2016/17 – 2018/19 Business Plan

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Mandate

ELTO’s Strategic Framework

Environmental Scan

Overview of Programs and Activities

Performance Measures and Targets

Risk Identification, Assessment and Mitigation Strategies

Human Resources: Members and Staff

Organizational Chart

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

Communication Plan

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan

Three-Year Financial Plan

Appendix A

 

Executive Summary

Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) is a cluster of tribunals which adjudicate matters related to land use planning, environmental and heritage protection, property assessment, land valuation and other matters.

Created under the authority of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (ATAGAA) and formed in 2010, ELTO includes the:

ELTO’s annual budget for 2016-17 to 2018-19 is $17.2 million.

This business plan supports ELTO’s vision that states:

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

ELTO continues to develop, implement and refine its three-year business plans and annual operational plans to ensure alignment with its strategic framework, which includes its vision, mission, mandate, core values, strategic directions and strategic initiatives.  ELTO is committed to building a workplace that exemplifies diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

In December 2015, following a recruitment process, ELTO welcomed Dr. Bruce Krushelnicki as its new Executive Chair. Dr. Krushelnicki will continue to lead ELTO in its commitment to providing access to justice and high quality, independent, timely, fair and principled resolutions and to upholding the mandate, mission and core values of ELTO and its constituent tribunals and the activities in this Business Plan.

As set out in this Business Plan, a number of activities are currently underway, or planned for the coming years, to implement ELTO’s strategic framework.

ELTO is committed to continuous improvement.  Having worked with the Justice Audit Services team on a phased internal audit of its operations ELTO has implemented the recommendations from Phase 1 of the audit related to financial management, case management and legal/regulatory compliance.  Field work for Phase 2 of the audit, which included the CRB, ERT and OMB, was completed in late 2013.  A final report was presented to ELTO in January of 2015.  The Phase 2 report recommendations focused on performance metrics, the expense framework and legislative and regulatory compliance.  Following receipt of the report, ELTO has begun work addressing the recommendations.

ELTO plans to take advantage of opportunities presented by the co-locating of the Ministry of Attorney General’s (MAG) adjudicative tribunal clusters within the GTA into a single government owned facility at 15/25 Grosvenor Street, Toronto.  Co-locating provides an opportunity to strengthen customer service, share common resources and modernize the administrative justice system.

Mandate

ELTO was established under ATAGAA in 2010.  ATAGAA 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.

Shortly after its creation, ELTO established a mandate, mission and core values.  In 2015, ELTO implemented an updated strategic framework to support the mandate, including the following mandate statement:

ELTO is a cluster of five tribunals that effectively and efficiently resolve disputes related to land use planning, environmental and heritage protection, property assessment, land valuation and other matters.

ELTO’s strategic framework, including mandate and mission statements, is set out in Appendix A.

The legislative authority for ELTO’s five constituent tribunals is found in the following statutes: the Assessment Review Board Act, 2009, the Expropriations Act, 2009, the Ontario Heritage Act, 1990, the Environmental Review Tribunal Act, 2000, and the Ontario Municipal Board Act, 1990.  Numerous other statutes, such as the Assessment Act, 1990, the Environmental Protection Act, 1990, and the Planning Act, 1990 provide specific means for various types of appeals, applications, and other disputes to come before the ELTO tribunals.

ELTO hearings are held throughout the province. The tribunals use a variety of dispute resolution methods and conduct different hearing events including hearings, 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.

All five ELTO tribunals promote the resolution of disputes through settlements generated by mediation or other means that are alternatives to traditional hearings.  Four of the five ELTO tribunals hold formal hearings when disputes are not resolved by alternative approaches.

The specific mandates of ELTO’s five constituent tribunals are set out below.

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. For those cases requiring a formal public hearing, the CRB issues a recommendation report to the final government decision maker.

The ERT hears applications and appeals under numerous environmental and planning statutes. 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, minor variances, land compensation, development charges, electoral ward boundaries, municipal finance, aggregate resources and other issues assigned to the OMB by numerous Ontario statutes.

ELTO’s Strategic Framework

ELTO is committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations to meet the needs of those who use its services.  To address this commitment ELTO has developed a strategic framework that reflects the organization’s focus on meeting and even exceeding its directives (see Appendix A).

