Change will come slowly despite OMB reforms: Toronto Star, Dec. 18, 2017

A Dec. 18, 2017 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Change will come slowly despite OMB reforms: Regulations put forward by Ontario on how to transition to a new planning tribunal mean hundreds of applications currently being considered by city could be appealed under old rules.”

A page-6 article in the Dec. 19, 2017 print edition of Metro News (Toronto) reads:

OMB to die – but slowly

Queen’s Park voted last week to reform the Ontario Municipal Board – responsible for land use planning disputes and how cities are built – and replace it with a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal aimed at giv­ing power back to cities.

But the proposed regulations on how to transition to the new body mean hundreds of applications currently being considered by Toronto staff will still be eligible for appeal under the old system, favour­able to developers.

“We’ll have the OMB with us for years or so, wreaking all kind of havoc,” said Coun. John Filion. “lf the government decided that the OMB was bad enough that it needed to be reformed, you have to wonder why they’re leaving it in place for so long… It really looks like they’ve stood there , held the door open for the developers.”




Years ago, in the late 1970s, I represented co-operative day care centres at an advisory body known as the Metro Toronto Day Care Advisory Committee. In those days, Paul Godfrey was chair of the Metro Toronto level of government. He attended the meetings of the above-noted advisory committee. I remember him as a no-nonsense kind of person.

At that time, David Crombie was the mayor of Toronto, having previously taught at the Public Administration program at what was then Ryerson Polytechnic Institute. I recall that he was a well-mannered and efficient kind of person. That was also evident when I have attended more recent events, such as a meeting in Mississauga some years ago in connection with the Lake Ontario waterfront, at which he was a presenter.

In those days I occasionally compared notes, regarding trends in the funding of early childhood education, and related topics with a young researcher named Martha Friendly (we were all young in those days). I’m really pleased to know that she is still active in this field; I often hear her talking in CBC interviews regarding trends in the funding of early childhood education.

Anyway, what I remember – of the many things that I remember about those years – is that from time to time I attended varied meetings and conferences, where one of the mantras, that people on panels would repeat, often enough that I still remember it, is that, when it comes to provincial legislation, what you have to attend to closely are the regulations that are enacted as part of the legislation. It was also frequently mentioned, if I recall correctly, that a key feature of regulations is that they are easier to change, than the legislation.

I think of this now, with regard to Bill 139. What the Regulation spell out will say many things, about what’s what, and who’s who, with regard to OMB Reform.


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