The OMB has been changed to the LPAT (Landuse Planning Assessment Tribunal)- and now the Official Plan and also its alignment to Provincial objectives and policies reigns supreme. While this can be good in terms of making sure that Official Plans are written more conscientiously, it begs the questions: Does the public majority understand what Official Plans contain? Do they truly understand then what the contents within Official Plans mean in the larger scheme of planning; and also do they understand what the terms or contents do when rolled out?
And this begets the question; is the public truly engaged in the process of developing Official Plans or even ratifying them? Because, let’s face it, a written notice and request for input in a local newspaper or through email does not often draw significant attention by the public at large, and certainly the potential for dismissal increases when that request comes from a strange source or is about a foreign process or subject matter. On the whole, the public is not truly invited to any arena that will fully educate them about the process or parameters of Official Plans- and certainly then the public is not truly involved.
And now too, the LPAT (formerly the OMB) no longer relies on evidence to make a case, but relies on a test of alignment against priorities- thus removing another opportunity for education, but this time for elected officials to hear new stories and testaments- and so this translates into another lost opportunity…
Watch TVO’s Agenda to learn more: