Councillor Josh Matlow

The Toronto Star Feature Series on the OMB and our Yonge-Eglinton Area

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an unaccountable, unelected and anti-democratic provincially-appointed body that has the final say over our city’s planning decisions. The influence that the OMB has had on the Yonge-Eglinton area were featured in a well-written, informative series in the Toronto Star this past weekend.

As many of you know, I have been a long-time advocate of freeing Toronto from the OMB’s purview. While the Province has stopped short of eliminating the OMB altogether, there are a number of very positive reforms proposed in this Ministry of Municipal Affairs consultation document released last year that would significantly improve the planning process for Toronto, including:

  • Only allowing the OMB to hear appeals on the “validity of the decision” by council, limiting the OMB’s ability to hear appeals and completely overturn decisions
  • Preventing appeals of secondary plans, including Yonge and Eglinton which is now under review, for two years
  • Requiring the OMB to send “significant new information” arising from a hearing back to council for re-evaluation before rendering a decision
  • More actively promoting mediation to settle disputes, preventing adversarial hearings
  • Better training for OMB members, who are appointed by the Province
It is expected that the Province will move forward with legislation this year. I will be sure to update you as this important review progresses and new information is available.
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