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Bill 108 introduces amendments to multiple statutes

October 2019

Bill 108 More Homes, More Choices Act, 2019 

An Act to amend various statutes with respect to housing, other development and various other matters.

Included in this Act were amendments to a number of statutes that are of interest to members of OSSGA:

  • Schedule 2 – Conservation Authorities Act
  • Schedule 5 – Endangered Species Act
  • Schedule 6 – Environmental Assessment Act
  • Schedule 7 – Environmental Protection Act
  • Schedule 9 – Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act
  • Schedule 11 – Ontario Heritage Act
  • Schedule 12 – Planning Act

Read Bill 108 here.

 

The following section provides a high level overview of the changes relevant to the aggregate community within each of these schedules.

Schedule 2 Conservation Authorities Act

The changes to the Conservation Authorities Act were aimed at more clearly defining the 'core responsibilities' of Conservation Authorities.

Borden Ladner Gervais have provided a synopsis of the changes and how they restrict the powers of Conservation Authorities.  Read them by clicking on the link.

The amended Act lists the following core mandates in the Act as mandatory:

  • Programs and services related to the risk of natural hazards;
  • Programs and services related to the conservation and management of lands owned or controlled by the authority;
  • Programs and services related to the authority's duties, functions and responsibilities as a souorce protection authority under the Clean Water Act, 2006; and,
  • Any other program and services prescribed by the regulations.

In August of 2019, Jeff Yurek, the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks sent a letter all Conservation Authorities reminding them that new legislation had been put into place to "improve public transparency, consistency, and accountability in conservation authority operations."

The language of the letter was directive, as the following passage indicates:

"I request that you review and consider your own conservation authority's activities and begin preparations and planning to wind down those activities that fall outside the scope of your core mandate. I also encourage you to refrain from developing new policies that are not aligned with your mandate or with provincial policies. Finally, I ask that while we are undergoing this review and updating the legislation and regulations that you do not proceed with any increases to your fees or levies. In the meantime, I request that you review and consider your own conservation authority's activities and begin preparations and planning to wind down those activities that fall outside the scope of your core mandate. I also encourage you to refrain from developing new policies that are not aligned with your mandate or with provincial policies. Finally, I ask that while we are undergoing this review and updating the legislation and regulations that you do not proceed with any increases to your fees or levies."

Reaction to the letter from the Conservation Authorities has been strong.  Of particular interest is how the core mandates indicated above will be defined and interpreted.

In its Red Tape Submission, OSSGA expressed its concern over what it calls "review creep", where agencies sometimes over step their jurisdiction, and impose additional requirements for further information and studies -- often resulting in duplication, increased costs and no added value.  OSSGA is also very supportive of the work of Conservation Authorities and both the Association and it's members have enjoyed highly successful partnerships, most recently the Kelso Quarry Bronze Plaque Award Winner was presented to Conservation Halton.

OSSGA will continue to monitor the implications of this new legislation.

 

Schedule 5 Endangered Species Act

Bill 108 included changes to the Endangered Species Act. Some of the changes included: 

  • Increased predictability and certainly associated with the proposed changes to COSSARO’s earlier public notice and reporting timelines;
  • COSSARO’s requirement to consider a species’ condition around a broader geographic range;
  • A payment in-lieu option to help proponents achieve overall benefit for eligible species at risk;
  • New transition provision for existing permit holders to continue to operate for twelve months while they seek amendments to their permit or agreement to address newly listed species.

To view the amended legislation visit: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/07e06

Click here to view OSSGA's comments on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act.

 

Schedule 9 Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act

Changes to LPAT were consistent with what OSSGA -- and many other stakeholders asked for -- namely that the LPAT return to the format that existed under the OMB.

The changes to the legislation essentially kept the name Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) -- but returned the majority of the procedures back to the old OMB rules.

  • ARA and Planning Act issues will once again be allowed to be heard at the same time.
  • De novo hearings (meaning new hearings with potential new evidence) will be allowed.
  • Testimony will be allowed – including cross examination.
  • There will be expanded grounds for appeal.
  • There will be transitional regulations.

Members who would like more information about how the timing of the LPAT legislation and transitional regulations affect them are urged to contact their legal counsel.

 

Schedule 11   Ontario Heritage Act

The cultural heritage team of an OSSGA member reviewed the proposed changes to the Ontario Heritage Act on behalf of the OSSGA Land Use Committee.

