DC Superheroes


Gordon Prentice, a former British MP writes a blog in Newmarket for over 5 years. His February 15th post on Development Charges and their impact concludes with the question: does growth pay for growth?

As this coincides with my recent post on Mayor Dawe demanding the waiving of DCs as the only way for Aurora to get a hotel it is worth referencing the report found on page 8 of the Town of Aurora Council agenda on April 12th, 2016 which cites the Development Charges act and the 2012 Development Charge Backfound Study finding that only 50% of growth is paid for by DCs:


On page 10 Development charges are cited as a primary tool for ensuring growth pays for growth:


But does it?

Who else shares Vaughan’s Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua’s belief that Growth doesn’t pay for growth?

Well Pelegrini, Mayor of King said so last year:

“It’s been proven that growth doesn’t pay for growth.”

Looking for said proof I started digging and found it the March 2011 report from the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario

Page 16 shows the increase of rates between 2002 and 2010 for both York Region and Aurora. Chart 5 on page 49 has a more fulsome comparison of both residential and non-residential rates over the same period.

And while that in itself is disappointing, we now have the Mayor of Aurora championing the waiving of $1.5 Million in DCs needed to pay for growth simply so a hotel is built within his term of office.

In a 2012 post Evelyn Buck wrote:

“We build facilities we could never contemplate without 90% development charge revenue.  We require developers to pay for infrastructure. Then we incease taxes to pay for infrastructure….We will bleat about how growth doesn’t pay for growth while spending hand over fist, greedily absorbing whatever assistance senior levels of government choose to hand out to lessen the burden on homeowners while ensuring no such relief is realized.”

The ignorance of the burden that decisions like the waiving the hotel DC causes is even better illustrated by one of Mayor Dawe’s colleagues.

In this 2007 Banner piece Newmarket mayor Van Bynen claimed the biggest challenge at that time had been managing the region’s debt load:

“The debt will be $1 billion by year’s end, adding it could be $1.75 billion by the end of 2011.”

Fast forward to 2015 and it was reported as $2.5 Billion with a projection of $4 Billion by 2020.

When faced with the question as to why the debt is so high, well its growth of course.

Where’s a superhero when you need one?

Watts on your mind?

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