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DURHAM REGION HOMEBUILDERS' ASSOCIATION

BUILDING DURHAM


  • April 14, 2020 3:56 PM | Anonymous

    Today, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario convened in a special session to pass an emergency piece of legislation - Bill 189 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020. Today's legislation responded to a number of issues that OHBA has raised with the provincial government.  The legislation amends a number of pieces of legislation with the following highlights:

    Schedule #1: Development Charges Act:

    • A new Section 9.2 of the Development Charges Act, 1997 provides that development charge bylaws that expired on or after March 17, 2020 and before the day the section comes into force are deemed to not have expired and shall remain in force until the earlier of the day the bylaw is repealed and the specified date.  The section also provides that development charge bylaws that expire on or after the day the section comes into force and before the specified date shall remain in force until the earlier of the day the bylaw is repealed and the specified date.
    • The specified date is defined as the date that is six months after the termination or disallowance of the emergency.
    • The schedule comes into force at Royal Assent (expected Tuesday, April 14)

    Schedule #2: Education Act:

    • The Education Act is amended to add a section addressing the expiring of education development charge by-laws during the current state of  emergency;
    • The specified date will be a date six months after the state of emergency is terminated;
    • The schedule comes into force  with Royal Assent (expected today);
    • These amendments respond directly to a number of concerns raised by HBAs;

    Schedule #4: Planning Act:

    • The Planning Act is amended to authorize the Minister to make regulations in connection with the current state of emergency;
    • The regulations may, among other things, govern the application of periods of time describe in the Planning Act and the regulations and in Sec 114 of the City of Toronto Act and provide that an order made under subsection 7.1 (2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act does not apply, and in certain cases is deemed to have never applied;
    • Sec 7.1 (2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act states, “temporarily suspend the operation of a provision of a statute, regulation, rule, by-law or order of the Government of Ontario”;
    • The regulations may be apply on a retroactive basis;
    • The legislation may provide that the period of the emergency shall not be included for the purposes of counting a period of time;
    • Therefore municipalities could temporarily suspend planning timelines back to March 17, 2020 without the risk of appeal (for a non-decision); however it also confirms the ability for virtual public meetings and the ability to approve applications for municipalities that wish to continue processing applications;
    • OHBA will report further when the Regulations have been passed, but the actions made by the province today are intended to allow municipalities to continue to make land use decisions and to ensure the ability for those decisions to come into effect if they are not appealed. Previously under the state of emergency, legal planning decisions by a municipality could not come into effect.


  • April 14, 2020 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB) and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB) have to renew their Education Development Charge (EDC) bylaws in the municipality in Clarington before the end of June.

    The background study has been completed, and currently the public meetings will be held virtually.

    Provincial legislation has put a cap on the amount of increase that school boards can impose. 

    The proposed increase for the KPRDSB are as follows:

     2015 EDC Rate Year 1  Year 2  Year 3  Year 4  Year 5  Max Rate 
     $1,028 $1,328  $1,628  $1,928  $2,143  $2,143  $2,143 

    The proposed increase for the PVNCDSB are as follows:

     2015 EDC Rate Year 1  Year 2  Year 3  Year 4  Year 5  Max Rate 
     $710 $1,010  $1,202  $1,202  $1,202  $1,202  $1,202 

    Public Meetings:

    First Meeting - Policy Review Public Meeting

    Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 p.m.

    Second Meeting - Successor By-Law Public Meeting

    Tuesday, May 5, 7:15 p.m.

    Third Meeting - In Consideration of By-Law Adoption

    Monday, June 8, 6:30 p.m. (PVNCCDSB)

    Tuesday, June 9, 6:00 p.m. (KPRDSB)

    View/Download the Background Study

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.


  • April 13, 2020 3:20 PM | Anonymous

    What is the Community Benefits Charge?

    Under Bill 108, the Community Benefits Charge is a new charge that will be in addition to development charges.  It was designed to replace three existing municipal tools:

    • Density bonusing under section 37 of the Planning Act;
    • Parkland dedication under sections 42 and 51.1 of the Planning Act;
    • Some DCs for discounted (soft) services under the Development Charges Act

    What are the CBCs supposed to fund?

    The Community Benefits Charge can only fund services not eligible to be included in a DC, and might include:

    • Parkland acquisition
    • Child care
    • Municipal parking
    • Social housing
    • Airport
    • Shelters
    • Courts
    • Animal Control
    • Public art and other civic improvements currently funded by section 37.

    On February 28th, the province released a proposed framework for this new CBC.  Under this proposal, the province suggested that soft cost DCs would be removed from the CBC and placed back into the DC Act.  In this proposal, it was also suggested that the 10% discount for DCs that is included in the existing DC Act would also be eliminated, meaning that builders and developers would have to pay full charge for the items included within the DC bylaws.

