June 23, 2016 – The Province of Ontario has announced that they are reviewing the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
FOCA will be reviewing these materials and will post updates to the membership via Elert as they become available.
Most matters that come before the OMB are related to the Planning Act, including appeals on land use planning decisions such as official plans and zoning by-laws. (more about the OMB)
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of the Attorney General are proposing improvements to how the OMB works within the broader system of land use planning. A consultation paper will be released in the fall 2016 for further comment.
In the meantime, the province would like to hear your views on the following topics:
- Jurisdiction and powers: this could include what matters can be appealed and who may appeal them, the use of local appeal bodies and how much deference should be given to municipal decisions.
- Meaningful citizen participation and local perspective: this could include who has access to hearings, how to ensure the ability of the public to participate, how to ensure that the process is affordable, unrepresented parties and the role of the citizen liaison office.
- Clear/predictable decision making: this could include how to ensure fairness, adjudicator education and training and standardized decision format(s)
- Hearing procedures and practices: this could include the formality of hearings, how expert evidence is heard and what evidence should be allowed at hearings.
- Alternative dispute resolution: this could include the use of mediation or other alternatives to traditional hearings or adversarial procedures as part of the appeal system.
- Timely processes and decision making: this could include the timelines for scheduling hearings and the issuing of decisions.
If you would like to comment or share your insights on the topics above, please email: OMBReview@ontario.ca.