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Simcoe County concerned about More Homes Act

February 10, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The County of Simcoe is voicing concerns about the provincial ‘More Homes Built Faster Act’ and its impact on the region.

The purpose of the Act – Bill 23 – is to introduce several legislative changes to increase the housing supply in Ontario.

The Act calls for building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years.

There has been quite a lot of opposition to the Bill as it will allow building on Green Belt lands and alter development charges, which help municipalities pay for infrastructure that supports growth. It will also diminish the role of Conservation Authorities across Ontario.

County officials are concerned because the Act will remove all legislated planning responsibilities from certain upper-tier municipalities, including Simcoe County, and will fundamentally alter how development approval processes are conducted.

It will also affect how natural heritage resources are protected, how growth is coordinated on a regional scale, how growth-related capital infrastructure is paid for, and by whom.

Simcoe County Council received a report on January 31, 2023, on the implications of Bill 23 and its impact on the county. Council voted to have Simcoe County’s warden, deputy warden, and staff continue to engage with the province and area municipalities to determine the appropriate legislative and policy framework to ensure the county’s role in coordinated planning supports community growth and effectively plans county services.

The More Homes Built Faster Act has received considerable opposition from municipalities and environmental groups who want to avoid development on currently protected Green Belt areas.

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