Proposed changes to Minister’s zoning orders and the Planning Act

ERO number
Notice type
Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Notice stage
Proposal posted
Comment period
March 4, 2021 - April 3, 2021 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:

March 4, 2021
to April 3, 2021

Proposal summary

The government is proposing changes to the Planning Act so that certain Minister’s zoning orders do not have to be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.

Proposal details

The Planning Act gives the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the authority to zone and thereby control the use of any land in the province. Zoning orders can be used to protect a provincial interest (e.g., to protect an environmentally sensitive feature by prohibiting uses) or to help overcome potential barriers or delays to critical projects (e.g., to speed up planning approvals for long-term care homes and affordable housing projects).

Under the Planning Act, a decision of a Minister in respect of the exercise of any authority that affects planning matter (e.g., a Minister’s zoning order) shall be consistent with policy statements issued under the Planning Act (e.g., the Provincial Policy Statement) that are in effect on the date of the decision.

Through Schedule 3 of Bill 257 (the proposed Bill 257, Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021) it is proposed to amend the Planning Act, so that a Minister’s zoning order would not have to be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement. This proposed amendment would not apply to lands located within the Greenbelt Area. In addition, the changes would provide that any existing Minister’s zoning orders, never had to be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.

The proposed changes would permit the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to take other considerations into account when making decisions to support strong communities, a clean and healthy environment and the economic vitality of the Province.

The Minister’s zoning authority is a critical tool that can be used to support and expedite the delivery of government priorities, including transit-oriented communities, affordable housing, long-term care homes and strategic economic recovery projects by removing potential barriers and delays. These changes would ensure that the Minister, acting at their discretion, has the authority to provide their complete support for these critical projects.

Supporting materials

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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.


Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from March 4, 2021
to April 3, 2021

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