2015/16 – 2017/18 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) was the first cluster of tribunals created under the authority of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (ATAGAA). Formed in 2010, ELTO includes the Assessment Review Board (ARB), Board of Negotiation (BON), Conservation Review Board (CRB), Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) and Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  ELTO’s annual budget for 2015-16 to 2017-18 is approximately $17 million.

This is the sixth annual business plan prepared by ELTO and it supports our vision:

“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 newly updated strategic framework, which includes its vision, mission, strategic directions, strategic initiatives, mandate and core values.  We are committed to building a workplace that exemplifies diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

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 on a journey of 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.  A draft report for Phase 2 of the audit was presented to ELTO in November 2014.  ELTO will now review the recommendations and implement plans to respond to these audit recommendations.

ELTO plans to take advantage of opportunities presented by co-locating with other tribunal clusters in a single government owned facility at 15/25 Grosvenor Street, Toronto.  This is an opportunity for us to strengthen customer service, enable the best use of resources and modernize the administrative justice system.

Mandate

ELTO was created by a regulation made 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 adopted a statement of its mandate, mission and core values.  As a result of a recent comprehensive review, ELTO developed an updated strategic framework, including the following proposed revised 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 updated strategic framework, including the proposed revised 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 adversarial 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 a culture of continuous improvement as it strives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations to meet the needs of those who use its services.

ELTO has recently developed an updated strategic framework that reflects the organization’s focus for the future (see Appendix A).  This strategic framework in turn guides the development of this Business Plan and annual operational plans.  ELTO is committed to a strategic planning model whereby operations are well-aligned with its strategic framework and its overall public service mandate relating to dispute resolution.[1]

This ELTO 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:

ELTO seeks to provide client options that lead to timely and appropriate resolutions of disputes.  In keeping with this strategic direction and as set out in its strategic initiatives, ELTO is committed to providing more useful information to the public, educating clients on how to use our processes, and providing client-friendly rules and processes.

This strategic direction supports ELTO’s core business of resolving 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

ELTO seeks to transform through technology. In keeping with this strategic direction and as set out in its strategic initiatives, ELTO is committed to using technology to improve access, supporting resolution events across Ontario, and providing client-friendly processes using technology that is inclusive and accessible.

By providing more information online and providing increased opportunities for electronic communications, ELTO is transforming its services using technology.  The addition of educational materials and case information to the ELTO website saves clients time and money by enhancing their ability to interact with the five tribunals electronically.  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 achieve efficiencies in operations.

Strategic Direction #3 - Building a Dynamic, Effective Workplace

ELTO seeks to build a dynamic, effective workplace.  In keeping with this strategic direction and as set out in its strategic initiatives, ELTO is committed to taking advantage of opportunities presented by co-locating its operations with other MAG clusters and tribunals, providing better learning and development opportunities, and building 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, the work of ELTO’s staff and Members will change for the better.  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 ELTO’s client-focused vision, and everyone in the organization will be engaged in and understand initiatives to support continuous improvement and transformation.

Environmental Scan

External Factors

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.

ELTO will operate within these constraints by using evidence to inform better choices and improve outcomes, working across clusters to best deliver services and taking a multi-year approach to identifying transformation opportunities and to achieve savings.

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.  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 an effective, fair and efficient manner, support Ontario’s economic and environmental health, the health of its communities and citizens, and municipal revenue streams. 

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.  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 Board.  In the recent mandate letters to ministries, it was announced that a review will be undertaken of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board.  Both the past consultation and the upcoming review may bring changes to the OMB, the specifics of which are not known at this time.

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 been working with Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and the Ministry of Finance on outreach and education initiatives for municipalities.

The ARB is an essential part of a fair, accurate and predictable property assessment process impacting on municipal tax revenue. The ARB’s caseload intake varies according to the province’s four-year property assessment cycle. The ARB expects to receive up to 70,000 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. The ARB is now entering the third year of the four-year cycle.

As a result of a change to legislation, which requires residential property owners to file a mandatory Request for Reconsideration with MPAC before filing an appeal with the ARB, the number of new residential appeals has decreased in recent years.  The ARB’s caseload profile has shifted substantially; where residential appeals formerly comprised 60% of the appeal caseload, they currently represent only 13% of the caseload.  This shift has been accompanied by an increase in high value property appeals, with complex issues requiring active adjudication and new approaches to case management.  This is increasing the demand for multi-day and multi-week hearings and for mediations.  It is also resulting in new training requirements for Members and staff as the ARB adapts to it new caseload profile.

