More criticism of Hamilton’s urban boundary freeze at Queen’s Park

Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. Global News

Local Progressive Conservative MPP Donna Skelly has doubled down on her criticism of Hamilton city council for voting to freeze the city’s urban boundary.

She delivered her latest salvo during question period at Queen’s Park on Thursday.

“Some city councils, including Hamilton council, are pushing an anti-housing and anti-growth ideology that is preventing homes from being built and driving up home prices,” said Skelly.

Read more: Hamilton councillors vote to hold the line on urban boundary

“The average price of a home in Hamilton is over a million dollars,” added Skelly, “and that is shutting out too many people of all ages. The word crisis is an understatement.”

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, in response to her comments, said he will consider sending the city’s chosen growth strategy to a provincial tribunal for review.

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Read more: Price of detached Hamilton home now averaging $1.13 million, RAHB says

“The official plans that I’ve seen, like Hamilton and Ottawa, don’t maximize the housing outcomes for Ontarians,” said Clark. “If passed, I would pause the timeline on the official plans that I have received, and I would consider referring them to the Ontario land tribunal as an impartial adjudicator.”

Ontario’s growth targets project Hamilton’s population will grow to 820,000 by 2051, an increase of 236,000 people.

Read more: Proposed urban boundary expansion in Hamilton prompts passionate community response

Councillors voted 13-3 in November 2021 to reject an expansion of Hamilton’s urban boundary by 1,310 hectares, and to instead try to accommodate future population growth through a combination of infill and intensification.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger has said “it’s not a no-growth option, it’s a where-do-we-grow option.”

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