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: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page14965.aspx. 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.