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Ontario Premier Doug Ford has recently proposed a number of changes to the province’s planning rules that could have a significant impact on future growth. The proposed changes, which are part of Ford’s plan to streamline the planning process and boost economic development, have been met with both praise and criticism from experts in the field.

One of the most significant changes proposed by Ford is the removal of the “majority rule” provision, which currently requires municipal councils to have a majority vote in favour of a development proposal before it can be approved. Instead, Ford’s plan would allow for development proposals to be approved with a simple majority vote, which some argue could lead to more rapid development but could also result in less thoughtful and comprehensive planning.

Another proposed change is the removal of appeals to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) for developments that conform to provincial policies and municipal plans. This change would limit the ability of citizens and community groups to challenge development proposals that they believe may negatively impact their neighbourhoods or the environment.

Critics of the proposed changes argue that they would give developers too much power and limit the ability of local communities to have a say in the planning process. They also worry that the changes could lead to a proliferation of development that is not in line with local needs and priorities.

However, proponents of the changes argue that they will help to streamline the planning process, reduce red tape, and boost economic development in the province. They also argue that the changes will help to address the housing affordability crisis by increasing the supply of housing.

While the proposed changes have yet to be implemented and will need to go through a consultation process, they are likely to have significant implications for future growth in the province. The removal of the majority rule provision and appeals to the LPAT could lead to more rapid development and a greater focus on economic development, but they could also result in less comprehensive planning and reduced community input.

Ultimately, the success of Ford’s proposed changes will depend on how they are implemented and the extent to which they are able to balance the needs of developers and communities. As the province continues to grapple with issues related to growth and development, finding the right balance will be critical to ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for all Ontarians.