Strong mayor powers to be expanded to more Ontario cities, Ford says


Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he’s planning to expand so-called strong mayor powers to municipalities other than Toronto and Ottawa as a way to get more housing built.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark introduced the legislation last week that would give the mayors of Ontario’s two largest cities veto powers over bylaws that conflict with provincial priorities, such as building housing.

Speaking today at the Association of Municipalities Ontario annual conference in Ottawa, Ford says the legislation will provide those mayors with additional tools to advance those provincial priorities.

He says in the coming months he will provide more information on how those tools will be expanded to other municipalities.

The legislation tabled last week would allow the mayors to override council approval of a bylaw, such as a zoning bylaw, that would hamper a set of provincial priorities that will be set out later in regulations.

Examples of priorities that government officials gave include the goal of building 1.5 million homes in 10 years and building critical infrastructure.