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Province Introduces The Get It Done Act February 22, 2024

Province Introduces The Get It Done Act

February 22, 2024 at 11:51 AM

 

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February 22, 2024

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Province Introduces The Get It Done Act

 

On February 20th, the Ontario government introduced the Get It Done Act, 2024 legislation that, if passed, would make it easier and faster to build transit, housing and other critical infrastructure.  Good news for the aggregate industry.

 

Included in the Bill are several initiatives affecting various ministries.  Of particular interest to aggregate producers are changes aimed at streamlining building approvals to get shovels in the ground sooner on roads, highways and public transit, as well as other key infrastructure projects. These initiatives include:

  • Declaring the Hazel McCallion Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line Extensions to the downtown Mississauga loop and downtown Brampton as a priority transit project under the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020.
  • Moving more projects to a streamlined environmental assessment process that would help get critical infrastructure such as highways, railways and transmission lines built faster to support Ontario’s growing population, while continuing to protect the environment.  Here the government is proposing to move to a project list approach, which will list the types of environmental assessment such as large landfills, and electricity generation facilities.  Using the project list approach brings Ontario in line with other jurisdictions and is expected to cut approval times by up to four years.
  • Exploring opportunities to improve the permitting process for mine development and operation to ensure the province’s mining sector remains competitive and attractive to investors.

 

Another area of interest to aggregate producers are the proposed amendments to the Official Plan Adjustments Act, 2023 that, if passed, would modify the legislatively approved official plans for some of Ontario’s fastest-growing municipalities to better reflect both local and provincial priorities.

Members will recall that Bill 150 walked back some of the changes that had been made to certain municipal Official Plans (OPs).  Among these reversals were changes to the Niagara Regional OP that OSSGA had worked with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to change.  The Niagara Regional OP as adopted prohibits mineral aggregate operations in non-provincially significant features, which is a much more restrictive test and is not consistent with the PPS and conflicts with provincial plans.  This of course will restrict much needed close-to-market aggregate.

As a part of Bill 162, The Get It Done Act – OSSGA will be advocating for the province to reinsert the modifications it had made to correct the OP to once again be consistent with the PPS, provincial plans, and protect access to close-to-market aggregate.

The government has posted a consultation notice to the ERO:  https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-8273 on the proposed amendments to the Official Plans.  The deadline for comments is March 21st.  OSSGA will be working with members in the Niagara Region to craft a response through the ERO, but will also be meeting directly with MMAH political staff to press the urgency of having this OP changed through Bill 162.  We cannot allow for this to become a precedent that other municipalities point to in the future.  OSSGA encourages all members to file comments by the deadline of March 21st.

The Province’s news release can be found here, and the backgrounder can be found here.