Attn: Toronto City Council
Posted November 23, 2022
ACORN members believe in democracy and strongly believe that council votes should remain at majority rule.
Bill 39 and “Strong Mayor” powers are not about creating affordable housing.
- Doug Ford’s “Strong Mayor” legislation – Bill 3 and Bill 39 – are about reducing democracy in order to eliminate affordable rental housing and cut funding for housing programs.
- Emboldening the Mayors of Ottawa and Toronto to approve bylaws with support from only a third of Council, Bill 39 violates majority rule and diminishes municipal authority. This is about increasing provincial power over cities in order to implement Doug Ford’s agenda – which hurts renters and people in need of housing assistance.
- Bill 3 and Bill 39 are the implementation tools designed to fast-track anything deemed a “provincial priority”.
- The province’s definition of “provincial priorities” in the Regulations to Bill 23 is so broad it could encompass almost anything.
Doug Ford and John Tory are trying to justify the power grab of Bill 3 and Bill 9 by tying it to the “provincial priorities” on housing. But Ford’s housing bill – Bill 23 – actually weakens Toronto’s protections over affordable housing supply, by:
- Gutting the city’s inclusionary zoning policy.
- Scrapping Toronto’s Rental Replacement Bylaw, which protects affordable rental for tenants.
- Approving a $200-230M/year cut to City funding for affordable rental housing and shelter services.
- Creating an unaffordable definition of “affordable housing” – one that’s set much higher than the evidence-informed definition that Toronto is.
Toronto’s affordable housing crisis is just that: a crisis of affordability. Premier Ford and Mayor Tory’s plan does nothing to actually improve the cost of housing for thousands of Torontonians who struggle to pay the bill each month. In fact, it will make things even worse for renters and people who need housing assistance in our city.
Bill 3 and Bill 39 – and the “Strong Mayor” powers – are designed to implement Doug Ford’s bad housing agenda, while cities, renters, and people in need of affordable housing pay the price.