The Government of Ontario has recessed for the summer, but not before they passed the More Homes, More Choices Act, or Bill 108. You’ve probably heard a lot about Bill 108, or at least enough to know that it’s not as benign as the name of it implies. Yes, there will be some serious consequences from its passage, so let’s take a moment to figure out what they are.
Bill 108 is an omnibus bill that alters 13 different pieces of legislation, and they are all named at the beginning of this week’s podcast. Among the pertinent ones we’re dealing with in this episode: the Development Charges Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, the Labour Relations Act, and the Planning Act.
Practically speaking, the changes proposed in Bill 108 could blow a $100 million hole in the City of Guelph’s long-term Capital forecast. Changes to the collection of development charges means that city-building projects like the South End Community Centre, and the new main branch of the library are at risk. And on top of all this, environmental advocates are concerned that Bill 108 will open the door to more sprawl and will make endangered species, well, more endangered.
So on this edition of the podcast, we’ll hear from three different people about what the immediate and long-term effects of Bill 108 might be.
First, we’ll hear from David Amborski, a Professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University who will give us some background on municipal planning and talk about the broader effects of Bill 108 on cities.
Then, Emily Giles, the senior specialist for species conservation for WWF-Canada, will lay out how Bill 108 will effect environmental policy, especially the protection of endangered species in Ontario.
And finally, Tara Baker, the general manager of finance and the treasurer for the City of Guelph will talk about how the Royal City will specifically be impacted by Bill 108, and what that means for future major capital projects like the ones mentioned above, not to mention parkland dedication.
So let’s talk about what Bill 108 means beyond “More Homes” and “More Choice” on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!
A report about the effects of Bill 108 will be brought to Guelph City Council for its June 24 meeting, and that agenda will be released on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Councillor Cathy Downer will be our guest on Open Sources Guelph, where she will talk about the changes to the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
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