OFA provides comments to Minister Steve Clark regarding proposed changes to certain land division provisions in the Planning Act. OFA appreciates the opportunity to provide comment on the proposed changes to the Planning Act contained within Schedule 24 of Bill 276, Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021. These proposed changes relate to the division of land (subdivision control, plans of subdivision, consents and validations), as well as other housekeeping or consequential changes to the Planning Act. The discovery that an automatic merger of titles under the Land Registry system has taken place on their lands has long been a challenge for OFA member farms to navigate. As per OFA’s longstanding policy position, OFA has recommended that the Ontario government change the Land Registry System so that the practice of automatic merging is discontinued. We appreciate and applaud the government’s commitment to red tape reduction. The changes proposed in Bill 276 that would end the automatic mergers of properties which result from the death of a joint tenant are a perfect example. We are in agreement with the end of this type of mergers and look forward to the time when an end to other types of automatic mergers can also occur.
OFA reiterates opposition of Planning Act amendments that would enable the further subdivision of lots beyond what is already permitted. Maintaining large, contiguous tracts of agricultural land for agricultural uses must continue to be a core provincial priority. With respect to the other changes proposed, OFA requests that care be taken to ensure that these changes do not have unintended lot creation consequences that are inconsistent with Provincial land use policy direction and the protection of agricultural lands. OFA is willing to work with the government to help develop strategies by which economic recovery can occur and farmland be protected.