Ontario is undertaking a review of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
Comments are currently being sought on the following topics:
- Jurisdiction and powers: e.g. 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: e.g. 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: e.g. how to ensure fairness, adjudicator education and training and standardized decision format(s)
- Hearing procedures and practices: e.g. the formality of hearings, how expert evidence is heard and what evidence should be allowed at hearings.
- Alternative dispute resolution: e.g. the use of mediation or other alternatives to traditional hearings or adversarial procedures as part of the appeal system.
- Timely processes and decision making: e.g. the timelines for scheduling hearings and the issuing of decisions.
Comments on the above topics can be emailed to the Province at: OMBReview@ontario.ca.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of the Attorney General are working to develop proposed recommendations to improve 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.
The Province's webpage regarding the OMB Review is available here.