2017/18 – 2019/20 Business Plan

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

ELTO’s Strategic Framework

Environmental Scan and Risks

Overview of Programs and Activities

Performance Measures and Targets

Human Capital: OICs and Staff

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

Communication Plan

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan

Three-Year Financial Plan

Appendix A

Executive Summary

ELTO is a cluster of five tribunals that resolve disputes 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 2017/18 is $17.3 million.

This business plan supports ELTO’s vision:

“We are focussed on serving the interests of all Ontarians and committed to excellence in the timely evidence-based resolution of environment and land disputes.”

ELTO continues to develop, implement and refine its three-year business plan 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.

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. Details of the past year’s results and key deliverables for this three year business cycle are found in the Overview of Programs and Activities section of this document.

ELTO is committed to serving the interests of all Ontarians and that includes looking at ways to improve our dispute resolution services, our accessibility and our measurement of effectiveness in meeting these goals.

Several key initiatives that started in the 2016/17 fiscal year will carry over into the 2017/18 fiscal year. These will result in recommendations to assist ELTO in achieving its commitments. This includes a value-for-money audit of the ARB and the OMB by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario (OAGO), and the review of the OMB by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA) and the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG).

ELTO is committed to supporting the audit by fully cooperating with the OAGO. We welcome this opportunity to work with the OAGO to ensure ELTO’s proper stewardship of public funds and to demonstrate value-for-money in the delivery of dispute resolution services to the public.

The Ontario government, led by MMA and MAG, is conducting a review of the scope and effectiveness of the OMB. Working with key stakeholders, the ministries are directed to recommend possible reforms that would improve the OMB’s role within the broader land use planning system.

While ELTO and the OMB were not directly involved in the mandate review, we did play a role in providing information about the important work of the Board to the ministries, and to others who were involved in the review.

Reaching out and engaging with our stakeholders is a key component of our dispute resolution services. Any changes to our processes or procedures that occur as a result of recommendations from the audit, the OMB review or any other modernization and transformation initiatives will be communicated to our clients in a timely, accessible and efficient way.

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 mandate, mission and core values statements.  ELTO reviews its strategic framework on an annual basis to ensure that the commitments included in the framework reflect the mandate of the cluster, are clear, easy to understand and align with its priorities and obligations.

In 2015, ELTO implemented an updated strategic framework to support its mandate, and introduced the current 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.

In 2017/18, the Strategic Framework has been further refined to ensure its clear alignment with ELTO’s priorities and obligations.

As such, ELTO is introducing a new vision statement:

We are focused on serving the interest of all Ontarians and committed to excellence in the timely evidence-based resolution of environment and land disputes.

ELTO’s Strategic Directions have also been redefined to focus on three areas: “Public Dispute Resolution Services”, “Modernization and Transformation”, and an “Engaged and Vibrant Workplace”. The Strategic Initiatives under each of these Strategic Directions have been updated accordingly, and are now project-specific as well.

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’s hearings are held throughout the province. The tribunals use a variety of dispute resolution methods and conduct different types of events including full 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 BON is the one exception).

The specific mandates for 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 continuous improvement to meet the needs of all Ontarians who use our services.  To achieve this, ELTO has developed a strategic framework to guide 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 dispute resolution mandate.[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

 

Public Dispute Resolution Services

 

Modernization and Transformation

Engaged and Vibrant Workplace

Strategic Direction #1 – Public Dispute Resolution Services

This strategic direction supports ELTO’s core business of resolving disputes by providing the public with services that are accessible and lead to timely and appropriate resolution.  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 the public receives 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 – Modernization and Transformation

This strategic direction supports ELTO’s commitment to serve the needs of Ontarians by improving rules, processes and technology to ensure inclusiveness and accessibility of its services.

ELTO is proactively preparing for this business cycle by working with stakeholders, reviewing its constituent boards’ rules and developing improved processes to streamline services.  ELTO is also working with other adjudicative clusters to identify opportunities for service integration and the sharing of best practices to increase effectiveness.

Through this strategic direction ELTO aims to provide improved access and green solutions for Ontarians from all regions through a variety of methods including:

Strategic Direction #3 – Engaged and Vibrant Workplace

ELTO is continuing its efforts to build an engaged and vibrant workplace and is committed to having timely and responsive adjudicator and staff succession plans and recruitment processes. This will ensure ELTO has the skilled resources required.

