2014/15 – 2016/17 Business Plan

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Mandate

Overview of the Tribunals

Strategic Directions

Environmental Scan

Overview of Programs and Activities, including Performance Measures

Risk Identification, Assessment and Mitigation Strategies

Human Resources

Staff Numbers (Staff Strength) 

Organizational Chart 

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

Implementation Plan

Communication Plan

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan

3-Year Financial Plan


Executive Summary

Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) is the first cluster of tribunals created under the authority of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act (ATAGAA). Formed in 2009, ELTO includes the Assessment Review Board (ARB), Board of Negotiation (BON), Conservation Review Board (CRB), Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  This is the fifth annual business plan prepared by ELTO and it supports the goal of providing client-focused, high quality resolution of environment and land disputes for all Ontarians.  This year, ELTO engaged the organization to develop a new strategic framework, which sets the stage for the next 3-5 year business planning cycle. 

In previous years’ business plans, ELTO was focused on priorities to support its core business of resolving appeals, applications and disputes, supporting government initiatives for agencies, boards and commissions, and internal reforms to promote accountability and efficiency.  Considerable progress was made in advancing these priorities through a number of initiatives.

Core Business Initiatives – Resolving Appeals, Applications and Disputes

Government Initiatives for Agencies, Boards and Commissions

Internal Reform – Accountability and Efficiency


Mandate

ELTO is a group of five tribunals that resolve appeals, applications and other disputes, under some 100 statutes, in relation to land use planning, environmental and heritage protection, property assessment, land valuation and other matters.

Authority:

The legislative authority for ELTO’s constituent tribunals is found in a number of statutes:

Mission:

ELTO and its constituent tribunals will strive for excellence and demonstrate the highest standards of public service in:

Vision:

We are client-focused and committed to excellence in the resolution of environment and land disputes for all Ontarians.

Core Values:

Core values are the guiding principles of ELTO and the foundation on which its constituent tribunals fulfill their mandates.

Accessibility:

Fairness:

Transparency:

Timeliness:

Integrity, Professionalism and Independence:

Overview of the Tribunals

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.

ELTO’s five tribunals resolve appeals, applications and other disputes. Hearings are held throughout the province. The tribunals use a variety of dispute resolution methods and conduct different hearing events including pre-hearings, motion hearings and mediation sessions. The tribunals process the files from intake, through to a hearing if required, and issue decisions, orders and recommendations resulting from settlements, hearings and mediations.

The constituent tribunals of ELTO maintain their original mandates:

The ARB hears property assessment appeals to ensure that properties are assessed and classified in accordance with the provisions of the Assessment Act. The ARB also operates under a variety of other legislation and hears appeals on property tax matters.

The BON conducts 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 OMB.

The CRB conducts proceedings where there are disputes concerning properties that may demonstrate cultural heritage value or interest, or disputes surrounding archaeological licensing. The CRB takes an active role in dispute resolution with a small percentage of cases resulting in a formal public hearing and the issuance of a Recommendation Report back to the final decision maker, either a local Municipal Council or the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

The ERT 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 OMB 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.

Strategic Directions

As ELTO continually strives to improve the quality, efficiency and accountability of its operations to meet the needs of those who use its services, it is committed to assessing and making changes to processes and procedures, and to strategically using technology.   These improvements are actively developed to enhance access to justice, the timely processing of appeals, and quality decision-making.

 In the Fall of 2013 ELTO consulted throughout the organization to develop a vision statement, strategic directions and initiatives that reflect the organization’s focus for the future.  This exercise referenced the Ministry of the Attorney General’s strategic plan priorities of modernizing processes and technology, developing and retaining a skilled and engaged workforce and promoting accountability and value for money.

The ELTO strategic directions were also informed by the four common business goals or “pillars” that were identified by the leadership of the clusters and tribunals.

Recognizing the autonomy of each cluster/tribunal, there was agreement on four common goals or “pillars” for the adjudicative tribunals operating under the Ministry of the Attorney General:

This business plan reflects three key strategic directions that ELTO will focus on over the next three years:  

Strategic

Direction #1

Strategic

Direction #2

Strategic

Direction #3

Providing Client Options that lead to
Timely and Appropriate Resolutions

Transforming Through Technology

Building a Dynamic, Effective Workplace

Strategic Direction #1 - Providing Client Options that lead to Timely and Appropriate Resolutions:

This first strategic direction supports ELTO’s core business to resolve disputes.  ELTO recognizes that not all disputes require a full hearing before the tribunals, and that parties should be able to access a range of mechanisms to assist in resolving their matter.  ELTO is committed to ensuring that clients have information about when they should use the tribunals, understand what they can expect during the process and receive a fair, timely and high quality resolution to their dispute.

