Delegation to Council: Bill 23

Nov 23, 2022

On Tuesday November 22, CEO Shakiba Shayani delegated at a special council meeting regarding Bills 109 and 23. Read the delegation below:


"Good morning Mayor Guthrie, councillors, and staff.

Like most others across the province, our community has a complex housing problem that requires the intervention of multiple stakeholders for effective action. Upper orders of government, municipal government, and the private sector all have important roles to play.

Each of us is obligated to do whatever we can to address and improve the issue, which requires us to show up and work together in different ways.

Where there are opportunities for influence and where we have control, let’s make choices and do things that will matter and make a positive difference on the issue. Let’s aspire to be the community that did a better job than others on housing and creating a tangible, regional competitive advantage.

Council’s role is to enable the conditions for Guelph’s success. You may feel like you’ve been placed in an impossible position, and perhaps you have been. But like with all issues, I caution against any ideological mindsets, put aside any blame, and that you instead elevate your pragmatic problem-solving abilities.

I commit to continuing to engage in the process and have confidence in many of our local developers as some of the best partners you can count on for constructive engagement.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we hosted a roundtable with the City’s Executive Team, over a dozen developers, homebuilders, and pertinent business partners for a productive conversation about what it takes for effective public-private partnerships. This roundtable renewed a shared and common purpose, and I will carry the recommendations from that discussion in my meetings with relevant stakeholders, including to a meeting I have tomorrow with Minister Steve Clark and his staff.

In principle, we agree with the objective of ‘more homes for everyone’ and ‘more homes, faster.’ But some of the proposed methods and tools to get there directly conflict with those objectives.

To overcome this, the municipality needs more time to provide feedback on Bill 23. The province needs to partner with municipalities to discuss financing implications, including infrastructure planning and funding gaps that the bill created.

The private sector agrees that you can’t build a home without supporting infrastructure in place. The city’s planning department has been an under-resourced partner for quite some time, and this must change if we’re going to achieve our housing objectives successfully.

This is how I will show up differently, and you can count on me to hold our local network accountable for showing up differently, too. We cannot “us versus them” the required work; we must be partners in community investment, together."