QUEEN’S PARK – Ford’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing imposed strong mayor powers on 26 cities today, undermining the rights of elected local councils and the communities they serve.
“The Conservatives are weakening local government and the ability of local elected officials to serve their residents,” said MPP Jeff Burch, NDP critic for Municipal Affairs. “They are ignoring the reality of the housing crisis and using it to push through an agenda that benefits Ford's friends and provides no actual solutions for Ontarians who are suffering. Instead of undermining local councils, Ford needs to take the time and listen to what people in Ontario actually want.”
“Doug Ford and Steve Clark claim this is about building more housing, but they can’t be trusted. This is about Ford giving himself more power to compel municipalities to create expensive urban sprawl that will hurt real people and line the pockets of the Premier’s developer friends,” said MPP Jessica Bell, NDP Housing critic. “Ontarians want to build a life in the communities they love, with affordable housing, real rent control, and functioning transit. This government’s out-of-touch approach to housing has failed Ontarians. We need a government that’s focused on delivering actual solutions to make that happen.”
There are real solutions to the housing crisis that don’t involve trampling local councils, including:
- Ensuring construction of new homes includes a mix of starter homes, purpose built rentals, and affordable housing units
- Establishing a public builder that would finance affordable and non-market rental homes operated by public, non-profit and co-op housing providers.
- Introducing real rent control
- Closing loopholes in renovictions
- Ending exclusionary zoning