Ontario has announced that as of June 22, 2020, it will be resuming the clock on the suspended Planning Act timelines as a response to the evolving COVID-19 emergency.
As detailed in our previous insight, Ontario Regulation 149/20, Special Rules Related to the Declared Emergency (the Regulation) came into force on April 15, 2020, overriding Regulation 73/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which had previously suspended all limitation periods in the Province. The Regulation permitted certain statutory timelines under the Planning Act and City of Toronto Act, 2006 to proceed while suspending others, providing municipalities with additional flexibility during the COVID-19 emergency to process and advance development applications without concern that appeals may be filed on the basis of non-decision.
As the COVID-19 emergency has evolved and municipal capacities have expanded, the Province recognizes that advancing development is key to moving Ontario forward on the path to economic recovery. As a result, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has announced that the temporary suspension of Planning Act timelines will end as of June 22, 2020. The Province’s announcement can be found here.
Following this announcement, the Province released Ontario Regulation 278/20, an amendment to Ontario Regulation 149/20, to come into force and effect on June 22, 2020 (the Amendment). The Amendment specifies that the period of time between March 17, 2020 and June 22, 2020 (97 days) shall not be included for the purposes of counting time for the statutory timelines that were previously suspended. The Amendment also clarifies the timing of expiry of interim control by-laws that were in effect on March 17, 2020, which are deemed not to have expired and remain in effect 97 days after the interim control by-law was to expire.