McGuinty Government Actions Benefit Ontario Municipalities

    First Anniversary Of Progressive Measures

    TORONTO, Jan. 4 /CNW/ - The new year marks the first anniversary of three
significant pieces of McGuinty government legislation - one providing new
powers to the City of Toronto, another empowering all other Ontario
municipalities, and a third giving the municipal sector more planning tools
and clearer rules. This is also the first anniversary of the new Building Code
coming into force.
    "These progressive actions reflect our government's belief in strong
communities, our commitment to healthier, more accessible buildings, and our
visionary approach to land use planning," said Municipal Affairs and Housing
Minister Jim Watson. "We believe that stronger municipalities help make
Ontario more prosperous."
    Amendments to the Municipal Act, 2001 - legislation providing authority
for Ontario municipalities - were proclaimed last year. The legislation
provided municipalities with more powers and flexibility.
    "The new legislation recognizes municipal government in Ontario as a
mature and accountable order of government," said Doug Reycraft, President of
the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. "The act empowers municipalities
to show greater initiative, and to adopt more efficient and innovative
approaches to serving their residents better."
    Other amendments to the Municipal Act, 2001 and the City of Toronto Act,
2006 came into effect on January 1, 2008. They require more transparency on
the part of municipal councils. Municipalities may appoint a meetings
investigator to investigate complaints regarding the openness of council
meetings. If a municipality has not appointed an investigator, the Ontario
Ombudsman would investigate these complaints.
    On January 1, 2007 the proclamation of a new City of Toronto Act, 2006
gave the city new tools and flexibility to better respond to its citizens'
    "The City of Toronto Act is an important piece of legislation," said
Mayor David Miller. "Canada's largest city is now better able to manage its
own affairs ensuring that Toronto takes its rightful place as a world-leading
city of the 21st century."
    The new Planning Act, also proclaimed at the beginning of 2007,
recognized the need to manage land and resources in Ontario more effectively.
The act now makes clear requirements for information and consultation at the
front-end of the planning process and provides more opportunities for public
    Municipalities now have more planning tools to shape how communities look
and grow including environmental sustainability. New planning legislation also
provides for more emphasis on local decision-making when land use appeals are
heard at the Ontario Municipal Board.
    A new Building Code, requiring higher energy efficiency requirements,
came into effect on December 31, 2006, promoting Ontario's culture of
conservation and inclusion.
    The new Code is one of the McGuinty government's key initiatives for
promoting a green and sustainable future. It is helping new-home buyers cut
long-term energy costs and gives Ontarians with disabilities greater access to
buildings. The new Code is strengthening Ontario's building industry by
encouraging innovation in building design and products.
    "Building on the successes of our first term, the McGuinty government is
moving forward, toward a healthier, more inclusive, and more prosperous
Ontario," said Minister Watson.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Adam Grachnik, Office of Minister Watson, (416)
585-6492; Ralph Walton, Local Government Policy Branch, (416) 585-7260; David
Brezer, Building and Development Branch, (416) 585-6656

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Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

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