The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), a by-product of early 20th-century provincial planning is an anachronism and antithetical to 21st-century democracy. Intended to protect the larger public interest (originally it was created to ensure rail growth across the province) the OMB is an unelected body that has the right to overrule decisions by municipal elected bodies. More often than not OMB decisions favour developers and their lawyers who have the time and resources to navigate the process of this unelected body.
Because the OMB is an unelected body it cannot be held accountable for its decisions. This has meant that the work of city and urban planners who want to match urban growth with appropriate infrastructure development, like access to schools, roads and public transportation are often ignored when the OMB gives the green light to developments previously refused by city planners. Although the Board says it abides by a provincial a 2006 provincial growth plan it deals with applications for development on a individual basis ignoring the larger infrastructure issues needed to support such development.
In this day and age an unelected body that is unaccountable for its decisions to the constituents of the province needs to be reformed. We need a board that is allows municipal governments to direct their own urban planning providing oversight if and when such planning interferes with a larger public interest.
We call upon the Provincial Government to enact major reforms to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to ensure that Municipal Governments have the freedom and authority to effectively plan land use and manage growth.