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Bill 187 – The Municipal Emergency Act

Temporarily changed the Municipal Act to deal with the Covid-19 Emergency and allowed full participation (including the right to vote on matters) via electronic meetings for members of municipal councils and local boards (Committees of Adjustment and Land Division Committees) if their respective Procedural By-laws were amended.

Bill 197 – Covid 19 Economic Recovery Act

Changed the Building Code Act, Municipal Act, Planning Act, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Act and Development Charges Act. Highlights of changes include:

Municipal Act to permanently allow full participation via electronic meetings which was only allowed temporarily under Bill 187.

Planning Act replaced Sections 37 and 37.1 Community Benefits (Bonusing) and replaces it with Community Benefit Charges (CBC) changes have also been made to Section 42 -Park Land Dedication. 

Section 37 – CBC

  • A CBC can be applied on development or redevelopment applications (including consent and minor variance applications) except those that have fewer than five storeys, fewer than 10 residential units, redevelopment that proposes to add fewer than 10 residential units to an existing building or structure, and other developments as are prescribed.
  • A CBC can be imposed for public recreational purposes, provided that the capital costs for same are not also being charged pursuant to a development charge by-law under the Development Charges Act. 
  • A CBC by-law must be subject to public consultation and is appealable to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal; and
  • The maximum CBC payable cannot exceed a 4% of the value of land as of the valuation date, which may be paid under protest and appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Section 42 Parkland Dedication

  • The current system by which municipalities obtain parkland (and not the system proposed by Bill 108) will be generally maintained particularly in relation to the alternative parkland rate that applies to higher density residential development.
  • Public consultation is required prior to passing a by-law that sets an alternative parkland dedication rate which still cannot be set at a rate greater than one hectare for each 300 dwelling units proposed where land is to be conveyed or one hectare for each 500 dwelling units for payments in lieu.
  • An alternative parkland dedication by-law can be appealed to the Tribunal.
  • Existing parkland dedication by-laws will expire two years after these changes come into force.

Note the changes to the Development Charges Act expands the list of services for which a Development Charges (DC) can be imposed. The expanded list now includes By-law enforcement and court services, Services related to public health and emergency preparedness, Childcare and early years programs; and Housing services, and confirms a CBC by-law can’t include any items in be collect through DC’s.

O. Reg.431/20 – Administering Oaths or Declarations Remotely

July 2020, the Province passed O.Reg. 431/20 under the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.17 enabling for the administering of oaths and declarations remotely.

Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020

The Province of Ontario approved Bill 229, Ontario’s Budget Measures Act, including the controversial Schedule 6, on December 8, 2020. Key changes include:

  • certain conservation authorities' abilities being re-delegated to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (the "Minister");
  • the creation of certain "mandatory permits", which conservation authorities must issue if the enumerated conditions are met; and
  • a new appeals process that impacts, and possibly complicates, the permitting process.

These changes:

  1. Reduce Conservation Authorities (CA) role in regulating development, including greatly reducing their ability to appeal decision to LPAT. Applicants can appeal for the failure to issue a permit or the conditions attached to a permit to LPAT or the Minister. 
  2. Allow the Minister make decisions on permit appeals and issue permits without watershed data and expertise from CA staff.
  3. Change the composition of CA Board of Directors to elected municipal officials who would be required to make decisions on what is best for their municipality not the mandate/responsibilities of the CA.

Bill 245, the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021

Bill 245 includes a proposed enactment of a new Ontario Land Tribunal Act, 2021, which would amalgamate the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT), the Conservation Review Board, the Mining and Lands Tribunal, and the Board of Negotiation into a single entity.

The government states that Bill 245 will improve access to justice for Ontario residents and modernize existing processes. While the new regime would not materially impact substantive land use planning and environmental matters, Bill 245 may have some impact on procedural matters by streamlining the process to initiate and consolidate appeals and creating more flexible rules to conduct hearings.

Bill 276 - Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act

Bill 276 - Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act passed first reading on April 15, 2021. This Bill proposes some significant amendments to the subdivision control provision under the Planning Act that will impact the process for technical severances, validations and the consent application process.