Towards A More “Reasonable” Ontario Municipal Board: Looking To Nova Scotia
thesisposted on 25.05.2021, 07:15 by Edward LaRusic
The powerful Ontario Municipal Board (OMB, or the Board) has long been maligned as an unelected provincial body with the authority to meddle with local land-use planning decisions. Concurrently, politicians have been accused of abusing the purpose of the OMB by pushing politically contentious decisions on the Board, rather than oppose an active neighbourhood association. This paper argues that these issues stem from the Board’s "standard of review", which guides the OMB to make the "most correct" decision, sometimes in opposition to the municipality. If the OMB adopted a standard of review of "reasonableness" when reviewing land use planning appeals like the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board does, much greater deference would be given to municipalities by the Board. This would keep the expertise of the OMB intact, without the radical impacts to development that may accompany the creation of a new process for appealing municipal decisions.