Time to Free Toronto from the OMB: DiNovo

Queens Park – Cheri DiNovo, NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park and Ontario NDP GTA Issues Critic, announced her plans to table a private member’s bill to Free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

“Time and again the unelected OMB has disregarded city planners and the concerns of local residents, and imposed decisions that favour deep-pocketed developers,” said DiNovo. “It’s long past time to set Toronto free from the undemocratic, unaccountable and out of control OMB, and defend good planning policies.”

DiNovo was joined at a press conference in Queen’s Park today by Toronto City Councillors, Joe Cressy (Ward 20), and Mike Layton (Ward 19) who are supporting her bill to remove the OMB from Toronto’s city planning process.

“On countless development files, our work to collectively plan our neighbourhoods is undermined by the OMB,” said Cressy. “Our planning process is broken – we need to tell the provincial government that the way to fix it, the way for Toronto to have the power to make its own planning decisions and manage the future of our neighbourhoods, is to abolish the unelected and unaccountable OMB.”

“Toronto needs to make the final decisions on development and planning in our neighbourhoods.  The OMB is not accessible or accountable to communities, and leads to decisions that go against the interests of our city,” said Layton.

Today will mark the second time DiNovo tables her bill.  It was tabled as Bill 5 in the last session. The bill was also previously tabled by MPP Rosario Marchese and passed second reading.  It failed to pass in committee after the Liberals and Tories teamed up to kill the bill.

“For over a decade, the Liberals have promised to reform the OMB with no action. In fact, instead of working for reform, the Liberals have worked against it,” said DiNovo. “The City of Toronto has made it clear – they want to be set free from the OMB.”

Toronto’s City Council voted 34-5 in favour of removing provincial oversight on planning matters in 2012.