Repeal and Replace: What Impact would the Proposed Replacement of the Ontario Municipal Board have on Expropriation Proceedings?
On May 30, 2017, the Ontario Legislative Assembly approved a first reading of Bill 139, which, if passed, would replace the Ontario Municipal Board with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Bill 139 still requires further readings and royal assent before being passed into law. If enacted, Bill 139 would replace the Ontario Municipal Board Act with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, 2017.
The OMB is an independent public body where people can appeal land use decisions that affect their properties and communities. Additionally, the OMB has exclusive jurisdiction to hear claims for compensation where land is expropriated or injurious affection is caused.
News of the proposed changes has generated controversy with respect to planning and development in Ontario. Some welcome the proposed changes as providing greater deference to the decisions of local governments. Others warn that the changes may impede development and centralize control.
What would be the impact of the proposed legislation on expropriation proceedings? Bill 139 as drafted would not substantively alter the Expropriations Act. References to the Ontario Municipal Board would be replaced with references to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. A reference to the Ontario Municipal Board Act would be substituted with a parallel section of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, 2017. An explanatory note in the bill makes it clear that the proposed changes to the Expropriations Act would simply be a consequence of the enactment of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, 2017.
Although Bill 139 is still in its earliest stage, it appears that with respect to expropriation proceedings, the proposed changes would be in name only, and the LPAT would perform the same functions as the OMB in the determination of expropriation compensation.