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  • News
  • October 10, 2017

Have Your Say as Ontario Replaces the Ontario Municipal Board

Dear Friends,


Since 2010, I have been working with you to reform Ontario's land-use planning appeals system. Thanks in large part to our community’s feedback, we are finding ways to practically and meaningfully transform our land-use planning system and the OMB so that it is more reflective of the community that we serve. As you may recall, in May the Ontario government introduced Bill 139, the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017. This legislation reflects many ideas that have been raised by our community.  In particular, it proposes to replace the OMB with a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

As your MPP and the Attorney General, I have worked closely with Minister of Municipal Affairs on Bill 139. Just last week, the legislation was debated and has successfully passed Second Reading at Queen’s Park. I was able to speak to it on behalf of our community. I encourage you to view my remarks on this important issue here.


Now that it has passed Second Reading, it will be heading to public hearings on October 16th and 17th. This is a great way to have your voice heard on this very important piece of legislation and I encourage you to get involved. The deadline to register for public hearings is next Wednesday, October 11, 2017.


Anyone interested in speaking to the bill should contact Clerk Jocelyn McCauley by tel. 416-325-7352 or email:


I am committed to ensuring that the changes we are proposing to Ontario's land-use planning system put people and communities first.


If passed, this legislation would strengthen communities’ voice in the planning process. It accomplishes four objectives:

  1. Creating greater certainty for residents, communities, and developers by exempting a broader range of major land-use planning decisions from appeal, including new Official Plans (OP), major OP updates, and detailed plans to support growth in major transit areas.
  2. Giving Communities a stronger voice in development by giving greater weight to the decisions of local communities and governments, while ensuring that development and growth occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future. The new tribunal could only make decisions on matters based on municipal council’s decision, and could only overturn the municipal decision if it does not follow provincial and local plans or policies.
  3. Ensuring faster, fairer and more affordable hearings by establishing clear timelines for pre-hearing and hearing processes so that people can get a better sense of when the tribunal would hear their case, and how long the process is going to take.
  4. Providing access to free legal and planning support for Ontarians by creating a new independent agency, the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre. The purpose of this support centre is to provide free legal and planning advice and representation to communities throughout the appeal process.


By truly creating a dispute resolution system instead of the current policy making body in the form of OMB, it is my hope that these changes will make residents feel like they have a real voice when it comes to land-use planning decisions, and that they feel empowered to act when a decision is made that they do not think is right. I believe that our proposed changes will create a balanced decision-making process that is more predictable, faster and less costly, and can help ensure that cities and towns reflect the best interests of the people living in them today, as well as future generation.


If you have any questions or comments, please never hesitate to call me at the Community Office at (613) 722-6414 or email at

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