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Audit of Newmarket among Ford government walk-backs — MZOs may be next

Peel’s dissolution, municipal audits are being cancelled and up to 22 minister’s zoning orders for developments could be next, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Paul Calandra announced today
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra takes questions from journalists at Queen's Park after tabling a bill to return parcels of land to Greenbelt on Oct. 16, 2023.

This article originally appeared on The Trillium, a Village Media website devoted exclusively to covering provincial politics at Queen’s Park.

Peel’s dissolution and a series of municipal audits, including Newmarket, are being cancelled and multiple minister’s zoning orders for developments could be next, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Paul Calandra announced on Wednesday.

The Ford government planned to split up Peel Region — which includes the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon — and went so far as to pass Bill 112, the Hazel McCallion Act, to do so. Those plans are no longer. Instead, Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives will introduce legislation cancelling Peel’s dissolution, the government said on Wednesday.

The audits the provincial government was conducting of six lower-level governments are also cancelled. It was reviewing the municipal finances of Toronto, Peel, Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and Newmarket.

Eight minister’s zoning orders (MZOs), which supersede local planning decisions and bylaws and are typically issued to expedite development projects, may be next on the chopping block. A group of MZOs that the Ford government has issued for non-housing projects in Brampton, Kingston, Markham, McNab-Braeside, Oro-Medonte, and Pickering could be either revoked or amended, depending on the results of a public consultation on each of them that’ll run until Jan. 27.

Progress on projects that another 14 housing-related MZOs have been previously granted to are also being monitored by the government and could be subject to “future revocation or amendment” as well, a government news release said.

More to come…

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Charlie Pinkerton

About the Author: Charlie Pinkerton

Charlie has covered politics since 2018, covering Queen's Park since 2021. Instead of running for mayor of Toronto, he helped launch the Trillium in 2023.
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