Change could be on its way for the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
The Province of Ontario is undertaking a comprehensive review of how the OMB operates and its role in the province’s land-use planning system to help make it more efficient and more accessible to all residents.
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.
“We know we have to take a good look at the OMB’s role in the land-use planning system. We want to ensure that the OMB is working as effectively and efficiently as possible. We’re seeking input in a number of areas, including what can be appealed, who may appeal and how the OMB hears matters.”
— Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs
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.
The OMB is an independent tribunal that makes decisions at arms’ length from the government. First established in 1906 as the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board, it is one of Ontario’s oldest tribunals.
The OMB has a mandate under many statutes, but the majority of its hearings relate to Planning Act matters.
Comments must be submitted by December 19, 2016.