth costs from developers onto taxpayers.
  • The removal of public-participation principle required in the Provincial Planning Act by removing third-party appeals and public meetings for subdivision applications – in effect taking away residents’ democratic rights and making the tribunal a developers-only forum
  • Removing elements the municipality can review as part of the site-plan approval process, especially surrounding urban design, architectural features, landscaping and future sustainable-development standards

I’ve expressed my concern and disappointment to the Premier about the lack of opportunity for consultation and engagement from the province’s municipal partners,” Mayor Hankivsky said in the press release.

This bill was tabled and advanced during the election period, and limited consultation has taken place during the transition of new councils. This has effective removed municipalities form the legislative process and undermined our ability to remain accountable, transparent and responsible agents of change.

The government’s objective to increase housing supply and approve affordability is a worthy one, but there must be due process to ensure that the bill reflects the perspectives of those who are most impacted by the legislation.”

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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