Bill 257 Receives Royal Assent
On April 12, 2021, Bill 257 received royal assent. Bill 257 was introduced on March 4, 2021 under the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021 with three Schedules. Schedule 1 expediates the delivery of broadband projects of provincial significance. Schedule 2 amends the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 by adding a new part which applies to development of electricity infrastructure for purposes other than generation, transmission, distribution, consumption, sale or demand management of electricity, if the development is specified by regulations. However most notably, Schedule 3 adds three new subsections to section 47 of the Planning Act regarding Ministerial Zoning Orders (“MZOs”), which came into force upon receiving royal assent. To learn more about MZOs, see our previous blog post. Ultimately, the Minister’s decision to issue an MZO no longer requires consistency with the provincial policy statements in effect at the time of the Minister’s decision, mainly, the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 (the “PPS”). This subsection will apply retroactively, however, the Greenbelt Area is exempt from this exception, meaning that any proposed MZO on Greenbelt Area, will still have to be consistent with the PPS.
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