*Please see below a Statement from Burlington Mayor Meed Ward.
Burlington, Ont. — September 5, 2023 — It is critical in today’s housing affordability crisis to not only enable housing starts, but to do so in a way that is transparent, accountable and inspires trust in the people we serve.
On Aug. 30, the Office of the Integrity Commissioner released its report from its investigation of the process that led to protected Greenbelt lands in southern Ontario being removed and selected for housing development. The independently published report found the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing had violated two sections of the provincial Members’ Integrity Act.
I thank Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake for their thorough review. It is important to note that the Commissioner had no authority to recommend the land be returned to the Greenbelt. On Aug. 9, the Office of the Auditor General (AG) of Ontario released its report on the same matter. AG Bonnie Lysyk did recommend the provincial government re-evaluate the decision to remove these lands from the Greenbelt, as it is not needed to reach the Province’s housing targets. I echo that call.
Burlington Council and City staff are committed to doing our part to address housing affordability. We have unanimously accepted our assigned provincial housing pledge of 29,000 homes in the next 10 years. We are committed to issuing those permits as efficiently as possible so developers can get shovels in the ground, and we are equally committed to doing so in a way that protects our Greenbelt and rural area, with growth directed within our urban boundary at our GO stations, retails plazas and identified growth areas.
On behalf of Burlington City Council, I look forward to working with the Hon. Paul Calandra, the newly-appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and the Hon. Rob Flack, Associate Minister of Housing with a specific mandate on attainable housing and modular homes, to achieve these shared goals.
Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
City of Burlington