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Ontario to assess municipal governments in Waterloo Region

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

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark introduced legislation Wednesday to appoint facilitators to look at the regional governments across Ontario, including Waterloo, to assess the responsibilities that the local municipalities handle.

It is one of a number of moves the province says it is considering in an effort to get more housing construction across the province as it looks to see 1.5 million homes built over the next decade.

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In addition, the province is also looking to provide further powers to the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa, which would allow them to pass bylaws with respect to provincial priorities as long as just a third of council members voted in favour.

Clark already has another housing bill before the legislature, which would in part freeze, reduce and exempt fees developers pay in order to spur building, but municipalities have expressed concerns that would leave them without enough funding to construct supporting infrastructure.

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Ontario’s fall economic update from earlier this week showed that the province has revised projections for new home construction downward, but Clark says he still believes the province can hit the 1.5 million target.

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