Guide to Changes to Conservation and Environmental Protections and Assessments
The following is an outline of the key changes that are proposed to four environment-related statutes, which aims to highlight the main changes that will affect the land use planning process.
Note that the Conservation Authorities Act and Endangered Species Act, 2007 are proposed to fall under the purview of the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, moved from the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Endangered Species Act, 2007
- Creation of the Species at Risk Conservation Fund and a Crown Agency to administer the Fund.
- The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks may designate species listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as “conservation fund species”. The purpose of the Fund is to provide funding for activities that are “reasonably likely to protect or recover conservation fund species or support their protection or recovery.”
- Payments out of the Fund may be made to a person who wishes to carry out an activity that is consistent with the purpose of the Fund and is reasonably likely to contribute to reversing the decline, abating, or increasing the population or distribution of a conservation fund species. The criteria for Fund recipients will be elaborated in the regulations and guidelines to be written by the Ministry.
- The amount of the species conservation charge, which is a charge payable to the Agency for the purpose of carrying out the objectives of the Fund, shall be prescribed by the regulations.
- Activities that damage or cause destruction to a habitat may be authorized and mitigated through a Landscape Agreement
- A new concept of “Landscape Agreements” is introduced to authorize activities that would otherwise be prohibited under ss. 9 and 10, including activities that would damage or destroy the habitat of a species at risk.
Landscape Agreements are between the proponent and Minister, which the Minister may enter into, as long as the criteria in the Act are met.
Among other criteria, the Landscape Agreement must identify “beneficial actions” that the authorized party will undertake to assist with the protection or recovery one or more species contained in the agreement (the “benefiting species”).
- The benefiting species is not required to be the impacted species in the agreement. However, other criteria include that at least one of the benefiting species must be an impacted species and the beneficial actions must outweigh the adverse effects on the impacted species, among others.
- The Landscape Agreement may require that the authorized party pay a species conservation charge if the impacted species is a conservation fund species.
- The permit regime has not changed substantially
- The amendments revise some of the criteria that the Minister must consider before issuing a permit, which mainly provide for the condition of paying a species conservation charge.
- The main difference between the permit regime and Landscape Agreements is that the latter is not subject to certain criteria, such as whether the activity is necessary to protect human health and safety or whether the activity will result in significant social or economic benefit to Ontario. Nevertheless, further criteria for Landscape Agreements may be introduced by regulations.
- Further, Landscape Agreements introduce a new concept of evaluating the benefits to the beneficial species against adverse effects on the impacted species, which is not a feature in the permit regime.
- The Minister may take more time to consider or reconsider a recommendation by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (“COSSARO”).
- When considering whether to list a species as endangered or threatened, COSSARO must consider the condition of the species outside Ontario. If the species is experiencing low level risk to survival when considering the wider geographic range, this shall be reflected in how the species is classified.
- The Minister will have flexibility to reconsider the committee’s recommendations to the Species at Risk in Ontario List and the Minister is proposed to have 12 months’ time to add said species to the regulations.
- For new species, the Minister may temporarily suspend some or all of the prohibitions associated with protecting said species for up to 3 years.
Most of the proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act, 2007 are proposed to come into force on July 1, 2019.
|Endangered Species Act, 2007|
|Classification of Species|
|5(4)||The criteria for assessing and classifying species as endangered, threatened or special concern shall include considerations of the species’ geographic range in Ontario and the condition of the species across the broader biologically relevant range inside and outside of Ontario.
|5(5)||If the condition of the species inside and outside Ontario would result in classification indicating a lower level of risk to survival than if COSSARO considered the condition inside Ontario only, the classification shall reflect the lower level of risk.
|7(4)||The Minister may take up to 12 months from the date a report is received from COSSARO to make and file an amendment to the regulation so that it reflects the new information contained in the report (extended from 3 months).
