General Municipal Issues

Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act

On June 6, 2019, the provincial government passed the Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act. Through this Bill, the government will significantly change 13 statutes including some that limit the tools available to municipalities to fund the development of vital public services, including parks, recreation, libraries and child care.

Some of the major areas of concern are:

  • Removing soft services such as recreation and libraries from Development Charges
  • Combining Section 37 and Section 42/51 of the Planning Act into one Community Benefit Charge, which would be capped (The exact formula is to be developed) 
  • Repealing alternative rates for parkland dedication
  • Making DCs payable over a longer period, causing cash flow issues

As of June 2019, the government is currently seeking feedback on three proposed new or updated regulations:

1. Reg. 82/98 (under DC Act; also affects Planning Act)
  • Changes to services eligible under the DC Act (removal of soft services
  • Outlines Community Benefits Charge legislation and implementation dates (Jan. 1, 2020/2021)
  • Outlines change to DC freeze and interest charged on DCs by municipalities

2. Proposed new regulation pertaining to the community benefits authority (under Planning Act)

  • Changes to sections 37 and 42/51 of Planning Act (now replaced by Community Benefits Charge)

3. Proposed new regulation and regulation changes on transition matters (related to Planning Act)

What is PRO Doing?

The first two postings have the greatest relevance for municipal parks and recreation providers. Throughout July 2019, PRO will:

    1. Establish a working group to help develop position statements and coordinate advocacy efforts
    2. Explore a data collection project to develop a profile of municipal parks and recreation as related to the planning tools currently in place (prior to proposed changes).
    3.  Work with allied organizations on joint advocacy
    4. Engage members across the province to help positively influence the development of regulations for the new Community Benefits Charge

More Information on Bill 108

  • Prior to the release of the regulations, PRO reached out to its members for feedback and consultation on the Bill: the result is our submission to the provincial government, outlining concerns and strongly suggesting alternate courses of action. Read the submission here.
  • Click here to watch the webinar PRO hosted with the City of Toronto and click here to download the accompanying slides.
  • Click here to see the slides and the webcast hosted by OPPI and WeirFoulds.

Ontario Municipal Review

Since the establishment of Ontario's eight regional municipalities (Halton, York, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, and Oxford County) in the 1970s, Ontario has seen signification population and demographic changes. In response, the government of Ontario is undertaking a review of these municipalities along with Simcoe County that intends to ensure efficiency and accountability in municipal governance and service delivery. This review will be conducted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing with the help of an advisory board.

Recommendations from the advisory board will focus on the following issues:

Municipal governance and decision-making

      1. Is the decision-making (mechanisms and priorities) of upper- and lower-tier municipalities efficiently aligned?
      2. Does the existing model support the capacity of the municipalities to make decisions efficiently?
      3. Are two-tier structures appropriate for all of these municipalities?
      4. Does the distribution of councillors represent the residents well?
      5. Do the ways that regional councillors/heads of council get elected/appointed to serve on regional council help to align lower- and upper-tier priorities?

Municipal service delivery

      1. Is there opportunity for more efficient allocation of various service responsibilities?
      2. Is there duplication of activities?
      3. Are there opportunities for cost savings?
      4. Are there barriers to making effective and responsive infrastructure and service delivery decisions?

        What is PRO Doing?

        In response to this review, PRO asked Claire Tucker-Reid to help start a discussion among the municipalities affected by the review by creating a briefing document that included lessons learned from the amalgamation of the City of Toronto.

Ms. Tucker Reid initially lead the process of amalgamation for the Parks and Recreation discipline and was subsequently hired to be the Executive Director reporting to the provincially appointed Toronto Transition Team to amalgamate two levels of government – the former Metro Toronto and 6 local municipalities (Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, York and East York).

Read the briefing document here. 

In addition, PRO held an informal Roundtable at the 2019 Educational Forum. You can read a short report of that meeting here. 

PRO will take a leadership role in bringing together stakeholders in the municipalities affected by the review through:
-conference calls or webinars
-access to online resources
-sharing information with all members