By taking advantage of opportunities presented by partnering with other MAG clusters and tribunals, such as the sharing of resources and best practices, ELTO is able to provide better learning and development opportunities, and build a workplace that exemplifies diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

By continuing to develop and nurture a nimble and responsive workplace, ELTO will be able to adapt to future changes.  The right human capital will be available with the required skills and knowledge to ensure that ELTO has the capacity to advance its strategic initiatives.  ELTO’s goal is for everyone in the organization to be engaged and support continuous improvement and transformation.

Environmental Scan and Risks

External Factors

Fiscal Constraints

In the 2017-18 PRRT, the government introduced and imposed transformational constraints. TBS has adjusted the ministry’s allocation to reflect approved funding for MAG’s portion of the transformation initiatives which will impact ELTO’s fiscal environment.

Fiscal constraints may impact ELTO in a number of ways, including:

ELTO will operate within these constraints by making evidence-based decisions and creating organizational practices to improve outcomes.  ELTO will work with other agency clusters to look for better ways to deliver services and use a multi-year approach to identify 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 associated environmental issues.  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 in matters that involve the Expropriations Act.  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.

Ontario Municipal Board Mandate Review

In the Premier’s 2014 Mandate letters to MMA and MAG, it was announced that a review would be undertaken on the scope and effectiveness of the OMB.  The review commenced in 2016, and is being led by the MMA with support by MAG.

The Ministries jointly issued a Public Consultation Document in October 2016 to seek public input on the central themes of the review.  Recommendations arising from the review may result in changes to the OMB’s jurisdiction, practices, and procedures.  It may also impact the number of appeals received and how the OMB adjudicates those appeals.

Local Appeal Body

Both the City of Toronto Act and the Planning Act give authority to municipalities to create a Local Appeal Body (LAB). This would allow for certain variance and consent matters to be adjudicated at the municipal level, meaning they would no longer be referred to the OMB for adjudication.  The City of Toronto is actively establishing a LAB, and ELTO is providing assistance by sharing best practices.  The creation of the LAB is expected to reduce the overall minor variance and consent matters filed with the OMB. Any fees associated with these matters would no longer be submitted to the OMB resulting in a decrease in revenue.  In addition, a decrease in caseload will provide an opportunity to allocate resources to respond to the service recommendations of the OMB review. The LAB in Toronto is expected to be operational in the Spring/Summer 2017.

Impacts to the Assessment Review Board

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 education initiatives for municipalities.

Further to the initial report released, the Ministry of Finance has posted its final report on the Special Purpose Business Property Assessment Review.  Out of 26 recommendations four directly impacted the ARB. They focussed on an education campaign to clarify the appeal process, encouraging the use of alternative dispute resolution processes, developing a process to expedite appeals and improving all parties’ compliance with ARB disclosure requirements.  To address these recommendations, the ARB continues to engage key stakeholders such as MPAC, municipalities, members of the assessment bar, tax agents and members of the public by providing many outreach opportunities. Outreach opportunities include: annual stakeholder consultation sessions, attending conferences and speaking engagements, and providing a forum on the ELTO website for information and feedback.

The ARB plays a vital role in ensuring that the property assessment process is fair, accurate and predictable.  Its caseload intake varies according to the province’s four-year property assessment cycle.  As the ARB is approaching the next assessment cycle, 2017-2020, it expects to receive up to 40,000 new appeals in the first year of the cycle and then up to 10,000 new appeals in the other three years of the cycle.

Over the past few months, the ARB consulted stakeholders to discuss the ARB’s new strategy to prepare for the next assessment cycle and to resolve 100% of its current and new cycle caseload by March 31, 2021.  By reaching out to municipalities, the MPAC and other stakeholders, the ARB has developed a new and innovative approach to resolve appeals resulting in a Strategic Plan to Resolve Appeals, along with revised Rules of Practice and Procedure which take effect on April 1, 2017. 