|8(3) and (4)||The Minister may reconsider the classification reported by COSSARO if the Minister is of the opinion that credible scientific information indicates that the classification may not be appropriate, and shall publish a notice thereof.
|8.1(1)||The Minister may order by regulation that when a species is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as endangered or threatened for the first time, that the prohibition in subsections 9(1) and 10(1) shall be temporarily suspended.
|8.1(2)||The Minister may make such order between the dates when the COSSARO report is received and before the amendment is made to the Species at Risk in Ontario List.
|8.1(3)||The Minister’s order is subject to certain criteria, including that the prohibitions would likely have significant social or economic implications and that the temporary suspension will not jeopardize the survival of the species in Ontario, among others.
|8.1(5)||The period of temporary suspension shall be set out in the order and shall not exceed 3 years.
|8.2(1)||Where a species is listed as endangered or threatened on the Species at Risk in Ontario List for the first time, the prohibitions against possessing and transporting things under subsections 9(1)(b) and 10(1) shall not apply to existing permit holders and parties to a Landscape Agreement or an agreement under s. 19 for a period of 1 year.
|8.2(2)||If the Minister makes a temporary suspension order under s. 8.1, those prohibitions will not apply to the persons contemplated in subsection (1) for a further period of 1 year.
|Agreements, Permits and Other Instruments|
|16.1(1)||A Landscape Agreement shall meet the following requirements: (1) authorize a party to carry out activities in a geographic area identified in the agreement, (2) the authorized activities would be otherwise prohibited under section 9 or 10 with respect to one or more species in the agreement and listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as endangered or threatened, (3) the authorized party will execute beneficial actions that will assist with the protection or recovery of one or more species in the agreement (“benefiting species”).
|16.1(2)||The benefiting species in a Landscape Agreement are not required to be an impacted species under the agreement.
|16.1(3)||The Minister may enter into a Landscape Agreement only if, among other things: (a) at least one of the benefiting species is also an impacted species, (b) the authorized party is eligible pursuant to the regulations, (c) the agreement will not jeopardize the survival of the impacted species, reasonable steps are taken to minimize adverse effects and alternatives are considered, and the beneficial actions outweigh the adverse effects on the impacted species.
|16.1(4)||The Minister shall consider any government response statements respecting the benefiting and impacted species and such other matters prescribed in the regulations.
|16.1(5)||The Landscape Agreement may require the authorized party to pay a species conservation charge, if the impacted species is a conservation fund species.
|16.1(6) to (8)||The Minister may issue policy statements governing the form and content of Landscape Agreements that the agreements must be consistent with.
|17(2)||The limitations on the Minister to issue a permit have been amended to include the payment of a species conservation charge.
|17(2.1)||The Minister may make the payment of a species conservation charge a condition of a permit if it relates to a conservation fund species.
|18||The section pertaining to activities regulated under other Acts that are authorized by an Instrument or permitted or required under a regulation has been revised, including the requirement to pay a species conservation charge, if applicable.
|19(3.1)||An agreement or permit under section 19 may require the person or body to pay a species conservation charge.
|Species at Risk Conservation Fund|
|20.1(1) and (2)||Establishes the Species at Risk Conservation Fund, the purpose of which is to provide for the funding of activities that are reasonably likely to protect or recover conservation fund species or support their protection or recovery.
|20.1(3)||The Minister may designate conservation fund species by regulation.
|20.1(4)||The Agency shall administer and manage the affairs of the Fund.
|20.2||The Fund shall receive money through: (1) species conservation charges paid to the Agency, (2) the Crown, (3) donations, (4) revenue earned on money in the Fund or by the Agency, (5) refunds, and (6) sources prescribed by the regulations.
|20.3(1)||Species conservation charges shall be paid by: (1) authorized parties to a Landscape Agreement, (2) permit holder, if required, (3) a person who is authorized under s. 18 to engage in a prohibited activity, if required (4) an aboriginal person, band, tribe council, or community organization by agreement or permit under s. 19, and (5) a person who is exempt from the prohibited activities by regulations and must pay the charge as a condition.
