Hello Progressive Conservative MPP’s:
I am asking the government of Ontario to stop legislation known as Bill 108 or at least delay it and provide for public meetings so that citizens and even municipal politicians can understand the impacts of such a wide ranging piece of legislation.
I attended a public meeting in Toronto last evening regarding some impacts of new legislation called Bill 108. That meeting was packed with concerned Toronto citizens. We heard from some city councillors and city planning staff, all of whom are alarmed at the lack of information that has been received and the lack of time provided to absorb a 300 page document that proposes to change 13 pieces of legislation.
The one day to make a 6 minute submission to a Legislature Committee hearing on Bill 108 is this Friday May 31 and the deadline to submit in writing was 12 noon today – Wednesday, so it is already too late to make a written submission.
What we do understand is that Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) rules are being brought back with Bill 108. The previous government had cancelled the OMB, replacing it with a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which was to give more deference to local decision-making. The OMB was disbanded because of so much criticism of the bad development decisions it had made in the past, riding rough-shod over citizen needs. Two examples were permitting a large building shadow on a green space and a developer who got away without paying for the community benefits he was supposed to pay for.
Development is supposed to pay for itself, not be a burden on present taxpayers. My understanding is that under Bill 108, Sections 37 and 42 are being removed or combined into one. These sections require developers to provide necessary infrastructure for parks, libraries, schools etc. whenever large developments are permitted.
The removal of development charges will take away $924 million over 10 years from community benefits and force present taxpayers to foot the bills. Present Bill 108 does not seem to be about affordable housing development which we desperately need with thousands of families waiting for it, but about making money for developers. Toronto citizens will have no say in what happens in their neighbourhoods! I live in an east end neighbourhood near Danforth and Woodbine Avenues where there are now several large developments being proposed – 402 units at Danforth and Woodbine plus a condo nearby and a 7 storey apartment building. Citizens need input on how transit and roads will be affected. The East-West Subway – Line 2 is already so overcrowded in mornings and afternoons that commuters to work are having to find other ways to travel. Would Bill 108 in its present form address this immediate problem? We don’t know.
I want you to stop this legislation now or at least provide more time for citizen submissions. Previous legislative changes like this have been given two years – of meetings around the province, assembling the submissions and responding to them. This is what I want.
I would appreciate a reply.