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Policy and Government Relations Roundup

Updates on Recent OAA Activities

Over the last month, the OAA has submitted to numerous provincial consultations on housing, the environment and the Planning Act. Additionally, the OAA met with stakeholders from the federal and provincial governments about the use of Quality-Based Selection (QBS) in their procurement practices. The Policy Advocacy Coordination Team (PACT) and policy and government relations (PGR) staff have been working on a pre-budget consultation submission as well as the Reconciliation Roundtable and the Project Management Service Provision Roundtable. 

Consultation: Bill 66: Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act

The OAA has submitted a response to Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, where outgoing President John K. Stephenson commended the Province on the restoration of design exclusions from the Planning Act if an open-for-business planning by-law is passed. President Stephenson did, however, note the OAA’s concern about exempting development from the Clean Water Act, Greenbelt Act, Oak Ridges Moraine Act and Lake Simcoe Protection Act. The OAA’s submission can be read in the GR Portal.

Consultation: Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario

Since the submission of the OAA’s response to Bill 66, the Government decided to remove Schedule 10 from the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, removing any potential for open-for-business planning by-laws. This change allowed the OAA to focus its response to provincial consultation about housing supply on restoring design exclusions (character, scale, appearing and design features of buildings) to the Planning Act. President Stephenson wrote that the unconditional restoration of design exclusions to the Planning Act will substantially decrease the amount of time and money required to create new housing across the province. The OAA’s submission can be read in the GR Portal

Consultation: A made-in-Ontario climate change plan

The OAA has also responded to the provincial government’s consultation on its new environment and climate plan. The OAA believes there needs to be an emphasis on enforcement balanced with the easing of regulatory burdens, real-time monitoring of provincial emissions and building resilience with local solutions. The OAA’s submission can be read in the GR Portal.

Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs Pre-Budget Consultations

The OAA has submitted its response to the provincial government’s pre-budget consultation, highlighting two important issues. The first is the importance of adopting QBS in provincial procurement practices in order to save money and improve built form. The second is the need to reform the site plan approval process in order to help save money and to help increase the availability of housing across Ontario. The OAA’s submission can be read in the GR Portal. 

Quality-Based Selection developments

PGR staff met with provincial and federal government contacts about the use of QBS for procurement practices. The first meeting was with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to discuss the potential for a QBS pilot program in the Ontario Region. This would be in addition to the ongoing pilot program implemented by PSPC in the National Capital Region.

The second meeting was with Assistant Deputy Minister Doug Kent, of Supply Chain Ontario, to discuss the use of QBS and the Broader Public Service Procurement Directive. Participants in both meetings seemed interested in the use of QBS; the OAA will be following up to try to expand the use of this critical procurement practice.

PACT Roundtables

The Reconciliation for Architecture Roundtable was held on December 17 at the OAA’s temporary headquarters at 1 Duncan Mill Rd. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal architects discussed the issues of reconciliation, decolonization and Aboriginal culture within the practice of architecture, as well as steps that the OAA can take moving forward to encourage more Aboriginal people in Canada to consider architecture as a career. A Project Management Service Provision Roundtable also took place on January 30.