On July 8, the Province of Ontario (the province) introduced Bill 197 (the bill), a general COVID-19 economic recovery bill, A law to amend various statutes in response to COVID-19 and to enact, amend and repeal various statutes.. The bill is made up of 20 schedules that modify various laws that will affect individuals, companies, and municipalities.

Here are some of the highlights:

Land development

The legislation modifies the Planning law in two significant ways. The current s. 37 respecting the Community Benefits Charge is replaced with a new section that fills some of the gaps with respect to the new Community Benefits Charge by providing details and establishing the relationship between the Community Benefits Charge and the Development Charges, stipulates that it is respected the park fee, and establishes procedures for the promulgation of statutes.
The second significant amendment to the Planning law refers to Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) under section 47. The Province is signaling that it will continue to issue MZOs enhancing the Minister’s authority to include site plan and inclusive zoning provisions in MZOs, and require affordable housing . The Minister may also require owners to enter into agreements with municipalities as part of an MZO.

Transit-oriented development

Bill 197 promotes the transit-oriented development initiative of the province through the enactment of a new Traffic-oriented communities law. Along with amendments to various laws, including the Planning law, the Expropriation Law, Public Transportation and Highways Improvement Law, and Law of the Ministry of Infrastructure of 2011.

In the City of Toronto, this legislation is based on the Faster Transit Building Act, 2020 that was enacted on July 7, 2020, and once it goes into effect will provide the Province with the ability to accelerate the four priority transit initiatives identified by the Province: the Ontario line, the Yonge North metro extension, the from Scarborough Tube and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension LRT.

Both within Toronto and in other municipalities, the bill will provide the legislative authority for the province to designate lands as “transit-oriented community lands,” which will allow expropriation without a hearing of necessity and allow partnerships and joint ventures between the public and private sectors. to support transit-oriented development. Amendments to the Law of the Ministry of Infrastructure, 2011 It will allow the province to invest in projects that support transit-oriented development, including the four priority projects.

Development charges

The bill will amend the Development Charge Law to provide clarity on how Development Charges (DC) relate to the Community Benefits Charge. Amendments that were part of the More Homes, More Choices Act, 2019, including transition rules, will be repealed and replaced in the bill, as will the provisions that provide for services to be grouped into classes as a single service for CD purposes. New transition rules have also been introduced.

Other amendments that will affect development include amendments to the Building Code Law, Drainage Law and the Environmental Assessment Law.

Provincial Land and Development Facilitator

the Law of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing it will be amended to establish the Provincial Facilitator for Lands and Development. This office will be responsible for advising the Minister on land use and other matters, as determined by the Minister, and will act as a facilitator under the terms of reference determined by the Minister.

Electronic participation in Board meetings

City of Toronto Law, 2006 and the Municipal Law of 2001 will be amended to allow municipalities to modify their Council Rules of Procedure to allow continued use of electronic participation in meetings and to provide proxy voting after the COVID emergency has passed. Provisions are also established on possible conflicts derived from the appointment of an attorney-in-fact.

Ontario Modernization Act for Individuals and Businesses, 2020

A new Modernizing Ontario for People and Business Act, 2020, which will limit certain administrative costs, allow the electronic transmission of documents, reduce certain information requirements and recognize companies for their excellence in compliance.

Other provisions of the bill include amendments to legislation on education, educational communications in French, appointments of justices of the peace, provincial criminal courts, payday loans, farm registries and financing of agricultural organizations, and the Marriage law.