The Growth Plan Review is an opportunity for the Province to work with municipalities to review the implementation of the Plan and refine any policy levers to meet the strategic goals of the Plan.
Through its commitment to the Big Move, the Province will be spending billions of dollars to improve transportation by transforming the GO Rail system to a frequent transit network with all-day, two-way 15-minute service on many lines. The 10-year review of the Growth Plan is an opportunity to better integrate the region’s land use and transportation plans by directing growth to areas around stations on the network.
It is worth noting here that Metrolinx is embarking on a 10-year-review of the Big Move this year, although the land budgeting process under Amendment 2 will not be complete until long after the review process is over.
The Neptis findings raise questions that need to be answered in the 10-year review of the Growth Plan:
- As municipalities begin to plan for the population and employment forecasts in Amendment 2 of the Growth Plan, is it necessary to designate more land for development, given evidence that outward expansion has already slowed down?
- How can we better integrate the region’s land use and transportation plans?
- Should municipalities that make their land supply last beyond 2031 be rewarded with priorities in transit investment? Linking infrastructure with the implementation of Growth Plan priorities was part of the early conversation around the Growth Plan.
- How can municipalities account for shifting demographic trends in their land budgets and make the process more transparent and understandable?
- Are the targets helping municipalities achieve the wider goals of the plan?
- How can policies encourage a greater diversity of housing forms (including those that may be more affordable than the current stock)?
- What research is needed on the relationship between population forecasting and municipal debt if Ontario is to continue its approach to planning for future growth in a fiscally responsible fashion?
- How will the Province continue to monitor the implementation of the Growth Plan in future? Will a monitoring framework be one outcome of the Growth Plan review?