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What's in Ontario Premier Doug Ford's 'Get It Done Act'?

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government tabled an omnibus bill Tuesday afternoon that makes changes to multiple pieces of legislation with the goal of streamlining development, banning tolls on highways and enforcing referendums for the carbon tax.

The bill—called the “Get It Done Act”—covers a variety of topics. Here’s what is inside:

Urban boundary changes

The ‘Get It Done Act’ puts some of the government’s previously reversed urban boundary changes back into place.

Back in October, the Progressive Conservatives reversed plans to change the urban boundaries of multiple Ontario municipalities. Housing Minister Paul Calandra said at the time that decisions had not been made “in a manner that maintains and reinforces public trust.”

In the ‘Get It Done Act,’ a large number of those changes have been reinstated.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Calandra said the decisions were made after consultations with the affected municipalities.

“They have made the decisions as to what parts they want to retain and what parts they aren’t happy with.”

Carbon tax referendums

If passed, the bill will give Ontarians a direct say over whether the province adopts a carbon pricing program. A vote of more than 50 per cent would be needed for a government to move forward with any change—although it makes clear this would not apply to other greenhouse gas emission policies.

The ‘Get It Done Act’ will amend the Elections Act to include a process for an issues-based referendum.

Ban on tolls

The ‘Get It Done Act’ prohibits new tolling of provincial roadways, including the uploaded Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

It does not change any tolls already in place under other legislation, including the fees for Highway 407 East.

Automatic licence and photo card renewal

A freeze on driver's licence and photo card fees has been made permanent.

The government also plans on making the renewal of licence plates automatic for drivers “in good standing.” This comes after the Ford government eliminated all fees associated with the annual registration of licence plates.

Streamline environmental assessments

Few details have been released so far about this part of the bill. The legislation makes it clear that property needed for building can be acquired through purchase, lease or expropriation. It also mentions streamlining the environmental assessment process on lower-risk projects, which the government says includes the Hazel McCallion Light Rail Transit line extension, as well as Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass.

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