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  • July 05, 2023 10:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to strengthen protections for tenants by holding the rent increase guideline for 2024 at 2.5 per cent, well below the average inflation rate of 5.9 per cent. The rent increase guideline is the maximum amount a landlord can increase rent during the year for most tenants without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

    The guideline is based on Ontario’s Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation calculated by Statistics Canada using data that reflects economic conditions over the past year. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the guideline is capped at 2.5 per cent to help protect tenants from rising interest rates that would result in higher rent. Without the cap, the recent rate of inflation would have resulted in an increase of 5.9 per cent in 2024.

    “Our government knows the cost of living continues to be a challenge for many Ontarians, including renters, which is why we are holding the rent increase guideline at 2.5 per cent,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This decision builds on the historic tenant protections contained in our recent Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants plan, and demonstrates our commitment to help tenants across the province.”

    In 2022, Ontario broke ground on nearly 15,000 new purpose-built rentals, a 7.5 per cent increase from 2021 and the highest number on record. This year, rental starts across the province total more than 8,500 new units, which is a 77 per cent increase over January to May of 2022.

    Quick Facts

    • The rent increase guideline applies to the vast majority – approximately 1.4 million – of rental households covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. It does not apply to rental units occupied for the first time after November 15, 2018, vacant residential units, community housing, long-term care homes or commercial properties.
    • Rent increases are not automatic or mandatory. Landlords may only raise rent if they give tenants at least 90 days’ written notice using the correct form. At least 12 months must have passed since the first day of the tenancy or the last rent increase. If a tenant believes they have received an improper rent increase, they can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to request a correction.
    • In most cases, the rent increase cannot be more than the rent increase guideline. Landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for above-guideline rent increases, under certain circumstances, such as after eligible capital work has been paid for and finished.
    • Tenants who may need help to pay their rent are encouraged to contact their local service manager to see what housing supports are available in their community.
    • Ontario has the highest maximum fines in Canada for residential tenancy offences. The province is doubling the maximum fines for offences under the Residential Tenancies Act (such as bad faith evictions) to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations.

  • July 04, 2023 5:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members should be aware of the following health and safety requirements that are now in force as of July 1, 2023 through the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

    New Personal Protective Equipment Requirements

    Members should be aware that amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 – Construction Projects, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), addressing the requirements for PPE. These changes explicitly require that personal protective equipment and clothing be properly fitted, including for women and a diversity of body types and sizes. For more information, please contact the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development at the applicable regional office.

    Jobsite Hygiene Requirements on Construction Projects

    Members should be aware of amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 – Construction Projects, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), addressing the requirements for toilet and clean-up facilities are coming into effect on July 1, 2023.

    Amendments include:

    • requiring toilets to be adequately illuminated
    • requiring single toilets to be completely enclosed
    • ensuring female workers have access to at least one women’s-only toilet facility on construction sites that must have a minimum of five or more toilets
    • extending the requirement for good repair to urinal and clean-up facilities
    • standardizing the ratio of clean-up facilities to toilets
    • requiring hand sanitizer in addition to a product to clean hands where it is not reasonably possible to provide running water
    • reducing the horizontal distance workers need to travel to get to toilet facilities, where reasonably possible

    For more information, please contact the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development at the applicable regional office.

  • June 24, 2023 4:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Margherita Mastroianni, who with her husband Donato, founded Don & Son Building Supplies, has passed away at the age of 80.

    Known to family and friends as "Rita", she worked alongside her best friend and husband Donato at Don & Son Building Supplies for nearly 40 years.

    Rita will be missed by her life partner of nearly 65 years, Donato, as well as her children Lou Mastroianni (Kim), Lucy Foster (Gord), and Robert Mastroianni (Michelle).  Rita was predeceased by her beloved son, Narcisio Mastroianni (Janis).

    Visitation will be held at Oshawa Funeral Home, 847 King Street West, Oshawa on Tuesday, June 27th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. & 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  Prayers will be held at 7:30 p.m.

    Mass of the Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 1100 Mary Street North, Oshawa on Wednesday, June 28th, at 10:30 a.m. followed by Entombment at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, Whitby.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Diabetes Association.

    For family and friends unable to attend the service, please join the livestream.

    Full obituary can be found here.

  • June 24, 2023 3:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    All of Durham Region's lakeshore municipalities, including Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Oshawa and Clarington, will receive "Strong Mayor" powers on July 1, 2023.

    Steve Clark, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced that 26 new municipalities will receive the Strong Mayor powers.  

    These powers enable heads of council to:

    • Choose to appoint the municipality's chief administrative officer
    • Hire certain municipal department heads, and establish and re-organize departments
    • Create committees of council, assign their functions and appoint the chairs and vice-chairs of committees of council
    • Propose the municipal budget, which would be subject to council amendments and a separate head of council veto and council override process
    • Vetoing certain by-laws if the head of council is the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a provincial priority
    • Bring forward matters for council consideration if the head of council is of the opinion that considering the matter could potentially advance a provincial policy.

    All five lakeshore mayors responded to Durham Radio News about the new legislative powers that the province is granting them.

