Liberate Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board

Editorial —

Every Ontario premier since (but not including) Bob Rae has sold out our city to corporate interests, primarily those in the high-rise, high-density development game.

But even Rae failed to do what Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has an opportunity to achieve.

That is: to free Toronto from the sell-out dominance of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) that has made the city planning department as meaningful as teats on a bull.

Under the fist of that hack outfit, developers have trumped any planning initiatives from city hall that don’t boost their profits and quite often degrade our cityscape.

It would be a bold step for a Liberal because when it comes to being a lackey for developer interests, they’re another octave of the Tories.

It was Mike Harris, naturally, who drove the OMB stake farthest through the heart of Toronto by distancing Ontario Cabinet from the need to hear even occasional appeals of OMB rulings. He made OMB omnipotent against city interests. It’s to be expected from a Tory who thinks corporations trump ordinary folks.

Dalton McGuinty was as big a sellout to developers as any Tory. A developer was his campaign manager and McGuinty rewarded that industry with all the power of his office. Like Harris, McGuinty left office early and in disgrace.

Toronto needs the power to design its own physical destiny for its own citizens, not for Liberal party contributors with vested interests to profit from the ruins they’re permitted to build.

It’s a certainty that Harrisite Tim Hudak, one of Harris’ key henchmen during the terrible years, would bring the city to greater ruin from giveways to moneyed interests.

So let’s hope Kathleen Wynne can at least help the city mark a rare win from Queen’s Park. If she won’t de-amalgamate this unholy Mike Harris alliance of suburbs that dominates Toronto, at least provide us with a shred of freedom to rule ourselves.

Liberate Toronto from the OMB!

Frank Touby