    What will the Community Benefits Charge cost?

    The Community Benefits Charge will be calculated as a percentage of land value.  The current proposal for the regulation would allow for municipalities to charge a maximum amount of 15% total.  This is split between lower-tier municipalities (10%) and upper-tier municipalities (5%).

    The land value would  be calculated  on the day before the date the building permit is issued.

    But what is this ACTUALLY going to cost?

    Altus Group did some projections on what the CBC could actually cost under the current proposed regulation- based on a per single-detached basis. 

    Their projections are the combined impact of changes to the DCs & introduction of CBCs.

    In Pickering, it could be a potential increase of $36,322 per single detached.  The total amount paid in DCs and CBCs could be $103,579.

    In Clarington, it could be a potential increase of $29,130 per single detached.  The total amount paid in DCs and CBCs could be $94,417.

    You can also calculate how the CBC and changes to development charges will impact your business specifically by using a calculator created by OHBA.

    Download CBC Calculator

    Download/View CBC Calculator Sample

    Download/View Current DC Charges

    Wait, won't the CBCs reduce the development charge?

    Not necessarily.  With the introduction of the Community Benefits Charge, there are also some changes to the development charge calculation.  These changes include removing the 10% statutory deduction for soft services such as library, parks and recreation, etc.  This could lead to an increase in development charges.

    For example, if a municipality is currently charging $14,133 for parks and recreation for a single detached home, when the 10% deduction is removed, that charge increases to $15,703.  Likewise, if the library charge is $1,003, removing the deduction would increase the charge to $1,103.

    Lower cost items, such as municipal parking, will be removed, but that deduction would be less than the increase on other items, leading to an overall increase in the charge.

    How are municipalities going to calculate the CBC?

    Unknown at this time.  Neither Bill 108 nor the regulation proposal provides for a methodology or imposes explicit rules on the calculation of a CBC - which the DC currently has.

    Will the CBC be the same charge for all developments?

    It doesn't have to be.  A municipality can impose CBC rates that are different for different types of development - a lower rate for non-residential for example.

    When will this come into effect?

    Municipalities will be given one year from the date the regulations come into effect to implement their CBC charge and to amend their DC by-law.

    The regulation could come into force by late spring or early summer.

    What can I do to stop this?

    The good news is that it is currently a proposed regulation, and it has not been finalized yet, so there is still time to let your voice be heard.

    The deadline to submit comments is Monday, April 20.

    All builders and developers are strongly encouraged to send an email to the ministry at john.ballantine@ontario.ca and cc DRHBA at s.hawkins@drhba.com.

    OHBA has created a form email that you can use to start - please personalize it to make it have more of an impact.

    Download the Form Letter


  • April 12, 2020 3:52 PM | Anonymous

    From attorney general Doug Downey:

    I am writing to let you know that the Ontario government is revising one element of a previous emergency order, O. Reg. 73/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which suspended limitation periods and procedural time periods retroactive to March 16, 2020.

    The previous order was made to help Ontarians who are having difficulty meeting those time requirements as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The emergency order has been amended to lift the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act.  This will allow for the release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors in the normal course, helping to resolve a potentially significant cash flow problem as a result of the order for the construction industry.

    The suspension will be lifted on April 16, 2020, to give the industry time to prepare for these changes.  Once lifted, parties will have the same amount of time to meet a deadline that had been remaining before the suspension began on March 16, 2020.

    The amendments to the order also address the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act.

    View the e-law



  • April 09, 2020 2:53 PM | Anonymous

    Premier Ford Appoints Team to Develop Plan for Post-Pandemic Growth and Prosperity

    TORONTO — The Ontario government has launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. While the government's primary focus is on combatting the virus, supporting frontline health care workers and providing immediate relief to people and businesses, this new committee will be developing a plan to stimulate economic growth and job-creation in the weeks and months ahead.

    "My heart goes out to those individuals and families who have been out of work, or whose business has closed through no fault of their own," said Premier Ford. "I can assure each person affected by this crisis that we will do everything we can to support you, and get you back on the job as soon as possible. While our government battles this virus, members of our new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee will roll up their sleeves and develop a roadmap to a stronger, more prosperous economy." 


    The membership of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee includes: 
    • Rod Phillips, Chair, Minister of Finance 
    • Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade 
    • Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board 
    • Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation 
    • Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health 
    • Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs 
    • Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs 
    • John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry 
    • Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure 
    • Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries 
    • Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services 
    • Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development 
    • Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction 

    The Committee will be consulting with a wide variety of people to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial economy and develop an action plan to move forward, including business associations, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders, corporate leaders, small business owners, and entrepreneurs.


