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Ontario gives more ‘strong mayor’ powers to Toronto, Ottawa

dimsum

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Earlier this year, the government gave so-called strong mayor powers to Toronto and Ottawa, allowing their leaders to override council approval of bylaws, such as a zoning bylaw, that would stymie the creation of more homes. The powers also gave them responsibility for preparing and tabling their city’s budget, instead of council, as well as hiring and firing department heads.

Wednesday’s bill would also let those two mayors propose bylaws on provincial priorities such as housing and enable council to pass them if more than one-third of council members vote in favour.

Ottawa’s new mayor, Mark Sutcliffe, has said he is not in favour of the strong mayor powers, but Clark said Premier Doug Ford is hoping to meet with Sutcliffe soon. Toronto Mayor John Tory has said he supports the new powers.

I'm probably missing something here, but aren't those two different levels of govt?

 

mariomike

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Sounds like the mayor would become accountable to Queen's Park - and political party control. And the party leader.

Hard to see that as a popular thing with the local ratepayer associations. I know ours is not on-board with it.


Earlier this year, the government gave so-called strong mayor powers to Toronto and Ottawa, allowing their leaders to override council approval of bylaws, such as a zoning bylaw, that would stymie the creation of more homes.


In Peel Region,

Good luck to Mayor Crombie with Mexit.

  • We are the third largest city in Ontario, 7th largest in Canada, and recognized as one of the best-managed cities.
  • Mississauga is not a junior municipality and should stand alone like Toronto and Ottawa. Other notable single-tier municipalities include: London, Peterborough, Kingston, Brantford, Stratford, and Hamilton. Even Dryden, with a population of 7700, has more powers than Mississauga to control their own affairs.
I'm probably missing something here, but aren't those two different levels of govt?
  • It is not clear that if Strong Mayor powers are extended past Toronto and Ottawa, how they will work in two-tier systems like Peel where the Region also plays a role.
 

dapaterson

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Per the constitution, municipal government is entirely a creature of the province.

I am certain that a non zero portion of the Ontario bar, particularly those with a strong focus on municipal affairs, are reading this bill in detail, considering their options, and considering how many hours and who might be willing to pay.
 

mariomike

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The timing is pretty interesting.

Council is no longer in session. The old councillors are disempowered, and the new councillors have not yet been sworn in.

I suspect, if given a chance, Toronto council would object to it.

If Queen's Park would pause until January or February, to allow the city to respond to the legislation, it might be appreciated.

Would ratepayer associations be allowed to appeal municipal planning decisions to the Ontario Land Tribunal ( the old OMB ) ? I'm no lawyer, but it looks like only developers will be able to appeal.

The way I understand it, the city would not be required to hold public meetings on plans for new developments - making it almost impossible for local associations to have any say in new housing developments.

There are a lot of waterways and wetlands in our area. There is concern about flooding and pollution if new development is close to them.

I stand to be corrected on any , or all, of the above. But, that's the way I understand it.
 

lenaitch

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I'm probably missing something here, but aren't those two different levels of govt?

Not really. Both are senior-level municipal governments. Places like Toronto and Ottawa are single-tier municipalities. Regions are two-tier systems with the upper-tier regional government looking after pan-regional things and the lower tier looking after more local matters. Where those lines fall can vary from one to the next. All are children of the province.

The way I understand the 'strong mayor' legislation, the power will be limited to "matters of provincial priority" and will require a 2/3 council vote to override, but I haven't been following it all that closely. Municipalities, like school boards, are becoming less relevant. Between changes to zoning authorities, limiting the role of conservation authorities and opening up the Greenbelt, I expect to see single-family homes on 20' lots on riverbanks before too long.
 

mariomike

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Between changes to zoning authorities, limiting the role of conservation authorities and opening up the Greenbelt, I expect to see single-family homes on 20' lots on riverbanks before too long.

I can see them re-zoning our area for developers.

Another Raymore Drive waiting to happen.
 
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