Included in the changes is the introduction of a predictable Schedule of Events, settlement conferences, increased opportunities for formal mediation and the delivery of the ARB’s services through alternate hearing formats - including the use of technology such as video-conferencing.  It is expected that these changes will result in quicker and more efficient appeal resolution. The Strategic Plan also includes the establishment of an Appeals Management Advisory Committee (AMAC) comprised of stakeholders’ representatives. This committee will meet to monitor the implementation of the ARB’s Strategic Plan and to address issues as they arise in the implementation process.

The Budget Measures Act, which received Royal Assent on December 10, 2015, introduced changes to the Assessment Act to 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 upcoming reassessment cycle which commences in 2017.  The Act also allowed for the staggered release of assessment notices to residential home owners in 2016 for the 2017 assessment cycle.  The ARB will continue to monitor the impacts that this change has on its caseload.

Impacts to the Environmental Review Tribunal

On September 27, 2016 the Ontario government suspended an upcoming round of procurement for renewal energy projects such as wind and solar power energy facilities.  Appeals of renewal energy projects from the public typically make up about 15% of the ERT’s overall caseload.  The government’s decision to suspend these projects will likely result in a temporary cessation of new renewable energy approval (REA) appeals in 2019.  However, some REAs from past rounds are currently before the ERT.  As well, several new REA appeals arising from the current procurement (i.e., the one prior to the suspended round) are likely to come before the ERT in 2017 and 2018.        

Three new statutes were passed in the summer of 2016 which gave responsibility to the ERT to hear appeals of orders and decisions made pursuant to those Acts.  On June 9, 2016 the Waste Free Ontario Act, 2016 received Royal Assent enacting the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 and the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.   Under these statutes, the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority has jurisdiction to oversee Industry Funding Organizations and waste producers to ensure that they are in compliance with regulations regarding the diversion and reduction of waste as well as the recovery and reuse of resources.  Regulations regarding monetary penalties and producer responsibilities are currently being developed.  It is difficult to predict the long term volume of appeals that the ERT will receive under these statutes; however, it is unlikely that the ERT will receive any appeals in the upcoming fiscal year. 

The Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 received Royal Assent on May 18, 2016.  This Act provides participants in Ontario’s Cap and Trade program the ability to appeal various decisions and orders made by the Director of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.  Beginning January 1, 2017 registered participants of the Cap and Trade program will be responsible for their carbon emissions and will have to comply with provisions and regulations under the Act.  These include rules with respect to the collection and reporting of emissions data, participation in auctions of emissions allowances and ensuring participants do not engage in activities which results in fraud or manipulation of the emissions market.  The Ontario government is planning to hold auctions four times per year and they are currently developing regulations regarding administrative penalties for contraventions of the Act.  It is difficult to predict the volume of appeals the ERT will receive under this statute until all the regulations are developed, auctions are held and trading activity in the emissions market begins to occur. 

Access to Justice

In alignment with MAG‘s commitment to access to justice in remote and rural communities and to reconciliation with Indigenous communities, ELTO will continue to provide timely and appropriate processes for dispute resolution.  While caseloads from these areas are not substantial, the need to provide local presence and timely resolution of appeals for diverse and remote communities may impact resources. 

Ministry of the Attorney General

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. 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 into a single, government-owned location as a key priority.  ELTO is already co-located in one facility. 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 service collaboration to modernize the administrative justice system.

Demand for Technology Solutions

ELTO notes a continuing trend of rising expectations from the public for timely information and online services.  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. ELTO works closely with Justice Technology Services to implement and monitor technology initiatives.  Projects are monitored on an ongoing basis to address priorities and reinforce requirements set out in service level agreements.   ELTO supports the tribunal/cluster IT strategy to identify opportunities for partnerships with other tribunals and clusters to fund and implement joint technology initiatives.

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.  As a result, many of ELTO’s part-time and full-time OIC members’ appointments expired in 2016 and several more will expire in 2017.

ELTO is actively engaged in succession and recruitment plans to address the impact of these changes on its member resources. This 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’s leadership is actively re-engaging a consultation process with partners and stakeholders in accordance with its Consultation Policy.  The intention of this is 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. ELTO’s Citizen Liaison Office, which is available to assist with explaining ELTO rules, practices and procedures, also continues to be responsive to expressions of public interest and inquiries, and in helping clients better understand the appeals process.

