Environmental Defence land use planning, municipal and environmental lawyer and policy expert Phil Pothen is available to comment on how Bill 3 is likely to affect municipal environmental policy – and housing supply.

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – The Ontario Government’s Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building More Homes Act, is being presented by Minister Steve Clark as a set of measures that would help address the urban housing shortage. However, the Bill omits the reforms environmental and housing advocates have identified as necessary to add more housing in the existing neighborhoods where it is needed and stop pushing new housing into environmentally harmful sprawl. On the contrary, giving mayors a veto over legislation, making it harder for ward councillors to legislate, and removing the political independence of key city staff is likely to entrench and worsen obstacles to more housing. That is because reforms to boost urban housing supply (and thus prevent sprawl) have tended to originate with local councillors and their constituents, or with reports from politically-independent civil servants, often over the objections of mayors.

WHO: Environmental Defence expert spokesperson Phil Pothen is available to comment on Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building More Homes Act

WHERE: Toronto, available remotely

Environmental Defence’s Backgrounder on Housing: https://environmentaldefence.ca/report/election-2021-backgrounder/

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Barbara Hayes, Environmental Defence, bhayes@enviromentaldefence.ca