|20.3(4) and (5)||The species conservation charge shall be prescribed by regulation and shall be paid to the Agency in accordance with the time and in the manner set out in the regulations.
|20.7||The Agency may make payments out of the fund to a person who wishes to carry out an activity that is consistent with the purpose of the fund and is reasonably likely to contribute to reversing the decline, abating, or increasing the population or distribution of a conservation fund species.
|20.8||The Minister may establish written guidelines respecting activities that may receive funding from the Fund.
|21||The Minister may appoint persons or classes of persons as enforcement officers.
|27.1||The Minister may make a Species Protection Order when a person is engaging in or about to engage in an activity that has or is about to have a significant adverse effect on a species listed on, or recommended to be on, the Species at Risk in Ontario List or is subject to a temporary suspension order.
*Note that an enforcement officer may still make a stop order pursuant to s. 27 and the Minister may still make a Habitat Protection Order pursuant to s. 28.
|Regulations and Miscellaneous|
|48.1||The Minister may establish codes of practice, standards or guidelines for the protection of species on the Species at Risk in Ontario List or their habitat.
|55||Lists the regulations that may be made by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council; including, exempting a person or activity from the prohibitions in ss. 9 and 10, and regulations pertaining to the new Agency.
|56||Lists the regulations that may be made by the Minister; including the definition of “habitat”, the criteria for Landscape Agreements, designating conservation fund species and establishing the associated species conservation charges.
|57||There is a special requirement that the Minister must consider whether a proposed regulation is likely to jeopardize the survival of the species in Ontario or will have any other significant adverse effect on the species when making certain regulations (s. 57(1)).
The Minister may nevertheless make such regulations if certain criteria are met, for example if the Minister has considered a Landscape Agreement or permit (s. 57(2)).
Conservation Authorities Act
- Narrowing of the programs that Conservation Authorities may administer.
- A Conservation Authority shall provide a program or service contained in the regulations and that relates to the risk of natural hazards, the conservation and management of lands owned or operated by the authority, and the authority’s duties, functions and responsibilities under the Clean Water Act, 2006 or otherwise prescribed in the regulations.
- The Conservation Authority may provide programs and services that it determines are advisable to further its objectives; however, financing said programs is restricted based on the proposed amendments.
- Conservation Authorities may be investigated.
- The Minister may appoint one or more investigators to conduct an investigation of an authority’s operations, including the programs and services it provides. The investigator may require the production of records, conduct a financial audit, and require a member of an authority to give evidence under oath, among others.
These amendments are proposed to come into force on a day to be named by proclamation.
|Conservation Authorities Act|
|Membership and Governance|
|14.1||Every member of an authority shall act honestly and in food faith with a view to furthering the objects of the authority.
|Objects, Powers and Duties|
|21.1||An authority shall provide programs or services within its area of jurisdiction that are prescribed by the regulations and relates to: (1) the risk of natural hazards, (2) the conservation and management of lands owned or controlled by the authority, (3) the authority’s duties, functions and responsibilities under the Clean Water Act, 2006 and under (4) the regulations.
|21.1.1||An authority may provide municipal programs and services within its area of jurisdiction on behalf of a municipality pursuant to a memorandum of understanding or other form of agreement with the municipality.
|21.1.2(1) and (2)||An authority may provide such other programs and services as it determines are advisable to further its objects, subject to the financing provisions under ss. 25 and 27 related to financing by a participating municipality with which it has an agreement
|21.1.3||Every authority shall develop and implement a transition plan.
|23.1(4) and (5)||The Minister may appoint one or more investigators to conduct an investigation of an authority’s operations, including the programs and services it provides. The investigator may require the production of records, conduct a financial audit, and require a member of an authority to give evidence under oath, among others.
