Preparing for Matters Before the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (or what you used to call the OMB)

On December 12, 2017 Bill 139 received Royal Assent and came into force as the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017.

While the Act itself came into force on that day, the Schedules to the Act (which contain the legislative amendments) come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor. There is currently no firm date for proclamation. Indications from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is that proclamation will occur once the rules and regulations applicable to the new Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (the “LPAT”, which replaces the Ontario Municipal Board (“OMB”)) are finalized. A recent Ministry press release anticipates that this exercise will be completed in “Spring 2018”.

While these reforms are coming, for the time being, the OMB remains the independent adjudicative tribunal that conducts hearings and makes decisions on matters that arise under the Planning Act and a host of other statutes affecting municipalities. Becoming involved in matters before a board or administrative body can be a daunting experience for those who are unfamiliar with it and its procedures. This program attempts to demystify the OMB by giving participants practical advice on how to navigate an appeal with a focus on how to be an effective witness before a tribunal.

Although many of the amendments will significantly impact the way in which planning appeals are conducted in Ontario (and may impact the number of such appeals), there are other types of matters that will be before the LPAT, including expropriation compensation arbitration and development charge matters, to name just a couple.

It is important to understand the new landscape and also prepare for a change in the type of advocacy and engagement that will occur before the LPAT.

What You Will Learn:
  • Who and what is the LPAT, including its mandate and powers
  • What matters can be appealed to the LPAT
  • The lifecycle of an appeal: from filing an appeal to receiving a final decision
  • How to engage effectively in mediation
  • What are the duties of the parties
  • How can members of the public participate in the LPAT process
  • How to prepare for a hearing, both oral and written
  • How to be an effective witness including how to write a witness statement, howto give evidence and then defend it in cross examination
  • What is the process of appealing an LPAT decision

Why Attend:

  • The workshop will be facilitated by a land use planner, lawyer and economist who have years of experience before the OMB in both land use planning and municipal finance matters
  • Participants will gain an understanding of the new LPAT and the scope of its jurisdiction
  • Participants will learn how to navigate the appeal process leaving them better prepared for any future appeal
  • Instructors will share tips and strategies for how to prepare for a mediation and a hearing
  • Participants will be given tips on how to be an effective witness

Who Should Attend:

This topic will be of benefit to many different staff across the municipal organization who may work with legislation which provides for an appeal process, including:

  • CAOs
  • Planning Staff
  • Finance Staff
  • Engineering Staff

About the Instructors:

Gary Scandlan - Is the Director and Managing Partner with Watson & Associates. His career spand more than 33 years, working in a management capacity for two Ontario Regional municipalities; and more recently with Watson & Associates. Gary's primary area of focus is the municipal financal sector. His previous employment with the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth and the Region of Halton, enabled Gary to gain extensive expertise in the highly-specialized field of finanicial policy analysis. Today, this expertise has proven to be invaluable to the firm's municipal clients in addressing challenging the financial environment. Since joining the firm, Gary has worked with over 125 municipalities assisting them in long range capital planning, development charges, developer agreeement negotiations, water and wastewater rate studies, growth management strategies, and economic/financial feasibility studies.

Jody Johnson - Jody practices in the areas of municipal law and land use planning and provides advice and representation to municipalities as well as to ratepayers and property owners. She appears regularly before municipal authorities and administrative tribunals, including the Ontario Municipal Board and before all levels of the Ontario Courts. Much of Jody's practice is comprised of work in the areas of municipal governance, municipal finance, property tax matters, expropriations and municipal election law. Jody's municipal finance experience includes matters relative to development charges, municipal capital facilities, budgeting, and capital/infrastructure project management. Prior to joining the firm, Jody was a municipality's Chief Administrative Officer and a Municipal Clerk where she oversaw a municipal restructuring. As well, she spent several years as a Municipal Adviser with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH). After her law school graduation, Jody articled at the City of Windsor, where she assisted with by-law drafting, governance matters, prosecution of municipal by-law offences, planning, real estate and development matters involving the City.

Tom Halinski is a Partner with Aird & Berlis LLP in Toronto, and the practice group leader of the firm’s Municipal & Land Use Planning Group. Tom’s practice is devoted to administrative law, where he represents public and private sector clients in the areas of land use planning and development law, municipal law, and property tax assessment.Tom frequently appears before various administrative tribunals, including the Ontario Municipal Board and the Assessment Review Board. He has broad experience in both advising and representing municipalities as well as advocating for clients before municipal councils, committees of adjustment and conservation authority boards. Tom also appears regularly before the courts in appellate matters and on applications.Tom received his BA from McGill University and his LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Barb Koopmans – Currently the Commissioner, Planning and Development for the Town of Milton, Barb has worked almost exclusively in the municipal land use planning field over the course of her 30 year career.  She has extensive experience in current planning and development review as well as local policy development, most recently in the very fast paced environment of a rapidly growing municipality.  This experience has prepared her to navigate and respond to Ontario’s dynamic policy-led land use planning system in a way that respects and responds to the local municipal context.  Barb has provided expert testimony before the Ontario Municipal Board on numerous occasions.  She holds the designation of Registered Professional Planner (RPP) through the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and is a full member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.  She also holds the Certified Municipal Officer (CMO) designation through AMCTO.   Dedicated to continuous professional learning, Barb recently graduated from the Master of Public Administration program through Western University.

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Refund Policy: All Cancellations must be confirmed in writing. A refund levy of $113 (includes HST) will be applied to every cancellation received up to fourteen (14) business days prior to the holding of the session. No refunds will be made for cancellations of less than fourteen (14) business days prior to the holding of the session.
Disclaimer: AMCTO reserves the right to decline registration based on proprietary information/material being presented at this session, and for other reasons such as copyright issues. We will endeavour to make sure all scheduled events take place, but AMCTO reserves the right to alter, change or cancel dates, venues and workshops, for any reason


AMCTO - Head Office
2680 Skymark Avenue, Suite 610
Mississauga, ON L4W 5L6

Deadline to register:
March 05 

Smith Falls Community Centre Hall
2nd Floor
71 Cornelia Street W
Smiths Falls, Ontario
K7A 0A5

Deadline to register:
March 12 
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
1041 Carrick Street
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6L9
(807) 346-0220

Deadline to register:
March 19