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'Deeply disappointed': Caledon Mayor Annette Groves on Ontario government's decision to pass Bill 23

"Critics argue that the bill would lead to higher property taxes, reduce the role of conservation authorities and won't make houses more affordable Rohan Puri Caledon Enterprise Monday, November 28, 2022 Hours after the Ontario government passed Bill 23, also known as the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, on Monday, Nov. 28, Mayor Annette Groves said she was "deeply disappointed" with the provincial government's move. The bill seeks to address Ontario's housing supply crisis by building 1.5 million homes by 2031. This includes 246,000 homes in the Peel region, 13,000 of which are planned for Caledon. However, critics argue that the bill would lead to higher property taxes, reduce the role of conservation authorities and won't make houses more affordable. The Town of Caledon council had unanimously passed a motion requesting the province of Ontario to halt Bill 23 on Friday, Nov. 25. "As a council, we have expressed our concerns regarding the significant challenges and financial impacts of Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act. Council unanimously voted to ask the province to halt the bill and begin fulsome consultation with all municipalities on local impacts," said Groves on Monday. "We are deeply disappointed to find the bill passed with no amendments. The new legislation could negatively impact the quality of life and residential tax rates and significantly restrict the ability to provide essential infrastructure and community services," she further said, adding that the town staff would be reporting back to council with Caledon-specific outcomes of the bill in January 2023. Earlier, Groves had called the bill a developer's dream. Meanwhile, Phil Pothen, the Ontario environmental program manager at Environmental Defence, called for the repealing of Bill 23. "By forcing passage of Bill 23, Ontario's government has lit the fuse on an explosion of expensive sprawl that will destroy much of the remaining wetland and wildlife habitat in Ontario's most sensitive ecoregions," he said. Pothen added that the legislation was likely to result in "fewer and more expensive homes, higher costs of services, less energy-efficient construction, increased car dependency and transportation expenses for residents and increased property taxes." Headlines newsletterTop stories delivered to your inbox. Sign Up Earlier, a week after introducing Bill 23 on Oct. 25, Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing, had announced the launching of a 30-day consultation to facilitate the building of more homes while expanding the Greenbelt. The government's proposal to remove 15 areas of land totalling about 7,400 acres from the edge of the Greenbelt while adding 9,400 acres to the Greenbelt for housing, too, was met with criticism."

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