|23.1(7) and (8)||The investigator shall report in writing to the Minister, who will transmit the report to the authority. The Authority may be required to pay all or part of the costs of the investigation.
|25(1.1) and (1.2)||The authority shall not include in the apportionment any capital costs connected with a program or service under s. 21.1.2(1), unless the apportionment of capital costs has been identified in an agreement with the municipality under 21.1.2(2).
|27(1.1) and (1.2)||The authority shall not include in the apportionment any operating expenses connected with a program or service under s. 21.1.2(1), unless the apportionment of operating expenses has been identified in an agreement with the municipality under 21.1.2(2).
|27.2(1) and (2)||An authority may determine the amounts owed by a specified municipality, as defined, in connection with the programs and services provided under the Clean Water Act, 2006 and Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008.
|27.2(3) to (9)||An authority shall provide notice of the amount owing to the specified municipality, and the specified municipality may apply to the Mining and Lands Commissioner for review of the determination of the amount owing.
|40||Sets out the regulations that may be made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and those which may be made by the Minister.
Environmental Protection Act
- Expanded regime for administrative penalties.
- The scope of contraventions that may be subject to an administrative penalty is widened to effectively include the contravention of any provision of the Act or its regulations, which would not otherwise be subject to an environmental penalty.
- The maximum monetary amount for an administrative penalty is increased to $200,000 (from $100,000) for each contravention.
These amendments are proposed to come into force on a day to be named by proclamation.
|Environmental Protection Act|
|Vehicle Permits and Number Plates|
|49(1)||A provincial officer may seize the number plates for a vehicle if he or she reasonably believes that the vehicle was used in connection with the commission of an offence and the seizure is necessary to prevent the continuation or repetition of the offence
|50(1)||If a person is convicted of an offence, the court may make certain orders, as enumerated in the Act, in respect of any vehicle or holder of the permit for the vehicle that the court is satisfied was used in connection with the commission of the offence.
|50(2)||An order under (1) shall be for a period that the court considers appropriate, not exceeding five years.
|50(4)||Court may issue an order under this section in addition to any other penalty imposed.
|182.3(1)||The purpose of administrative penalties is: to ensure compliance with any requirements or orders under this Act, to prevent economic benefit as a result of a contravention, and to address other contraventions under the Act and its regulations that are not environmental penalties.
|182.3(3)||A prescribed contravention may be in respect of: a provision of this Act or its regulations, a provision of an order under this Act, or a term or condition of an environmental compliance approval, certificate of property use, renewable energy approval, licence or permit under this Act.
|182.3(8)||The total amount of an administrative penalty shall not exceed $200,000 for each contravention subject to subsection 9, where the total amount may be increased by an amount equal to the total amount of the monetary benefit acquired by or accrued to the person responsible for the contravention
Environmental Assessment Act
- Class environmental assessments exemptions.
- A class environmental assessment may provide that this Act does not apply with respect to one or more undertakings within the class. Further, there are specific exemptions when certain criteria are met for the enumerated class environmental assessments provided in the Act.
- The Minister may amend an approved class environmental assessment.
- Where the Minister or the Tribunal reconsiders an approval of a proponent’s class environmental assessment, that approval may be amended or revoked
- Limits on when the Minister may issue an order under Part II of the
- The Minister may only issue an order on the grounds that it will prevent, mitigate or remedy adverse impacts on existing aboriginal and treaty rights or a prescribed matter of provincial importance, and the Minister must do so within the prescribed deadlines.
