October 29, 2010
Provincial Policy Statement Review
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Provincial Planning Policy Branch
777 Bay St., 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 (PPS) as part of a province-wide effort to consider ways the PPS can be made more effective and responsive to addressing emerging land-use issues in Ontario. Attached is the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (the OHRC) written submission.
The PPS provides policy direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. The PPS recognizes that “Ontario’s long-term prosperity, environmental health and social well-being depend wisely on managing change and promoting efficient land use and development patterns” that “support strong, liveable and healthy communities, protect the environment and public health and safety, and facilitate economic growth.” The Planning Act requires that all decisions made by municipalities and other planning authorities affecting land use planning “shall be consistent with” the PPS.
The OHRC views the PPS as a valuable tool, and if it integrates human rights principles and considers the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), it can bring progressive action on ensuring accessible, healthy, affordable and equitable housing across Ontario. In particular, the PPS could be used to outline how to prevent and remove land-use barriers that contribute to discrimination against groups protected by the Code. Because human rights can be affected by land-use planning, they therefore should be part of a comprehensive, integrated and long-term planning approach.
To better reflect a commitment to human rights in the PPS, the following is a summary of the OHRC’s recommendations for consideration.
- Amend the PPS to confirm a commitment to human rights.
- The PPS should lay out expectations for municipalities to review and remove barriers to affordable housing development that could lead to discrimination against groups protected by the Code.
- The PPS should lay out mechanisms of accountability for removing discriminatory barriers to affordable housing development.
- The PPS should outline clearer expectations that municipalities will increase affordable housing in their communities.
- Language in the PPS should be updated to be more inclusive.
The OHRC’s work in the area of housing has provided it with insight on steps that might be taken to address some of the province’s housing issues. We would like to thank you again for the opportunity to comment on the PPS. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Bipasha Choudhury, Inquiry Analyst, at 416-314-1142.
Barbara Hall, B.A, LL.B, Ph.D (hon.)
cc: Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Rick Bartolucci
Ken Petersen, Manager, Provincial Planning Policy Branch