Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) brings together five Ontario tribunals and boards which adjudicate matters related to land use planning, environmental and heritage protection, property assessment, land valuation and other matters.
ELTO is the first cluster of tribunals created under the authority of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance, and Appointments Act, 2009. That Act permits the government to designate two or more adjudicative tribunals as a cluster if, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the matters that the tribunals deal with are such that they can operate more effectively and efficiently as part of a cluster than alone.
The tribunals which comprise Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario are:
The Assessment Review Board, which hears property assessment appeals to ensure that properties are assessed and classified in accordance with the provisions of the Assessment Act. The Board also operates under a variety of other legislation and hears appeals on property tax matters.
The Board of Negotiation, which conducts voluntary mediation in the event of a dispute over the value of land expropriated by a public authority. If no settlement is reached, the matter may be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The Conservation Review Board, which conducts proceedings where there are disputes concerning properties that may demonstrate cultural heritage value or interest, or disputes surrounding archaeological licensing. After determining a matter, the Board then makes recommendations to the final decision-making authority in the particular case, either a local municipal council or the Minister of Culture.
The Environmental Review Tribunal, which hears applications and appeals under numerous environmental and planning statutes including the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993, the Environmental Protection Act, the Ontario Water Resources Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. The Tribunal also functions as the Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office to hear development permit appeals and Niagara Escarpment Plan amendment applications for this protected World Biosphere Reserve, and serves as the Office of Consolidated Hearings to hear applications for joint hearings where separate hearings before more than one tribunal would otherwise be required.
The Ontario Municipal Board, which hears applications and appeals in relation to a range of municipal planning, financial and land matters including official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, consents and minor variances, land compensation, development charges, electoral ward boundaries, municipal finance, aggregate resources and other issues assigned to the Board by numerous Ontario statutes.
ELTO and all who work within it are committed to providing access to justice and to high quality, independent, timely, fair and principled resolutions of the matters brought before them.