The majority of these amendments are proposed to come into force on a day the More Homes, More Choices Act, 2019 receives royal assent, and the remaining provisions will come into force on a day to be named by proclamation.
|Environmental Assessment Act|
|Class Environmental Assessments|
|11.4(3.1)||The Minister or Tribunal may, by order, require the proponent of the undertaking to provide plans, specifications, technical reports or other information and to carry out and report on tests or experiments relating to the undertaking.
|11.4(4)||Where a Minister or the Tribunal reconsiders an approval, that approval may be amended or revoked.
|11.4(4.1)||A decision under this section shall be made in accordance with any rules and restrictions that may be prescribed.
|15.3(1)||A class environmental assessment as it is approved or amended may provide that this Act does not apply with respect to one or more undertakings within the class.
|15.3(2)||An undertaking provided for in subsection (1) is exempt from this Act.
|15.3(3) and (4)||Within the enumerated list of class environmental assessments, there may specific exemptions for certain undertakings that comply with the conditions if not further assessment or public consultation is necessary.
|15.4||The Minister may amend an approved class environmental assessment.
|16(4.1)||The Minister may issue an order under subsection (1) or (3) [an order to comply with Part II of the Act before proceeding with a proposed undertaking] only if the Minister is of the opinion that the order may prevent, mitigate or remedy adverse impacts on either: 1. existing aboriginal and treaty rights or 2. a prescribed matter of provincial importance.
|16(7.1)||If the Minister has not made a decision within the prescribed time with respect of a request to the Minister to make an order, the Minister must provide written reasons to the proponent of the undertaking and any person who requested the order.
|16(7.2)||The Director shall review the request for an order to ensure it complies with the applicable criteria before the Minister considers it.
|17(6) and (7)||Provides how orders under s. 16 shall be applied with respect to the transition resulting from the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019.
Please check our 2019 Planning Reform page and other blog posts for more details on Bill 108.
Ontario Regulation 988/19 was filed on May 2, 2019. It amends various definitions in the Ontario Building Code as well as sections of Division B.
Please find our guide to the important changes here .
If you have any questions regarding the Ontario Building Code, please contact one of our municipal, planning and land development lawyers.
The new Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2019 takes effect on May 16th, 2019. It will replace the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017.
Please find our guide to the important changes here.
If you have any questions regarding the new Growth Plan, please contact one of our municipal, planning and land development lawyers.
Bill 108 has passed the first reading and amends 13 pieces of legislation including:
- The Planning Act,
- Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act,
- Ontario Heritage Act,
- and the Development Charges Act.
Click this link to see the act: https://www.ola.org/sites/default/files/node-files/bill/document/pdf/2019/2019-05/b108_e.pdf
Please check our 2019 Planning Reform page and other blog posts for more details on Bill 108.
MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT INTRODUCES HOUSING SUPPLY ACTION PLAN
On May 2, 2019, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced its “More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan”, which will involve sweeping legislative changes to the land use planning and appeal process.
View the government news release here: https://news.ontario.ca/mma/en/2019/05/ontarios-government-for-the-people-to-make-home-ownership-affordable-for-more-ontario-families.html
View the Housing Supply Action Plan here: https://files.ontario.ca/mmah-housing-supply-action-plan-en-2019-05-02.pdf
View the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan here: https://www.ontario.ca/document/place-grow-growth-plan-greater-golden-horseshoe or here for a PDF version
View the Backgrounder here, which outlines the various statutes that are proposed to be amended: https://news.ontario.ca/mma/en/2019/05/comprehensive-legislation-would-help-give-people-of-ontario-more-homes-more-choice.html
On Friday February 22, 2018, Davies Howe Partner Meaghan McDermid presented to a packed house at the Urban Land Institute’s event “Game Changers: Understanding the Impact of Growth Plan Reforms and Changes Ahead”. Meaghan and land use planner Emma West of Bousfields Inc. provided attendees with an overview of the significant reforms proposed by the Province in Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017, followed by an insightful discussion from the expert panel about the potential impact of the proposed changes and the challenges still left to be met.
For more information, contact Ms. McDermid or any one of our Land Development lawyers.
