QUEEN’S PARK – Mike Schreiner, released the following statement after the government introduced legislation to expand Strong Mayors powers:
“When will the Premier understand that attacking local democracy is not the way to build more housing? The fact that mayors can pass a by-law with one-third plus one vote is really a frontal attack on elected council’s democratic rights.
Giving virtually unhindered powers to mayors to pass by-laws that promote ‘provincial priorities’ is not how you solve a housing crisis.
This bill merely compounds the mistakes made in the government’s earlier housing bill – Bill 23 – legislation that is underwhelming on supply, missing in action on affordability and dangerous in dismantling environmental protections.
I’ve met with several stakeholders on housing and none of them — from planners, to developers, to nonprofit advocates — recommend giving mayors more powers as the solution to building more affordable homes.
Instead of dismantling responsible local planning and environmental protections, the province could build more housing by making the zoning changes that Greens have been recommending for years to make it easy to build fourplexes and walk-up apartments in residential neighbourhoods, and mid-rise housing along transit corridors and main streets.
If the government truly wanted to meet demand – it would make the changes necessary to build where people, especially young people, want to live – in affordable 15-minute communities where they can be close to jobs, family, shops and transit.”