For Immediate Release
LOCAL RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT FAIRNESS AT THE OMB
Waterloo Region, Ontario – Local residents are expressing serious concern about the procedural fairness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), upon learning that the Region of Waterloo is asking for a judicial review of a crucial OMB decision on procedural fairness grounds. Reports from August 13th indicate that the Region of Waterloo has reason to believe inappropriate interaction may have occurred between the Ontario Municipal Board and the appellant’s primary witness in the OMB decision that decimated the Region’s democratically developed Official Plan.
“This is an alarming development,” said Kate Daley, co-founder of Smart Growth Waterloo Region and resident of Waterloo. “It was already clear that the OMB’s decision wasn’t in the interest of the people of Waterloo Region and the Province of Ontario. Now it seems we can’t even trust that this decision to overrule our democratically elected representatives was made within the basic standards of procedural fairness. Our democratic system depends on that trust.”
“We expect that it will take the courts some time to sort through the mess left by the OMB,” added Kevin Thomason, rural Wilmot resident and site co-founder. “We’re encouraging people across the province to stay informed about this landmark case as it moves forward, and to make it clear to their elected officials that they care about supporting and protecting smart growth in their communities.”
January’s Ontario Municipal Board ruling (PL110080) in favour of developers and against the Region of Waterloo’s Official Plan requires the Region to open up eleven times more land to urban sprawl between now and 2031, and creates a precedent that threatens the province’s Places to Grow Growth Plan and democratic local decision-making across Ontario. The Region has been fighting this dangerous decision in court.
Smart Growth Waterloo Region, hosted at www.smartgrowthwaterloo.ca, is a website launched by local residents to raise awareness of the Ontario Municipal Board decision, and to encourage citizens to speak out and take action against the ruling.
Kate Daley or Mike Boos