Provincial Policy Statement and Provincial Plans

Section 3(1) of the Planning Act (Ont.) provides as follows, in regard to policy statements:

The Minister, or the Minister together with any other minister of the Crown, may from time to time issue policy statements that have been approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on matters relating to municipal planning that in the opinion of the Minister are of provincial interest.

The Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 and the new Provincial Policy Statement, 2014 has been approved under Section 3(1).

Section 3(5) of the Planning Act (Ont.) provides as follows, in regard to policy statements and provincial plans:

A decision of the council of a municipality, a local board, a planning board, a minister of the Crown and a ministry, board, commission or agency of the government, including the Municipal Board, in respect of the exercise of any authority that affects a planning matter,

(a) shall be consistent with the policy statements issued under subsection (1) that are in effect on the date of the decision; and

(b) shall conform with the provincial plans that are in effect on that date, or shall not conflict with them, as the case may be.

Pursuant to the Places to Grow Act, the Greenbelt Act, the Oak Ridges Moraine Act, the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, and the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the following provincial plans have been approved: the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.

Planning and development in Ontario is a policy-led process.  This means that participants in land use development must understand the content and application of relevant provincial policies and plans, in addition to municipal official plans, zoning by-laws, and other relevant land use control instruments.

Wood Bull has extensive experience in the application of the Provincial Policy Statement and the various provincial plans in the context of development applications.

Dennis Wood is the author of Provincial Plans: A Sourcebook (Thomson Carswell), a leading source of information on this subject.

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