Thoughtful land-use planning is vital to the growth and development of our towns and cities. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) plays a central role in our land-use planning process as an independent, public body which hears appeals on land-use planning decisions. Suffice it to say, the OMB has never truly met the needs of involved Oakville citizens.
Having an independent appeal body, separate from an expensive court system, that can hear appeals and work to protect long-term public interests is crucial. However, I’ve heard from constituents over the years that the system needs to be improved so that it is more open and fair, less costly, and less adversarial.
I couldn’t agree more.
I have pushed for the need to redefine the mandate of the OMB since my time in local government. As MPP, from day one I advocated for our government to revisit and balance many of the Progressive Conservative government’s rules that appeared to work against ordinary citizens in planning their own communities and at the same time allowed some councils to avoid making those tough decisions that make for good inclusive community planning.
Our government has already made a number of reforms to the land-use planning systems that address some of the public’s concerns. But as your MPP, I feel more can be done.
Our government recently undertook a comprehensive review of the OMB. Over the 75 day review period, many community meetings were held, including a well-attended and highly engaging town hall here in Oakville. Meetings were held with a range of stakeholders and we received over a thousand submissions from the general public.
The input from Oakville residents and from individuals and groups across Ontario was invaluable as our government identifies ways to improve the OMB.
Substantial reform to the OMB is long overdue. It has always been my ambition to re-create the OMB as an efficient and accountable body that supports sensible development and growth in our province. I continue to advocate for real changes that will result in a land-use planning process that better serves our communities.
This website is provided for your convenience. If you'd prefer to call or email, my staff and I would be happy to hear from you.
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