Robert Russell - 27 mars 2018
It was a shock to my family to discover that our system of Municipal Bylaw in Ontario is not a system of rules and requirements, as it appears to be, but a completely discretionary system whereby the current administration can act at will, enforce or not enforce items that are clearly written in bylaw. This is how third-world, cash-in-hand governments operate. We live in a society of written, established law, and can normally refer to a document to ensure our rights. Not so with the OMB’s handling of municipal bylaw. It is completely open to bias and abuse. Here are some steps to make this a democratic system that works for the citizens of Ontario, rather than promoting the agenda of the current crop of local employees:
1 – Let the document stand. It is not discretionary; it’s a list of rules – an agreement on living conditions in the community.
2 – Provide a realistic body of appeal for residents. Right now, the cost of appeal is beyond residents, and municipal employees are aware of this advantage.
3 – In cases of property bylaw, suspend permit issuance at the disputed property while the dispute is active. As it stands, the municipality can lend tacit support to one side by continuing to issue permits.
4 - The municipality should be required to make all communication in the matter in writing. If it isn’t written down, the municipality just blows smoke until the resident gives up. A written record would document these dismissive responses.