Mayor asks province to ‘stop messing with our city lines’ in Hamilton
Published October 5, 2023 at 1:45 pm
A city boundary expansion in Hamilton, purported to be for housing growth, continues to spark controversy with a new investigation.
In November 2022, the province ordered changes to Hamilton’s growth plan including a 2,200-hectare expansion of Hamilton’s boundary for countryside development.
“Six areas of land totalling approximately 2,200 hectares were added to the City of Hamilton’s urban area through the Provincial decision,” the City of Hamilton explains on its website.
The changes override local council decisions.
Hamilton council had been in favour of intensification in city boundaries rather than urban sprawl on agricultural land.
And although Premier Doug Ford reversed the decision on the Greenbelt land swap, there has been no similar move for the boundary expansion in Hamilton and other municipalities. The Ontario NDP, including MPPs from Hamilton and Niagara, have asked for a probe into the matter.
And a new investigation has found third parties are possibly pulling the strings for the Ontario government.
An investigation from The Narwhal, published today (Oct. 5) found “unnamed parties” requested dozens of the changes Ontario made to Hamilton’s growth plan. The investigation also found more than a third of the 77 changes had no listed purpose or rationale.
In response, Horwath called on the province to reverse the decision.
“We don’t need the province to give us new growth borders, we need them to give us new funding,” Horwath wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “I am calling on the province to stop messing with our city lines and start making us whole for Bill 23, which will cost #HamOnt taxpayers $30M in 2024 unless the promise is honoured.”
Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act removes or lowers development fees on some projects. Development fees help pay for city infrastructure such as sewer and water systems to support additional residents.
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"We don’t need the province to give us new growth borders, we need them to give us new funding.” I am calling on the province to stop messing with our city lines and start making us whole for Bill 23, which will cost #HamOnt taxpayers $30M in 2024 unless the promise is honored. https://t.co/FdRTaMoJnV
— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) October 5, 2023