Increase In Affordable Child Care Spaces Across the Province
The Ontario government is creating an additional 53,000 new, affordable licensed child care spaces by December 2026. This announcement is part of the six-year, $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government to lower fees for families and deliver an average of $10 per day child care by September 2025. The focus of this new targeted plan is to increase access for families across Ontario. The new spaces will be allocated to communities using a model that incorporates demographics, socioeconomic indicators and existing licensed child care capacity. The spaces will be part of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system and includes a mix of not-for-profit and for-profit centres. The province will also enhance the availability of flexible models of care for a changing economy and labour market including spaces available on weekends and overnight.
Ontario is also launching a $213 million grant program for new and existing operators. These one-time grants, prioritizing regions with low rates of space availability, will help child care operators offset the initial costs of expanding or creating spaces such as purchasing equipment or renovating facilities.
New Information from Province Regarding the More Homes Built Faster Plan
The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing provided an update to Heads of Council on December 22, 2022 regarding recent legislative and regulatory changes. It provides important information about the implementation of Bill 109, Bill 23, Bill 3 and 39.
On December 28, 2022, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry provided direction for conservation authorities (CAs) regarding fee changes associated with planning, development and permitting fees. On the same day, the Ministry also provided additional information to conservation authorities (CAs) and participating municipalities on legislative and regulatory changes affecting CAs.
New Reports Released by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Ontario Energy Board (OEB)
In December 2022, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) released a series of reports recently that pertain to the transformation of Ontario’s electricity system. The IESO’s Pathways to Decarbonization Report was released in response to the Ministry of Energy's request that IESO evaluate a moratorium on procurements of new natural gas generating stations in Ontario and develop a pathway to zero emissions in the electricity sector.
The report provides a summary of the dependencies, risks and opportunities involved in the potential 2027 moratorium on natural gas generation in Ontario’s electricity system, and the transition to decarbonization. It also lists actions to help ensure Ontario can both manage uncertainty and seize new opportunities as they emerge. The report was informed by IESO’s 2022 Annual Planning Outlook and 2021-2024 Conservation and Demand Management Framework Mid-Term Review.
Also in December 2022, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) released a new document: Improving the Electricity Planning Process in Ontario: Enhanced Coordination between Municipalities and Entities in the Electricity Sector. It intends to build municipal awareness about the regional electricity planning process and identify information that Local Distribution Companies need from municipalities to improve the accuracy of electricity load forecasts. It is one of many initiatives being actioned in the Regional Planning Process Advisory Group's report, Recommendations to Improve Ontario’s Regional Planning Process which was delivered to the OEB on December 20, 2021.
Annual Emergency Exercise Requirement
Effective December 22, 2022, municipalities are no longer required to conduct the annual practice exercise in a year where:
- The Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) directed the municipality’s response in an emergency during that year, and the emergency lasted for at least 48 hours;
- The MECG implemented the municipality’s emergency plan and the MECG’s procedures to respond to an emergency during that year; and
- The MECG complies with any other requirements that may be specified.
This update intends to provide municipalities flexibility in the allocation of emergency management resources while ensuring emergency management plans are tested annually through the annual practice exercise or responding to an emergency.
For more information about this and other related amendments, please contact your local field officer.
Invitation to Golf Car Consultations
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has been piloting golf cars in two municipalities (Huron-Kinloss and Pelee Island) since June 2021. The pilot allows golf cars to be operated on-road, subject to any regulatory restrictions.
Given the success of the pilot to date, the ministry is exploring a prospective expansion. Please sign up and attend ministry-led consultations on February 1 to provide any feedback related to this potential expansion.
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