Imagine all the people, currently without a home, living in tiny houses, winterized trailers, lofted cottages, yurts, converted garages, treehouses and A-frame cocoons: a home for all!
Imagine it happened because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped up – just as a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada suggested government needs to – and he revised the official plan to enable relaxed regulations and expedited permitting of legal, innovative, safe, attractive housing options, on private property and in residential areas, in every community that desires and intends to actually resolve this “national emergency.”
Recently the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that homelessness is not a human rights violation.
But, according to at least one blogging lawyer, “the court has also sent a clear signal to government: it is time to step up and take action to address this national emergency.” (See bit.ly/1M9Lldj)
Under the Canadian Constitution, local government can only be established and granted its powers by the provincial government.
The provincial government sets out the legal framework and foundation for the establishment and continuation of local governments in a provincial law called the Municipal Act. This act provides local governments with the authority necessary for fulfilling their purposes and with the flexibility to respond to the different needs and changing circumstances of their communities.
The authority of local governments to govern matters within their boundaries is established by the Province. Local governments are recognized as independent, autonomous and accountable orders of government. This recognition is granted under the Community Charter for municipalities and under the Local Government Act for regional districts (bit.ly/1ks3wC7).
If you want to use or develop your property in a way that is not allowed by the zoning bylaw, you may apply for a zoning change, also known as a zoning bylaw amendment or a rezoning. But council can consider a change only if the new use is allowed by the official plan.
Tracy Ann Smith