Strategic Direction #2 - Transforming Through Technology

By providing more information and education support and increasing case materials available online, ELTO’s goal to transform its services using technology will save clients time and money by enhancing the ability to interact with the tribunals electronically.  Through this strategic direction, ELTO’s goal is to provide access for clients from all regions of Ontario through a variety of methods, offer green solutions to support sustainability, and achieve efficiencies in operations.

Strategic Direction #3 - Building a Dynamic, Effective Workplace

By building a dynamic, effective workplace, and through the realization of the goals of the previously stated strategic directions, the manner in which ELTO’s staff and Members work will change.   Administrative processing requirements will be reduced allowing additional capacity for providing quality customer service and advancing strategic initiatives.  Staff and Members will work through integrated processes to achieve the vision of client focused, quality dispute resolution, and everyone in the organization will be engaged in and understand initiatives to support continuous improvement and transformation.

Environmental Scan

External Factors

With continuing pressure on the government to address Ontario’s economic challenges, development remains a government priority.  Development involves decisions on how to use land within the legislated framework including the Provincial Policy Statement and Provincial Plans, and these decisions often have impacts on the environment in its broadest sense.  ELTO’s tribunals, which resolve disputes related to land and environment issues in a timely, fair and consistent manner, support Ontario’s economic health, the health of its communities and citizens, and municipal revenue streams.  ELTO’s plans to monitor and manage these risks are set out in Risk 2 on page 16 in Risk Identification, Assessment and Mitigation Strategies.

Continued concerns about the health of the economy, and the subsequent focus by governments on reduced spending can impact ELTO in a number of ways:  the complexity of cases that are brought to the tribunals can increase with the introduction of legislation; the resources available to the cluster to resolve its caseload can be constrained; and clients may have access to fewer resources to support their participation in an appeal process, resulting in an increase in self-represented parties.

ELTO’s tribunals can also be affected by changes to policy and legislation by federal, provincial and municipal governments.

When governments adopt policies to invest in infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy, additional cases can be generated for both the BON and the OMB.  Municipalities adopt a variety of methodologies to finance capital projects, generating cases related to development charges, land compensation and municipal finance applications at the OMB.

Provincial policy and legislation regarding land use planning has generated increased complexity in the OMB caseload, and the government has recently completed the consultation phase of possible changes to land use planning system in Ontario, including the types of matters that could be appealed to the OMB.  The government has also released a report in December 2013 on the Special Purpose Business Property Assessment Review which includes a number of recommendations impacting on the ARB and the overall property assessment appeal system.

Concerns about the environment could lead to new legislation and policies designed to protect the environment.  Government policies and legislation have already led to an increase in the number and complexity of hearings that come before the ERT and this increase is expected to continue over the coming year, especially in regards to renewable energy.

The ARB is an essential part of a fair, accurate and predictable property assessment process impacting on municipal tax revenue.   It is entering the second year of the 4-year assessment cycle and anticipates approximately 10,000 new appeals to be filed by March 31, 2014. Assessment values have increased by an average of 14% across the province for the 2013 assessment cycle, which may result in an increased interest by property owners to appeal their property assessment.  However, with the legislative requirement for residential property owners to file a mandatory Request for Reconsideration with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation before filing an appeal with the ARB, the number of new appeals has decreased.  The ARB’s caseload profile has shifted substantially; where residential appeals formerly comprised 60% of the appeal caseload, in the current caseload it represents only 13% of cases.  This shift has resulted in more appeals with a high value and complex issues, which in turn will impact training requirements for Members and staff and new approaches to case management and active adjudication.

In alignment with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s (MAG) commitment to ensure access to justice in remote and rural communities and engagement of aboriginal communities in the justice system, ELTO must ensure that it maintains its ability to provide timely and appropriate mechanisms for dispute resolution.  While caseloads from these areas are not substantial, ELTO needs to provide local presence and timely resolution of appeals for diverse communities.

