bill 23 ontario housing act

Provincial corporation fought new housing days before Ontario launched housing plan

Ontario's PC government would have you believe that housing is among its top priorities, culminating in the announcement of Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, last October.

That bill was introduced on October 25th, but only four days before the Ontario government embarked on its plan to fast-track housing development, a corporation wholly owned by that same government fought to do just the opposite of Bill 23's title and stymie a proposed development adjacent to land it owns.

Jeremiah Shamess, founder of Colliers Private Capital Investment Group, pointed out the absurd hypocrisy of the matter in a tweet over the weekend, calling out the Ontario government-owned LCBO for filing an appeal seeking to halt a development planned next to one of its retail locations in Brampton.

Shamess refers to the situation as "probably the greatest NIMBY irony of all time."

Developer Greenwin is planning to build a mixed-use complex with 42- and 34-storey towers at the site of 31-33 George Street North and 28 Elizabeth Street North in the heart of Brampton's downtown.

Though it would introduce hundreds of units of market-rate rentals in close proximity to a GO station in an emerging downtown area, the proposal's location is next to an LCBO location

On October 21, 2022, exactly four days before the province introduced Bill 23, another arm of the provincial machine was busy filing a third-party appeal at the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) against the proposed development.

The controversial bill would receive royal assent the following month.

Despite the obvious issues with a corporation owned by the Ontario government taking actions that seem to directly contradict its official policy, commenters suggest that there's more to this appeal than meets the eye.

In fact, it could be argued that the LCBO is actually fighting for more housing here and that the appeal may be in relation to the proposed development actually limiting the development potential for the current liquor store site.

It will be interesting to see how the fight unfolds, but it could be a lengthy one, as the next OLT hearing is scheduled to take place in February 2024.

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