I write to you today with an important community alert. We are back at Queen’s Park and the Ontario Government has decided to move ahead with non-COVID related bills.
I want to provide you with an update regarding Bill 171, An Act to enact the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020. The Doug Ford government has announced a new timeline for the Bill’s progress through the Standing Committee on Social Policy.
You can access the entirety of the Bill here: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-171
A concise summary of the Bill is provided in the attached document.
If you are interested in appearing before the Committee to share your concerns regarding Bill 171, please see the information below and take note of the dates:
1. The Committee will hold public hearings on Bill 171 at Queen’s Park on:
Mon 8 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
Tue 9 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
Wed 10 Jun – 9:00-10:15am AND 1:00-6:00pm
2. Deadline to request to appear: Thu 4 Jun, 10:00am. The process to apply to appear before the Committee is here - https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees
3. The amount of time each witness will receive will be determined at a later date by the sub-committee, but it will likely be 10 minutes for a presentation followed by 20 minutes for questioning
4. Deadline for Written Submissions: Wed 10 Jun, 6:00pm. The process to submit written submissions is here - https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees
5. The Committee will meet to introduce amendments and go clause by clause through the bill on:
Mon 15 Jun – 10:00-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
Tue 16 Jun – 9:00-10:15am AND 1:00-6:00pm
The Bill can be called back for third reading as early as Tue 16 Jun.
We have a lot of concerns with this Bill, and will likely be voting some clauses of the Bill down.
In addition, after talking to many of you, we will likely be introducing some amendments including possibly the following:
· Requiring a Community Benefits Agreement for all projects
· Minister/Metrolinx must publish information about construction impacts on the community, and keep it updated
· Minister/Metrolinx, in consultation with community, must set standards for construction impacts (eg: noise, dust, road access, utility service disruptions, access to store entrances, etc) and lay out consequences for failure to do so
· Minister/Metrolinx must establish a construction working group that includes local stakeholders to exchange advice and information during construction
· Minister/Metrolinx must coordinate with City of Toronto on construction permits, work orders, and access to municipal services/rights of way
· Minister/Metrolinx must ensure access to a responsible person to address community concerns about construction or access to municipal services/rights of way
· Project contract cannot require Minister/Metrolinx to exercise a power under Bill 171 (ie: the contract cannot allow the effective delegation of ministerial powers to a private contractor)
· Minister/Metrolinx must compensate municipality or local board for construction damages
· (If above fails) Minister/Metrolinx must compensate BIA for construction damages
· Opposes sections that allow Minister to close roads or shut off power/water without consent of municipality
Let me know if you have any questions.
Have a good weekend,
Dr. Jill Andrew, PhD (she/her)
Member of Provincial Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s
Ontario NDP Critic for Culture and Women’s Issues