Oakville Homes

March 11, 2011

“Peter Gilgan Pipe of Dreams” – lower the development charges


“Development Charges” is rearing its ugly head again, with an article in the Globe and Mail seemingly supporting the construction industries’ attempt to curtail these costs.  Last year Mattamy Homes went on the warpath in Halton regarding these development charges.  Seems Billionaire Peter Gilgan felt that the builders should not pay as much as the municipality thought they should pay to develop the infrastructure for new growth.  So much so, he stripped the job sites of tradesman and bused them to the Halton Council Hall.

“Development fees are levied to raise the money for the municipality to provide infrastructure – such as roads and sewers – to support the housing”, according to the article.  They go on to report that some municipalities are also using the fees to build libraries and community centres and the builders are questioning the validity of this. 

Myself, new growth is more than just new sewer lines.  We need to add structures to accommodate the new community – fire halls, police stations, community centres, etc and, why shouldn’t the development charges be used for this.  Why should I, as an established homeowner who has already paid the freight on my home, pay for new structures up in an area I doubt I will use?  Yes, not having my own community inundated with new people and stressing the facilities is of benefit to me and I am sure some of my taxes will be used to support the new areas, something I have no problem with but, I say let the development charges pay the freight to build them.  I’ll help with maintenance.

“Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said the city charges developers the maximum amount allowed under provincial legislation because development fees haven’t covered the cost of growth in more than a decade. “Mike Harris gutted them in 1997,” he said.

“So local property taxpayers subsidize billionaire developers whose subdivisions make higher profits by not paying for the hospitals, transit and other infrastructure they require,” he said. “Oakville’s council is proud to have development charges that capture the maximum permissible amount of the costs of growth.”

Right on

Billionaire Gilgan showed his true colours by busing in the crowds of workers.  Workers who should have been trying to close houses on time and doing quality work.  According to ex-Halton Chair Peter Pomeroy, now working for Mattamy Homes, the workers didn’t even know why they were there.  Yes, real informed protest there guys.

Needless to say, I handed out information packages that informed the workers about their boss though.  Even had people come up and request copies.

Anyways, back to the development charges.  Nothing is for free.  People want to buy a new house in a nice area.  To do that, you have to pay for the costs of development, not think the existing base of taxpayer should.  Milton got the developers in there cheap.  The majority of taxpayers for Halton are in Oakville and Burlington.  In order to attract growth to Milton, the Oakville and Burlington taxpayer had to pay for the water main from Lake Ontario to Milton.  We paid the price to allow Billionaire Gilgan to make more money with a subsidized infrastructure that we as taxpayers are still paying for.  Maybe a card of thanks would be appropriate Peter or, you could pay us back and we’ll name the pipe after you. 

“The Peter Gilgan Pipe of Dreams”

How do the developers feel?

“The president of the Canadian Homebuilders Association said builders can’t simply absorb the costs, because their margins have never been thinner.

“Profit is not a dirty word,” said Vince Laberge. “Politicians need to raise property taxes instead of having a social agenda funded by the new home buyer.”

Yes, raise the taxes and shaft the taxpayer to allow the billionaires to make more money.  Great advice from the building industry.

And how do the plebs feel about this? 

The comment section on this article is overwhelmingly against the developer’s idea of shafting the taxpayer.  They feel that if you want it, pay for it – otherwise, buzz off.

So Gilgan, wake up and smell the coffee. Keep your workers on the job and make sure the quality is there instead of using them as cannon fodder in front of regional councils.  Whining about development charges which benefit the new homeowner via infrastructure doesn’t really cut it any more.  If you don’t like it, invest your money in something different that might double your billionaire status.  I’d like to keep my taxes down so I can at least enjoy life. 

You’ve lost touch with what it is like to survive in this world on a normal salary.



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