ELTO’s Executive Chair and the tribunals’ Associate Chairs regularly accept numerous invitations to speak at conferences and other meetings of groups interested in ELTO’s work. These conversations and presentations help establish and grow the respectful relationships that have been developed with stakeholders and service recipients, in ways that can lead to improved communication around adjudicative and mediation services.

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, adjudicative proceedings and formal hearings.

Audit

The OAGO has identified the ARB and the OMB as subjects for a value-for-money audit in the 2016/17 audit year.

There are several stages in the audit process that culminate in the Auditor General’s Annual Report which is usually tabled in December of each year. OAGO is now in the planning stage for the audit. It is anticipated that the planning and auditing stages will continue for up to five months leading to a draft report for response from ELTO.

ELTO is committed to supporting the audit by fully cooperating with the Office of the Auditor General. We welcome this opportunity to work with the OAGO to ensure ELTO’s stewardship of public funds and the demonstration of value-for-money in our delivery of dispute resolution services to the public.

Overall, where environmental impacts create a risk to ELTO’s ability to fulfill its mandate and service delivery commitments, ELTO will assess the impacts and long term resource requirements, adjusting as necessary to limit the risk.  Sound controllership practices, which include monthly forecasting, are also in place to ensure that resources are managed effectively.

Overview of Programs and Activities

Strategic Initiatives: 2016/17 Results and 2017-20 Implementation Plan

ELTO has identified three strategic directions with corresponding strategic initiatives designed to achieve its overall vision. In 2016/17, ELTO identified specific projects and timelines to support the strategic initiatives and developed an Operational Plan to coordinate the planning and implementation of these initiatives.  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 2017-20.  This three-year rolling plan is reviewed annually to ensure that key deliverables can be met and to identify new initiatives that may be required to adapt to a changing environment.

Some of the 2017-20 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: Public Dispute Resolution Services

Strategic Initiatives:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Public Outreach
  • Public Service Survey
  • Service Standards (Key Performance Indicators)
  • Website and Forms Improvements

2016/17 Results

  • ELTO and the ERT were recognized in a UN report as exhibiting best practices amongst approximately 1,200 environmental courts and tribunals ‎from around the world.
  • The OMB developed and delivered training and information sessions for the City of Toronto administrative and planning staff to assist with the implementation of its Local Appeal Body initiative.
  • OMB case management participated in the consultation with the Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario; providing statistical data and feedback as needed to facilitate the completion of their report which was issued on August 31, 2016.
  • The Executive Office and Citizen Liaison Coordinator held three workshops with major Toronto Residents Associations as part of ELTO’s efforts to proactively engage with its stakeholders. The workshops provided valuable feedback on the experience of self-represented parties and how the OMB could further support their participation.  
  • The Citizen Liaison Coordinator’s outreach efforts also engaged graduate students from the land use planning programs at York University and the University of Toronto to provide them with valuable insight into the OMB processes and the role of the Citizen Liaison.

 

2017-20 Plan

Key Deliverables

Resources

Target Dates

Enhance public facing website by reorganizing content, improving accessibility, ease of use and the overall client experience

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

IT support services  secured

Spring 2017

Update and improve accessibility of all ERT Appeal and Application Guides

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources

Summer 2017

 

Provide further training and information sessions to City of Toronto staff for the Local Appeal Board

OMB case management staff

Spring 2017 or as requested

Create forms that are easy to complete, enhanced with accessibility features and pilot OMB appeal forms

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

Ontario Shared Services - Forms Management services to be requested

Spring 2017

 

Enhance performance measures / service standards, including development of a public services survey

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

Phase 1: Develop public services survey – Fall 2017

 

 

Develop enhanced case management tracking systems

 

IT support services  secured

Phase 2: Case management system updated to generate reporting – 2017/2018

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 2018

 

Strategic Direction 2: Modernization and Transformation

Strategic Initiatives:

  • OMB Mandate Review
  • ARB Dispute Resolution System 2017-2020 Assessment Cycle
  • Rules Reviews
  • Cross Cluster Services Review
  • Technology Improvements

 

2016/17 Results

  • Refreshed the Strategic Framework resulting in revised vision and strategic directions
  • OMB fee increase implemented July 1, 2016
  • ARB fee increase implemented January 1, 2017
  • ARB developed a new approach to resolve appeals resulting in the Strategic Plan to Resolve Appeals along with revised Rules of Practice and Procedure which take effect on April 1, 2017. When implemented, the plan will resolve appeals and any outstanding backlog of cases to 100% by the end of the assessment cycle, 2017-2020.
  • Completed amendments to the ERT’s Rules of Practice by updating terms to achieve clarity and consistency in the ERT’s process. Clarified the process for making allegations against persons who are not parties.  
  • Amended OMB Rule 107 to support electronic delivery of decisions
  • Piloted the use of video web conferencing technology as an alternative hearing format

 

 

2017-20 Plan

Key Deliverables

Resources

Target Dates

Modernize electronic data sharing between ARB statutory parties.

