Toronto, Ont. – Ontario needs affordable housing in places where people want to live and it also needs to protect its environment. Unfortunately, Bill 108 enables more housing sprawl on farmland and natural areas, supports hyper-dense, park-free development in cities like Toronto, and guts protection of natural areas and species-at-risk.
The key failings of Bill 108, More Home, More Choice Act are:
- Reduces the amount of new development that has to occur within urban boundaries and lets sprawling, low density development dominate again. More, roads, more gridlock, lower productivity and lower quality of life are the likely results.
- Brings back the ability of the Ontario Municipal Board to override the decisions of elected municipal governments while limiting public participation in hearings. Look forward to deep-pocketed developers using it to overturn good planning decisions and the protection of heritage buildings.
- Significantly reduces the monies paid by developers to cities and towns for parks and other community services when new development is planned. Watson & Associates Economists identify a projected average 20 per cent reduction in revenue for municipalities.
- Fully guts the Endangered Species Act by: allowing developers to pay to build on land where species-at-risk live; creating the ability to suspend protection outright; undermining the science-based assessment of a species’ risk of extinction.
The passage of this Bill ensures that developers will take in more profits, while our property taxes increase and the Greater Golden Horseshoe becomes less livable. The challenge for communities and citizens will be to maintain efforts to create viable communities in the face of a legislated planning regime that has more in common with rules from 1969 than the needs and realities of 2019.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, abraude@environmentaldefence.