Standing Committee Appearance on Bill 39 and Other Policy Updates
AMO’s Remarks on Bill 39, the Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022
Today, AMO’s Executive Director, Brian Rosborough, presented to the Standing Committee on Heritage, Infrastructure and Cultural Policy regarding Bill 39, The Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022. AMO’s remarks can be found on our website.
Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act Passed
Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, received Royal Assent on November 28, 2022. As of today, the environmental and regulatory consultations associated with the Bill and the Housing Supply Action Plan 3.0 remain open.
In the event that consultations close early, AMO will submit comments directly to the respective Ministries and will post them to AMO’s Housing and Homelessness Page.
Yesterday, in response to AMO’s concerns and calls for provincial infrastructure funding, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing committed in a letter to the AMO President “ensuring that municipalities are kept whole for any impact to their ability to fund housing enabling infrastructure because of Bill 23”. The letter also included a commitment to introduce legislation that, if passed, would delay the implementation of development application refund requirements set out in Bill 109 by six months, from January 1, 2023, to July 1, 2023.
AMO is very pleased that the government recognizes the importance for municipal access to funding to support the joint provincial-municipal goal of increasing housing supply and affordability, and will continue to work with the province to better understand the amount, timing, and conditions of the funding to ensure alignment with municipal realities.
Bill 46, Less Red Tape, Stronger Ontario Act, 2022 Introduced
Last week, Bill 46, Less Red Tape, Stronger Ontario Act, 2022, was introduced in the legislature. A motion for closure on Second Reading debate was deferred to December 1. The proposed changes, if approved, will allow court clerks to reopen certain convictions when satisfied that the defendant, through no fault of their own, missed a notice or was unable to attend a meeting or hearing related to the ticket.
AMO is cautiously optimistic that these changes may help address ongoing backlogs at POA courts and hope that the government will also turn their attention to the lack of Justices of the Peace across Ontario.
Increase in Construction Funding Subsidy for Long-Term Care Homes
The Ontario government is increasing the construction funding subsidy by up to an additional $35 per bed, per day for 25 years. Eligible non-profits will also be able to convert $15 of this supplemental funding into a construction grant payable at the start of construction, to increase projects’ upfront equity and enable them to secure financing. Eligible projects must be beginning construction by August 31, 2023.
Eligible operators who wish to apply for the supplemental construction funding subsidy increase must submit a statement of readiness by December 20, 2022. More information is available here and through the Long-Term Care Home Capital Development Funding Policy. AMO has advocated for increases to the construction funding subsidy to account for increasing capital costs and is pleased to see this increase.
Fourth Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
AMO provided a submission for the Fourth Independent Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) on November 29. AMO shares the Ontario government’s commitment to an accessible Ontario by 2025 and continues to support the need for increased and improved accessibility for Ontarians in all aspects of community and civic life. Municipal governments are doing their part at the forefront of efforts to create more accessible communities for their residents.
The submission outlines recommendations for ways to improve the municipal ability and capacity to meet the objectives of the Act with support from the province. There is opportunity for municipal governments to provide their input. Visit the AODA Independent Review website to learn more.