In November, the provincial government passed Bill 23, a legislation that will starve municipalities of funding, harm our environment, and worsen the housing crisis.
The stated purpose of Bill 23, Build Homes Faster Act is to make housing more attainable by increasing supply. However, the legislation serves for-profit developers’ interests by redefining “affordable housing,” making it easier to evict renters, and weakening environmental protections. It is no coincidence that many developers have close ties to the Ontario PC party.
Bill 23 will be particularly destructive when combined with Bill 3 (Strong Mayors Act) and Bill 39 (Better Municipal Governance Act), which undermine local democracy by giving unprecedented powers to “strong mayors” who can force through changes with only one-third of council support.
The main impacts of Bill 23 include:
- Municipal budget cuts: The legislation exempts and reduces developers’ fees that municipalities use to fund housing infrastructure including roads, parks and sewers, and other vital programs including emergency services. The projected overall revenue shortfall for municipalities is approximately $560 million to $1 billion annually.
- Environmental damage:Bill 23 opens Ontario’s precious Greenbelt to developers while gutting the powers of Conservation Authorities. The protections accorded to the Greenbelt preserve our farmland, forests, rivers, lakes and wetlands. Protecting this space is essential for fresh air, clean water, local farming and preserving our natural heritage.
- Fueling the housing crisis:The legislation changes the definition of “affordable housing,” allowing developers to claim subsidies for building homes that cost more than $700,000.
The results of this survey will aid a position paper supporting environmental organizations on the issue of repeal of the legislation in 2023.
We encourage you to sign up and complete this survey. Your voice is important in this issue and can make a difference in the fight to repeal Bill 23, protect Ontario’s Greenbelt lands and promote more affordable housing.
Completing the survey should only take ten minutes and all survey responses will be kept confidential.
The survey deadline is March 17.
More about the research team behind the survey:
SPR Associates have a 25+ year record of accomplishment of public policy research with Ontario’s government, NGOs, labour unions, and others.
The survey is supported by the Social Planning Councils of Ontario, the Ontario Federation of Labour, community associations, NGOs, and many others.