Scrap OMB, return decisions to politicians

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an arms-length judiciary that handles land use disputes between municipalities and people and businesses. Its decisions are often controversial since it has the power to over-rule decisions made by elected municipal councils and if often does over-ride those decisions. Of course any organization, elected or unelected, can make bad decisions, but democracy is flaunted when an appointed body can overrule elected politicians.

The existence of the OMB goes against the core Green Party principles of democracy and decentralization. Decision-making should be returned to elected politicians. Elected politicians who are accountable to voters must make Land use decisions. When elected to office, the Green Party of Ontario will abolish of the OMB.

The existence of the OMB demeans and neuters elected councils. Council decisions can be ignored since developers can override them at the OMB.

Similarly, since the public has the option of challenging municipal decisions through the OMB there is little incentive to lobby councils. Why bother becoming involved in local politics if your time and money is better spent in the courtroom of the unelected OMB? Removing the option to appeal to the OMB will revitalize local democracy as local council decisions will become final, or at least till the next election when they can be removed.

Local and provincial politicians will make wise decisions regarding climate change, peak oil, gridlock, and greenfield loss if demanded to do so by the public. Sprawl and big box store mentality must give way to walkable communities linked by transit. These are political decisions that must be made by elected and accountable politicians, not appointed boards.

One response to “Scrap OMB, return decisions to politicians”

  1. Greg Boyce writes:

    I agree, the OMB must go. I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of dollars come out of my community over developers using the OMB to change regulation in their favour. The thing is we elect municipal council to support and protect the community. The OMB defects the rights of our communities.

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