Strong mayors’ priorities must include housing, infrastructure projects

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government has released more detailed regulations for its ‘strong mayor’ legislation set to go into effect Nov. 15, giving the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa “more authority to move forward on shared provincial-municipal priorities.”

Regulations posted Monday build on Premier Doug Ford’s announcement that the new rules will help municipalities build housing more quickly.

The legislation gives the mayors Toronto and Ottawa veto powers over bylaws that conflict with “provincial priorities,” with an emphasis on housing development.

Those priorities include:

  • Building 1.5 million new residential units by 2031
  • Construction and maintenance of infrastructure to support accelerated supply and availability of housing including, but not limited to, transit, roads, utilities, and servicing

“While increasing housing supply and ensuring infrastructure keeps up with a growing population are priorities for the provincial government, they are also shared priorities with municipal partners,” regulations state.

Mayors will also have veto power for development charge bylaws and Bill 3 also grants t,”he ability for heads of council to single-handedly control the municipality’s budget. Under new rules, the mayor’s budget must be complete by Feb. 1 each year, or the duty to prepare and adopt the budget will transfer to all of council.

“The (mayor) has 10 days from the end of the council review period to veto a council resolution,” the regulations say. “Council may then override a (mayor’s) veto with a 2/3 majority vote within 15 days.”

The legislation is expected to be I place in time for the start of a new council term which will follow the Oct. 24 election.

 

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