This strategic framework guides the development of ELTO’s business plan and annual operational plans.  The framework ensures that ELTO’s operations are aligned with its strategic plan and its public service mandate related to dispute resolution.[1]

There are 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 strategic direction supports ELTO’s core business of resolving disputes by providing client options that lead to timely and appropriate resolutions.  ELTO recognizes that not all disputes require a full hearing and parties should have access to alternative methods to help resolve their matter.   ELTO is committed to ensuring that clients receive a fair, timely and high quality resolution to their dispute by providing them with information on when they should use the tribunals and what they can expect during the process.

Strategic Direction #2 - Transforming Through Technology

This strategic direction supports ELTO’s commitment to transform its services using technology.   ELTO is committed to using technology that is inclusive and accessible to:

ELTO is expanding opportunities for electronic communications by providing more information online. The addition of educational materials and case information to the ELTO website enhances ELTO’s clients’ ability to interact with the five tribunals, saving clients both time and money. As well, the increased use of electronic communications for client interactions with ELTO staff and the greater use of electronic hearing events provide additional means to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Through this strategic direction, ELTO aims to provide access for clients from all regions of Ontario through a variety of methods, offer green solutions to support sustainability, and to increase efficiency in operations.

Strategic Direction #3 - Building a Dynamic, Effective Workplace

This strategic direction supports ELTO’s continuing efforts to build a dynamic, effective workplace.  ELTO is committed to taking advantage of opportunities presented by partnering with other MAG clusters and tribunals, such as the sharing of resources and best practices, to provide better learning and development opportunities, and build a workplace that exemplifies diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

By building a dynamic, effective workplace, and through the realization of the other two strategic directions noted above, ELTO will change for the better.  Administrative processing requirements will be reduced creating additional capacity to advance strategic initiatives that enhance quality customer service.  Staff and Members will work through integrated processes to achieve ELTO’s client-focused vision. Everyone in the organization will be engaged and understand initiatives to support continuous improvement and transformation.

Environmental Scan

External Factors

Fiscal Constraints:

The government is committed to balancing the budget by 2017-18, and will do so in a way that is both fiscally responsible and fair. ELTO’s contribution to this commitment will result in budget reductions.

Concerns about the health of the economy, and the subsequent focus by governments on reduced spending may impact ELTO in a number of ways: 

ELTO will operate within these constraints by making decisions and creating organizational practices that are informed by analyzing the best available data to make better choices and improve outcomes. It will work with other agency clusters to look for better ways to deliver services and, taking a multi-year approach to identifying transformation opportunities, to achieve savings.

ELTO may also be affected by changes to policy and legislation by federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Planning and Development:

With continuing pressure on the government to address Ontario’s economic challenges, development remains a government priority.  Development involves decisions to use land within the legislated framework including the Provincial Policy Statement and Provincial Plans.  These decisions often have impacts on the built and natural environments.  ELTO’s tribunals resolve disputes related to land development and the associated environment issues in an effective, fair and efficient manner. In doing so the work of the tribunal supports Ontario’s economic and environmental well-being, the health of its communities and citizens, and municipal revenue streams.

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, some of which generate cases related to development charges, land compensation and municipal finance applications at the OMB.

In early 2014, the government completed a consultation on possible changes to the land use planning and development charge system in Ontario including the types of matters that could be appealed to the OMB.  Following that consultation, the Ontario government passed the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015, which reforms the Development Charges Act and the Planning Act  to make the appeal and planning process more predictable, transparent and accountable.  This Act gives residents an opportunity to have a greater role in how their communities grow.  The impact of this Act on the OMB is not known at this time.  ELTO plans to engage with its stakeholders to identify those impacts and make any necessary changes to support improved dispute resolution processes.

OMB Mandate Review:

In the mandate letters to ministries, issued in Sept 2014, it was announced that a review will be undertaken of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board.  The review is being led by MMAH and supported by MAG. It is expected to commence later this year (2016) and it may bring additional as yet unknown changes to the OMB.

Impacts to the ARB:

The government released a report in December 2013 on the Special Purpose Business Property Assessment Review which included a number of recommendations affecting the ARB and the overall property assessment appeal system. The Ministry of Finance has been working with taxpayers and municipalities to implement the report’s recommendations.  The ARB has also been working with Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and the Ministry of Finance on outreach and education initiatives for municipalities.

