Toronto, Ottawa ‘strong mayors’ focused on infrastructure, home builiding

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

John Tory won his third term as Toronto’s mayor, vowing to tackle the housing crisis and a $1-billion budget shortfall.

“I am hugely hopeful about the future of this city,” Tory said after his win was confirmed Monday night. “We have unfinished business that I am absolutely determined to see through.”

The new term comes with “strong mayor” powers granted to the leaders of Toronto and Ottawa by Premier Doug Ford this year.

Ottawa’s strong mayor, Mark Sutcliffe entered the race vowing to bring “new leadership” to the city.

A newcomer to politics, his campaign promised a property tax cap, cutting at least $35 million from the municipal budget while spending $100 million over four years on roads and cycling infrastructure and building 100,000 homes over 10 years.

Sutcliffe released a 100-day plan to complete a line-by-line review of city spending and launch a task force to streamline and speed up the home-building approval process.

“Tonight, the people of Ottawa made a clear decision; you voted for positive change,” Sutcliffe told supporters at Lago about 90 minutes after polls closed.

“You voted for compassion and fiscal responsibility. You voted for a safer, more reliable, more affordable city. You voted for an approach that works for all of Ottawa.”

In his remarks Monday, newly-elected Tory said that the city will need to find efficiencies in its budget and operating costs. That reality comes as the cost of living continues to rise across the country.

“Whether it be the city government or your own household, we will have to face significant economic and financial challenges in the coming months,” he said.

Tory campaigned on a five-point housing plan to reform zoning bylaws and allow more duplexes and triplexes, particularly on arterial roads served by transit. The plan also streamlines the city’s development process.

In a statement, RESCON congratulated Tory “and all re-elected or newly elected municipal representatives in the city, the GTA and across the province, saying builders “look forward to working with municipal councils on ways to tackle the housing shortage, speed-up approval times and get homes built faster.

“The residential construction sector is ready to do its part to solve the housing supply and affordability crisis.”

Representatives at all three levels of government – municipal, federal and provincial – have acknowledged the need to build 1.5 million homes over the next decade in Ontario so co-operation will be key.

 

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