Proposed Amendments to the Growth Plan were released January 15, 2019. The commenting period on the Amendments is open until February 28, 2019. There are a number of important changes to take note of found in the Our Guide to Changes in the link below . Our top five are:
- Flexibility to Add Uses to Employment Lands Before a Municipal Comprehensive Review: Lands within Employment Areas may be converted to a designation that permits non-employment uses in advance of a municipal comprehensive review, provided that there is:
- A need,
- No adverse effects on the viability of an Employment Area or achievement of minimum intensification and density targets,
- There are existing or planned infrastructure and public services in place, and,
- A significant amount of jobs are maintained.
However, certain lands will be designated Provincially Significant Employment Zones which can only be converted through a municipal comprehensive review. A list of the proposed employment zones is found in the overview of changes produced by the Ontario Growth Secretariat found in the link below.
- Settlement Area Changes in Advance of an MCR:
Adjustments -Settlement Area Boundaries may be adjusted by municipalities without an MCR when:
- There would be no net increase in land within the settlement area,
- The adjustment would support the ability to meet intensification and density targets,
- The normally applicable requirements for a settlement area expansion found in policy 184.108.40.206 are met,
- The land is not a rural settlement or in the Greenbelt, and,
- The land is serviced and there is sufficient reserve
Expansions – Settlement Area Boundaries may be expanded without an MCR when:
- The lands will meet the resident and jobs density targets or the employment area density targets established pursuant to the Growth Plan,
- The normally applicable requirements for a settlement area expansion in policy 220.127.116.11 are met,
- The land is not a rural settlement or in the Greenbelt,
- The land is serviced and there is sufficient reserve capacity,
- The land, accompanying growth, will be fully accounted for in the next Municipal Comprehensive Review, and,
- The land proposed to be expanded is no greater than 40 hectares.
The opportunity make minor rounding out adjustments to rural settlements has also been added.
- Support for Transit Oriented Development: Upper- and single-tier municipalities may delineate the boundaries of major transit stations areas and identify minimum density targets for these areas ahead of a Municipal Comprehensive Review, provided Planning Act requirements regarding official plan policies for these areas are met. The areas affected by these policies is proposed to be expanded to a 500 – 800 metre radius from the Transit Station.
- Scaled Intensification and Density Targets: Targets for Delineated Built-up Areas and Designated Greenfield Areas now scaled to the degree of urbanization of a municipality. The blanket intensification requirement that 60% of all residential development occur within the Delineated Built-up Area now ranges from 60% to 50% for more urbanized areas with a requirement that existing targets be maintained or improved for less urbanized areas. For Designated Greenfield Areas, the density target of 80 residents and jobs per hectare has been replaced with a range of 60 to 50 for more urbanized areas, and a minimum of 40 in less urbanized areas.
- Natural Heritage System and Agricultural System Mapping: Provincial Natural Heritage System and Agricultural System mapping does not apply until implemented in an applicable Upper Tier or Single Tier Official Plan and a municipality may refine the provincial mapping before incorporating it into their plan. Until then, existing Official Plan mapping applies.
The following resources may assist those looking for further information.
- The Davies Howe Guide to the Changes. Click here
- The Davies Howe Redline of the Growth Plan, for reference purposes. Click here
- Overview of changes produced by the Ontario Growth Secretariat, hosted by BILD. Click here
- The Draft Original Amended Growth Plan. Click here
- The Environmental Registry Posting. Click here
- Governmental News Release. Click here
- Government Backgrounder. Click here
Kimberly Beckman and Aaron Platt will be speaking at the OBA’s February 7th Real Property Law Section meeting on Commercial Real Estate Transactions
Kim and Aaron will discuss due diligence issues that arise in multi-tenant property transaction including reliance on surveys, zoning reliance letters, cost sharing agreements and future development concerns. They will also address the pitfalls when trying to close a deal in the face of a planning-related issue.
For more details please visit the OBA website
The 2018 Novae Res Urbis (NRU) rankings of the Top 10 Development Law Firms have been released and Davies Howe has been ranked #2 in both the GTA and the GTHA.
