Government of Ontario

Chris Glover

MPP, Spadina–Fort York

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Published on June 13, 2024

Dear Neighbours,

Affordable housing is the number one issue facing our province. New funding announced by the federal government to build co-op and other affordable housing is a positive step, but we need to follow up with action at the provincial level. We are asking the government to leverage the value of public land, so that in places like the Ontario Line stations, 30% be rent-geared-to-income and 70% be not-for-profit condos to provide an affordable option for people making $80,000-150,000.

Last Thursday, the government adjourned the legislature one week ahead of schedule and announced it will not resume until October 21 – a full 6 weeks later than the expected September 9 return date. This is an unusually long recess and there has been speculation of an early election.

Later that same evening, the government quietly shuffled their cabinet with some major changes, as well as a $10 million price tag for taxpayers. More on this below.

The fight for Ontario Place is not over. This week, the Divisional Court dismissed a case brought forward by Ontario Place for All demanding an environmental assessment as required by the Environmental Assessment Act. But the court ruled that the government’s new Bill 154 retroactively changed the law to allow them to proceed without one.

Our hope now rides on a second case brought by Ontario Place Protectors who are arguing that it is unconstitutional for the government to break the law, and then pass legislation exempting them from those laws. There is also an Auditor General’s report being prepared on the deal. Read more in my article in The Bridge.

On Friday, June 7 I was joined by Director X, members of the Zero Gun Violence Movement, Danforth Families, and community members to mark the second National Day Against Gun Violence and to ask the provincial government to adopt a public health approach to gun violence by addressing poverty and mental health, which are some of its root causes.

Director X was shot at a New Year’s Eve party he was hosting a number of years ago. He later asked why that person had brought a gun to his party. You can learn about the answer he arrived at in his award-winning filmQuiet Minds Silent Streets.

  

Director X spoke about Operation Prefrontal Cortex that explores meditation to address trauma

On the last day at Queen’s Park, there was a unanimous vote to rush through legislation to protect homeowners. The new bill includes aspects of many opposition bills, including the Condo Transparency Act that I had introduced in the legislature to increase the power of the Condo Authority Tribunal so that condo owners and residents can resolve conflicts without the expense of having to go to court. 

The bill also removes fraudulent liens that are often put on homes when owners sign HVAC contracts – seniors are often targeted by these scams. There is still much more that needs to be done, but this bill is a positive step for homeowners and condo residents. Read more about this below.

With the legislature closed, I am in the community every day. If you see me, please say hello! If you’d like to march with me in the upcoming Pride Parade, or participate in other activities, please email my office at [email protected].

Marching at last weekend’s Portugal Day Parade along Dundas West

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day! If you're looking for something to do with dad this weekend, check out my Fun Things to Do!

Take care,


Latest News

The Fight for Ontario Place Continues

On June 11th, the Divisional Court dismissed Ontario Place for All’s application to have the government conduct an Environmental Assessment of the redevelopment of the West Island. A panel of three judges concluded that the application could not succeed because of a new law that the government passed days after the court application was filed last November.

In December 2023, the government used its majority to pass Bill 154, which retroactively changed the law in order to exempt the government and its agents from having to follow provincial or municipal laws. The bill also exempts government ministers or agents from legal liability for any acts of breach of trust, breach of confidence, or misfeasance (abuse of government power) that they may have made in the Ontario Place deal. This deal represents the waste of taxpayer money, the loss of public parkland, and now an attack on the right of people to take their government to court when they break the law.

But the fight will continue – there is an Auditor General’s report in the works, another court case, and immense people power against this project. Sign my petition here.


Addressing the Root Causes of Gun Violence

On Friday, June 7th I was joined by Director X (a.k.a. Julien Christian Lutz), members of the Zero Gun Violence Movement, Danforth Families, CAPE, and community members to mark the second National Day Against Gun Violence and bring solutions that address the root cause of gun violence in our communities.

The biggest predictor of an episode of gun violence is a previous episode of gun violence. If we don’t address the anxiety, fear, depression, and PTSD that comes out of each act of gun violence, they feed back into the cycle.

I introduced a motion at Queen’s Park to increase mental supports through projects such as Operation Prefrontal Cortex, and to restore the Victims of Violent Crime funding to ensure community supports and prevent future incidents of gun violence.

Dr. Najma Ahmed, co-chair of Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns said, “Physicians see up close the devastating and lifelong consequences of gun violence on victims’ physical and mental health. This is a public health challenge Ontario must confront, and the motion offers a constructive path for doing so.” 

