The Ontario Municipal Board ("OMB") is a specialized
administrative tribunal with an expertise in land use planning. The
OMB is part of a "cluster" of tribunals known as the
Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario ("ELTO"). The
other tribunals in ELTO are the Environmental Review Tribunal
("ERT"), the Assessment Review Board ("ARB"),
the Board of Negotiation and the Conservation Review Board
("CRB"). Operating as a cluster allows the ELTO tribunals
to share administrative resources and staff in an effort to deliver
government services efficiently.
The OMB has recently announced the hiring of four new full-time
members: Justin Duncan, Sarah Jacobs, Karen Kraft Sloan and Marcia
Valiante.1 These hires demonstrate the increasing
trend of cross-appointments for OMB members.
Three of the four new appointees were simultaneously appointed
to the ERT.2 The fourth, Marcia Valiante, was
already a member of the ERT and continues in that role following
her appointment to the OMB.3
Appointing members to multiple tribunals in ELTO has been stated
as one of the benefits of clustering the five
tribunals.4 Cross-appointments result in the
sharing of individual members' personal skills, knowledge and
expertise. The four new appointments have resulted in a doubling of
cross-appointed OMB members. There are currently eight OMB members
and two OMB Vice-Chairs who sit on multiple ELTO tribunals.
According to ELTO's website, the member cross-appointments are
broken down as follows: six cross-appointments to the ERT, one
cross-appointment to the ARB and two to the CRB (one member is
cross-appointed to two tribunals). One Vice-Chair is
cross-appointed to the ARB and the other is cross-appointed to both
the ARB and ERT.5
An examination of the new appointees' biographies is a good
illustration of hiring members with transferrable skills, knowledge
and expertise.6 The four new appointees all have
significant experience in environmental matters including private
practice and public sector work. Their work experience includes a
Professor of Natural Resources Law and a Vice-Chair of the
parliamentary committee on environment and sustainable
Critics of cross-appointments are concerned that this trend may
result in diluted expertise on land use planning issues. The
argument being that an individual dedicated solely to issues raised
at the OMB will be in a better position to adjudicate those
Critics also point out that, while there are four additional
members, with cross-appointments, these members are not sitting
exclusively for the OMB; therefore, it cannot be expected that they
will carry the same caseload as a member who sits exclusively on
It will be interesting to see what impact (if any)
cross-appointments have on the operations of the OMB, as there is
no evidence that this trend will slow down.
Roberto Aburto is an Associate at Gowlings in Ottawa,
practicing in the area of Municipal Law and Land Use Planning, as
well as in the field of Commercial Litigation.
The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.
From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.
Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.
The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that courts will generally support and uphold decisions of condominium directors because they are better positioned than judges to make decisions pertaining to their buildings.
According to the city bylaws in Calgary, the grading of lots for new buildings must be done properly so that the water never flows toward the new building or any other nearby properties, but away from those buildings.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).