DATES TO NOTE:
August 15: OHBA Awards of Distinction Finalists Announced
August 16: OHBA People’s Choice Award Opens
September 18-20: OHBA Annual Conference- Collingwood
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN On June 8th the provincial government released a Climate Change Action Plan and OHBA responded with a media release. The action plan backs away from earlier media reports that suggested bans on natural gas, ensuring our members and consumers continue to have a variety of options available for home heating. The Climate Change Action Plan has specific actions that impact new housing and land-use planning, including: Home Energy Rating and Disclosure (HERD), a rebate for high-performance homes, funding for new technologies for homes, Building Code changes, retrofitting existing private apartments, electric-vehicle-ready homes, and eliminating minimum parking requirements. OHBA is a member of the Home Energy Transparency Coalition and is working with a number of stakeholders including the: Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Clean Economy Alliance, Environmental Defence and NAIMA Canada, representing more than 125 organizations, to advocate for the province to mandate home energy rating and disclosure (HERD) upon the sale of an existing home. OHBA and members of the Home Energy Transparency Coalition have met with the Ministry of Energy following the Climate Change Action Plan announcement to discuss implementation and roll-out of Home Energy Rating and Disclosure.
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD REVIEW The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of the Attorney General are working to develop proposed recommendations to improve how the OMB works within the broader system of land-use planning. A consultation paper will be released in the fall 2016 for further comment. Prior to the release of the consultation document, the province has requested to hear views on a number of topics. In an effort to support the framework of discussion topics for the upcoming consultation, we encourage you to submit your preliminary comments. Please email these comments to OHBA’s Director of Policy Mike Collins-Williams and also direct your comments directly to the province at OMBReview@ontario.ca by August 5th.
CO-ORDINATED REVIEW OF GROWTH PLAN AND GREENBELT In May the provincial government announced proposed amendments to four Plans that were part of the Co-ordinated Review. OHBA, along with BILD and HHHBA, responded to the announcement with a media release noting that the provincial government’s proposed amendments would mean less housing choice and higher prices for home buyers. The government has proposed changes to the four Plans captured in the Co-ordinated Review and are looking for feedback, the Plans include: Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2016, Proposed Greenbelt Plan (2016), Proposed Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2016), Proposed Niagara Escarpment Plan, 2016. OHBA and BILD co-hosted an industry consultation with Larry Clay, the Ontario Growth Secretariat which was followed by a presentation from Malone Given Parsons offering industry observations on the potential impacts of the proposed amendments to the Plans. OHBA and the Ontario Growth Secretariat plan to host an additional industry consultation to be located in the Outer Ring for members at a date to be determined later this summer. Please submit your comments, questions and concerns to OHBA Policy Director Mike Collin-Williams to be included in an association response (due to the government on September 30).
INCLUSIONARY ZONING In May the provincial government tabled legislation, Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 (Bill 204) that will allow municipalities to force the inclusion of government-defined affordable housing units in new residential projects. The province subsequently posted a proposed regulation under the Planning Act that would set the framework for Inclusionary Zoning as well as a consultation discussion guide. OHBA responded to the announcement with a media release, “Inclusionary Zoning Will Only Work through Partnerships.” The legislation follows an announcement in March by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which updated the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy. OHBA responded to the announcement with the media release articulating that “Housing is Never Free – New Neighbours will pay the Bill for Inclusionary Zoning.” In advance of the legislation being introduced, OHBA and BILD created a Statement of Intent on Affordable Housing & Inclusionary Zoning. The Statement of Intent outlines our principles for creating legislation to permit Inclusionary Zoning. Comments are due to the Ministry by August 16th and OHBA will be preparing a submission – we are seeking feedback from members – please send comments to OHBA Director of Policy Mike Collins-Williams.
SMART GROWTH FOR OUR COMMUNITIES ACT The Smart Growth for Our Communities Act (Bill 73) was passed in December and while certain changes to the Planning Act came into force on Royal Assent (December 3, 2015), the majority of changes to the Planning Act came into force on July 1, 2016. These include municipal transparency, citizen engagement, increasing certainty for municipal government and resolving disputes, improving local decision-making and accountability.