Ali Demircan, spokesperson for Danforth Families for Safe Communities said, “I survived the mass shooting that took place on the Danforth on July 22, 2018, and I learned just how much wounds stretch far deeper than the physical impact on the body.”

Thank you Oasis Alternative School for hosting the event. If gun violence is an issue that concerns you, please consider joining my Gun Violence Workgroup by emailing my office at [email protected]


Premier Quietly Reshuffles Cabinet

After adjourning the legislature a week early and announcing a late return in October – 6 weeks later than usual – the Premier quietly reshuffled his cabinet, moving 14 ministers, and expanding the executive council to 36. This is now the biggest cabinet in provincial history. Ironically, the Premier had once promised to cut the size of government to respect taxpayers. While Ontarians are struggling to pay their bills, find a home, and find a family doctor, this shuffle will end up costing taxpayers $10 million to cover raises and added parliamentary assistants.

Notable in the shuffle, former Housing Minister Steve Clark, has been promoted to Government House Leader. Clark resigned as the Minister of Housing after the Integrity Commissioner found that he violated the Integrity Act in his role in the Greenbelt scandal. The House Leader schedules debate on bills, and responds to the bulk of opposition questions during Question Period. He takes over this role from Paul Calandra who will maintain his other duties as the current Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Another big change is the swap of long-time Education Minister Steven Lecce with Energy Minister Todd Smith. Many are happy to see Minister Lecce moved out of education as he has overseen a $1500 per student inflationary cut to the education budget that has resulted in many cuts to staff, programs and services. 

Here is the roundup of changes:

Minister

Old Position

NEW Position

Steve Clark

-

Government House Leader

Stephen Lecce

Minister of Education

Ministry of Energy and Electrification

Todd Smith

Minister of Energy

Minister of Education

Natalia Kusendova-Bashta

-

Minister of Long-Term Care

Stan Cho

Minister of Long-Term Care

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Gaming

Mike Harris Jr.

-

Minister of Red Tape Reduction

Nolan Quinn

-

Associate Minister of Forestry

Stephen Crawford

-

Associate Minister of Mines

Sam Oosterhoff

-

Associate Minister of Energy - Intensive Industries

Rob Flack

Associate Minister of Housing

Minister of Farming, Agriculture and Agribusiness

Lisa Thompson

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Minister of Rural Affairs

Greg Rickford

Minister of Northern Development

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and First Nations Economic Reconciliation

Minister of Northern Development

Vijay Thanigasalam

Associate Minister of Transportation

Associate Minister of Housing

Trevor Jones

-

Associate Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Response

Neil Lumsden

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Minister of Sport


New Law Finally Bans NOSIs

Thanks to a push from the Official Opposition, my colleagues and I took unprecedented action to champion a new law that will finally ban Notices of Security Interest (NOSIs) used by bad actors to scam homeowners. On June 5, all MPPs at Queen’s Park passed this urgent legislation.

NOSIs are liens that are put on homes after homeowners sign unscrupulous HVAC contracts. The contracts are often used by companies to make claims against the value of a home. The homeowner often doesn’t know about the lien on their property until they are ready to sell.

We know that it isn’t good enough to simply ban future NOSIs, but make sure that we wipe away the liens threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Ontarians. We are thankful that the government has listened to the advocacy of the Official Opposition and not only banned NOSIs but included retroactivity to make sure no one continues to suffer from these scams.

The Ontario government is also moving ahead with expanding consumer protections for condo residents, after years of advocacy. We have been calling for the government to expand the jurisdiction and power of the Condo Authority Tribunal so condo residents have a fast, cheap and effective way to have their issues heard by an adjudicator.  

While it’s a good move that Ontario’s 1.4 million residents could soon go to the Condo Authority Tribunal to address issues with condo board governance, we will continue our call for broader reform to ensure every condo is a well-managed and well-maintained place to live. Condo residents still have nowhere to go if they have concerns about the use and abuse of reserve funds, poor property management, delays in repairs, and issues with short-term rentals.


Changes to High School Curriculum and Graduation Requirements

On May 30, the province’s Ministry of Education announced new programming and requirements for high school students that include:

Financial Literacy

Starting in the fall of 2025, all Ontario students will be required to score 70% or higher on a financial literacy test in order to graduate. Financial literacy, including things like managing a household budget and protecting from financial fraud, will be added to Grade 10 math. For reasons that are not clear, the new curriculum is being developed by TVO rather than Ministry of Education staff and experts.