Concerns about the environment continue to lead to new legislation and policies designed to protect the environment.  Recent government policies and legislation have already led to a significant increase in the complexity of hearings that come before the ERT.  This increase is expected to continue over the coming years, especially in regards to renewable energy matters.

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.

The government has identified the co-location of MAG’s clusters and tribunals, including ELTO, into a single, government-owned location at 15/25 Grosvenor Street, Toronto as a key priority.  ELTO is the only cluster that is currently co-located in one facility and will work to ensure that the new location meets the cluster’s program requirements while contributing to the project objectives of strengthening customer service, achieving operational efficiencies, promoting cross tribunal collaboration, enhancing effectiveness, enabling the best use of resources and modernizing the administrative justice system.

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

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 the summer 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 draft report was presented to ELTO in November 2014.  ELTO will be reviewing the recommendations and implementing plans to respond to the audit recommendations.

Overview of Programs and Activities

Strategic Initiatives: 2014-15 Results and 2015-18 Implementation Plan

ELTO has identified three primary strategic directions with nine corresponding strategic initiatives designed to achieve its overall vision. In 2014-15, ELTO identified specific projects and timelines to support the nine strategic initiatives and developed an Operational Plan to coordinate the planning and implementation in a way that aligns with ELTO’s strategic framework.  ELTO will use the OPS Inclusion Lens to ensure diversity, inclusion and accessibility are considered in the development, delivery and evaluation of its strategic initiatives.

As set out below, individual projects in support of the strategic directions have been scheduled over the three year period 2015-18.  Some of the 2015-18 projects set out under Key Deliverables below 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

2014-15 Results

  • Initiated or completed a number of case and hearing management strategies across ELTO including:
    • a review of the rules and practice directions for Renewable Energy Approval (REA) appeals before the ERT
    • 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 2014 assessment cycle resulted in:
    • an 80% reduction in older (pre-2013) appeals
    • 64% reduction in ARB’s tax appeals caseload
  • Improvements made to the decisions templates for the constituent tribunals
  • Conducted a legislated review of ELTO’s ATAGAA Documents
  • Implemented recommendations from the Justice Audit Services Phase 1 Audit Report

2015-18 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.

 

Stakeholder consultation in progress

Summer 2015

Revise ARB Rules of Practice and Procedure.

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Stakeholder consultation

Fall 2016

Revise ERT Renewable Energy Appeal Rules.

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Stakeholder consultation in progress

Spring 2015

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.

 

 

IT support services  secured

Phase 1:  Develop performance measures -Fall 2015

 

Phase 2:   Case management system updated to generate reporting -  

Spring 2016

Develop Recording, Broadcasting and Use of Electronic Devices Protocol.

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Spring 2015

Conduct comprehensive filing fee review to ensure services remain accessible.

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Summer  2015

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

2014-15 Results

  • ELTO’s constituent tribunals decisions published on the CanLii website
  • FaxOPS service rolled out to ELTO
  • Commenced migrating ELTO websites to a more modern technology platform in line with OPS technology directions
  • Refined ELTO’s Intranet and library

2015-18 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 2016

Explore alternate hearing formats using video technology.

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources.

 

IT support services secured 

Fall 2017

Modernize electronic data sharing between ARB stakeholders.

MPAC

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Additional IT resources likely required

 

Winter 2016

Use web-conferencing technology to support professional education.

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Summer  2015

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  

 Winter 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

2014-15 Results

  • Developed an ELTO-wide Professional Development plan
  • Developed a French Language Services Action Plan
  • Diversity, inclusion and accessibility principles embedded in all staff and Member performance and learning plans                       

2015-18 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 2017

Develop Integrated Professional Development Strategy.

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Spring 2015

Develop on-line professional development courses.

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources.

 

Fall  2015

Performance Measures and Targets

In 2015-16 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.  This will also include the development of performance measures that track progress on initiatives set out in ELTO’s Business Plan.

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 ELTO’s commitment to continuous improvement.

The results presented are as of December 31, 2014. Where a target performance was not achieved in 2014-15, ELTO is exploring ways to revise its processes and better utilize 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.

