Aurora councillor, Tom Mrakas, has been in touch to say that his motion on the reform of the OMB is to be debated by the council on 19 January 2016. I incorrectly stated the motion was down for debate on 8 December 2015.

Why can’t a councillor here in Newmarket take a similar initiative? I hope Ward 7 councillor Christina Bisanz steps forward. She has doggedly stuck with the Glenway lessons learned agenda when so many of her Council colleagues want to forget about it and move on.

Earlier this year, Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin said a full review of the OMB was coming up in the “near future”. Whatever that means we know that reform is on the agenda.

In her mandate letter of 25 September 2014, Premier Kathleen Wynne, told McMeekin:

“Your ministry’s specific priorities include… leading a review of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Working with the Attorney General and key stakeholders, you will recommend possible reforms that would improve the OMB’s role within the broader land use planning system.”

Before the municipal election last year, Tony Van Bynen, promised Newmarket voters:

“Bringing reform to the Ontario Municipal Board and the Planning Act to ensure our residents have a say in shaping their community will be a priority in the next term. Our Council’s decision to fight for Glenway and defend our Town’s official plan was the right thing to do. I will be working with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and a number of mayors to meet with the Province to bring about real change to the municipal planning process.”

Newmarket should team up with Aurora and other like-minded Municipalities and get the ball rolling.

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