ELTO notes a continuing trend of increased expectations for transparency in client-driven services as requests for timely information and the ability to transact through electronic access is the expected norm.  This expectation puts increased pressure on ELTO to evolve its IT solutions to match clients’ expectations; a further challenge is to secure funding and staffing resources for IT projects to deliver results.

Internal Factors

A significant internal factor is ongoing budget constraints across the provincial government.  Budgets are becoming tighter while there is an expectation that services to the public will be maintained or improved, particularly in technology infrastructure.  ELTO will continue to look for opportunities to partner with other tribunals to share resources and best practices, maximizing the utilization of resources.

The government has identified the co-location of all of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s clusters and tribunals – including ELTO - into a single, government-owned location at 25 Grosvenor Street as a key priority.  ELTO is the only cluster that is currently co-located in one facility and will work to ensure that the eventual move to 25 Grosvenor Street meets the cluster’s program requirements while contributing to the objective of increasing synergies among tribunals and reducing the cost for space.

In 2012, ELTO initiated an internal value-for-money audit through the Justice Audit Services.  The audit is being completed in two phases, beginning with the ARB and the BON.  The final report from Phase 1 of the audit was delivered in the summer of 2013, and ELTO is currently implementing plans to respond to the audit recommendations.  The report recommendations focus on financial management, case management and legislative and regulatory compliance.  Field work for Phase 2 of the audit, which includes the CRB, ERT and OMB, commenced in Fall 2013 with the final report anticipated in Spring 2014. 

Overview of Programs and Activities, including Performance Measures

Strategic Initiatives (2014-2017)

Strategic Direction #1 - Providing Client Options that lead to Timely and Appropriate Resolutions

Provide more useful information to the public

Educate clients about how to use processes

Provide client-friendly rules and processes

Strategic Direction #2 - Transforming through Technology

 Use technology to improve access

Use technology to support resolution events across Ontario

Provide client-friendly processes using technology

Strategic Direction #3 - Building a Dynamic, Effective Workplace

Take advantage of opportunities presented by co-location

Provide better learning and development opportunities

Build a workplace that exemplifies diversity, inclusion and accessibility

Performance Measures

In 2014/15 ELTO will review performance measures and establish benchmarks to ensure that services and programs are achieving the intended objectives.  This will include the development of a client satisfaction survey to obtain feedback on both quantitative and qualitative performance.

Current performance measures are designed to assess the tribunals’ core business of resolving disputes in an accessible, fair, efficient and timely manner.  Where target performance has been consistently achieved in past years, the target has been increased for future service standards to reflect the commitment to continuous improvement.

Where target performance was not achieved in 2013-14, ELTO is exploring ways to revise processes and better utilize resources in order to improve performance in future years.

ELTO

Performance Measures 2012-13 Achieved
(Target)
2013-14 Achieved
(Target)
2012-15
Target
2012-16
Target
2012-17
Target
% of cases in which ELTO issues a decision in 60 days 92%
(85%)
92%
(85%)
90% 90% 90%

 ASSESSMENT REVIEW BOARD

Performance Measures 2012-13 Achieved
(Target)
2013-14 Achieved
(Target)
2012-15
Target
2012-16
Target
2012-17
Target
% of cases in which the Assessment Review Board issues a decision in 60 days 93%
(85%)
91%
(85%)
90% 90% 90%
% of residential complaints resolved by the Assessment Review Board within 365 days of receipt 97%
(90%)
100%
(90%)
90% 90% 90%
% of residential complaints resolved by the Assessment Review Board within 365 days of receipt 97%
(90%)
100%
(90%)
90% 90% 90%
% Residential Appeals scheduled by the Assessment Review Board within 6 Months of Receipt N/A 93%
(90%)
90% 90% 90%
% Pre-2013 Appeals Resolved by Assessment Review Board by March 31, 2014 N/A 73%
(90%)
N/A N/A 90%

*Note:  The number of complex and lengthy proceedings was the primary factor in the delay in resolving appeals.  

