ontario news watch

Nova Scotia Tories ignore objections to bill intended to fast-track Halifax housing

HALIFAX — City of Halifax officials failed to get the province to pause legislation they say overrides their responsibility to determine urban planning and will transfer development costs on municipal taxpayers.

Mayor Mike Savage told the legislature’s law amendments committee today that the bill to fast-track housing development in his city is “unnecessary and harmful.”

Savage says the legislation is built on the false premise that there are unacceptable delays in advancing projects in the Halifax area.

He says 11,000 housing units have received full approval as a result of municipal planning, low development fees and quick processing.

The bill would require Halifax to work with the province to grant pre-qualified developers expedited approvals for residential units and would impose a two-year freeze on the fees the city levies on builders.

The Progressive Conservative majority on the committee voted to return the bill to the legislature without amendments, despite objections by the mayor and seven members of Halifax Regional Council.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2023.

The Canadian Press