City Hall loses again at OMB
Ottawa City Council once again lost at the Ontario Municipal Board; this time on changes it wanted to bring in that would have restricted urban expansion to 230 hectares instead of the 850 hectares approved in 2007.
Why is this a worthwhile story? It is because the city was warned by its own staffers that the proposed OMB challenge would lose (except for city lawyer Tim Marc who can always make a case). And it’s here I have an issue.
First there are two councillors who try to use the OMB I believe to bolster their political standing. Both Councillors Maria McRae and Peter Hume have taken issues to the OMB on more than one occasion and subsequently lost. It always costs the city thousands of dollars, in this case it was $400,000, but I guess it shows to the residents that they’re putting up a fight.
Well councillors need to be upfront with their residents when certain developments are within the rules of the game. It’s better to work with the developers to help smooth over residents concerns but in the end, responsible councillors must explain to the irked homeowners that city growth means encroachment on everyone.
So, let’s clean the slate for all councillors and not talk about past OMB challenges. But from here on out, if a councillor takes another useless case to the OMB board and loses, then the costs the city had to pay to fight at the OMB should be taken out of the councillors’ annual office budget. Furthermore, it will become part of the 2014 election platform against that councillor if Change Your Councillor has anything to do with it.
The rest of Ottawa should not have to pay for certain councillors to grandstand.