BOARD OF NEGOTIATION

Performance Measures 2012-13 Achieved 2013-14 Achieved
(Target)
2012-15
Target
2012-16
Target
2012-17
Target
% of cases in which ELTO issues a decision in 60 days N/A 86%
(85%)
85% 85% 85%

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW TRIBUNAL

Performance Measures 2012-13 Achieved
(Target)
2013-14 Achieved
(Target)
2012-15
Target
2012-16
Target
2012-17
Target
% of cases in which the ERT issues a decision in 60 days 73%
(85%)
77%
(85%)
85% 85% 85%

*Note:  A significant increase in the number of complex / lengthy proceedings in the past two years, primarily in the renewable energy area, was the primary factor that contributed to our inability to meet our commitments.  Adherence to the statutory timelines for renewable energy proceedings adversely affected the ERT’s ability to issue timely decisions in many other proceedings.

ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD

Performance Measures 2012-13 Achieved
(Target)
2013-14 Achieved
(Target)
2012-15
Target
2012-16
Target
2012-17
Target
% of cases in which the ERT issues a decision in 60 days 82%
(85%)
86%
(85%)
85% 85% 85%
% of OMB minor variance cases (stand-alone) scheduled for a first hearing within 120 days of the receipt of a complete appeals package 83%
(85%)
71.1%
(85%)
85% 85% 85%
% of OMB cases scheduled for a first hearing within 180 days of the receipt of a complete appeals package 83%
(85%)
71.9%
(85%)
85% 85% 85%

*Note:  Adjudicator resources (both reduced numbers plus unanticipated absences of adjudicators) along with an increase in the number of complex/lengthy proceedings were the primary factors that contributed to our inability to meet some of our commitments.

Risk Identification, Assessment and Mitigation Strategies:

Risk Description Likelihood of Occurrence
(Target)
Potential Impact Mitigation Strategies
1) ELTO does not meet performance measures Medium Low
  • Monitor and communicate results
  • Adjust resources as necessary
2) Mandate may be impacted by government initiatives and/or change in government Medium Moderate
  • Liaise with MAG policy leads to facilitate discussions with other policy ministries to identify initiatives which impact ELTO’s scope of operations
  • Analyse impact and implications of changes on workload and resources
3) Stakeholders are resistant to new strategic directions and projects. Medium Low
  • Develop multi-year stakeholder engagement and outreach plan
  • Monitor impact of initiatives and feedback
  • Training strategy for Members and staff
4) Hearing rooms outside of 655 Bay Street are not accessible to persons with disabilities. Low Medium
  • Proactively maintain an inventory of accessible hearing rooms available across the province
  • Post accessibility policy on website
  • Early identification of accommodation requirements achieved through multiple means including hearing notices, forms and correspondence
  • Train Members and staff to identify accommodation needs
  • Accessibility Coordinator manages accommodation requests in advance of hearings and implements a plan
5) Significant change in volume and / or complexity of cases received Medium Moderate
  • Monitor incoming and existing applications to identify trends
  • Develop and adjust training plans to reflect anticipated changes in case composition and complexity
  • Manage existing assignment of resources to respond to changes and mitigate delays
  • Seek approval for additional cross-appointments and additional part-time Members as required
6) Delays in appointing Adjudicators Medium Moderate
  • Identify potential vacancies and provide required information to MAG/PAS for appointment / re-appointment of Members
  • Re-appointments to be identified six months ahead of appointment expiry dates
7) Unable to attract and retain Members with requisite expertise and qualifications Medium Low
  • Maintain and implement an annual professional development plan based on core competencies and learning needs. This will allow ELTO to focus on enhanced professional development
  • Provide orientation to new Members and experience-based professional development for longer serving Members
  • Promote collegiality and a culture of excellence to attract and retain skilled competent Members. Training will be targeted to reflect emerging trends in the Board’s cases and Member needs.
  • Work with stakeholders to encourage qualified candidates to apply to competitions
  • Develop a recruitment strategy using the OPS Executive Inclusion Lens
8) Delays in implementing new technology and ability to obtain funding Medium Moderate
  • Ongoing monitoring of projects to focus Justice Technology Services (JTS) on ELTO’s priorities and reinforce requirements set out in service level agreements and project charters
  • Support tribunal/cluster IT strategy to identify opportunities to partner with other tribunals / clusters to fund and implement joint technology initiatives
9) Reduction in operational resources due to government priority to manage provincial deficit Medium Moderate
  • Review performance standards to align with available resources
  • Regular monthly forecasting and controllership practices are in place
  • Work with JTS to implement technology initiatives to achieve efficiencies
  • Explore and implement partnerships with other clusters / tribunals to achieve efficiencies

Human Resources

Adjudicators

ELTO is led by the position of the Executive Chair. The ELTO cross-appointment strategy envisions using multiple tools to ensure the most efficient and effective use of ELTO adjudicators according to their substantive area of knowledge.  The strategy includes requesting changes to existing and new Orders in Council to allow for selected cross appointments among cluster tribunals. This will enable the cluster to assign designated full-time and part-time appointees to hearings where the need is greatest among the tribunals.