New real time property information sharing from MPAC to ARB case management system on active appeals.

Ministry of Finance (MOF)

To be developed by in-house ELTO resources

Additional IT resources likely required

Summer 2017

OMB Mandate Review is expected to result in new legislation.  ELTO’s processes will have to be revised accordingly.

 

Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG)

Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA)

New legislation likely to be introduced in Spring 2017

Implementation will be dependent on the legislation and recommendations – may take place over a couple of years

 

Strategic Direction 3: Engaged and Vibrant Workplace

Strategic Initiatives:

  • Timely and Responsive Adjudicator Recruitment Process
  • Learning Organization/Professional Development
  • French Language Services

 

2016/17 Results

  • As a result of the succession plan and recruitment process, ELTO is approaching its full complement of adjudicators
  • Developed annual ELTO-wide Professional Development plan
  • Developed a French Language Services Action Plan
    • Bilingual members and staff participated in the French Language Training for Adjudicative Tribunals sponsored by French Language Services
  • Diversity, inclusion and accessibility principles embedded in performance and learning plans
  • Delivered ELTO staff training to champion diversity and inclusion including:
    • Indigenous Realities Awareness Sessions
    • Mental Health First Aid Awareness
  • ARB Members received specialized training on inclusion support for vulnerable clients who file Poverty Tax appeals
  • Provided learning and development opportunities for case management staff in the areas of administration and planning

 

2017-20 Plan

Key Deliverables

Resources

Target Dates

Continue to implement  adjudicator succession and recruitment Plans

 

In house

Ongoing

Implement an adjudicator  performance evaluation system

In house

Winter 2017/18

Develop annual integrated professional development strategy/plan

In house

Spring 2017

Developing a cross-tribunal administrative training program to better utilize resources and enhance engagement and learning for staff

ERT Deputy Registrar and OMB Registrar

Fall 2017

Develop on-line professional development courses

Currently under development by in-house ELTO resources

Fall  2017


Performance Measures and Targets

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.  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.

For the coming year ELTO is developing a public service survey to obtain feedback on both quantitative and qualitative performance. 

Current performance measures are designed to assess the tribunals’ core business of resolving disputes in an accessible, fair, efficient and timely manner. 

The results presented are as of December 31, 2016.  Where a performance target was not achieved in 2016/17, 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

2016/17

Achieved

(Target)

2017/18

Target

2018/19

Target

2019/20

Target

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

96%

(90%)

90%

90%

90%

 

Assessment Review Board

Performance Measures

2016/17

Achieved

(Target)

2017/18 Target

2018/19 Target

2019/20 Target

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

97%

(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)

84%

(90%)

N/A

N/A

N/A


Board of Negotiation

Performance Measures

2016/17

Achieved

(Target)

2017/18

Target

2018/19

Target

2019/20

Target

 

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

82%

(85%)

85%

85%

85%

 

Conservation Review Board

Performance Measures

2016/17

Achieved

(Target)

2017/18

Target

2018/19

Target

2019/20

Target

 

% of CRB Reports issued within 30 days of the end of a hearing

 

100%

(85%)

85%

85%

85%

 

Environmental Review Tribunal

Performance Measures

2016/17

Achieved

(Target)

2017/18

Target

2018/19

Target

2019/20

Target

 

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

 

84%

(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

 

2016/17

Achieved

(Target)

2017/18

Target

2018/19

Target

2019/20

Target

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

76%

(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

47%*

(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%*

(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.

