Ontario Government to Propose Changes to the Ontario Municipal Board

I am very pleased to hear of the Provincial government’s plan to move forward with presenting reforms to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). As I reported in previous newsletters, I presented a motion to council a number of months back, to lobby the provincial government to reform the OMB. This motion can be found here.  I have also been representing Richmond Hill, along with Councillor Karen  Cilevitz, at the recently formed Municipal OMB Reform Group to push for OMB reform. In August our group presented a paper outlining some of our ideas for reform. A link to the report can be found here.

It seems that our collective efforts have made a difference. Below is the text of a press release by the Provinical Government regarding a review they will be starting toward the goal of OMB reform. For more information about this news and information about how to submit your comments about the OMB, please visit the Ontario Government Website by clicking here.

Ontario Proposing Changes to Ontario Municipal Board to Improve Efficiency and Accessibility

Province Seeking Public Input on Board’s Scope and Process

News Release – October 5, 2016 9:00 A.M.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Ontario is undertaking a comprehensive review of how the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) operates and its role in the province’s land-use planning system to help make it more efficient and more accessible to all Ontarians.

The OMB plays a central role in Ontario’s land-use planning process as an independent, public body through which people can appeal or defend land-use decisions that affect their property or community.

As part of the review, the government is consulting the public on possible changes to the OMB that, if adopted, would:

* Allow for more meaningful and affordable public participation

* Give more weight to local and provincial decisions and support alternative ways to  settle disputes

* Bring fewer municipal and provincial decisions to the OMB

* Support clearer and more predictable decision making

The changes under consideration would improve everyday life for Ontarians by providing easier public access to information about the OMB and its processes through an expanded Citizen Liaison Office. The proposed changes would also better specify what can be appealed to the OMB, as well as the mechanisms through which the OMB hears these appeals.

Ontarians wishing to participate in the consultation may submit comments online or in person at one of the town hall meetings being held across the province this fall.

Improving the OMB’s role in the land use planning system is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.