    Kevin Ashe, Mayor of Pickering

    "It's still kind of early to understand what it means.  I think the goal of the province is a shared priority about building homes faster, so it's an added tool that would allow municipalities - certainly we're a fast-growing municipality in Pickering - to do quicker approvals.  It also gives the mayor an opportunity to present a budget as well as more active management of the city administration.  It's not something I asked for, but it's something that we have to consider in terms of advancing the priorities of the city."

    Shaun Collier, Mayor of Ajax

    "I have actually been asking my MP for this for the last year, since the strong mayor powers were given to Toronto and Ottawa.  This is, I think, an important tool that will really help move things forward quickly, especially in areas like our downtown [and] unlocking that centre.  I don't know that I will [use the powers].  If a situation arises that requires [it], absolutely I wouldn't hesitate to.  But you have to be very careful, with this tool, to not cause a rift between the mayor and their councillors.  I would only use it sparingly if there was a need to.  I will always try and work with council to get support on everything.  One good thing about this would be to bring motions without notice, to move forward very quickly if we need to move on something right away.  Right now, the planning process and the meeting process, it takes you a couple of weeks.  If you want to do something, I either have to call a special meeting or wait for the next meeting.  It's also helpful if we were to be in a situation where perhaps we require a committee to be struck on something.  Being able to strike that committee and name the chair and vice-chair and move on very quickly would really help expedite and cut the red tape."

    "[Friday's announcement] doesn't give the mayor the freedom to just go and do whatever the heck I want.  That's not what this is for.  This is meant to help move forward provincial priorities and, in this case, housing and addressing our homeless situation and creating affordability and moving things forward and broadening our tax base and taking the pressure off our residential taxpayer.  I don't think I will really even need strong mayor powers for 99 per cent of things, because I think council will just support on all of those things.  There might be instances, for [example], in our downtown and Hunt Street and perhaps our MTSA zones, where there might not be support...but it does fit within the provincial priorities.  That's where I would have the extra push to get things done...But again, it's going to be very selective.  This is not a free-for-all for the mayor and not even need a council anymore.  No, not at all.  Council still has a number of powers to strike down, should a [mayor] do something they don't support.  There is a mechanism in place.  You have to be very careful.  You still have to work collaboratively with your council.  And this is just an extra tool in the toolbox to help us get things done."

    Dan Carter, Mayor of Oshawa

    "I've got a great council.  We work well together and I like the democratic process that we have.  I will find that the strong mayor powers will only be used in extraordinary circumstances.  I always want to work with my council.  I want it to be a democratic process, and I think that that's a better way for me to be able to operate council than strong mayors' powers, but if there is a moment where it is necessary, under extraordinary circumstances, that's the moment that I'll use it."

    "It's the mix of housing that is necessary.  I understand all the provincial steps that they are taking to try and resolve the issue.  It didn't happen overnight.  It's not going to be fixed overnight.  And it's going to take all municipalities to be able to address it.  My concern also lays in a couple of different areas.  One is the labour shortage, in regard to the housing industry itself, and the other supporting elements in regard to building those homes.  And number two is [that] construction inflation is still at record heights.  And that is getting developers to hold off to see when prices will decrease.  So we've got many more hurdles than just saying 'we're going to build, in our circumstance, 23,000 homes.'  We've got to be able to resolve those other issues to be able to resolve the housing crisis."

    "I think that [people] have to have confidence that the representatives that they supported in the last election will continue to work as a group to be able to serve the community as a whole.  Our fiduciary duties will be abided by and will be lived out based upon the understanding that the electorate passed a ballot...to make sure the democratic process was respected.  And my intent is to respect that process."

    Elizabeth Roy, Mayor of Whitby

    "I don't intend on doing anything differently than what I have been doing with current council.  My primary focus, since I became mayor, was to build on consensus and to build on a team.  And I plan to continue doing that.  I support the need to look at how we can work to get more housing into place.  I understand why these powers have been put into place; I'm not disagreeing with them.  But for myself, personally, as the mayor for Whitby, I have a team of nine, including myself, and I will continue to work with this team.  This is also not just about housing.  It's about affordable housing.  And we are working with the region to look at locations [for] affordable housing as well, too.  It has already been happening. [The 'strong mayor' powers allow] for other municipalities who are not in the same position to move forward, but I think Whitby is in a great stead that we have the numbers that we will be able to support the 18,000 we committed to."

    "I find that will be happening is it's going to be status quo as we're moving forward.  I think some are spinning it as an affront to democracy.  I don't think that's the case.  There are many municipalities across North America that do have strong mayor powers.  We already have Toronto and Ottawa that have this right.  So I think it's something that we'll be cautious with, and something that we have to be cautious with.  Because it is a responsibility that wasn't available for the first 50 years of our existence and I'll take that responsibility very seriously."

    Adrian Foster, Mayor of Clarington

    "I welcome the opportunity to learn more about how this tool can help address local housing needs and meet our target of 13,000 new units by 2031.  Different communities require different approaches, but regardless, residents expect us to do all that we can to deliver on this important issue.  As the mayor, I believe it is critically important that Clarington council continue to work together to solve tough issues like housing.  Collaboration with my colleagues has been and will continue to be my focus as we navigate the rapid growth in our community."

