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Letter to the Editor: Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act a major step in the right direction

Nadia Todorova
Letter to the Editor: Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act a major step in the right direction

 

To the Editor,

RE: Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022 consultation submission

The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) is pleased to provide comments to the Standing Committee regarding Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act.

RCCAO is an alliance of key labour and management stakeholders derived from the residential and civil construction sectors.

RCCAO’s goal is to work in co-operation with government and related stakeholders to offer realistic solutions to a variety of challenges facing the construction industry and which also have wider societal benefits.

Our membership includes the Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors Association; Heavy Construction Association of Toronto; International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793; Joint Residential Construction Association, LiUNA Local 183; Ontario Formwork Association; and Toronto and Area Road Builders Association.

We commend the work to date by Minister (Steve) Clark and the Government of Ontario to address provincial housing supply issues. Positive steps have been made to boost supply and remove red tape, including through Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice, Act; Bill 109, More Homes for Everyone Act; the launch of the Housing Affordability Task Force; and the release of the task force’s report and recommendations.

Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act continues the province’s work on addressing housing supply and improving affordability in Ontario. The proposed legislation provides a solid foundation to ensure that mayors have tools to combat the systemic barriers that exist at the municipal level that prevent housing from being built.

For example, the ability of mayors to determine the organizational structure of a municipality and have employment powers with respect to the head of any division will help ensure that only those with shared goals of building more housing and removing barriers to housing, are part of the decision-making process.

RCCAO commends the checks and balances of the proposed legislation, which calls for any mayoral veto to be justified with written explanation and can be overridden by a two-thirds majority council vote.

According to Statistics Canada, Ontario’s population is expected to experience sustained growth over the next two decades, with the high-growth scenario projecting 21 million residents by 2043.

As the population of Ontario continues its steady growth, including from immigration and new Canadians, it is imperative that the province has the necessary critical infrastructure, including housing, to accommodate this growth.

Bill 3 presents an important element of that by ensuring municipalities are focusing on the needs of millions, rather than the preferences of a few.

For Ontario to be prosperous and economically competitive, NIMBYism must be eliminated from local housing and planning decisions.

Bill 3 represents a solid step for building housing in Ontario.

However, with over 1.5 million units needed in the province, there is no magic bullet to address the current housing crisis.

Solutions require long-term strategies, co-ordination at all levels of government and continuous process improvements such as ongoing streamlining of the development approvals process and cutting red tape. Additionally, implementation of the remaining recommendations of the Housing Affordability Task Force will be required to spur housing development in Ontario.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments to the Standing Committee and look forward to continuing our engagement with the Government of Ontario as it works to address the housing needs of the province.

Sincerely,
Nadia Todorova
Executive Director, RCCAO

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