Key meeting Nov. 8 of Planning & Growth Management Committee to discuss abolishing city-wrecking Ontario Municipal Board which favours monied interests over the public good
By Jayme Turney, Toronto Public Space Initiative –
Toronto council’s Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting passed an amended motion to abolish the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and begin a process to set up an internal appeals board. Under the current system, developers had little incentive to negotiate in good faith with the city, a process they simply viewed as a formality en route to a developer-friendly OMB appeal hearing. As a result, city councillors, city staff with expertise in planning and development, and citizens had little say over planning decisions that affect the future and development of Toronto neighbourhoods.
The Toronto Public Space Initiative (TPSI) supported recent calls by Toronto Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27) and Josh Matlow (Ward 22) to abolish the OMB. No other region in North America is bound by an anti-democratic provincial body like the OBM. The TPSI believes the City has the ability and expertise, to make its own planning and development decisions, in partnership with Torontonians, and to set up a more limited appeals body to deal with a more limited jurisdiction. TPSI also believes that the OMB effectively stands in the way of democratic innovations, such as community planning boards, and may hinder the type of long term local planning that is needed for a large city such as Toronto to compete and thrive economically in future decades as its population grows.
PG9.11 – Removing Toronto from the Jurisdiction of the OMB