The ARB plays a vital role in ensuring that the property assessment process is fair, accurate and predictable. The ARB’s caseload intake varies according to the province’s four-year property assessment cycle. The ARB expects to receive up to 40,000 new appeals in the first year of a cycle and then up to 10,000 new appeals in the other three years of a cycle.  In 2016-17 the ARB is entering the last year of the four-year cycle.

Bill 144, the Budget Measures Act, received Royal Assent on December 10, 2015.  The Act introduced changes to the Assessment Act which would provide a longer period of time following an appeal for the property owner to discuss and resolve disputes about residential property assessment. Historically when property owners and MPAC have more time for negotiation, the rate of settlement increases and unnecessary hearings by the ARB can be avoided. The legislative amendments are to take effect for the next reassessment cycle which commences in 2017.  The ARB will monitor the impacts that changes have on its caseload.

In preparation for the next reassessment cycle, the ARB is reviewing the 2013 Appeals Streaming Strategy and Rules of Practice and Procedure to determine whether quicker and more efficient processes can be developed to resolve appeals. This could include increasing the opportunities for mediation and the delivery of the ARB’s services through alternate hearing formats, using technologies such as video-conferencing.

Impacts to the ERT:

Bill 151, Waste Free Ontario Act, 2016 was introduced on November 26th, 2015.  The Bill provides new responsibilities for the ERT in dealing with appeals of certain orders related to producer compliance issued by the Authority the Act proposes to create.  Should the Bill proceed, it may take some time for the Authority to be established and even more time before orders are issued and potential appeals received by the ERT.  Until further details are known, it is not possible to predict the volume of appeals that may be expected.

Access to Justice:

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 processes 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.

MAG Organizational Changes:

In 2015, the Ministry of Attorney General consolidated the accountability and relationship management functions of its regulatory, operational and adjudicative agencies within one division in the Ministry. The Agency Relations Division and the Tribunal Relations Division were joined to create the Agency and Tribunal Relations Division (ATRD). The ATRD is responsible for the ministry’s non-adjudicative agencies and programs and the adjudicative tribunals which fall within the ministry’s three adjudicative clusters. It provides the ministry with strategic leadership on agency and tribunal-related issues and supports the agencies in meeting their accountability requirements. This creates a clear point of contact for the public, stakeholders, central oversight committees and within MAG itself.

The government has identified the co-location of MAG’s clusters and tribunals, including ELTO, into a single, government-owned location as a key priority.  ELTO is the only MAG cluster that is currently co-located in one facility and this has enabled ELTO to strengthen customer services, achieve operational efficiencies, promote cross tribunal collaboration, enhance effectiveness and make the best use of its resources. ELTO is working with other MAG clusters and tribunals to identify other opportunities for cross cluster/tribunal collaboration to modernize the administrative justice system.

Demand for Technology Solutions:

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

Succession Planning:

The Government Appointee Directive was modified in 2006 to reflect new remuneration rates and revisions to the length of terms including an overall maximum of 10 years per position.  Re-appointment to a term beyond the maximum of ten years in total may be made only in exceptional circumstances in the public interest.  All adjudicators that were in place as of 2006, had their terms reset to begin as of 2006.  The impact on ELTO is that the terms of 25 part-time and 18 full-time OIC members will expire in 2016 and 2017.

ELTO also anticipates that as a result of changes to retiree benefits, applicable to persons eligible to receive a pension under the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) or the OPSEU Pension Plan, there will be an increase in the rate of retirement in 2016.

ELTO is actively engaged in succession and recruitment planning to prepare for the impact of these changes on its member and staff resources. The plan includes a small number of brief extensions to appointments to ensure that the level of service and the integrity of the adjudicative and dispute resolution practices are not compromised. The extensions will mitigate the impact of the departures by extending the transition period to make it less abrupt. The extensions will allow other elements of the plan, including an aggressive recruitment process for new tribunal members and an intense training and professional development program to enhance the effectiveness of new members.

Consultation:

ELTO leadership is actively re-engaging a consultation process with partners and stakeholders in accordance with its Consultation Policy, to seek advice and gain support for organizational improvements, changes in practice and tribunal policies, and improved communication with the community. 

In addition to formal stakeholder groups, efforts will be increased to contact residents groups, community organizations and other public interest groups that may have an interest in the work of the boards.

