OFA provides comments to the Standing Committee on General Government and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding the Supporting People and Business Act and Regulatory Registry. OFA is not in favour of the proposed Planning Act amendment. Maintaining large, contiguous tracts of agricultural land for agricultural uses must be a core provincial priority. It is important that our members have assurance that planning decisions will be made by elected representatives who are subject to the requirement of being voted in by the electorate, which we believe is an imperative part of the maintenance of objectivity and public accountability. It is our view that allowing council to give additional decision-making authority to staff on minor planning changes beyond what is already allowed creates the opportunity in the future for further council responsibilities to be delegated to staff as well, which would be a potential outcome that OFA would not support. OFA believes that while planning approvals may be looked upon as “time consuming” by some, decisions need to remain with the elected officials who are subject to the electoral process if accountability and transparency are to be assured. Further, OFA notes that the Planning Act has been amended a number of times recently. We urge the provincial government to exercise caution in amending it further at this time. OFA believes Ontario’s land use planning policies must be clearly communicated to decision makers so that farmland can be reserved for farming while population and employment growth can continue to be allocated to urban settlement areas throughout Ontario.