Human Capital: OICs and Staff

Human Capital refers to the people who work for an organization and their skills, competencies, abilities and value to the organization. ELTO has both Orders in Council appointees (OICs) who are appointed by the government (Lieutenant Governor in Council) and Ontario Public Service (OPS) staff. Effective human capital planning is built on a clear understanding of the organization’s strategic priorities and emerging workforce challenges. ELTO ensures that its human capital practices align with the government’s overarching vision, mission and strategy. ELTO engages in human capital planning to hire, train and manage its workforce within the limits of its budget. ELTO is committed to building a diverse, dynamic, effective and respectful workforce that supports ongoing learning and development.

As part of ELTO’s Human Capital Plan and in response to the Government’s 10-year rule for OICs, ELTO has developed a succession and recruitment plan for OICs using an orderly and fair process to minimize the impact on ELTO’s service to the public. The ELTO cross-appointment strategy ensures the most efficient and effective use of ELTO’s OICs.  By appointing OICs to more than one tribunal, according to their skills and substantive areas of knowledge, ELTO can assign designated full-time and part-time appointees to hearings where the need is greatest among the tribunals.

ELTO actively maintains its staff succession plan to address turnover and to identify and develop potential successors.  As part of the plan, ELTO uses a Knowledge Transfer Tool to assist with capturing and transferring institutional knowledge.

ELTO follows the OPS directives for recruitment and uses the Inclusion Lens throughout the competition process to ensure its hiring practices are fair and inclusive.

ELTO does not set its own compensation levels. ELTO’s management and staff are covered by the OPS Compensation Directive. Compensation for ELTO’s OICs is set by the Treasury Board and approved by Cabinet. This is laid out in the Agencies & Appointments Directive. ELTO is not required to benchmark its compensation and benefits against other public sector bodies.

ELTO’s current OIC Member complement, as of April 1, 2017 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

22

32

1

28

29

Dedicated to 2 or more boards / tribunals

1

1

4

5

11

-

4

4

Total ELTO positions

1

3

12

27

43

1

32

33

 

ELTO’s current full-time staff complement is:

Group

Number of Positions

Senior Management Group (SMG)

4

Crown Counsel (CC)

1

Association of Law Officers of the Crown (ALOC)

4

Management Compensation Plan (MCP)

9

Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO)

18

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

83

Total

119

 

 

Organizational Chart (as of April 1, 2017)

*The Executive Lead position provides strategic leadership and direction to all three adjudicative clusters within the Agency and Tribunal Relations Division which, along with ELTO, includes the Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO) and Safety Licencing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO). The position is not included as part of ELTO’s staff total.

 

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

In 2016/17 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 in environment and land dispute resolution to all Ontarians. To support this objective, ELTO’s communications will be accessible, fair and transparent.

ELTO proactively engages with a variety of stakeholders to assist in the development and implementation of policies, practices, and rules. ELTO also has regular consultations with its stakeholders on initiatives to improve the tribunals’ operations and to provide more modern, fair, responsive, accessible, effective and efficient dispute resolution 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, and will provide reasonable time for the submission of comments on proposals for changes initiated by ELTO.  Proposals for consultation will be established in ELTO’s annual Operational Plans.

ELTO is committed to delivering initiatives that educate the public, stakeholders and self-represented parties on the role and processes of ELTO’s tribunals in a clear, open and understandable way.  In this regard, the ELTO website is a key communication portal to provide information to those accessing the tribunals’ services.  ELTO is also in the process of developing a new website to further support its commitment to accountability, transparency, accessibility and efficiency.  New formats for information products using technology such as smart forms, videos and other media formats are currently being tested.

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.  ELTO continues to 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 is also continuing 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.

The Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (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 roles, responsibilities of the key senior leaders within the cluster and the ministry, and identifies the communication protocols 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 2016, for the fiscal year 2016/17, ELTO responded to nine complaints.

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

Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan

ELTO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Plan is designed to:

The plan includes strategies to address people, processes, services and results.  It incorporates a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, developed in 2013, through consultation with persons with disabilities.

As part of the plan, ELTO will focus on delivering initiatives to support the following four key priorities throughout the next three years:

  1. Provide a strong mandate for members and staff to adopt best practices that embed diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the planning and delivery of activities.
  2. Mentor and develop diversity champions among staff and members.
  3. Support the ongoing commitment to continuous learning by documenting education, awareness and acceptance of diversity, inclusion and accessibility in performance and learning plans.
  4. Develop measurements and reporting tools on diversity and inclusion through the Agency Inclusion Community of Practice.