The complement of adjudicators is:

 

 

Positions

Full-Time

 

FT

Part-Time

PT

Exec Chair

Associate

Chairs

Vice

Chairs

Board

Members

 

Total

Vice Chairs

Board Members

 

Total

Dedicated to 1 board / tribunal

-

2

8

14

24

2

40

42

Dedicated to 2 or more boards / tribunals

1

1

4

8

14

-

4

4

Total ELTO positions

1

3

12

22

38

2

44

46

Staff Numbers (Staff Strength)

ELTO’s full-time staff complement is:

 

Group

Number of Positions

SMG

4

CC5A

1

ALOC

4

MCP

14

AMAPCEO

14

OPSEU

88

Total

125

 

ELTO’s management and staff are covered by the OPS Compensation Directive and as such ELTO does not set its own compensation levels.   ELTO is not required to benchmark its compensation and benefits against other public sector bodies.

ELTO follows the OPS directives on recruitment policies and uses the Inclusion Lens throughout the competition process to ensure fair and diverse employment practices are utilized.

Organizational Chart

 

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

ELTO does not have initiatives that involve third parties.

Implementation Plan

ELTO has identified three primary strategic directions with corresponding initiatives designed to achieve these goals. In 2014/15, ELTO will identify specific projects and timelines for these strategic initiatives and will develop an Operational Plan to coordinate the planning and implementation.  Individual projects in support of the strategic directions will be scheduled over the three year period 2014-15 to 2016-17.  In the third year, 2016-17, ELTO will evaluate the progress in achieving the strategic directions.

ELTO is currently developing its Operational Plan, which will incorporate a detailed implementation plan.

Communication Plan

ELTO and its constituent tribunals strive for excellence and to demonstrate the highest standards of public service to stakeholders and the public.  ELTO’s communications will be accessible, fair and transparent.

The ELTO Advisory Committee, established in 2012, assists its constituent tribunals in the development and implementation of policies, practices, rules and services to carry out their mandates to provide modern, fair, accessible, effective and timely resolution of the proceedings before them. Meetings are held quarterly.  ELTO also has regular consultations with its stakeholders on a variety of initiatives to improve the tribunals’ operations and services.  As set out in its Consultation Policy, ELTO will post communications on its website to provide notice of proposed changes to the public and stakeholders, giving reasonable time periods for comments to be submitted on proposals for change initiated by ELTO Specific consultation dates and topics for discussion will be established in ELTO’s Operational Plan.


ELTO is responsible for its media relations and responds directly to frequent media inquiries.  Contact information for the media is noted on the website and on ELTO’s phone system.

The ELTO website is a key communications portal providing information to those accessing the tribunals’ functions. The site will continue to be developed to support the principles of accountability, transparency and efficiency.  The technology used to develop the website is changing.  Over the next two years, ELTO will work with its service providers to implement new technology for developing and managing content while meeting accessibility requirements.  ELTO seeks to use technology to improve access and to provide client-friendly processes.

The ELTO website also contains a number of documents to assist the public to better understand tribunal processes including information sheets, forms, Rules and guides.  These documents are also available by fax, email or mail upon request. Over the next two years ELTO is working to improve access to the decisions of the constituent tribunals via the website.

The Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (ATAGAA), was enacted to ensure that tribunals are accountable, efficient and transparent in their operations as well as remain independent in the decision-making process.  The Act has specific requirements for the publication of governance and accountability documents.  One requirement is the preparation of this Business Plan. Following ministerial approval, ELTO’s Business Plan will be made available to the public and posted on its website.  On an annual basis, ELTO is also required to submit an Annual Report.  After the Annual Report is tabled in the legislature, copies are made available via the website.

