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Environmental Scan

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ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN
Conditions with Impacts on the Business Plan

Changes in Demand

The increased complexity of the applications as well as an increase in the number of applications that contain multiple disputes will influence the need for appropriately skilled Commission members and could potentially impact the administrative support system required by the Commission. It is essential that Commission have sufficient number of skilled members appointed to ensure that it can continue to provide Ontarians with a cost effective and efficient avenue for resolution of disputes.

The Commission has also seen an increase in the number of applications requiring the Commission to examine and determine its jurisdiction and mandate relative to disputes that may extend beyond the technical requirements of the Building Code.

With the increase in the complexity of the applications and the increase in the number of applications that contain multiple disputes, the Commission notes that the length of time it takes to fully hear the matter has also increased. Further, the Commission received two references from the Superior Court of Justice under Section 25 of the Building Code Act. One of these references, resulted in multiple hearing days – this hearing has taken up 20 hearing days between November 2015 and December 2016 and is still ongoing.

New Commission Members

As noted previously, 13 new members were appointed to the Commission at the end of 2016; with these appointments the Commission can continue to fulfil its mandate. The Commission still requires additional members having expertise in on-site sewage systems.

A job advertisement for applicants having on-site sewage system expertise was posted in December 2016. The Chair of the Commission is expected to make recommendations to the Minister on possible new appointees.

While the appointment of new members allowed the Commission to continue to fulfil its mandate, the appointments did not occur in time to allow for the existing membership to mentor the new appointees. In order to try and address the overall succession planning issue noted previously, the Commission Chair will need to carefully consider what recommendations to make regarding reappointment of current members. It may be necessary to recommend that not all members will be reappointed or appointment terms may be for a shortened term.

Potential Financial Pressures

As part-time appointees, Commission members receive remuneration in the form of a per diem as established by Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet. This per diem ranges from $398 for members, $491 for Vice-Chairs and $627 for the Chair. Commission members are also reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses associated with attending Commission hearings in Toronto. Costs and expenses associated with Commission activities, including operating costs and member per diems, form part of the overall budget for the Building and Development Branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Any changes to the Commission’s application rate and/or complexity of issues will also directly impact the Branch’s budget in support of Commission activities.