On June 6, 2019, the provincial government passed the The More Homes, More Choice Act (Bill 108). Through this Act, 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.
The following regulation changes that impact municipalities' ability to fund and acquire parks and recreation are:
1. Reg. 82/98 (under DC Act; also affects Planning Act)
2. Proposed new regulation pertaining to the community benefits authority (under Planning Act)
3. Proposed new regulation and regulation changes on transition matters (related to Planning Act)
After the Province released the above proposed new or updated regulations they requested feedback from stakeholders by August 21, 2019.
PRO's Course of Action
PRO took the following course of action to determine key considerations of the proposed changes and submit a response to the Province:
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
Municipal service delivery
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