Newmarket Mayor John Taylor and Ontario Premier Doug Ford are set to discuss Newmarket's housing issues after the premier publicly criticized Taylor for not supporting Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster, and not meeting the province's housing targets.
Ford thanked other municipalities for passing the housing plan and mentioned that Newmarket was the "one outlier." The province provided housing targets for 29 Greater Toronto Area municipalities to help achieve its goal of building 1.5 million homes by 2031, and most municipalities signed on except for Newmarket, which cited lack of sewage capacity to meet the proposed target of 12,000 new homes.
Taylor said it was not a matter of political will, but rather, capacity. The Upper York Sewage Solution, which was proposed to address the sewage capacity issue, was not approved by successive provincial governments. Taylor hopes to discuss this situation with Ford and find a solution.
Newmarket Mayor John Taylor has received criticism from Premier Doug Ford for not meeting the proposed target of building homes in accordance with the Premier's housing bill. As part of the Premier's plan to build 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years, he has asked every GTA municipality to build a certain amount, with Newmarket's target being 12,000. However, Newmarket has been unable to meet this target due to sewage capacity issues.
The community has been supportive of the Mayor's position, with many praising him for pushing back against the Premier's push for housing. However, there are concerns about the impact of more population and density on Newmarket, including traffic concerns. The Upper York sewage solution has also been controversial, with a proposed new plant on Lake Simcoe being stopped at the province's desk for many years due to opposition from environmental and indigenous supporters concerned about the impact on the lake.
Last year, the province decided not to move forward with the proposed plant and instead plans to enhance an existing plant in Durham region as an alternative. However, there has not been a lot of planning done toward this plant yet, and it may take 5-6 years or more to have it in place, which is a problem for Newmarket's current capacity issue, as they can only build about 2,000 more homes.