Poverty Task Force Response to Bill 23 More Homes Built Faster Act

Dear Colleagues, 

On October 25th, the government introduced Bill 23 which according to Minister Clark is intended to contribute to the province’s plan to build 1.5 million homes by 2031. The broad range of initiatives rolled into the bill include tax incentives and measures to deregulate and streamline development and planning processes. 

A number of serious concerns with Bill 23 have been identified including: 

  • that the Bill gives the Minister the power to cancel rental housing protection programs that ensure that when apartment buildings are redeveloped, the affordable units are replaced at affordable prices; 
  • it proposes to cap the number of affordable units municipalities can request to be built as part of new developments at 5%; 
  • it proposes to set a limit to how long these units can be rented out at below-market rents of 25 years;
  • that the Bill lacks specific initiatives to incentivize the construction of affordable rental housing, and in particular “deeply affordable” rental housing; 
  • that the Bill does not commit the Ontario government to any direct investment in the creation of deeply affordable public and non-profit housing; 
  • the Bill will override the Planning Act of Ontario with impunity and no right to appeal by municipalities or citizens;
  • the Bill will decrease the preservation of and access to greenspace;
  • by reducing affordable rental housing, decreasing preservation of and access to greenspace, and changing policies related to land use planning, the built environment, and climate-resiliency, Bill 23 impacts disportionately on people affected by poverty and socio-economic marginalization.   

Taking Action

More Local Action 

  • Grey County Planning Department submitted its concerns to the Province and the associated consultations posted on the Environmental Registry and Ontario Regulatory Registry. Read the full report here.
  • Grey Bruce Climate Action Network members have been working with local councils and staff in recent years to build resilience to climate impacts. They have written about the need for a “complete community” that protects “its wetlands and natural areas to reduce flooding, improve biodiversity, reduce greenhouse gas emission through energy efficiency, high density mixed housing and easy access to services. 
  • Beaver Valley Community Group: sought to speak with MPP Rick Byers at his office during a protest

Other Action

  • Canadian Environmental Law Associationurges the provincial government in their submission to pause the passage of Bill 23 to allow full consideration of all the public input and advice that is received. 
  • Consultation opportunities: There are multiple ways to comment directly on changes to legislation and regulations via Bill 23 — for example, the Planning Act, A Place to Grow and the Provincial Policy Statement are all facing changes proposed in Bill 23. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has created a helpful list of all the dates for the numerous consultation deadlines in November and December 2022. 

Vital Conversation on Housing in Grey Bruce

Stay well, Jill