Home Economics

More than 130,000 secondary students across Ontario took a family studies course in the 2021-22 school year. This subject is already offered in schools, but it needs to be promoted and properly funded to ensure that more students have the opportunity to learn from this valuable subject area.

Teachers’ Math Proficiency Test

Starting in February 2025, the province will require all teachers applying to be certified by the Ontario College of Teachers to pass a Math Proficiency Test.

Career Education and Coaching

Ontario will also revamp its guidance and career education policy and programs. The province says this will be accompanied by an investment of up to $14 million in 2024-25 for career coaching for grade 9 and 10 students. However, there was no news as to whether there would be additional funding to address the fact that currently the average ratio of students to guidance counsellors in Ontario schools is 403 to 1.

Student Exit Surveys

The province will bring back student exit surveys to benchmark success and garner feedback on the impact of reforms with an emphasis on guidance.

The Ministry says that consultation on the plans will occur this fall, and will include families, teachers, school boards and experts.


Ontario Secures $4.7 Billion for Infrastructure/Housing

On June 5, it was announced that the federal government will be providing Ontario municipalities with $4.7 billion over the next five years as part of the renewed Canada Community-Building Fund.

While the fund is not specifically aimed at housing, the deal was agreed upon based on the following three priority goals:

  • Reporting on affordable units created to meet the needs of communities and increase capacity of the non-profit sector
  • Working across all orders of government to leverage public lands to meet housing needs
  • Committing to a provincial innovation strategy for modular and prefabricated housing, including working with the federal government to develop and adopt a design catalogue

This announcement sounds promising and my colleagues and I will be watching this closely.


$1.5 Billion Program for New Co-op Housing

On June 6, the Federal government announced a new Co‑operative Housing Development Program to support a new generation of co-op housing in Canada. This is very welcome news as the program will build thousands of new co-op homes by 2028.

Co-ops provided secure, affordable, and community-oriented homes, but very few co-ops have been built over the last 30 years. This is an exciting new program that was co-designed with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and other leaders in the co-op sector.

Learn more about the program by joining a one-hour webinar below:


Toronto Considering a Renoviction Bylaw

Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee will be meeting today to discuss a number of new initiatives, including CreateTO which can bring hundreds of new rentals to the city, a zoning change permitting mid-rises, a revised affordable rental development plan, and a new renoviction bylaw.

Toronto will be reviewing Hamilton’s Renovation Licence and Tenant Relocation Bylaw that was adopted in January 2024. The bylaw requires landlords to show proof they will be renovating by providing a permit, details on the scope of the work, including an engineer certification that states that their unit is inhabitable during renovations. Tenants must also be notified of their rights when issued a renovation notice.

Municipalities are being forced to create these bylaws because the current provincial government has not taken measures to protect tenants and deter renovictions by amending the Residential Tenancies Act. I will continue to push this government to bring back rent control. Sign my petition here.


BQNA Releases Air Quality Study Results

On June 5, the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association (BQNA) presented the findings from the University of Toronto Researchers’ Air Quality Study showing the relationship between highway traffic and airport activity on the downtown Bathurst Quay waterfront neighbourhood.

Key Findings:

  • The airport is a major source of ultrafine particles (UFP) in the neighbourhood.
  • On average, the concentrations of the air pollutants measured in Bathurst Quay are similar to other urban locations in Toronto.  
  • Ferry electrification brought measurable reduction in the concentrations of some air pollutants.

Click here for the study website with the full reports.


Consultations on Combating Islamophobia

The Our London Family Act was drafted three years ago following the violent act of hatred and Islamophobia that killed the Afzaal family in London, Ontario. Since then, and over the past year especially, we have seen a rapid rise in Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism here in our province and across the country.

We need to take concrete steps towards peace and diversity in Ontario. Over the summer, the Official Opposition will be holding consultations across Ontario. We would like to hear directly from the Muslim community to propose steps to address this in the fall. Details here.


Spadina Streetcars to be Replaced by Buses

Starting June 23, the TTC will be replacing streetcars with buses on Spadina Avenue to accommodate track renewal and modernization work. The work will include upgrading the overhead electrical system along the Spadina streetcar right-of-way between King and Queens Quay and from College to Spadina Station. The changes are expected to be in place until the end of the year. Details here. 