Stakeholders and the public will be actively consulted on the development of an increasingly intense program of mediation and alternate dispute resolution. This may take the form of a centre of excellence devoted to mediation on environment and land disputes. Borrowing on existing expertise and experience, the program will provide ELTO-wide dispute resolution services parallel to, or in lieu of adversarial proceedings and formal hearings.

Audit Recommendations:

In 2012, ELTO initiated an internal value-for-money audit through the Justice Audit Services.  The audit was completed in two phases, beginning with the ARB and the BON.  The final report from Phase 1 of the audit was delivered in October of 2013.  The report recommendations focused on financial management, case management and legislative and regulatory compliance.  Work in response to Phase 1 was completed in 2014.  Field work for Phase 2 of the audit, which includes the CRB, ERT and OMB, was completed in late 2013.  A final report was presented to ELTO in January of 2015.  The Phase 2 report recommendations focused on performance metrics, expenses framework and legislative and regulatory compliance.  Following receipt of the report, ELTO began working on addressing the recommendations.

Overview of Programs and Activities

Strategic Initiatives: 2015-16 Results and 2016-19 Implementation Plan

ELTO has identified three strategic directions with nine corresponding strategic initiatives designed to achieve its overall vision. In 2015-16, ELTO identified specific projects and timelines to support the nine strategic initiatives and developed an Operational Plan to coordinate the planning and implementation of these initiatives in a way that aligns with ELTO’s strategic framework.  ELTO will use the OPS Inclusion Lens to ensure that diversity, inclusion and accessibility are considered in the development, delivery and evaluation of its strategic initiatives.

As set out below, projects in support of the strategic directions have been scheduled over the three year period 2016-19.  Some of the 2016-19 projects set out under Key Deliverables will involve external public consultation in accordance with ELTO’s Consultation Policy.  Activities that may result in changes to Member or staff practices at ELTO will include engagement with Members or staff.  Meaningful external and internal consultation will lead to better planning and decision making at ELTO.

 

Strategic Direction 1: Providing Client Options that lead to Timely and Appropriate Resolution

  • Strategic Initiative 1.1: Provide more useful information to the public
  • Strategic Initiative 1.2: Educate clients about how to use processes
  • Strategic Initiative 1.3: Provide client-friendly rules and processes

 

2015-16 Results:

  • Completed a number of case and hearing management strategies across ELTO to enhance timely and appropriate case resolution including:
    •  a review of the rules and practice directions for Renewable Energy Approval (REA) appeals before the ERT(stakeholders)
    • the development of an ELTO-wide Alternative Dispute Resolution cross-appointed Member roster
  • ARB Streaming Strategy to address the outstanding backlog of cases and the 2013 reassessment cycle resulted in:
    • an 85% reduction in older (pre-2013) appeals
    • 64% reduction in ARB’s tax appeals caseload
  • Improved public access to ELTO constituent board decisions by redesigning decisions templates to meet AODA accessibility standards as well as CANLII requirements.  CANLII offers free public access to legal documents including ARB decisions with written reasons.
  • Conducted a legislated review of ELTO’s Accountability (ATAGAA) Documents.

 

  • Refreshed the Strategic Framework resulting in revised mandate and mission statements.
  • Implemented recommendations from the Justice Audit Services Phase 1 Audit Report. These internal process changes enhance the ARB and BON’s ability to analyze and make process improvements in order to resolve cases more effectively.
  • CRB Rules were amended effective April, 2015 to modernize existing practices and add Prehearing Settlement Conferences as an additional dispute resolution method to resolve objections brought before the board.

 

2016-19 Plan

Key Deliverables

Resources

Target Dates

Enhance public facing website by reorganizing content to improve accessibility and client experience

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

 

IT support services  secured

Spring  2016

Develop guidelines for the filing of electronic documents when ordered as part of the hearing process

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources

 

 

Spring 2016

Revise ARB Rules of Practice and Procedure

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

 

Stakeholder consultation

Fall 2016

Develop ERT Renewable Energy Appeal documents and public information products

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources

 

Spring 2016

 

Enhance performance measures / service standards, including development of a customer satisfaction survey

 

Develop enhanced case management tracking systems

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources and MAG’s ATRD Performance Measures working group

 

 

IT support services  secured

Phase 1:  Develop performance measures –Fall 2016

 

Phase 2:   Case management system updated to generate reporting -  

Fall 2017

Develop Recording, Broadcasting and Use of Electronic Devices Protocol

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources

Spring 2016

Conduct comprehensive filing fee review to ensure services remain accessible and appropriate

