At the outset, I need to say I am a Swing Voter, best choice each Election, so no allegiances to any party.
Bill 108 is a step too far. Overreach in the extreme. A short time before, the Government of the day passed Bill 139, after a groundswell of dissatisfaction that had been building up for years over the OMB, which was widely viewed as the Developer's Friend. Broad consultation was conducted over a lengthy period, so NO RUSH to legislation. Cross Province Town Hall meetings were Conducted. Eventually, in the fullness of time, Bill 139 was passed UNANIMOUSLY, supported by all parties, including a Score or more PC MPP's including Steve Clark (the Minister now promoting Bill 108). Bill 139 levelled the Playing Field with OMB by giving Deference to Municipalities in the event of Dispute. (The LIST OF TWO-FACED SHAME..Clark Arnott Bailey Barrett Cho Coe Fedeli Hardeman Hoggarth Jones Martow McDonell McNaughton Miller Nicholls Oosterhoff Pettapiece Romano Smith Thompson Yakabuski)
How can so many MPP's vote one way to support changes and a short time late vote the opposite? It is unconscionable, it is shameful, and this sort of behaviour breaks trust with Voters and demeans all Politicians.
Now with Bill 108, Towns/Cities have had their Authorities Gutted, those powers gifted to Unelected Persons, and every possible objection to Development has been squashed. Voters elect Councils. Eventually the Govt will realize what they have done is undemocratic, ripping those authorities from the hands of Voters, and last time I checked there were a lot more Voters than there are Developers.
The Premier was busted by video promising Developers he would open up the Greenbelt to Development. Then he had to backtrack, and it seems with Bill 108 he has made every developers Wish come true. This is an awful Bill, negatively impacting the quality of life for Voters...Endangered, Environmental, Heritage, Parkland, Green space, Development Costs, so on and so forth.
The story lines that Steve Clark is peddling are just that, Stories. Housing will NOT become more affordable because of Bill 108. Frankly, that is a good sound bite, but is a complete crock and does not stand up to any sort of scrutiny. All one has to do is identify WHO IN THE CHAIN WILL TAKE LESS....Land Owners, Servicing Cos, any of the Trades, Concrete, Bricklayers, Plumbers, Electricians, Roofers, Developers, Governments??? WHO WILL TAKE LESS?? Right, No one. So how on earth can one peddle housing will be more affordable? The continued escalation of costs is a Global Issue and it is a fabrication to suggest Bill 108 will crack that question.
Steve Clark NOW Says he wants Partners. Well, he sure has a funny way of showing it. First, table a bill that guts Municipal Authorities which are actually the Voters who Elect them, Gift those Powers to Unelected Persons, Fulfill the Developer's Wish List by eliminating every possible objection, Ram through draconian Legislation in Haste with Little to no consultation, then ask for Partners? Does that sound Like a great Partner to you? Only if you are a Developer!
So, the question is "Does Democracy Decide or Do Developers Decide" who Manages Growth in Each Community, impacting the quality of life. Bill 108 is the greatest transfer of Planning Powers in the history of Ontario, one with which any MPP ought to be ashamed to be a part.
BILL 108 ought to be scrapped with all due haste and an apology issued to all Voters and Councils in Ontario. Voters will take a number and remember this Tyrannical Act. Budgets are one thing we can debate, however quality of Life for Ontario Residents is not something to be taken lightly. My guess is the Govt will rue the day this legislation was ever rammed through!
Submitted June 27, 2019 8:36 AM