  • 510 Spadina streetcars will be replaced by buses between Spadina Station and Queens Quay
  • 310 Spadina streetcars will be replaced by buses between Spadina Station and Union Station
  • 509 Harbourfront streetcars will be increased to provide frequent travel to and from Union Station

Councillor and Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik has explored the possibility of TTC buses using the right-of-way lane on Spadina. Due to safety and operational concerns, TTC staff found that this option would not be feasible. The right-of-way lane is too narrow for two-way bus operation which has centre-running poles south of Front St W, making it impossible for buses to fit. The most congested area, southbound towards Lakeshore Blvd W, is exactly where buses cannot operate in the right-of-way. Partial operation in the right-of-way would require traffic signal changes, impacting general traffic and bus travel time, and inconsistent stop locations would be confusing for transit riders. The benefits of such an operation would be limited and outweighed by the challenges it would pose to buses, transit riders, and general traffic. Councillor Malik is working with Councillor Saxe to ensure that traffic can move faster along Dundas and Spadina in advance of the closures.


York and Richmond Intersection Closure Jun 15-18

Metrolinx crews will be temporarily closing the York and Richmond Street intersection for 24/7 track installation work, beginning on Saturday, June 15 starting at 6:00 am and is expected to be completed on Tuesday, June 18 at 6:00 am. Details here.

One lane northbound on York Street will be maintained at all times. Access to parking lots and loading docks on York Street will be maintained.

Paid duty officers will be on site directing traffic at the following intersections: Bay and Richmond, York and Richmond (both sides of closure), Queen and York and Queen and University (two officers in total). Pedestrian access and bike lanes will be maintained. 

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or call 416-202-5100.


Market Street Closed to Cars This Summer

Market Street – adjacent to the St. Lawrence Market (between Front and the Esplanade) — will be completely closed to cars as part of the annual I Heart Market Street event. In place of cars will be vendors, live entertainment, patios, and more. Programming runs all summer to late October.


MPP Scrolls for Special Occasions

Turning 30, 40, 80, 90 or 100? Celebrate a significant birthday with a certificate from my office.

Is there a new addition to your family? Send the name of your baby, the parents’ names and other relevant information and we’ll send a “Welcome to the World” certificate to celebrate this special event.


Chris in the House

 

Below are some of my recent statements at Queen’s Park:

Ontario Place

  • Will Ontario taxpayers be on the hook if Therme goes bankrupt? Watch here.
  • MPP Bhutila Karpoche and I ask the government to work with Ontarians on the redevelopment of Ontario Place. Watch here.
  • Calling for more transparency on the redevelopment. Watch here.
  • Questioning the Therme timeline. Watch here.

Education Cuts

  • Decades of budget cuts to our schools. Watch here.
  • Petition from our local schools regarding staff cuts. Watch here.

Environment and Bill 69

  • Climate Critic MPP Peter Tabuns and I debating Bill 69, Reducing Inefficiencies Act and how development is taking priority over the environment. Watch here.
  • Impacts on Ontario Place and the environment. Watch here.

Health Care Privatization

  • The government’s funding of private, for-profit clinics will only worsen the health care crisis. Watch here.

Arts Funding

  • Culture Critic MPP Jill Andrew and I address the cuts to arts funding in Ontario. Watch here.

International Women’s Day

  • Actions the government can take for pay equity, including repealing Bill 124. Watch here.

Bill 39: Red Tape Reduction and Democracy

  • Is it not possible to build housing while still respecting the outcomes of our recent municipal elections? Watch my question here.

Debate on Bill 26: Misogyny in Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Statistics show that 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual assault on campuses. It’s a difficult discussion we need to have to raise awareness so we can change the culture. Watch my statement here.

The Impact of Interest Hikes on Student Loans

  • Ontario students have the highest debt rate and the lowest per-student funding in the country. We need to eliminate interest on student debt. Watch my question here.

Double ODSP Rates & Improve the Homelessness Crisis

  • CTV recently reported that at least two Ontarians with disabilities are choosing to die through Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) because they could not pay for housing that would reduce their suffering from their disability. Current monthly ODSP payments are 47.5 per cent short of the municipal poverty line in Toronto and 30 per cent below the province's poverty line. It is not possible to survive on these amounts in Ontario and many on ODSP are ending up homeless. I asked the Ford government to double ODSP rates. Watch my statement here.

Affordable Housing

  • Rents in Toronto rose 14.5% in 2021. Those in non-rent-controlled buildings are facing rent increases of $500/month. To say that housing under the Ford government is unaffordable is a huge understatement. Watch my statement here.

Environment

  • In January, my daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! Becoming a grandparent has further put into perspective how urgently we need to act on the climate crisis so future generations can have a sustainable world to live in. Watch my statement here.

Ukraine

  • We need to do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine in these incredibly difficult times. Watch my statement here.