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources and MAG ATRD resources

Summer 2016

Strategic Direction 2: Transforming Through Technology

  • Strategic Initiative 2.1: Use technology to improve access
  • Strategic Initiative 2.2: Provide client-friendly processes using technology
  • Strategic Initiative 2.3: Use technology to support resolution events across Ontario

2015-16 Results:

  • ELTO website was migrated to a more modern technology platform in line with OPS technology directions and which supports AODA accessibility requirements
  • Web conferencing technology was implemented to deliver professional development events
  • The ARB launched a modernized electronic data sharing with MPAC.

2016-19 Plan

Key Deliverables

Resources

Target Dates

Existing forms are enhanced with accessibility and fillable features

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

 

Ontario Shared Services - Forms Management services to be requested

Spring 2017

 

Explore alternate hearing formats using video/ web conferencing technology

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

 

Spring 2016

Modernize electronic data sharing between ARB statutory parties

(This is in addition to the modernized ARB/MPAC data exchange implemented in Jan. 2016)

Ministry of Finance

 

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

 

Additional IT resources likely required

Spring 2016

Develop enhanced ability to record and measure results of Alternative Dispute Resolution activities

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

 

 

IT support services  secured  

 

Fall of 2016

Strategic Direction 3: Building a Dynamic, Effective Workplace

  • Strategic Initiative 3.1: Take advantage of opportunities presented by co-location
  • Strategic Initiative 3.2: Provide better learning and development opportunities
  • Strategic Initiative 3.3: Build a workplace that exemplifies diversity, inclusion and accessibility

 

2015-16 Results:

  • Developed annual ELTO-wide Professional Development plan
  • Developed a French Language Services Action Plan
  • Diversity, inclusion and accessibility principles embedded in performance and learning plans
  • Delivered ELTO staff training to champion diversity and inclusion                       

 

2016-19 Plan

Key Deliverables

Resources

Target Dates

Develop program requirements for co-location with MAG clusters and tribunals

To be developed by MAG Agency and Tribunal Relations Division resources and in-house ELTO resources

Spring 2018

Develop Integrated Professional Development Strategy

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources

Spring 2016

Develop on-line professional development courses

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources

Fall  2016

 

Performance Measures and Targets

In 2015, the Ministry of Attorney General created the Agency and Tribunal Relations Division. The Agency and Tribunal Relations Division (ATRD) is responsible for the ministry’s non-adjudicative agencies and programs and the adjudicative tribunals which fall within the ministry’s three adjudicative clusters. It provides the ministry with strategic leadership on agency and tribunal-related issues and supports the agencies in meeting their accountability requirements.

ELTO is working with ATRD and the other tribunal clusters in the division to review performance measures and develop benchmarks to ensure that services and programs are achieving intended objectives.  For the coming year, this will include the ATRD led development of a client satisfaction survey to obtain feedback on both quantitative and qualitative performance.  This will also include the development of performance measures and targets that track progress on initiatives set out in ELTO’s Business Plan. Once adopted these new performance measures may replace some or all of the current measures as more effective and streamlined indicators of ELTO’s performance.

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

The results presented are as of December 31, 2015. Where a performance target was not achieved in 2015-16, ELTO is exploring ways to revise its processes and better use its resources in order to improve performance in future years. Additional metrics and benchmarks will be identified and appropriate performance measures will be developed to determine if cases are proceeding through the system in a timely manner and whether resources are effectively utilized.

Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario

Performance Measures

2015-16

Achieved

(Target)

2016-17

Target

2017-18

Target

2018-19

Target  

 

% of cases in which ELTO issues a decision in 60 days

97%

(90%)

90%

90%

 

90%

 

 

Assessment Review Board

Performance Measures

2015-16

Achieved

(Target)

2016-17 Target

2017-18 Target

2018-19 Target  

 

% of cases in which the ARB issues a decision in 60 days

 

98%

(90%)

 

90%

 

 

90%

 

 

90%

 

% of residential complaints resolved by the ARB within 365 days of receipt

 

 

 

100%

(90%)

 

 

 

 

90%

 

 

 

 

90%

 

 

 

 

90%

 

% Residential Appeals scheduled by the ARB within 6 Months of receipt

 

 

100%

(90%)

 

 

 