Each year, using the diversity lens tool for the development and review of policies and programs, ELTO develops and implements new best practices to ensure that its programs are sensitive to the diverse communities it serves, and to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace.  By doing so, ELTO can address any barriers and create and implement new protocols to improve access to ELTO’s services.

ELTO will continue to provide training on the use of a diversity lens tool for the development and review of policies and programs, and the promotion of inclusive recruitment practices.  Partnerships will be developed with other tribunals to share resources and expertise, embrace inclusive practices in the workplace and achieve measurable results.

Progress of Accessibility Initiatives

Accessibility Accommodations

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 2016, for the fiscal year 2016/17, ELTO’s Accessibility Coordinator played a key role in the receipt, acknowledgement and follow-through on five accommodation requests.

Recruitment Practices

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.

Training and Professional Development

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) is 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 2016, this included:

Results on accessibility training commitments are currently measured and reported annually to MAG.  

Website Improvements and Accessible Information

Consistent with the requirements of the IASR and ELTO’s Communication Plan, accessible information products developed in plain language are available on the ELTO website.  ELTO will continue to make information available in both English and French and in accessible formats.  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 follows the I&IT Accessibility Centre of Excellence’s recommended 3 part testing methodology to assess accessibility of its website consisting of Automated Testing (Compliance Sheriff), Manual Testing and Assistive Technology assessment (screen reader).  ELTO also uses JAWS screen reader software as an additional tool for auditing its website in order to better understand clients’ accessibility needs and improve the accessibility of content.  ELTO will continue improving its knowledge base by offering training to webmasters, communication staff and content contributors on creating and maintaining accessible websites.

Built Environment

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 supports 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.

Reporting Requirements

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.

Three-Year Financial Plan

 

Multi-Year Operating Budget

(000’s)

Expense Category

2016/17

Budget1

2016/17 Actuals2

Variance

2017/18

Budget4

2018/19

Budget4

2019/20

Budget4

Operating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Wages3

12,273.7

12,185.9

87.80

12,777.4

12,777.4

12,777.4

Benefits

1,465.5

1,611.0

-145.50

1,515.9

1,515.9

1,515.9

ODOE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transportation and Communications

986.3

741.0

245.30

744.4

686.3

686.3

Services3

2,401.4

2,258.7

142.70

1,813.8

1,602.5

1,326.0

Supplies & Equipment

167.1

251.5

-84.40

167.1

167.1

167.1

TOTAL Operating

17,294.00

17,048.4

245.90

17,018.6

16,749.2

16,472.7

 

Capital

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Revenue

6,032.55

6,191.3

153.6

1,968.8

1,968.8

1,968.8

 

Notes:

  1. * ELTO’s allocation for 2016-17 was $17,294,000. A constraint of 2.7% is applied to this allocation and ELTO’s revised allocation is $ 16,827,001.
  2. ELTO incurred a small pressure against ELTO’s revised allocation as the result of increases to Order-In-Council (OIC) appointee remuneration in Q4.
  3. In 2016/17 ELTO moved towards adding 5 additional full-time Order-In-Council appointees for the ARB and reducing the number of part-time appointees. This move is budget neutral, but moves funds from services to salaries and benefits.
  4. ELTO’s allocation in future years will be impacted by the government’s multi-year transformation exercise. For the fiscal years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20, these allocations will be reviewed and may change as part of the Program Review, Renewal and Transformation process.
  5. 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. The ARB receives the highest number of appeals in the first year of the assessment cycle, while the number of new appeals filed diminishes in the second to fourth years of the cycle. Therefore, the revenue in subsequent years is lower due to the lower volume of appeals.

ELTO will work to manage within its revised allocation for the next three years by implementing a number of strategies, including maximizing the use of resources 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 Government of Ontario’s Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Appendix A

What Does ELTO’s Vision Statement Mean:

Serving the interests of all Ontarians

Committed to excellence

Resolution of environment and land disputes

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 MAG’s strategic plan priorities of: modernizing processes and technology, developing and retaining a skilled and engaged workforce and promoting accountability and value for money.


 

Effective February 13, 2018
elto.gov.on.ca