Summary of Bill 171
On Tuesday, Minister Mulroney introduced new transit legislation, Bill 171: Building Transit Faster Act, 2020. At a high level, the changes in the Bill are focused on empowering the province and/or Metrolinx to carry out work quickly by eliminating some of the interim steps previously required.
Here’s a quick summary of the key elements
- The purpose of the Act, according to the Ministry, is to speed up the delivery of Ontario’s four priority transit projects: the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. The provisions in the act relate only to these four projects
- Corridor Development Permits: The legislation, if passed, would require any property owner in the areas near the four transit projects to obtain a permit (through the Ministry or Metrolinx) if they want to carry out significant construction or development on their property
- Right of Way Access: would give the Province the authority to use or modify a municipal road or service (such as a road, bridge, municipal sewage, water works) without needing approval from the municipality
- Access to Land: would remove a homeowner or business owner’s ability to request a Hearing of Necessity if their property is required for expropriation for one of the four transit projects (compensation would still be required)
- Ability to Enter Land: would allow Metrolinx to enter land near the projects to undertake due diligence work (like soil testing or tree removal), without requiring a permit or the consent of the property owner (though must still inform the owner and compensate if any damages occur)
- Relocating Utilities: would allow Metrolinx to require that a utility company relocate infrastructure in the areas of the projects within a mutually-agreed upon time frame
- Cost analysis between above ground and below ground construction has not been completed.
In addition, the Ministry is proposing regulatory changes to the Environmental Assessment Act, 1990 as it relates to the four transit priority projects:
- These changes are intended to modify the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) to “better suit the delivery model” of public-private partnerships (P3s). The changes would allow early work to be completed on parts of the transit projects (like the Ontario Line) before a full Environmental Impact Assessment report is completed.
You can access the entirety of the regulatory changes here.
It is clear good, safe transit expansion needs consultation and input for impacted individuals and communities.
The deadline for requests to appear before the Committee will be Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 am. The process to apply to appear before the Committee is here - https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees
If you are interested in appearing before the Committee to share your concerns regarding Bill 171, please see the information below:
The Committee will hold public hearings on Bill 171 at Queen’s Park on
- Mon 8 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
- Tue 9 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
- Wed 10 Jun – 9:00-10:15am AND 1:00-6:00pm
- The deadline for requests to appear before the Committee will be Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 am. The process to apply to appear before the Committee is here - https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees
- The time allocation for each witness has not yet been set. Witnesses may appear electronically.
- The deadline for written submissions is : Wed 10 Jun, 6:00pm The process to submit written submissions is here - https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees
If you have any questions regarding the Committee process or Bill 171, please do not hesitate to contact our office. The Committee contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org | 416.325.3506"