90%

 

 

90%

 

 

90%

% 2013-16 ARB appeals resolved within 4-year cycle (March 31, 2017) 

 

N/A

90%

N/A

N/A

 

Board of Negotiation

Performance Measures

 

2015-16

Achieved

(Target)

2016-17

Target

2017-18

Target

2018-19

Target

 

% BON Cases scheduled for a first event within 120 days of receipt

86%

(85%)

 

85%

85%

 

 

85%

 

Environmental Review Tribunal

Performance Measures

2015-16

Achieved

(Target)

2016-17

Target

2017-18

Target

2018-19

Target

 

% of cases in which the ERT issues a decision in 60 days

 83%

(85%)

85%

 

 

85%

85%

 

*Note: Adherence to the statutory timelines for renewable energy proceedings continues to adversely affect the ERT’s ability to issue timely decisions in many other proceedings, given available adjudicator resources.

Ontario Municipal Board

 

Performance Measures

 

2015-16

Achieved

(Target)

2016-17

Target

2017-18

Target

2018-19

Target

 

% of OMB decisions issued within 60 days of the end of a hearing

 78%

(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

 

79%

(85%)

 

 

85%

 

85%

85%

 

% of other OMB cases scheduled for a first hearing within 180 days of the receipt of a complete appeals package

 87%

(85%)

 

85%

 

85%

85%

 

*Note:  Adjudicator resource levels along with an increase in the number of complex/lengthy proceedings continue to contribute to the OMB’s inability to meet some of its performance targets.  As part of ELTO’s succession plan, additional adjudicator resources are being recruited and trained to fill vacancies.

 

Risk Identification, Assessment and Mitigation Strategies

 

Risk Description

Likelihood of Occurrence

Potential Impact

Mitigation Strategies

1) ELTO does not

meet performance

measures

 

Low

Low

  • Monitor and communicate results 
  • Cross train existing resources
  • Assess long-term resource requirements
  • Adjust resources as necessary

2) Mandate may be

affected by

government initiatives including policy and legislative changes from policy ministries

 

 

 

Medium

Moderate

  • Liaise with MAG policy leads to facilitate discussions with other policy ministries to identify initiatives which affect ELTO’s scope of operations
  • Analyze impact and implications of changes on workload and resources

3) Stakeholders are resistant to new strategic directions and projects

Medium

Low

  • Better engage stakeholders through outreach
  • Monitor impact of initiatives and feedback
  • Train Members and staff on new developments

 

4) Hearing rooms outside of 655 Bay Street are not accessible to persons with disabilities

Low

Moderate

  • Proactively maintain an inventory of accessible hearing rooms available across the province
  • Post accessibility policy on website
  • Identify accommodation requirements early 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
  • Identify re-appointments six months ahead of appointment expiry dates

7) Unable to attract and retain Members with requisite expertise and qualifications

 

 

Low

Moderate

  • Maintain and implement an annual professional development plan based on core competencies and learning needs
  • Provide orientation to new Members and tailored professional development for experienced Members
  • Promote collegiality and a culture of excellence to attract and retain skilled competent Members
  • Training will be targeted to reflect emerging trends in 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 and working with Justice Technology Services (JTS) to address 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

High

 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

10) Unable to develop and retain staff with requisite expertise and qualifications

Low

Moderate

  • Develop and implement a succession and recruitment strategy
  • Develop and implement a Knowledge Transfer strategy and tools
  • Identify and document processes in key transformative areas

 

Human Resources: Members and Staff

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 Members according to their skills and substantive areas of knowledge.  The strategy includes requesting changes to existing and new Orders in Council to allow for selected cross appointments among ELTO tribunals. This strategy will enable ELTO to assign designated full-time and part-time appointees to hearings where the need is greatest among the tribunals.

ELTO shares resources with the Safety Licencing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO) cluster.  The positions of Executive Lead, Director of Operations and Manager Legal Services provide leadership to both clusters enabling the best use of resources, enhancing effectiveness, operational efficiencies and cross cluster collaboration.

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.

