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Terms of Reference

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Advisory Panel to the Ministers for the Coordinated Review

BACKGROUND

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) have four provincial plans (the “Plans”) that are all approaching their statutory, individual ten-year reviews.

  • the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
  • the Greenbelt Plan
  • the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan
  • the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

The Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan are known collectively as the Greenbelt Plans.

The Province is undertaking a coordinated approach to the review of the Plans. MMAH and MNRF are the core ministries (the “Ministries”) leading the coordinated review, and they are supported by partner ministries.

The consultation process will follow legislated requirements for the Plans’ reviews, including those for the involvement of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Greenbelt Council.

The consultation process will involve two rounds of consultation. The first round will seek public and stakeholder input to inform the development of amendments. The second round will be to consult on the proposed amendments.

During the first round of consultation, which is expected to launch in February 2015, the Ministries will seek input on focused areas and policies within the Plans. A consultation document will guide the discussions. It will include an overview of the Plans, the scope of issues to be considered during the reviews, and specific policy issues and questions to be addressed. Input and feedback from this round of consultation will help inform the development of proposed amendments to the Plans.

The consultation process to inform the development of amendments may include:

  • Regional town hall/workshop meetings across the GGH with municipalities, stakeholders, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and the public (up to 13 meetings)
  • A workshop with key stakeholders
  • Two workshops specific to Aboriginal interests
  • Neutral third-party facilitation for the meetings and summary reporting of the input received
  • Briefings and meetings with the Greenbelt Council and the Niagara Escarpment Commission
  • Issue-focused meetings with experts and stakeholders as required
  • Additional opportunities for one-on-one meetings with individual Aboriginal communities and/or organizations with issues or concerns that cannot be adequately addressed during a workshop
  • Environmental Bill of Rights Registry posting with a proposed posting period of 90 days
  • Digital presence and other tools to support public engagement.

The feedback and input received at the regional, stakeholder and Aboriginal workshops/meetings will be recorded, summarized and shared with participants and the public.  Additionally, the facilitator will prepare a summary report on all of the submissions.  All summaries will be available to members of the Advisory Panel (the “Panel”), who will also have the ability to review individual submissions.

MANDATE

The Panel will develop consensus-based recommendations on how to amend and improve the Plans and present a report to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (the “Ministers”) by September 1, 2015. The recommendations will consider the areas set out in the consultation document focusing on key areas of priority, including:

  • Opportunities for growing the Greenbelt
  • How to support agricultural activities and further protect agricultural land
  • How to increase intensification, achieve densities to support transit and align infrastructure investments
  • How to accommodate a growing population with housing and employment development
  • How to further protect the region’s Natural Heritage Systems
  • How the Plans can support the government’s targets for reducing greenhouse gases
  • Other priority areas raised during the consultation, as identified by the Panel or the Ministers.

The Panel will develop consensus-based recommendations based on the input and feedback from the public, stakeholders, municipalities and Aboriginal communities and organizations received during round one consultation.

The Panel will access background information and government expertise as needed to inform the work, by:

  • Meeting with staff and officials 
  • Reviewing research, reports, and other background information.

After the report has been presented, the Panel may also be requested to provide additional advice to the Ministers, as part of the Coordinated Review.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PANEL

The Panel will use their expertise, knowledge and available resources to provide best advice to the government.
The Panel’s work will be guided by the following key principles:

  • Public interest remains paramount and protected
  • Recommendations align with the government’s overall strategic directions and priorities
  • The process remains transparent and professional.

SUPPORT FOR THE ADVISORY PANEL

The work of the Panel will be supported by MMAH and MNRF staff, including logistics, consultation materials, and other support as needed.  MMAH and MNRF will draw on relevant staff expertise in other ministries as appropriate. Staff will also participate in briefings and meetings with the Panel to provide expertise and other information as required for the development of recommendations.

DELIVERABLES

The Panel will submit a report to the Ministers by September 1, 2015 with recommendations and advice on how to amend and improve the Plans based on public and stakeholder input.

The Ministers will review the report and determine how and when its recommendations and advice would be made public.

TIMEFRAME

The work of the Panel will begin in February 2015.
The Panel is a short-term body with a mandate subject to the pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor in Council and lasting until June 30, 2016.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The Panel members are required to declare any actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest arising in regard to any matter under consideration for the recommendations.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION

All materials produced by the Panel, including research analysis, reports and recommendations, remain the property of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and will be released publicly at the discretion of the Ministries. 

Background research reports provided to the Panel are the sole property of the Ministries and will be made available to the public at the discretion of the Ministries.