Mayor Meed Ward starts what she calls a movement at the Regional level of government to abolish the LPAT-OMB process.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 10th, 2019



MMW + Nisan at Region

Burlington Councillor Rory Nisan brought a friendly motion to the Meed Ward – Bonnette motion.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette sponsored a motion at Regional Council asking that the province abolish the current Local Planning Act Tribunal – Ontario Municipal Board process that reviews development decisions made by city councils.

The motion had an amendment from Councillor Nisan that was seen as friendly and was included.

Meed Ward argued that it would take a movement to bring about a change at the provincial level and she saw the motion as the beginning of that movement.

Council on July 10-19

The motion was passed unanimously on a recorded vote at the Region.

It was passed unanimously at the Region.

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3 comments to Mayor Meed Ward starts what she calls a movement at the Regional level of government to abolish the LPAT-OMB process.

  • Adam

    This is going way too far. Roland I don’t understand how this would help with intensification, prevent sprawl etc. The current council has already put a hold on all development. How is this supporting intensification?

    Remember that developers can also lose appeals at the OMB / LPAT. When it is abolished, what would stop a few counsellors from gaining control of council and approving everything? Imagine the incentive for developers to back political candidates, get them elected, and then have complete control over development in the city. We have an anti-development council right now, it could just as easily swing the other way. Having oversight is a good thing. Should the Board of Joe Brant have complete control over how to deliver Health Care within the Hospital? Absolutely not, Health Care has a ton of oversight, by experts, to make sure it is being done properly.

    This grass roots movement of people living in downtown Burlington will support just about anything to get rid of a few condos even if it makes no sense. Another example is trying to remove the Mobility Hub designation for the downtown. Aren’t we in a “climate emergency” and aren’t we trying to encourage people to walk, bike and take transit by developing around transportation hubs? Then why are we trying to remove the Mobility Hub designation? It is entirely because people don’t “like” condos downtown. Again it is bad policy and makes no sense but a few people downtown are making enough noise to get their way at the expense of others and the climate.

    I’ve even heard people say that “ALL” intensification should be done around GO stations not downtown. Again this is very self serving. Why is it so great to live in a GO station parking lot? There is NOTHING to walk to other than the GO train. Downtown has schools, restaurants, parks, the lake, businesses – I could go on. What does the GO Station have? Again as long as it means preventing condos downtown this group doesn’t care if it makes sense.

    • Stephen White

      Organizations such as the LPAT/OMB are an anachronism from another time and era when provincial governments felt the need to control municipal governments and prevent them from being financially extended. Times have changed. Keeping LPAT makes as much sense as retaining the Canadian Senate, another vestige of a bygone era that should be quietly put out of its misery.

      The “hold” you refer to on development is only temporary. Developers invariably win at LPAT/OMB because they have the resources to do so. To be clear: this is not a level playing field.

      I guess I have a lot more confidence than you do Adam in the intellectual capability of Burlington residents to decide their future. All you have to do is go to any Council meeting at City Hall and listen to the quality of delegations to realize that there are smart, talented and bright people in this City who often have a better grasp on issues than many public servants. They want to preserve the character of neighbourhoods and the quality of life in this city. That is the important distinction that is missing from your analysis.

      This is not a case of “development” vs. “no development”. Those who characterize the debate around the issue this way miss important nuances in the discussion. Similarly, those who keep harping on NIMBYism to dismiss opposing perspectives think that if they keep repeating this tired, worn-out shibboleth a thousand times it will somehow make it more believable. It won’t… and it also won’t promote understanding either.

  • Roland Tanner

    This is an incredibly important first step, albeit a symbolic one. The fact the motion passed unanimously speaks to the strength of opinion across every council in Halton that OMB/LPAT is undemocratic, unaccountable and unfair.

    Abolition of OMB/LPAT and defending and stengthening municipaal democracy needs to be a key issue at the next provincial election. Let’s hope cities and municipalities across Ontario get on board.

    Removing OMB/LPAT would allow for fair and proper implementation of provincial objectives hand in hand with democratic municipal planning, and give certainty to cities, citizens, and yes, developers about what can be done where. It would be a good approach that is still fully consistent with the need for intensification, vibrant, walkable communities and preventing sprawl.