The NRU describes it as “another stellar year for the Davies Howe team, which continues to prove it is a force to be reckoned with” and goes on to say ”Davies Howe continues to maintain a powerful presence as one of Toronto’s preeminent planning and municipal law firms.”
We couldn’t have said it better.
On December 6, 2018, the provincial government introduced Bill 66, titled Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. Bill 66 proposes more than 30 amendments to existing legislation, including the Planning Act.
If passed in its current form, Bill 66 would add section 34.1 to the Planning Act, allowing local municipalities to pass an “open-for-business planning by-law” (“OFB By-law”). OFB By-laws would fast track zoning permissions for qualifying developments, subject to certain conditions normally associated with site plan approvals.
According to information released by the Ministry of Economic Development, an OFB By-law is intended to “remove planning barriers to expedite major business investments and speed up approvals so they would be completed within one year”.
Exemptions from Provincial Plans, Policies, and Laws
An OFB By-law would be exempt from, among others, the following requirements:
• Consistency with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014;
• Conformity with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017;
• Conformity with the Greenbelt Plan, 2017;
• Conformity with the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, 2009;
• Conformity with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, 2017;
• Conformity with official plans;
• The applicability of a holding (“H”) provision;
• Height and density bonusing by-laws;
• Site plan approval; however, a municipality may still impose site plan related conditions;
• Subsections 34 (10.0.0.1) – (34) of the Planning Act which would mean, among other things, that:
– A person can apply for an amendment to applicable zoning through an OFB By-law within two years of the parent zoning by-law being passed;
– An OFB By-law cannot be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal; and
– A municipality would not be required to give notice or hold a public meeting prior to enacting an OFB By-law;
• Section 39 of the Clean Water Act, which would mean that an OFB By-law would not need to:
– Conform with significant threat policies and designated Great Lakes policies; and
– Have regard to other policies set out in a drinking water source protection plan;
• Section 20 of the Great Lakes Protection Plan, 2015, which would mean that an OFB By-law would not need to:
– Conform with initiatives made under this Act; and
– Have regard to policies set out in Schedule 1 of the Act;
• Consistency with any transportation planning policy statement made under sub-section 31.1(4) of the Metrolinx Act, 2006;
• Conformity with any development plan made under the Ontario Planning and Development Act, 1994; and
• Consistency with any applicable policy statements made under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.
Procedure to Pass an OFB By-law
The municipality must pass a resolution requesting the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to approve an OFB By-law, and an OFB By-law would also need to satisfy any prescribed criteria that may be established by regulation. If the Minister approves this request, a municipality could formally enact an OFB By-law, subject to any conditions that may be imposed by the Minister.
An OFB By-law would come into force on the 20th day after it is passed by Council, or a later day specified by the Minister. Although no notice is required prior to the passing of an OFB By-law, the municipality must notify the Minister within 3 days and certain persons or public bodies within 30 days of the passing of an OFB By-law.
The provincial government also proposes a new Regulation under Bill 66 that would:
• Require confirmation that the proposal is for a new major employment use;
• Require evidence that the proposal would meet a minimum job creation threshold (e.g. 50 jobs for municipalities with a population of less than 250,000 people, or 100 jobs for municipalities with a population of more than 250,000 people);
• Identify the uses of land, buildings or structures that may be authorized by an OFB By-law, such as manufacturing and research and development, but not residential, commercial or retail as the primary use; and
• Prescribe how notice is to be given to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing following the passing of an open-for-business by-law (similar to how the Minister is notified following the passing of a zoning by-law – e.g. email and personal service).
The deadline to submit comments to the Environmental Registrar with respect to Bill 66 and its accompanying regulation is January 20, 2019.
Bill 66 has passed first reading. Davies Howe LLP will continue to monitor its status.
If you have any questions regarding Bill 66, please contact one of our municipal, planning and land development lawyers.