ELTO

Performance Measures

2014-15

Achieved

(Target)

2015-16

Target

2016-17

Target

2017-18

Target

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

 

95.6

(90%)

 

90%

90%

90%

 

 Assessment Review Board

Performance Measures

2014-15

Achieved

(Target)

2015-16

Target

2016-17 Target

2017-18 Target

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

 

96%

(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

 

84%

(90%)

 

 

90%

 

 

90%

 

 

90%

 

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

 

N/A

N/A

90%

N/A

Board of Negotiation

Performance Measures

 

2014-15

Achieved

(Target)

2015-16

Target

2016-17 Target

2017-18

Target

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

90%

(85%)

85%

85%

85%

Environmental Review Tribunal

Performance Measures

2014-15

Achieved

(Target)

2015-16

Target

2016-17

Target

2017-18

Target

 

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

 

77%*

(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

 

2014-15

Achieved

(Target)

2015-16

Target

2016-17

Target

2017-18

Target

 

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

83%

(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

51%*

(85%)

85%

85%

85%

 

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

75.3%*

(85%)

85%

85%

85%

*Note:  Adjudicator resources (reduced numbers plus unanticipated absences of adjudicators) along with an increase in the number of complex/lengthy proceedings continue to contribute to the OMB’s inability to meet some of its commitments.   

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

Medium

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

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

High

  • 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

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: 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 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.

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 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

-

2

8

14

24

2

44

46

Dedicated to 2 or more boards / tribunals

1

1

4

8

14

-

5

5

Total ELTO positions

1

3

12

22

38

2

49

51

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

 

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

ELTO does not have initiatives that involve third parties.

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 ELTO in the development and implementation of policies, practices, rules and services to provide modern, fair, responsive, accessible, effective and efficient dispute resolution  services. 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 for the submission of comments on proposals for change initiated by ELTO. Topics for discussion will be established in ELTO’s annual 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, accessibility and efficiency.  The technology used to develop the website is changing.  Over the next year, 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.  Over the next year ELTO is working on streamlining the quantity and content of these documents and where possible developing documents that can be used across the various boards and tribunals. We will also continue to review our publications to ensure they are accessible and in plain language for ease of understanding. These documents 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, copies are made available on 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.  As of December 2014, for the fiscal year 2014-15, ELTO responded to 16 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

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

ELTO will focus on delivering ongoing efforts in 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 across all levels of 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) and the OPS Diversity office and MAG DIA Office 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 December 2014, for the fiscal year 2014-15, ELTO’s Accessibility Coordinator played a key role in the receipt, acknowledgement and follow-through on 16 accommodation requests.

Training for ELTO Members and staff has consistently been an organizational priority and 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. 

In 2014, training to support all staff and Members in understanding how to prepare documents in accessible formats and provide communication supports was completed.  In addition, all managers and team leads completed training to learn more about employees’ rights to accommodation and the duty to accommodate. 

In April 2014, ELTO staff participated in the Agency Diversity & Inclusion Forum, Better Justice through Inclusive Practice.

Throughout 2014, staff, Members and managers received ongoing 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.

During the December 2014 ELTO all Member professional development sessions, developing inclusive practices was explored through the theme of diversity and access to justice. This included discussions on cultural and economic diversity.

In 2014, 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 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.

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 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 continuing to promote inclusive recruitment practices, 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 and support such as augmented hearing devices, and universal 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 developed in plain language are available on the ELTO website.  All documents are available in English and French and for some tribunals have been translated into five other 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 its 2014/15 Annual Report.  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.   ELTO will continue to file compliance 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 2015-16, 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

2014-15

Budget

 

2015-16

Budget

2016-17

Budget

2017-18

Budget

Operating

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Wages

11900.0

12220.0

12220.0

12220.0

Benefits

1517.3

1460.0

1460.0

1460.0

ODOE

 

 

 

 

Transportation and Communications

1073.4

986.3

986.3

986.3

Services

2914.9

2395.8

2401.4

2401.4

Supplies & Equipment

160.7

167.0

167.0

167.0

TOTAL Operating

17566.3

17229.1

17234.7

17234.7

 

 

 

 

 

Capital

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

1238.8

1900.0

5900.0

1962.5

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 consists of a 4.4% reduction of the 2014-15 allocation.  For the fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18, 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.

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 updated strategic framework includes changes to its mission and mandate statements, which await approval by the Attorney General under ATAGAA.  ELTO’s updated 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 December 5, 2017
elto.gov.on.ca