Law supporting ‘strong mayor’ powers passed in Toronto, Ottawa

Queens Park
Ontario is taking another step toward renovations of the legislature, proposing to create a new ministry to oversee them.

The Ontario government has passed legislation that permits Toronto and Ottawa to execute certain bylaws even if a minority of councillors are in favour.

This bill also allows the province to elect the regional chairs in Niagara, York and Peel, and amplify “strong mayor” powers that the government provided Toronto and Ottawa earlier this year.

The initial set of powers allowed the leaders to veto council decisions that could hinder the development of new homes, prepare and table the city’s budget, along with hiring and firing the heads of departments.

Additionally, the new powers enable them to put forward housing-related bylaws and pass them with the support of one-third of council members.

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Toronto Mayor John Tory has said he will be responsible with the new powers, while Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe has said he does not plan on using them.

The legislation comes after another housing law that enraged municipalities because it reduces fees developers pay to build for new homes.

The Ontario government has also proposed to remove land from 15 separate areas of the Greenbelt so that 50,000 homes can be built, with additional acres elsewhere.

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