02/18/2005

AMO submitted its response to Bill 136, the Places to Grow Act. Please note this response is to the legislation only and not the recently released Greater Golden Horseshoe draft growth plan.

Hightlights of the written submission:

AMO supports the Province’s goal of protecting environmentally sensitive land and managing growth in a sustainable way. The report highlights some of our concerns about how this legislation is currently written, its implementation framework, and its affect on municipalities.

AMO recommendations related to Bill 136 include the need for:

  • A lead ministry on these issues to avoid having municipalities and the public negotiate with the various ministries (head offices, field offices);
  • Clearer roles and responsibilities for municipal governments;
  • Clearer roles for both the Advisory Committee and the Hearing Officer;
  • Inclusion of peripheral municipalities in decision making;
  • Consideration should be given to an initial review period of five years which should include a substantial public process;
  • Integration of the Places to Grow and Source Water Protection Plan contents with the Provincial Policy Statement;
  • Assurance that the growth plans are outcome-based rather than being input-based or prescriptive;
  • Plans to include more direct and responsible ways to address solid waste disposal;
  • Plans to focus on social planning requirements and issues of human infrastructure inherent in land use planning;
  • The Province should proceed with developing the remaining growth plans so that the inter-relationship of development pressure, access to resources, and direction of growth can be considered so financial implications and resource issues can be dealt with holistically and fairly across the province. 
  • Regulations dealing with the status of applications need to be specified early on in order to avoid confusion and inconsistency in the application of the relevant legislation;
  • Consider planning and funding any local infrastructure that may be required to support new Provincial growth strategies;
  • Municipalities will need nothing short of long-term, dedicated and predictable funding to finance the hard and soft supportive infrastructure required by this proposed legislation.
AMO will continue to advocate municipal interests, as this legislation will have a significant impact on municipal expenditures and decision-making processes.