Between the winter of 2015 and August 2015 a group of councillors from across the GTA (including myself and Councillor Cilevitz from Richmond Hill) have been meeting to discuss the challenges that the current Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has presented for municpalities in Ontario.
Developers in Ontario have the right to appeal a decision of Council to the OMB and these appeals have frequently resulted in a local council’s decision being modified or overturned resulting in development that is not necessarily consistent with a municipality’s Official Plans. It is a belief that is shared by many people in Ontario, that the broad power that the unelected and unaccountable body that is the OMB, has the power to impact the decisions of a democratically elected Council, and this situation must be reformed.
In the spring of 2015 our OMB working group hosted a Summit that ultimately brought forward a list of recommendations that was presented to the Association of Ontario Municipalities Conference and to the Ontario Government for their consideration. Below is the text of the recommendations report and also a speech that the Minister of Municipal Affairs made at the conference. In this speech he acknowledges the work that our group has done and also the need for OMB reform as our group has outlined in the report.
I am proud of the work that our group has done in adding a strong voice to encourage the Ontario government to reform the OMB so that local planning decisions made by duly elected councils are respected.