NEW MINISTRY OF LABOUR REGS NOW IN FORCE Amendments coming into force under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and various regulations under it include: Introducing new technical and operational safety requirements for the safe operation of drill rigs, including new training requirements for rig operators; Extending noise protection to all workplaces covered under the act, including construction projects; Requiring employers to take appropriate safety measures to ensure construction workers are protected from hazardous biological and chemical substances; Enhancing and clarifying provisions relating to exposure to carbon monoxide, and other fumes and gases, released from internal combustion engines for workers on construction projects; and, Enhancing and clarifying provisions relating to the use of portable ladders. For more details, visit the Ministry of Labour. OHBA provided MOL with a submission related to the regulations that are coming into force during the consultation period in late 2014.
ASSET MANAGEMENT PLANNING The Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2015 was proclaimed on May 1, 2016. This important legislation makes infrastructure planning a foundational component of provincial and broader public sector practices. OHBA wrote a submission to the Minister of Economic Development Employment and Infrastructure last spring supporting stronger municipal asset management planning for municipalities under this Act. The government will be hosting sessions across the province starting this July. The intent of the sessions is to engage in a constructive conversation about municipal asset management planning, to help inform potential regulation content. For more information, please contact OHBA Director of Policy Mike Collins-Williams.
OHBA ACTIVE IN NEW REVIEW OF DEAN RECOMMENDATIONS ON OCOT The government has asked former Cabinet Minister and London-area MPP Chris Bentley to review the Tony Dean recommendation regarding employer and worker challenges to OCOT enforcement tickets. OHBA has submitted a response with the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance to Bentley supporting the Ontario Labour Relations Board taking a more active role in adjudicating disputes and suggesting OCOT enforcement target higher risk activities instead of a broad application of the regulation. As part of his review, we were pleased that Chris Bentley participated on a site tour hosted by past LHBA President, Ted Melchers. The purpose of the visit was to show how work is assigned in a predominantly low-rise and non-union construction site where it is common that a tradespersons work assignments could overlap with the Scopes of Practice that OCOT is responsible for enforcing.
OHBA ANNUAL CONFERENCE, AMM, PRESIDENT’S GALA AND AWARDS OF DISTINCTION The OHBA Conference website is now open for registration! This year we will be returning to Collingwood to the beautiful Blue Mountain Resort! Our local association host, the Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association, has a wonderful opening reception planned. It is always a great opportunity to mix with your colleagues and meet new people. The conference will be jam-packed with activities sessions and a Trade Show as well as our annual Awards of Distinction celebration and President’s Gala where we will usher in our new president. Please check back often to the Conference website to hear more about what exciting sessions and speakers we have planned. To learn more, visit the Conference website: https://conference.ohba.ca/
AMM RESOLUTIONS OHBA has produced a 2015-2016 Resolutions Update package that is a status report of the resolutions approved at the September 28, 2015 OHBA Annual Meeting of Members. OHBA invites and encourages local associations to submit resolutions to the 2016 OHBA Annual Meeting of Members at 9:00 a.m. on Monday September 19th in Collingwood. Please submit resolutions to OHBA by Friday, August 26th, this will enable us to circulate the material to all local associations for their review in early September, prior to the OHBA AMM. Our 30 local associations have a voice in the policies and priorities of our organization. Please provide us with your input.
GOODBYE ONTARIO RETIREMENT PENSION PLAN Ontario will no longer move ahead to establish a separate Ontario Retirement Pension Plan that was expected to kick in for larger employers in 2018 after reaching an agreement with federal and provincial governments to enhance the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The provincial government had campaigned on a commitment to enhance retirement savings and had pursued a separate Ontario plan in the event the federal government did not move ahead with enhancements to the CPP. OHBA had been working with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to voice our concerns with the previous plan. While the current plan will still mean higher costs payroll costs for employers and workers, OHBA concurs with the OCC response that this development is a significant improvement from the ORPP which would have increased regulatory fragmentation and administrative burden.
UPDATE ON INDUSTRY STRIKES Following the end of the strikes on June 15, 2016, for marble, tile, terrazzo, framing, drywall, trim and electrical trades, Tarion has issued a Supplemental Warranty Alert. To determine case-by-case eligibility, please contact the following Tarion staff that have been specifically assigned to work with you during the trade strikes:
Freehold and condo unit inquiries:
Trudy Napoleone, Manager, Warranty Services
Tel: (416) 229-3844, ext. 3202
Common element inquiries:
Bonnie Douglas Manager, Warranty Services
Tel: (416) 229-3844, ext. 3183
Builder/Vendors who are impacted by the strike may be able to extend closing and occupancy timelines according to Tarion’s Unavoidable Delay provisions of the Addendum. Tarion has also published an update on their website regarding current strikes affecting the New Home Building Industry.