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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. 

Related Blogs

Learning of a Potential Expropriation

Landowners often learn of a potential expropriation long before it actually takes place. Owners will sometimes become aware that their lands are to be acquired/expropriated for an infrastructure project through a public consultation or information session.

Why is My Land Being Expropriated

Land can be expropriated for a variety of public purposes, depending on the institution or government authority carrying out the work. Most expropriation projects arise out of a need for new and improved public infrastructure, and arrive on the heels of environmental assessments which determine the best route or location for the project.

Legal Costs Under the Expropriations Act

The Expropriations Act is a remedial statute with the purpose of rendering the expropriated land owner economically whole. Accordingly, in addition to prescribing compensation for land taken and related impacts, the Act also prescribes the reimbursement of reasonable legal and professional costs incurred by an owner in the determination of compensation. The reimbursement of costs is contemplated under section 32 of the Act.

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