ELTO’s Complaints Coordinator is established as the single point of contact to facilitate the complaints process under the Complaints policy.  The policy is consistent with the broader OPS Common Service Standards.  The status of complaints are monitored and tracked to ensure that they are responded to within the required timelines and process identified in the policy.  In 2013/2014 ELTO has responded to eighteen complaints.  

Another ATAGAA governance accountability document is the Memorandum of Understanding. It sets out the communication protocol between MAG and ELTO.  Communication between ELTO and MAG is supported by regular meetings between ELTO and ministry representatives.

ELTO welcomes feedback by email, fax, mail, telephone or in person.

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan

In the Fall of 2012 ELTO approved its Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan which set the following goals:

ELTO will focus on delivering ongoing efforts in four key initiatives in the next three years.

  1. Providing a strong mandate for the Employee Engagement Committee to develop good practices in the planning and delivery of activities, which embed diversity, inclusion and accessibility good practices
  2. Mentoring and developing diversity champions across all levels of staff and board members
  3. Supporting the ongoing commitment to continuous learning by documenting education, awareness and acceptance of diversity, inclusion and accessibility training offered by the CFLL in staff and members’ performance and learning plans
  4. Developing measurements and reporting tools on diversity and inclusion through the Agency Inclusion Community of Practice

ELTO has a multi-year accessibility plan and continues to monitor the progress of initiatives established.  In 2013, ELTO worked with municipalities to update the accessibility features of hearing spaces being provided at municipal locations to actively address requests for accommodation by persons with disabilities.  Administrative and adjudicative protocols were implemented to allow for full and meaningful participation of the public where requests for accommodation were made known.  As of February 2014, for the fiscal year 2013/14, ELTO’s Accessibility Coordinator played a key role in the receipt, acknowledgement and follow-through on 14 accommodation requests.

Training for ELTO Members and staff has consistently been an organizational priority and in the past year, mandatory training in the areas of customer service policy under Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), and the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) has been delivered to new and existing Members and staff.  Members of the ELTO Employee Engagement Committee (EEC) have been trained to apply the OPS Inclusion Lens in the planning and delivery of engagement initiatives.

In 2014, further training to support all staff and members in understanding how to prepare documents in accessible formats and provide communication supports will be completed.  In addition, all managers and team leads will complete training to learn more about employees’ rights to accommodation and the duty to accommodate and is recommended for staff and Members to understand their rights.

Throughout 2013 staff, Members and managers received training on mental health awareness.   This complex issue was viewed through multiple lenses:  customer service, natural justice and adjudication, managing staff with mental health concerns and developing tools for all staff and Members on building resiliency.

ELTO Members and staff have actively engaged in the planning and participation of the October 2, 2013 Accessibility Consultation event coordinated by the MAG Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, Agencies.  In April 2014, ELTO staff will participate in the Agency Diversity & Inclusion Forum, Better Justice through Inclusive Practice.

In 2013, the tribunals within ELTO commenced reviewing public documents to determine whether they meet accessibility requirements.  Consistent with the requirements of the IASR, over the business plan cycle, ELTO will undertake an initiative to make documents available in accessible formats.

ELTO has adopted recruitment practices which showcase the cluster as a model of a diverse and inclusive workplace, implementing the strategies in the OPS Recruitment Lens, featuring hiring panels reflective of the diversity within the OPS and the public, barrier-free hiring practices, providing accommodation to address visible and invisible disabilities, and promoting respect and professionalism as hallmarks in the workplace.

Each year, ELTO has developed and implemented new best practices to ensure that its programs are sensitive to the diverse communities it serves, and to promote an inclusive workplace.  ELTO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan includes strategies to address people, processes, services and results.  The plan incorporates a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, developed in 2013, which details ELTO’s plans on achieving compliance with the IASR.  This plan was developed through consultation with persons with disabilities.

Strategies focused on people will provide opportunities to build on continuous learning documented in performance and development plans for staff and Members, with a focus on knowledge sharing and building cultural competencies through awareness and experience.  These strategies will include training on new accessibility requirements under the AODA regulations, as well as formal and informal learning sessions to promote an inclusive culture.

