February 2020
Government Introduces Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act

2020-02-25 4:44:20 PM

The Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney, last week introduced Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act, 2020. The government says the bill will speed up the construction of the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge Subway Extension, and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. All projects will be developed by Metrolinx and are referred to as priority transit projects in the Bill. 

If passed, Minister Mulroney says the bill will streamline land acquisition, coordinate utility relocation, and change the environmental assessment process for transit projects.

Below is a summary of the proposed legislation that may be of relevance to municipalities:

Compensation (Part II)

  • The Act sets out a process for determining compensation for an agreement for obstruction removal, construction danger inspection and elimination, and a preview inspection, with the right to apply to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to determine compensation.

  • If the affected landowner is a municipality, the Minister of Transportation may compensate the owner. Compensation is not required and could only be provided partially.

Utility Cooperation, Municipal Service and Right of Way Access (Part V)

  • In order to avoid delays relating to a municipal review of permit applications and other development approvals, a mechanism has been proposed to require prompt negotiation of access rights. 

  • Metrolinx will be allowed to determine when the construction of a priority transit project requires the following:

    • The occupation, modification or temporary closure of a municipal highway or municipal right-of-way; or

    • Access to or modification of municipal-owned or municipal-controlled infrastructure related to sewage works, water works or fire hydrants, and municipal services related to that infrastructure.

  • In this event, Metrolinx may notify the municipality that municipal service and right-of-way access is required, and the parties are obliged to enter reasonably promptly into negotiations to agree the terms for such access.

  • If negotiations fail, the Minister may develop a municipal service and right-of-way access order. This may include mitigation measures, compensation and measures to address potential municipality liability. Metrolinx and the municipality would be obliged to comply.

  • If the Minister determines the order needs to be revised or cancelled, the Minister will notify Metrolinx and the municipality.

For more information, please see below:

Legislative Assembly of Ontario: Bill 171 

CBC News: Ontario introduces bill to speed up GTA transit project construction


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