Wood Bull Blog

The Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 In Effect Today

May 01, 2020

On 28 February 2020, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 (“PPS, 2020”) pursuant to s.3 of the Planning Act. The PPS, 2020 provides that it will come into effect on 1 May 2020.

Why is 1 May 2020 Important?

According to s.3(5) of the Planning Act,

    • a decision of
      • the council of a municipality
      • a local board
      • a planning board
      • a minister of the Crown
      • a ministry, board, commission, or agency of the government
      • the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (“LPAT”)
    • in respect of the exercise of any authority
    • that affects a planning matter,
    • “shall be consistent with” the policy statements  
    • that are in effect on the date of the decision.

Furthermore, according to s.3(6) of the Planning Act,

    • comments, submissions or advice 
    • that affect a planning matter, 
    • that are provided by the council of a municipality, a local board, a planning board, a minister or ministry, board, commission or agency of the government 
    • “shall be consistent with” the policy statements 
    • that are in effect on the date the comments, submissions or advice are provided.

The PPS 2020 is in effect on 1 May 2020.

Clearly, from 1 May 2020 onward the policies of the PPS, 2020 apply to planning matters which originated on or after 1 May 2020; however, what about matters which were originated prior to 1 May 2020 when the PPS, 2014 was in effect and which are not completed on 1 May 2020, such as a zoning by-law awaiting a hearing before the LPAT?

The answer is that those matters are subject to the PPS, 2020, regardless of their having been originated prior to 1 May 2020 at a time when the PPS, 2014 was in effect. There is no “grandfathering” of planning matters in the queue.  It is up to the bodies mentioned in subsections 3(5) and 3(6) to ensure that their decisions, comments, submissions or advice are “consistent with” the PPS, 2020, if made on or after 1 May 2020, regardless of whether the matter may have been previously considered/processed when the PPS, 2014 was in effect and regardless of the inconvenience to the respective planning process.

The time between the date that the PPS, 2020 was issued (28 February 2020) and the date upon which it comes into effect (1 May 2020) might be explained as providing a “phasing in period” to allow planning matters in process on 28 February 2020 to anticipate the new reality of the PPS, 2020.

By the way, the PPS has been held to apply to more than planning matters under the Planning Act; having been found to apply to the issuance of a fill permit under the Municipal Act and the enactment of a development charge by-law.

Comparison Table of Policy Changes

Wood Bull has prepared a comparison table of the PPS, 2014 and the PPS, 2020 which is available here to demonstrate the changes to policies made by the PPS, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the changes to the PPS, please do not hesitate to contact Dennis Wood at dwood@woodbull.ca.

Author(s): Dennis Wood


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