In reviewing existing and developing new fair and inclusive policies, practices and procedures, ELTO will address existing barriers and create and implement new protocols to improve access to ELTO’s services.  This will include providing training on the use of a diversity lens tool for the development and review of policies and programs, as well as development of a plan to review existing policies, practices and procedures to enhance accessibility.  Internal processes will also be reviewed to support a diverse and inclusive workplace.  This will include a review of recruitment practices for both Members and staff, engaging other tribunals through communities of practice to enhance existing best practices, partnerships to share resources and expertise in embracing inclusive practices in the workplace to encourage stakeholder engagement and achieve measurable results.

In providing services, ELTO is committed to providing a built environment that reflects universal design features to provide dignity and fair access to clients, Members and staff.   ELTO provides accessible hearing rooms in Toronto and maintains an inventory of accessibility features for the hearing rooms it utilizes in municipal buildings across the province. Services such as augmented hearing devices, including signage, are in place to support accessibility.  ELTO will continue to work with municipalities and its internal and external partners to provide accessible hearing rooms outside of Toronto.  In preparation for the co-location with the MAG adjudicative tribunals /clusters, ELTO is taking into consideration accessibility needs for clients, staff and Members in the design and build of the new space.

Accessible document formats and brochures in plain language and in five languages other than English and French are available on the ELTO website for some tribunals.

In 2014/15 ELTO will explore options to provide information in multiple languages.  In addition, diversity resources and tools for Members and staff are available on the ELTO intranet site. 

ELTO has published its 2013 Accessibility Progress Report, and will post an annual update.    In 2013, ELTO published its Multi Year Accessibility Plan on its website and will update the report at least once every five years in consultation with persons with disabilities.   In addition, in late 2013, ELTO filed a Compliance Report with the Accessibility Directorate; and will continue to file reports every two years until 2025

Results on accessibility training commitments are currently measured and reported annually to the Ministry of the Attorney General.  In 2014/15, ELTO will develop additional measures to provide information about progress toward diversity and inclusion objectives.


3-Year Financial Plan

Multi-Year Operating Budget

Expense Category

2013-14

Budget Allocation

2013-14

YE Forecast

Variance *

2014-15

Budget

2015-16

Budget

2016-17

Budget

Operating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Wages (S&W)

12192.3

12475.0

(282.7)

12692.3

12692.3

12692.3

Benefits

1410.0

1525.0

(115.0)

1460.0

1460.0

1460.0

ODOE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transportation and Communications (T&C)

1047.2

1055.0

(7.8)

1047.2

1047.2

1047.2

Services

3145.7

2674.0

471.7

2595.7

2595.7

2595.7

Supplies & Equipment

185.4

203.0

17.6

235.90

235.90

235.90

TOTAL Operating

17980.6

17932.0

48.6

18031.1

18031.1

18031.1

Hold Back:

 

 

 

(418.3)

(335.1)

(396.8)

Total:

 

 

 

17612.8

17696.0

17634.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

2362.0

3950.0

1588.0**

1238.8

1962.5

5900.0

 

Note:

*2013-14 Expenditure Variance

Appropriation controls for ELTO moving Services to Salaries and Wages are slated for mid-March 2014 in a Treasury Board Order.

**2013-14 Revenue Variance

$1,588,000 relates to appeals received on and before March 31, 2013 (assessment year) but processed as revenue in 2013-14.

ELTO is forecasting spending slightly under its allocation for 2013/14, partially due to some delays in recruitment for staff and Members and staff positions that have not been filled. 

ELTO’s allocation in future years may be impacted by MAG’s multi-year constraint exercise. The potential hold back on ELTO’s allocation for 2014-15 and beyond consists of a 2.32% reduction on the 2013/14 allocation in 2014-15, 1.86% in 2015-16 and 2.20% in 2016-17. The above chart reflects these reductions to allocation in the TOTAL Operating line. ELTO will work within its revised allocation for the next three years by implementing a number of  strategies, including maximizing the use of part-time Member resources; revising the approach to training; and, reducing ODOE expenditures for supplies and other services.

Fees Collected

The ARB currently receives filing fees of approximately $770,000 per year.  The OMB currently receives filing fees of approximately $250,000 per year. There are no filing fees for the BON, CRB, and ERT.  ELTO will examine the fee structure for all of the tribunals in the cluster in 2014/15.  

Fees received by ELTO are transferred to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.


 

Effective as of December 12, 2015
elto.gov.on.ca