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Ontario Municipal Board Review

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Ontario has been undertaking a review of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), an important part of the province’s land use planning system.

The OMB is an independent public body where people can appeal land use decisions that affect their properties and communities.

The Ontario government sees a continuing need for the OMB in Ontario’s land use planning system. That is why we are exploring changes to make sure that the Board’s role is appropriate, open and fair.

Through the OMB Review, the government is considering the Board's scope (what it deals with) and effectiveness (how it operates) to determine improvements with respect to how the Board works within Ontario’s broader land use planning system. 

The deadline to provide feedback was December 19, 2016. Thank you for your input.

We are reviewing and analyzing the feedback that we have received. We expect to move forward on possible changes in spring 2017.

Land Use Planning Reforms – What We Have Already Done

Since 2004, the government has made a series of land use planning reforms that: 

  • set out clearer rules for land use planning
  • strengthen policy directions that outline the provincial interest in land use planning 
  • give municipalities a stronger voice and more independence in local land use decisions 
  • provide residents more opportunities for involvement and a greater say in land use decisions in their communities 

These changes have also affected the OMB. Through this review, the government is seeking to build on past improvements to ensure the Board can contribute within the system to its best effect. 

Review Details

It is important that Ontario continues to have an independent appeal tribunal that can resolve some land use disputes ― not having an OMB would result in more appeals to the courts. Tribunals can support an efficient process, they are designed to be faster and less costly than the courts, and their members are subject matter experts.
 

The following set of guiding principles has helped frame the OMB Review: 

  • protect long-term public interests
  • maintain or enhance access to dispute resolution
  • provide transparency in hearing processes and decision-making
  • minimize impacts on the court system

Recent government initiatives on related issues, such as the Land Use Planning and Appeal System Review, the update to the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy and the Coordinated Provincial Plan Review, as well as a specific invitation for public input on the OMB, have helped to inform the priorities for discussion in this review.

The OMB Review has been organized according to the following five themes: 

  • OMB’s jurisdiction and powers
  • citizen participation and local perspective
  • clear and predictable decision-making
  • modern procedures and faster decisions 
  • alternative dispute resolution and fewer hearings

OMB Review - Public Consultation Document

OMB Review cover page



The government released a Public Consultation Document to support the review of the OMB. It provides context and direction. It gives background on Ontario's land use planning system and on the OMB. It sets out possible changes being considered to improve the OMB's role within the system and raises questions for consideration.

The deadline to provide feedback was December 19, 2016. Thank you for your input.

We are reviewing and analyzing the fedback that we have received. We expect to move forward on possible changes in spring 2017.

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