OMB reform: First round, June 2016

August 4, 2016

The long anticipated process to reform the Ontario Municipal Board got under way at the end of  June 2016.  Here is the government’s information page:  In this round, the Ministry sought feedback on six specific aspects: jurisdiction and powers; meaningful citizen participation and local perspective; clear/predictable decision making; hearing procedures and practices; alternative dispute resolution; and timely processes and decision making.

In earlier submissions, the Greenspace Alliance already had made suggestions on most of these topics (January 2014 ; November 2014).  We reiterated them in a new submission but new items include references to the two disastrous Decisions that have come out of the OMB recently — the Walton/Taggart decision and the Sunset Lakes Decision (jurisdiction part).  Here is the new submission.

August 11, 2016

An op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen of August 11 by Jamie Liew (U of O) and Michael Powell (Dalhousie CA) says that citizens “need a level playing field” at the OMB — at present no one can match developers’ deep pockets.  They recommend an independent government-funded legal support service similar to what exists in the human rights field with the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre.