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Province Releases New Proposed Growth Numbers for Halton to 2051

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Earlier this month, I received a letter from the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing outlining proposed changes from the provincial government to the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan.

The update is to three major pieces of legislation:

  • growth targets to 2051;
  • mineral aggregate operations; and
  • land-use needs/assessment.

Here are the direct links to the proposed changes on the Province’s website — the deadline for comments is July 31, and the City of Burlington will be submitting our comments to the provincial government.

According to the proposed growth targets for Halton Region, at the high end it is 1.156 million and at the low end it’s 1.060 million for 2051 (see pg. 66 for the Halton Region forecasts charts: HEMSON-Schedule-3-Forecasts-FINAL-16JUN20).

I’ve copy-and-pasted the letter we received from Min. Clark below:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Office of the Minister

777 Bay Street, 17th Floor

Toronto, ON  M7A 2J3

Tel: 416-585-7000

 

June 16, 2020

 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

City of Burlington

 

Mayor Meed Ward:

In 2019, our government introduced A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (‘the Plan’, ‘A Place to Grow’) as part of the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan. Today, I am writing to notify you of proposed changes to the Plan including updates and policy changes to the population and employment forecasts, a change to the Plan horizon year, a new Land Needs Assessment methodology, adjustments to the aggregates policy framework, new policies to address Major Transit Station Areas within Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZs), and other policy revisions that support our government’s objectives to increase housing supply, create more jobs, attract business investments and better align infrastructure. We are asking for your input on these proposed amendments to the Plan.

I realize the proposed changes come at a time of uncertainty when many municipalities are managing urgent matters related to our shared work to protect the health and well-being of our residents across Ontario. The Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) will be critical to economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The GGH is a key economic driver of both the province and the nation, with more than 85 per cent of the province’s population growth expected in this region by 2051. In fact, we are anticipating that by 2051 this region will grow to nearly 15 million people and accommodate seven million jobs. In order to support municipalities in preparing for this anticipated growth so that you can complete your municipal comprehensive review and official plan revisions, my ministry is proposing these targeted revisions to A Place to Grow to make it faster and easier for municipalities in the region to plan for growth.

Details of the proposed changes are as follows:

The proposed changes would work together to provide more flexibility and foresight to municipalities into demographic, employment, market demand, and housing affordability trends in the GGH. The consultation period will close on July 31, 2020.  We look forward to receiving any comments you may have.

The next phase of work on PSEZs, which will begin shortly, will examine how they can support post-COVID economic recovery to support the retention and expansion of existing industrial and manufacturing operations and attract investment. The government continues to view PSEZs as an important tool and looks forward to engaging with businesses, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, and the development industry to maximize opportunities within a PSEZ.

Should you or your staff have any questions about A Place to Grow or the proposed changes, please contact the Ontario Growth Secretariat at growthplanning@ontario.ca.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to strengthening the quality of life and the economic growth of your community and the province of Ontario.

Sincerely,

Steve Clark

Minister

 

c:    Heather MacDonald

Director of City Building

City of Burlington

 

Tim Commisso

City Manager

City of Burlington

 

MY TAKE:

The new growth numbers for Halton to 2051 can’t be an excuse for overdevelopment on a particular parcel, or for residential at the expense of all other amenities our residents need. Burlington will continue to carefully plan where growth goes and how much, directing it primarily to our three GO stations where there is existing frequent regional transit. Our focus in these areas will be building complete communities, with parks, services and jobs, not simply vertical suburbs.

We are also committed to meeting the increased job numbers and ensuring that mixed use development contain meaningful employment, and that we protect employment lands for employment uses. This is part of our commitment to providing opportunities for our residents to work in the community where you live.

Burlington will be an active participant in advocating for the best interests of our community as we discuss with the Region of Halton and our fellow Halton municipalities of Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills where the new population and jobs should go.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

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4 thoughts on “Province Releases New Proposed Growth Numbers for Halton to 2051”

  1. Marcus Cassolato

    The growth “projections” are absolutely gross and just laughable. Canadians haven’t had a sustainable fertility rate in 50 years and Halton is “supposed to grow” to 1.2 MILLION people…?? Is that a DOUBLING in 30 years? Where are the “Sustainability” advocates, again?—they have no credibility. Absolutely fed up with any & all talk of “growth”; nothing makes sense and the cohesiveness of our society rapidly erodes. At least it’s good to hear that the mayor wants to stay away from “vertical” neighbourhoods.

  2. The forecast for Halton Region is astounding. Between 2016 and 2051, the projection is for an additional 147,000 ground related units and 48,000 apartment units. That would be an almost DOUBLING of the number of ground-related units and the amount of land used for ground-related housing in the region. The province is planning to build sprawl as usual as far as the eye can see, at a time when the continued survival of our species requires that we bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero. We should not be giving the Region a pass on this…even if Burlington chooses not to (or is unable to) grow through sprawl, we just end up enabling Milton to avoid making the land-use choices necessary to be sustainable both fiscally and environmentally. All cities in the region need to intensify and become complete communities that provide access to opportunities and jobs without requiring car dependence.

    1. Also remember that the last provincial projection of population growth in Halton underestimated the actual growth. Nothing to say they haven’t done the same thing this time which would make the numbers even higher. The city wants to push development to the transportation hubs and infill the city core but I doubt there is enough room there to accommodate the projected growth so the only other option is to go vertical. There is no room for urban sprawl in Burlington.
      Alternatively we could just put up a big sign at either end of the QEW saying “Welcome to Burlington – Please Don’t Stop.”

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Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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