Who's behind the Ontario Municipal Board ?

April 10, 2014: news.buzzbuzzhome.com published this article written by Monika Warzecha.

Last spring, Rosario Marchese, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Trinity-Spadina, put forward a private member’s bill to make Toronto exempt from the Ontario Municipal Board’s jurisdiction.

The provincially appointed board is the final body of appeal on planning decisions, something that Marchese and his supporters believe shouldn’t be the case – if Toronto’s city planners decide against a development or a re-zoning, their decision should stick.

The bill passed its second reading in 2013 and went to public hearings today. One of Marchese’s arguments for jettisoning the board is that the members of the OMB are appointed and not elected. Some of the MPPs that support the bill argue that the board members have too much sway over local planning issues.

Since the OMB is a bit of a mystery to many, we decided to look into the tribunal that hears applications and appeals on municipal and planning matters. A look at the backgrounds of board members shows a number of lawyers, planners, two former mayors and a previous MPP.

As with a lot of top-tier public servants, there are a high number of board members on the province’s Sunshine List, which details public sector employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year.

Tenure lengths differ greatly as well, with one member being on board since 1988. Want all the details? Check out the full list of the OMB members on the BUZZBUZZ SITE.