ELTO’s current Member complement, as of April 1, 2016 is:

 

 

Positions

 

Full-Time

 

 

FT

 

Part-Time

 

PT

 

Exec Chair

 

Associate

Chairs

 

Vice

Chairs

 

Members

 

Total

 

Vice Chairs

 

Members

 

Total

Dedicated to 1 board / tribunal

-

1

7

15

23

1

35

36

Dedicated to 2 or more boards / tribunals

1

2

4

8

15

-

4

4

Total ELTO positions

1

3

11

23

38

1

39

40

 

ELTO’s current full-time staff complement is:                                                                                                                       

Group

Number of Positions

SMG

3

CC5A

2

ALOC

4

MCP

14

AMAPCEO

14

OPSEU

88

Total

125

 

 

Organizational Chart

 

 

* Resources shared with the Safety Licencing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO) cluster.

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

In 2015/16 ELTO did not have any initiatives involving third parties.

Communication Plan

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

Stakeholder advisory committees assist ELTO in the development and implementation of policies, practices, rules and services to provide modern, fair, responsive, accessible, effective and efficient dispute resolution services.  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 announcements on its website to provide notice of proposed changes on its operations and services to the public and stakeholders, giving reasonable time for the submission of comments on proposals for change initiated by ELTO.  Proposals for consultation will be established in ELTO’s annual Operational Plan.
ELTO is responsible for its media relations and responds directly to media inquiries.  Contact information for the media is noted on the website and on ELTO’s phone system.

ELTO uses technology to provide client-friendly processes and improve access. The ELTO website is a key communications portal providing information to those accessing the tribunals’ services. The website platform was upgraded in 2015 and ELTO will continue to develop the site to support the principles of accountability, transparency, accessibility and efficiency.

The ELTO website also contains a number of information products to assist the public with understanding tribunal processes including information sheets, forms, rules and guides.  Over the next year ELTO will streamline the quantity and content of these information products and where possible, will develop a template that can be used across the various boards and tribunals. ELTO will also continue to review its publications to ensure they are accessible and in plain language for ease of understanding. These information products are available in accessible formats by fax, email or mail upon request.

ATAGAA was enacted to ensure that tribunals are accountable, efficient and transparent in their operations while remaining independent in the decision-making process.  ATAGAA 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.  ELTO is also required to submit an Annual Report.  After the Annual Report is tabled in the legislature, it is made available on the website.

Another ATAGAA governance accountability document is the Memorandum of Understanding. It was revised in 2015/16 as a result of the appointment of a new Executive Chair. The memorandum 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’s Complaints Coordinator is 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 is monitored and tracked to ensure that all complaints are addressed within the required timelines and according to the process identified in the policy.  As of December 2015, for the fiscal year 2015-16, ELTO responded to 10 complaints.  

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

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan

ELTO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan sets the following goals: 

ELTO will focus on delivering these four key initiatives throughout the next three years.

  1. Providing a strong mandate for Members and staff to develop best practices in the planning and delivery of activities, which embed diversity, inclusion and accessibility best practices.
  2. Mentoring and developing diversity champions among staff and Members.
  3. Supporting the ongoing commitment to continuous learning by documenting education, awareness and acceptance of diversity, inclusion and accessibility training and tools offered by the Centre for Leadership and Learning (CFLL), the OPS Diversity office and MAG Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Office in 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 2015, ELTO worked with municipalities to update the directory of accessibility features of hearing spaces being provided at municipal locations to actively address requests for accommodation by persons with disabilities. 

Administrative and adjudicative protocols are in place to allow for full and meaningful participation of the public where requests for accommodation are made known.  As of December 2015, for the fiscal year 2015-16, ELTO’s Accessibility Coordinator played a key role in the receipt, acknowledgement and follow-through on nine accommodation requests.

Training for ELTO Members and staff is an organizational priority.

In addition to 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) delivered to new and existing Members and staff, ELTO delivers learning events throughout the year to reinforce the values of respect for diversity and inclusion. 

In December 2015, ELTO delivered comprehensive interactive professional development sessions for ELTO members designed to broaden understanding of accessibility and inclusion and the unique challenges presented in adjudicative settings.

In 2014, the tribunals within ELTO commenced reviewing public documents to determine whether they meet accessibility requirements.  Consistent with the requirements of the IASR and ELTO’s Communication Plan, over the business plan cycle, ELTO will continue 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 Inclusion 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.

By reviewing existing fair and inclusive policies, practices and procedures and developing new ones, ELTO will address existing barriers and create and implement new protocols to improve access to ELTO’s services.  This will include continuing to provide 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 the continued promotion of inclusive recruitment practices and engaging other tribunals to enhance existing best practices. Partnerships will be developed with other tribunals to share resources and expertise, embrace inclusive practices in the workplace and achieve measurable results.