    "While we focus our energy and resources on defeating COVID-19, today's job numbers highlight why we also need to plan for an economic recovery," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "At Premier Ford's request, I have convened the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. And our first order of business is to prepare for the next phase of Ontario's Action Plan, which will be ready to launch as soon as COVID-19 is contained. This team will get our economy moving again ― with a focus on job creation, opportunities for growth, and protecting our province from future threats."

    Today, Statistics Canada released its monthly job numbers, which showed a 402,800 decrease in employment in Ontario. To support the provincial effort to deal with this crisis, the government launched Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. This is a $17 billion package with funding targeted to help families and a variety of sectors across the province.


    In addition to $3.3 billion in more health care resources, the plan includes $3.7 billion to support people and jobs, and relief of $6 billion by temporarily deferring taxes for 100,000 Ontario businesses, $1.9 billion to allow employers to defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board payments, and $1.8 billion to defer municipal education property tax payments.

    The government is also providing $52 million from the package to better support individuals and families in financial crisis through social assistance. This funding will support those who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as food costs, rent, medicine and other essential services during this time. Individuals can easily apply online for assistance.

    To support small businesses, the Ontario government has also worked with the federal government to develop the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. This new program will help businesses meet cash flow requirements through guaranteed loans.

    "Our government is pulling out all the stops to support our job creators and workers today, during this very difficult time," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "But it is incumbent upon us to look ahead and map out a plan that considers life after COVID-19, a plan that will guide us into a future filled with hope, new employment opportunities and steady economic growth."

    "While the health and safety of Ontarians is our top priority, we need to ensure that our province is positioned to support and facilitate economic growth when we lift the State of Emergency," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. "This starts with the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, which will ensure we have a long-term, strategic vision to responsibly reopen our economy."

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.



  • April 08, 2020 1:52 PM | Anonymous
     

    Extending Construction Hours Will Help Keep Ontario Workers Safe

    TORONTO — In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Ontario is extending construction hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day. Work on new hospital builds, expansions, and COVID-19 assessment centres will be able to continue any time of the night or day in order to help accelerate the construction of these important projects and enable employers to take additional steps to protect the health and safety of workers on these job sites.

    Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, today announced extended construction hours and other measures to keep Ontario workplaces safe.

    "During this escalating crisis, we are taking immediate steps to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, particularly to properly care for those with severe COVID-19 symptoms and other patients who require critical care," said Premier Doug Ford. "That's why we're extending construction hours to allow us to build essential infrastructure faster, while ensuring construction workers can practice physical distancing on work sites to stay safe and healthy."

    Ontario will temporarily limit local noise bylaws from applying to these types of essential construction activities beginning April 7, 2020. This will allow for expedited construction on key facilities, such as new hospital builds, expansions, temporary COVID-19 response units or structures, and COVID-19 assessment centres. Extending hours for essential construction will also give worksite managers more flexibility to stagger shifts, limit the number of people in one place, and take reasonable precautions to keep workers safe and healthy under the recent guidelines issued by Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer for construction sites.

    Ontario is also making essential workplaces across the province safer during the COVID-19 pandemic by:

    • Redeploying more than 30 employment standards officers to help businesses understand and comply with health and safety requirements;
    • Working with health and safety associations to deploy up to 30 specialists to support employers and workers in the field;
    • Issuing health and safety guidance notes to support specific sectors;
    • Doubling the capacity of Ontario's Health and Safety Call Centre from 25 to 50 phonelines;
    • Providing job-protected leave under the Employment Standards Act for workers who need to self-isolate or care for a loved one because of COVID-19;
    • Issuing a call to recently-retired inspectors who may be able and willing to return to their positions;
    • Providing compliance assistance and enforcing the emergency orders issued under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act.

    "Our government is doing everything in its power to make sure workers on the job are safe during this pandemic," said Monte McNaughton , Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "That means more inspections, more inspectors, more phone lines, and more people to take your calls. We have conducted thousands of inspections and investigations across the province in March and we will continue to conduct more this month. We will do everything in our power to keep the essential workers of our province safe."

    "We're helping to protect the health and safety of construction workers and ensure that critical health care-related construction projects continue during this outbreak," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "Temporarily limiting noise bylaws to extend the hours for construction work will help make it possible to stagger shifts and have fewer workers on site at any given time so they can practice physical distancing."

    "As part of our plan to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are continuing to expand health care capacity in communities across the province," said Minister Elliott. "That includes building new assessment centres and field hospitals, both of which are critical to ensuring we are able to care for Ontarians as we contain this new virus. Extended hours will ensure that work on these facilities continues safely to the benefit of all Ontarians."

    QUICK FACTS

    • All Ontarians should stay home unless absolutely necessary for essential reasons, such as such as accessing health care services, shopping for groceries, picking up medication, walking pets when required, or supporting vulnerable community members with meeting essential needs. If you must leave your home, stay at least two (2) meters apart from others.
    • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario's Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
    Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; and stay home if you are sick.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.



