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Kawartha Lakes to continue the conversation on Bill 23

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: At the next Committee of the Whole meeting, City of Kawartha Lakes councillors are expected to discuss a possible response to the Ontario government’s Bill 23, also known as ‘the More Homes Built Faster Act’.

At a council meeting, on Tuesday, January 31st, Ward 2 Councillor Pat Warren gave her fellow councillors a heads-up about an upcoming motion. “I’m giving notice, I’m going to bring a resolution forward to the next Committee of the Whole [meeting], and then hopefully to [a council meeting.] I’m going to write a resolution to forward to AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) and other municipalities to join forces to challenge [this bill],” Councillor Warren said. “I don’t believe, in everything I’ve read so far, that it’s a fait accompli.”

She also stated her opposition to this provincial legislation. “Besides all the severe environmental changes, I believe the people who need housing will be most affected by these changes. There will be no incentives in our toolbox now, since [development charges] have been removed. So, it will be very difficult to entice developers to build affordable housing. If the municipality wants to address homelessness, it will be on the backs of the property taxpayers.”

Councillor Warren stressed the urgency of Ontario municipalities standing together.

A recent report to council shed some light on Bill 23 and its impacts on the municipality.

“Under Bill 23, the province’s plan is to address the housing crisis by targeting the creation of 1.5 million homes over the next ten years. To implement this plan, Bill 23 implemented several changes, to a total of ten Acts, including: the Planning Act, the Heritage Act, the Development Charges Act, the Ontario Land Tribunal Act and the Conservation Authorities Act. The majority of these changes took effect on November 28th, 2022, though some are still awaiting the passing of further regulations, from the province, before taking effect,” the report stated.

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