OMB tries to wiggle away from Erskine Ave. tower order

The Ontario Municipal Board is feeling the heat over the tower it approved next door to John Fisher School. A post Thursday night to City News by staff quotes James McKenzie of the OMB as saying the City was a party to the deal. “In this case the board facilitated (mediation) and when the parties were successful at doing that, they came before the board in a hearing and the board approved exactly what the parties had asked them to.


The problem with this story is that if the City fails to participate, or merely opposes development, it is a lot like an accused person failing to appear in court. He loses big time. Call it an OMB “unconscious bias.” In fact, this jeopardy is well understood by everyone. It has been expressed many times by Councillors including Jon Burnside (Ward 26). A recent local case is Sunnybrook Plaza at 660 Eglinton East. The parties, property owners and the City, negotiated because there was a compelling fear that if they didn’t, the outcome would be worse than it was. There is not a lot of confidence that determined opposition by the City will cause the OMB to turn down an application. This ever-present threat is part of what many dislike about the OMB.