  • April 06, 2020 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    After careful monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Shaun Collier has taken the unprecedented step to declare a state of emergency in the Town of Ajax. This was done in close consultation with the Town’s Municipal Emergency Control Group.  

    Today’s decision follows Mayor Collier’s strong statement about physical distancing on Friday, April 3rd, and is a significant action that underscores the importance of staying at home. This is not a step taken lightly. It is the strongest tool available to a municipality, and ensures that the Town is able to continue to respond quickly and decisively to COVID-19, keeping residents safe. 

    Public Health leaders are cautioning people that the next two weeks are critical to fighting the virus, stopping community spread and flattening the curve. Ajax is stepping up our messaging and doing everything within our power to support our community during this difficult time.  

    Ajax Council implores the community to take the strongest precautions possible to save lives.   

    The declaration is effective immediately, and will remain in effect until further notice.

    “With Easter long weekend approaching, it is critical that we persevere for the health of our community. We cannot afford to take steps backward. We miss our friends and families, but we are fighting to save lives.” said Mayor Shaun Collier. “I continue to ask residents to physically distance, cancel all in-person social activities and stay home. Heed the warnings of provincial and public health orders and observe Town amenity closures. In the difficult days ahead, we must unite as a community with one goal – to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. We are all in this together. #StayHomeAjax.”

    “Every measure we have taken to date provides a clear indication of how seriously we take COVID-19, and our responsibility to the people and businesses of Ajax. I want to thank our residents and businesses for every sacrifice they have made, and continue to make. We must all be a part of the solution. The Town remains at your service, to provide information and support. Our website is continually updated, phone lines remain open and social media is monitored. I encourage you to reach out if we can be of assistance during this time of uncertainty.” – Shane Baker, CAO

    The Town of Ajax remains open for business. For a complete list of service reductions and helpful links, visit ajax.ca/COVID19.


  • April 06, 2020 2:02 PM | Anonymous

    Mayor Dan Carter today declared a local state of emergency for the City of Oshawa in response to health authorities indicating that the next 14 days are crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

    With the statutory holiday weekend upon us, it is critical that we follow government orders to not gather in groups of more than five people and health authority guidelines to stay home as much as possible and keep a physical distance of 6 feet (2 metres) from others. Everyone has a role to play.

    “It is devastating to hear reports from police and municipal by-law officers that community members are ignoring the Ontario Government’s order not to gather in groups of more than five people. Declaring a state of emergency for Oshawa serves as a really clear signal that people need to stay home. We have taken proactive measures and closed our facilities and outdoor amenities and we’re relying on everyone in our community to do their part.”

    “Every effort must be made by each of us to protect our families, friends and the community – only go outside for essential trips, avoid close contact and maintain physical distancing, don’t gather in groups, and continue to follow recommendations of provincial health officials,” said Fire Chief Derrick Clark, Oshawa’s Community Emergency Management Coordinator.

    On Friday, March 13, the City of Oshawa activated its Emergency Plan and City Council delegated authority to the Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer for use in emergencies. These measures provide the City the ability to make key decisions to maintain business continuity to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The City has established key objectives and protocols to keep critical services operating and providing service to the community and we continue to focus on business continuity and maintaining critical functions and services.

    The City continues to work with Durham Regional Police Services on enforcement.  Under the Ontario Government’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, failure to comply with an emergency order could carry punishments of up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual.

    Community members can report a gathering of more than five people or a non-compliant business on www.drps.ca under Online Services - Community Concerns or call the DRPS non-emergency line at 1-888-579-1520, ext. 5802 and leave a message.

    The City continues to post updates to its Coronavirus webpage. For a list of closures, changes to services, more information and F.A.Q.s, visit www.Oshawa.ca/Coronavirus.

    Community members concerned about their health are asked to use the Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if they need to seek care or refer to Lakeridge Health’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.


  • April 03, 2020 5:46 PM | Anonymous

    WSIB understands the impact the evolving COVID-19 situation is having on businesses across Ontario. WSIB has made a decision regarding COVID-19 related claims costs.  

    They have determined that costs associated with COVID-19 related claims will not be allocated at an employer or class level. Instead, they will be allocated on a Schedule-wide basis and there will be no change in premium rates for 2020.  

     As always, you can find more information on their website including information on their financial relief package and adjudicative guidance for COVID-19 claims.   



  • April 03, 2020 5:38 PM | Anonymous

    With a busy week of COVID-19 updates, OHBA has prepared a "Members Update on COVID-19 Document" designed to cover a broad range of issues that OHBA members may have questions about as they and their businesses navigate a rapidly changing public policy environment through this health crisis.

    As part of the "state of emergency" that has been declared, the provincial government has been releasing a steady stream of emergency orders, policy changes, updates on lists of essential workplaces and initiatives to support people and business.

    Download the document 



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