  • June 22, 2023 8:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The City’s existing Tree Protection By-law 6108/03, as amended by By-laws 6191/03 and 7007/09, currently only applies to “environmentally sensitive lands”, as identified in the screening area on the current By-law Schedule. Some of the “environmentally sensitive lands” are on private property, but the vast majority of privately-owned lands are not identified as part of the screening area on the By-law Schedule.  The purpose of the Tree Protection By-law Update, would be to extend tree regulation to all of Pickering, by capturing trees on private properties as well.

    Having had a soft launch in Spring of this year, a Status Report regarding the Tree Protection By-law update was sent to Council on June 5th, 2023 to provide an update to what has taken place thus far. The City is now looking for feedback on the content of the proposed new Tree Protection By-law. This is an important opportunity for communities, organizations, businesses and professionals to review and comment on the proposed new Tree Protection By-law.

    You are invited to join their Virtual Meeting on Wednesday July 5th, 2023 from 6:00pm to 7:00 pm. Please consider the proposed new Tree Protection By-law for your review, and the link at the bottom of this email to register for the virtual meeting.

    For more information on the City’s Tree Protection By-law and engagement activities, please visit the project website at: letstalkpickering.ca/trees

    A second on-line survey will also be active on the project website from June 26th – July 14th, 2023 to garner more feedback.

    To register for the upcoming Virtual Stakeholder Meeting, please follow the link below:


  • June 19, 2023 10:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Municipality of Clarington is hosting a Special Meeting of Council to hear from residents and stakeholders about what should be explored as part of their Official Plan Review.  This meeting represents the first opportunity of many that will be part of a comprehensive consultation program for this project.

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.  Stakeholders can participate in the meeting online or in person in council chambers.  A link to join the meeting online or by telephone will be available shortly before the start of the meeting here.

    Clarington has released an Introductory Discussion Paper about the Official Plan Review.

    You can view Clarington's current Official Plan here.

    To be added to the project mailing list, please email OPReview@clarington.net.

  • June 15, 2023 3:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Regional Municipality of Durham (Region) is initiating a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) Study to plan for the sanitary sewerage servicing needs of the Beaverton Employment Area, identify and review various alternative sites for the SSPS, and ultimately select a preferred alternative to allow for existing non-serviced areas to be serviced plus future growth of the Beaverton community.

    Currently the Employment Area is largely undeveloped and has no sanitary sewer collection system, rather existing development relies on private sewage systems.

    The geographic area of interest is outlined in the Notice of Study Commencement. As indicated in the attached Notice of Study Commencement, first published in local newspapers as well as posted on the Region’s website on June 15, 2023, the Region is undertaking this study following the planning and design process for Schedule “B” projects as described in the MCEA Document (as amended 2023).

    Public consultation is a key component of this Class EA and there will be forthcoming opportunities for agencies and the public to review study information and to provide input. The Region wanted to ensure you were aware of this Class EA being undertaken.

    If you would like to be placed on the mailing list to receive all future notices relating to this Class EA, please send your contact information to either one of the listed study team members found on the attached Notice of Study Commencement. If you require additional information or would like to discuss this project, please do not hesitate to contact Kelly Murphy by telephone (905-668-4113, ext. 3370) or by email (kelly.murphy@durham.ca).

  • June 14, 2023 3:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • June 14, 2023 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As of June 1, 2023, employers must provide naloxone in the workplace if certain circumstances described in the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply.

    Employers must provide a naloxone kit when an employer becomes aware, or ought to reasonably be aware, of the following scenarios:

    • There is a risk of a worker opioid overdose
    • There is a risk that the worker overdoses while in a workplace where they perform work for the employer
    • The risk is posed by a worker who performs work for the employer.

    If all of these scenarios are present, the employer must comply with the OHSA requirements to provide naloxone in the workplace.  If any one of these scenarios are not present, an employer does not need to comply with the OHSA requirements to provide naloxone in the workplace.

    Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and allow time for medical help to arrive.

    Information from the Ontario Government to note:

    • In 2020, 30% of workers who died from opioid-related causes were employed in construction.
    • The construction and manufacturing sectors account for 45% of participating workplaces.
    • Employers who do not comply with their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act may be subject to orders and, where appropriate, prosecution.

    For more information, click here.

  • June 14, 2023 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please be advised that the Municipality of Clarington will be bringing forward a recommendation report (not posted at the time of publishing) and Parkland and Open Space Dedication By-law to the Joint Committee meeting on Monday, June 19, 2023.  

    The by-law will be replacing the current dedication by-law that was approved in September 2022 (By-law 2022-0043).  The proposed changes address some minor technical issues with the existing by-law and clarifies rates and exemptions for certain developments.  It is also consistent with the recent changes in the Planning Act as a result of Bill 23.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stacey.

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Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 1-1255 Terwillegar Avenue Oshawa, Ontario L1J 7A4

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