TLAB: improving resident participation in new policy initiatives

Toronto Local Appeal Body
40 Orchard View Boulevard, Suite 211
Toronto, Ontario M4B 1R9

RE: TLAB Virtual Business Meeting, May 26, 2020

Dear Chair Ian Lord and Members of TLAB,

This letter is submitted further to the recent TLAB virtual business meeting. The meeting provided a window into the operations of the TLAB and an opportunity to share some of our ongoing concerns. The virtual meeting format proved to be relatively easy to attend, and participate.

The agenda for the meeting included a couple of new initiatives: Draft Practice Direction 6: Expert Witnesses, and Evaluation Form). We were pleased that the Chair was willing to allow enough time to hear from residents’ representatives as well as to allow for a fulsome discussion among some Members. However in the end we feel that a multi-step approach to developing and approving such policies is required in order to achieve the best results. We suggest that, at a minimum, an initiative should go through two readings, with an initial meeting to present a proposal and gather stakeholder input, followed by a second meeting to present and receive input to the TLAB on a revised proposal. We suggest the Board might consider organizing the first meeting with mixed stakeholders so that there is an opportunity for enhanced understanding, perhaps with independent facilitation.

FoNTRA supports the goals of ‘excellence in administrative justice’ and is supportive of changes that would ensure residents (including un-represented residents) experience procedural fairness throughout the hearing process.

Yours truly,

Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

cc: Mayor John Tory, and Councillors
Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning
Michael Mizzi, Director, Zoning and Committee of Adjustment
Susan Garossino, Director, Court Services