Ontario to reverse urban boundary expansions for several communities

In another major policy reversal, the Ford government is winding back controversial expansions to the urban boundaries of several municipalities. As Tina Yazdani reports, Housing Minister Paul Calandra says he's not comfortable with how the decisions

Ontario’s new housing minister says the province is reversing its moves to expand some urban boundaries.

Paul Calandra says he is changing course on modifications to official boundaries for Ottawa, Hamilton and numerous other cities.

“In reviewing how decisions were made regarding official plans, it is now clear that they failed to meet this test. In response, as soon as I am able, I will be introducing legislation that would reverse the official plan decisions for Barrie, Belleville, Guelph, Hamilton, Ottawa and the City of Peterborough, the Regional Municipalities of Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York, as well as Wellington County,” Calandra said in a statement on Monday.

Calandra says the previous housing minister’s office was too involved in changes for those plans.

Many municipalities, including Hamilton, have said the boundary expansions were not needed to build housing.

“This legislation would wind back provincial changes to official plans and official plan amendments, except in circumstances where construction has begun or where doing so would contravene existing provincial legislation and regulation. This includes winding back changes to urban boundaries,” Calandra added.

Calandra replaced Steve Clark as housing minister last month after the former minister resigned in the wake of two legislative watchdogs’ probes on the decision to remove land for development from the protected Greenbelt.

Calandra recently reversed course on that move and 15 parcels of land are being returned to the Greenbelt.

With files from Lucas Casaletto of CityNews

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