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Government Submission

Board Raises Concerns About Changes to Employment Lands Policies That Could Hurt Business Decisions to Locate and Expand in Ontario

A new home under construction.

Committee hearings at Queen’s Park on Bill 185, Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act, 2024 and an updated Provincial Planning Statement wrap up today, Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

The proposed changes were introduced by Hon. Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on April 10, 2024, as an update to Ontario’s housing supply action plan to build 1.5 million homes in the next decade. The changes build on other provisions in Bill 97, approved last year and Bill 23 in 2022. The purpose of these changes is to make it easier to build houses in Ontario, a critical priority that businesses support.

However, the tools the provincial government proposes in these bills threaten to undercut the availability of employment lands in our region that are critical for businesses that want to locate or expand. There are 1.5 million jobs in our region that depend on lands zoned for employment and the proposed changes will weaken protections for these critical areas. 

Bill 185 and the proposed Policy Planning Statement is an opportunity for the province to consider many of the changes that the Board first proposed in its Race for Space report in November 2023. In the report we proposed a few important changes to the government’s approach which could ensure that we get houses built faster without eliminating the jobs that help new homeowners pay their mortgage.

This latest submission to the Environment Registry of Ontario, submitted on May 10, builds on the Race for Space report in the context of the proposed updated policies and regulations.

Our submission to the Ontario government