The findings were that the changes appear positive from a landowner perspective and it appears there are no changes that would adversely impact industry. The following is a brief summary of the main changes:

  • Adding requirements for giving notice to property owners when properties are listed on the heritage register. And providing a process for property owners to object to the listing. 
  • Instituting complete application requirements and timelines for heritage designations. 
  • Requiring that appeals to Part IV designations would go to the LPAT rather than the Conservation Review Board (CRB). This means that LPAT makes the final decision on the appeal rather than council. 
  • There is reference to prescribed events and prescribed principles, both of which are expected to be defined and implemented through regulation. It is also expected that the regulation defining the criteria for designation will be modified. Regulations not expected until the fall or later. 

 

June, 2019

Bill 108 – the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 received Royal Assent on June 6, 2019.

This comprehensive new legislation impacts a number of other pieces of legislation -- including The Planning Act.

On June 21, 2019 the government proposed new regulation and regulation changes under the Planning Act, including transition matters, related to Schedule 12 of Bill 108 - the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019.

Of particular interest to aggregate producers are the changes to appeal processes of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.  Here is an excerpt from the regulatory changes proposal:

Regulatory changes

1. Transition

Proposed changes to the transition regulation (O. Reg. 174/16: “Transitional Matters – General”) would set out rules for planning matters in-process at the time certain components of Schedule 12 to Bill 108 are proclaimed. The proposed transition regulation changes would provide certainty regarding the processing and decision-making on planning matters.

Certain changes to the Planning Act through Schedule 12 to Bill 108 that are not addressed in the proposed transition regulation would apply immediately upon the coming into force of those changes.

Proposed content

It is proposed that the following changes which are part of Schedule 12 to Bill 108 be transitioned as follows:

  • Expanding the grounds of appeal of a decision on an official plan/amendment or zoning by-law/amendment and allowing the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to make any land use planning decision the municipality or approval authority could have made would apply to:
    • appeals of decisions that have not yet been scheduled for a hearing by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal regarding the merits of the matter before the Tribunal
  • Expanding the grounds of appeal of a lack of decision on an official plan/amendment or zoning by-law amendment and allowing the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to make any land use planning decision the municipality or approval authority could have made would apply to:
    • appeals of the failure of an approval authority or municipality to make a decision within the legislated timeline that have not yet been scheduled for a hearing by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal regarding the merits of the matter before the Tribunal
  • The removal of appeals other than by key participants (e.g. the province, municipality, applicant) and the reduction of approval authority decision timelines for non-decisions of official plan/amendments would apply where the approval authority has not issued a notice of decision at the time the proposed changes come into force.
  • The removal of appeals other than by key participants (e.g. the province, municipality, applicant, utility companies, etc.) for draft plan of subdivision approvals, conditions of draft plan of subdivision approvals or changes to those conditions would apply where:
    • the notice of the decision to draft approve or change conditions is given, or
    • conditions are appealed other than at the time of draft approval

    on or after the day the proposed changes come into force (e.g., appeals made during appeal periods that begin once the proposed changes come into force)
  • The reduction for decision timelines on applications for official plan amendments (120 days), zoning by-law amendments (90 days, except where concurrent with official plan amendment for some proposal) and plans of subdivision (120 days) would apply to complete applications submitted after Royal Assent.

OSSGA is currently looking at the changes.  Comments are due on August 6, 2019.  Please contact Norm Cheesman at ncheesman@ossga.com if you would like to provide input.
 

 

May, 2019

Bill 108 More Homes, More Choices Act, 2019 

An Act to amend various statutes with respect to housing, other development and various other matters.

Included in this Act are amendments to a number of statutes that are of interest to members of OSSGA:

  • Schedule 2 – Conservation Authorities Act
  • Schedule 5 – Endangered Species Act
  • Schedule 6 – Environmental Assessment Act
  • Schedule 7 – Environmental Protection Act
  • Schedule 9 – Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act
  • Schedule 11 – Ontario Heritage Act
  • Schedule 12 – Planning Act

Read Bill 108 here.

Also announced on May 2nd were changes to the Growth Plan

On the Environmental Registry of Ontario, Proposed Modifications to O. Reg. 311/06 (Transitional Matters - Growth Plans) was posted with a response deadline of June 1, 2019.  This notice is available here.

It appears that many of the changes put forward in Bill 108 are amendments that are also currently being reviewed by active ERO postings. 

OSSGA is working with various committees to compare what’s included in the Bill with proposed changes we are already analysing – and to determine the impacts of these proposed changes.

Visit this page for updates.

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