Remarks to Standing Committee on the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022
AMO’s Director of Policy, Monika Turner, presented to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly regarding Bill 109, More Homes for Everyone Act today. AMO’s remarks can be found here.
We emphasized appreciation for the province’s decision to implement only some of the Housing Affordability Task Force’s recommendations in the bill. AMO was encouraged to see the province’s commitment to include municipal sector representation in the Housing Supply Working Group and that it would have a key role in future decision-making.
At the same time, AMO expressed concerns that some of the proposed changes will give municipal governments more responsibility, transfer risk, and create a more punitive planning regime that may have unintended consequences and not achieve the desired outcomes.
AMO and our members recognize that all parties need to be at the table contributing to solutions and a comprehensive and integrated approach to housing affordability. Given the unique housing needs of small and large urban, rural, and northern municipalities, there is lots to be done. As a mature order of government, we look forward to being actively involved in the dynamic, long-term work needed to address all aspects of the housing challenges ahead.
Status Update – Blue Box Regulations
The provincial regulation that transitions responsibility for the Blue Box program from municipal governments to producers of packaging, paper, and packaging-like products was finalized in June 2021. The first communities will transition on July 1, 2023, and all transitions will be completed by December 31, 2025.
The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) organized a mediation process with the 3 rule-making Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs), and rules are being established to determine how the PROs will interact to establish a common collection system across the province so Ontarians will have a seamless transition with a consistent system.
All three PROs had asked for legislative amendments to aid with the rule setting process. Some of the PROs are managed by producers and others are managed by vertically integrated waste management service providers, giving different commercial perspectives for each PRO.
Meetings have been held to determine a path forward. We are aware that changes are being considered by the Ministry. We also understand that our biggest concerns on timeline and certainty are being addressed. We expect this to be resolved and an approach put in place and agreed to by July 1, 2022.
Once this approach is finalized, PROs will want to engage with municipalities to start operational planning for each municipal transition date. To prepare for these engagements, Councils should be discussing now whether they want to continue to provide blue box services beyond transition and the principles/criteria used to make those decisions. They should also be considering the timelines for these decisions to be made, particularly considering municipal elections this fall and potential need for delegated authority to staff.
For more information, visit our Waste Diversion advocacy page.