ELTO’s built environment reflects a universal design that includes accessible features for clients, Members and staff.   ELTO provides accessible hearing rooms at its offices in Toronto and maintains an inventory of accessibility features for the hearing rooms it uses in municipal buildings across the province. Services and support such as augmented hearing devices and universal signage are in place to support accessibility.  ELTO will continue to work with municipalities and our 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 construction of the new space.

Accessible information products developed in plain language are available on the ELTO website.  ELTO’s information products are available in English and French, and the ARB has translated its information sheet on how to prepare for a hearing into five of the top other languages spoken in Ontario.  In addition, diversity resources and tools for Members and staff are available on the ELTO intranet site. 

ELTO has been proactive in learning about the legislated accessibility standards and requirements for websites by working with OPS technology partners and accessibility communities of practices. 

ELTO has published its 2013 Accessibility Progress Report and includes updates to the report in its Annual Reports.  In 2013, ELTO also published its Multi Year Accessibility Plan on its website.  The report will be updated at least once every five years in consultation with persons with disabilities.

ELTO is required to file an Accessibility Compliance Report every two years until 2025.   The most recent Compliance Report was filed in 2015 with the next report due in 2017.

Results on accessibility training commitments are currently measured and reported annually to the Ministry of the Attorney General.  In 2016-17, ELTO will develop additional measures to provide information about progress toward diversity and inclusion objectives.

Three-Year Financial Plan

Multi-Year Operating Budget (000’s)

Expense Category

2015-16

Budget*

2015-16

Actuals

Variance

2016-17

Budget

2017-18

Budget

2018-19

Budget

Operating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Wages

12,050.0

 

12,074.7

24.7

12,273.7

12,273.7

12,273.7

Benefits

1,540.0

 

1,605.4

65.4

1,465.5

1,465.5

1,465.5

ODOE

           

Transportation and Communications

800.0

832.1

32.1

986.3

986.3

986.3

Services

2,437.2

2,419.6

-17.6

2,401.4

2,401.4

2,401.4

Supplies & Equipment

300.0

184.0

-116.0

167.0

167.0

167.0

 TOTAL Operating

17,127.2

17,115.8

-11.40

17,294.0

17,294.0

17,294.0

 

           

Capital

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

1,900.0

7,16.6

-1,183.4

6,032.5**

1,968.8

1,968.8

 

 * 2015-16 Budget was revised in Q4 of the year.

ELTO’s allocation in future years will be impacted by the government’s multi-year constraint exercise. The constraint on ELTO’s allocation for 2015-16 consisted of a 4.4% reduction of the 2014-15 allocation.  For the fiscal years 2016-17, and 2017-18 and 2018-19, these allocations will be reviewed and may change as part of the Program Review, Renewal and Transformation process. ELTO will work within its revised allocation for the next three years by implementing a number of  strategies, including maximizing the use of resources; revising its approach to training; and reducing ODOE expenditures for supplies and other services.

The 2015-16 Revenue projection was based on a plan to increased filing fees. The increased filing fees did not take effect in 2015-16 resulting in a variance of $1,183.4K.

**ELTO anticipates an increase in revenue for the 2016-17 fiscal year due to increased appeals related to the commencement of the new four-year assessment appeal cycle for the 2016 Current Value Assessment applied to the 2017-2020 taxation years.

Revenue in the form of filing fees received by ARB and OMB are transferred into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Appendix A


What Does ELTO’s Vision Statement Mean:

Client-focused

Committed to excellence

Resolution of environment and land disputes

All Ontarians

Core Values:

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

Accessibility

Consistency and Responsiveness

Continuous Improvement

Fairness

Integrity, Professionalism and Independence

Timeliness and Efficiency

Transparency and Accountability

 

[1]   ELTO’s strategic framework is also broadly supportive of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s (MAG) strategic plan priorities of: modernizing processes and technology, developing and retaining a skilled and engaged workforce and promoting accountability and value for money. Similarly, ELTO’s approach to strategic planning is consistent with the four common business goals that were collectively identified by the leadership of the clusters of tribunals that report to MAG. These goals address: appropriate resolution, public confidence, organizational agility and learning organizations.




Effective as of August 1, 2017
elto.gov.on.ca