It seems like just yesterday we were writing RIP OMB; HI LPAT when the Ontario Municipal Board (“OMB”) was replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT”) on April 3, 2018.
As of today, June 1, 2021, the LPAT, Environmental Review Tribunal (“ERT”) and Board of Negotiation (“BON”) have merged with the Conservation Review Board (“CRB”) and the Mining and Lands Tribunal to form the new Ontario Land Tribunal (“OLT”).
Section 15 of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act gives the government the power to designate tribunals as a “cluster” if the matters they deal with are such that “they can operate more effectively and efficiently as part of a cluster than alone”.
As a bit of recent history, LPAT’s predecessor, the OMB, was previously clustered with the Assessment Review Board, BON, CRB & ERT which formed the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (“ELTO”). Although clustered as ELTO, each tribunal kept its name and individual rules of practice and procedure. On January 1, 2019, “Tribunals Ontario” was formed which grouped together nineteen tribunals in Ontario and did away with ELTO; however individual names and rules of practice and procedure remained.
Today’s OLT is akin to the old ELTO, however the distinction with this designation is that all five tribunals within OLT will share a name, rules of practice and procedure and one Chair, being Marie Hubbard.
The Ontario Land Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and decide appeals filed under 27 statutes. This negates the need for joint boards and the Consolidated Hearings Act has now been repealed. The Chair, Alternative Chair, Vice-Chairs and Members appointed have jurisdiction over all matters under the OLT. The Members of the predecessor tribunals will continue as Members of the OLT for the remainder of their terms of office.
The new OLT rules most similarly reflect the old LPAT rules with some new distinctions. For example, where certain planning appeals were subject to mandatory case management conferences, they are now discretionary. Participants may only provide written submissions to the OLT, which has been the case at LPAT but not at other tribunals such as the ERT.
The most exciting part of this change is the implementation of online document submission. Once a person has successfully registered by filling out an invitation request, they will be able to sign in and submit documents in Word or PDF format. In fact, rule 5.1 requires that applications, appeals and referrals be electronically submitted to the OLT directly in PDF format with searchable text. While this may be a learning curve for some, this is a welcomed change in Ontario where stay-at-home orders have become commonplace during COVID-times and many people are working remotely without the benefit of binding machines and other office comforts.
Matters which were initiated at a previous tribunal will now continue under the OLT. The new rules apply to all matters, but there are some transitional provisions. For example, requirements or orders of a past Tribunal continue to be effective.
If you have any questions on how this impacts you as a municipality, developer or resident please contact Barriston LLP at 705-792-6910 and ask to be directed to the municipal law group or send an email to Sarah Hahn.
OLT Rules: https://olt.gov.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Rules-of-Practice-and-Procedure.html
OLT Act: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/21o04
• The Aggregate Resources Act
• The Assessment Act
• The Clean Water Act, 2006
• The Conservation Authorities Act
• The Development Charges Act, 1997
• The Environmental Assessment Act
• The Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993
• The Environmental Protection Act
• The Expropriations Act
• The Greenbelt Act, 2005
• Greenbelt Plan
• The Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act
• The Mining Act
• The Municipal Act, 2001
• The Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act
• The Nutrient Management Act, 2002
• The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001
• The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, 2002
• The Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act
• The Ontario Heritage Act
• The Ontario Water Resources Act
• The Pesticides Act
• The Planning Act
• The Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016
• The Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002
• The Toxics Reduction Act, 2009
• The Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016