This notice is about a decision that was not subject to the normal consultation process. Learn more about the types of notices on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
Why consultation isn't required
A policy proposal regarding the policy framework for provincially significant employment zones was posted on the Environmental Registry in January 2019 for 45 days of consultation (ERO #013-4506).
The ministry is posting this notice of exception pursuant to subsection 30(1) of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) as the environmentally significant aspects of the proposal have already been considered in a process of public participation under the EBR.
The Minister has updated the existing provincially significant employment zone mapping, which includes the identification of one new zone referenced as zone 31 located in Brantford. This notice is related to ERO 013-4506 which proposed and provided for consultation on the policy framework for provincially significant employment zones.
As part of A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2019 (the Plan), the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing released a new policy framework for protecting employment areas that are critical to the region’s economy. These changes provide flexibility by allowing municipalities to consider employment area conversions prior to their municipal comprehensive review, while ensuring protections are in place to protect key employment areas as needed. To do this, the province introduced provincially significant employment zones as economic development tools that would require provincial approval for employment area conversions within the zone.
As a planning tool, provincially significant employment zones protect key employment areas by requiring the conversion of any employment areas within them to occur only through provincial approval. Over the longer-term and as an economic development tool, they would provide the basis of a regional economic development strategy and help drive job growth and prosperity across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The ministry will be consulting further to obtain feedback on the potential long-term economic functions of these zones in the coming months.
As part of the updates to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe the ministry held a public consultation. This consultation took place for 45 days, from January 15, 2019 to February 28, 2019. The ministry also held regional roundtables and meetings with stakeholders during the consultation period. On May 2, 2019 the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued mapping of 29 provincially significant employment zones on the Environmental Registry. As a result of this consultation it was clarified that provincially significant employment zones could include mixed land uses.
Following the release of the 29 zones, the ministry put in place a process that allowed municipalities, landowners and stakeholders to request changes to the mapping of the zones. As part of this process, the Minister identified an additional zone in Toronto – Zone 30, the Ontario Food Terminal in Fall 2019.
In addition, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has updated the mapping of existing zones and identified one new zone in Brantford – Zone 31, Brantford West – Hwy 403. The update and identification of a new zone was informed by the local planning context, economic development and housing supply provincial objectives, and considerations such as whether the land:
- is located inside the settlement area or Greenbelt
- is under appeal at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal
- is located near infrastructure for major transportation or movements of goods
- has a high concentration of employment
- has a high economic impact or plays an economic or strategic role to the region
- is vulnerable to conversion to non-employment uses
- has high development potential for various employment and economic investment uses
- shares a common border with an existing zone
A Place to Grow supports the government’s commitment to growth and prosperity. The provincially significant employment zones not only help create local jobs and attract investments across the region, but they also facilitate the government’s aim to have people working near where they live so that they can spend more time with their families.
As part of the request for reconsideration process, the ministry will continue to review requests received for mapping considerations, notably those that seek the addition of new zones.
For more detail on the provincially significant employment zones, please refer to the web map.
No immediate environmental implications are anticipated as a result of from the updating of the existing provincially significant employment zone mapping, which includes the identification of one new zone referenced as Zone 31 – Brantford West – Hwy 403 located in Brantford. As the provincially significant employment zone policy decisions provide for greater protection to an existing land use and the zones align with local plans, it is not expected that there will be significant land use implications as a result of this decision.
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