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Mitzie Hunter says province should reimburse Toronto now for lost development charges

May 5, 2023

Building affordable housing must not be delayed by waiting for an audit. Must not be another ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ moment, mayoral candidate says.

Toronto – Mitzie Hunter, mayoral candidate, says a move by the Province to hire auditors to look at the City of Toronto’s books is acceptable but the province should reimburse the city now for lost development charge revenue that is earmarked for affordable housing.

“Send in the auditors? OK. Then we are all working on the same set of numbers,” says Hunter. “But don’t take the dollars away. We need to get going on affordable housing.”

The Province has begun hiring auditors to look at Toronto’s finances as well as Mississauga, Caledon, Brampton, Newmarket and the Region of Peel. Under Premier Doug Ford’s housing law, Bill 23, development charges for developers building affordable housing would be eliminated. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) says this could cost cities and towns $5 billion in lost revenue.

Toronto officials have said that the city stands to lose out on $200 million in annual revenue as a result of the changes in Bill 23. Without a fund funding commitment from the province, it may mean there is no funding for building the city services needed to build affordable housing, which may bring a halt to many projects.

“The audit is acceptable because it is useful for the city and the Province to be working off the same numbers. But if the Province is serious about building more affordable housing, don’t first take the money away and then look at the numbers,” says Hunter.

“That’s another example of ‘shooting first and asking questions later.’ I say, keep the development charges dollars in place, then do the audit, and let’s see what auditors come up with. That’s fine. Just don’t take the money away first if it means affordable housing is not built. We can’t delay on building affordable housing.”



Charmain Emerson