Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi speaks to Chamber

Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi
Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi speaks to Chamber
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This week, Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi spoke to the Oakville Chamber of Commerce on the government’s initiatives surrounding the justice system and the need to embrace technology and improve efficiencies. Some modernized features highlighted by the Minister that Oakville residents and businesses can expect include electronic filing and scheduling, virtual interactions and moving special occasion permit applications online. The breakfast took place at the Harbour Banquet and Conference Centre on July 13, 2017.

The breakfast event brought together representatives from the business sector that included lawyers, land use planners and engineers. Top of mind issues included the provinces role in the legalization of marijuana, the construction timeline of the much needed courthouse and the provinces reforms to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi

Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi spoke to members of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce on July 13, 2017

To that end, there was a general consensus that the OMB, the independent appeal body that deals with municipal and planning disputes is in need of reform, however members warned the Minister of the unintended consequences of the current proposals. Specifically, concerns were raised on what procedures were most appropriate to achieve the objectives of fairness and transparency. Such as, ensuring accountability through the entire process.

For example, land use planning disputes that involve professionals, planners, engineers and scientists who may disagree on the outcome no longer have the opportunity under the proposed reforms to challenge an opposing professional opinion (cross-examination) at the OMB. Given the removal of certain appeal rights, many affected by land use decisions including residents can no longer appeal. Many expressed concern that decisions would be over politicized and that there is a need for a “checks and balances” process to continue to ensure transparency.

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Oakville Chamber members support smart land use planning. Included in smart planning is the investment in infrastructure that allows for the movement of people, goods and services. This much needed investment will improve our economy and quality of life. In turn, this will encourage business to invest in Oakville providing residents with the opportunity to live and work in the same community.

The visit by the Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi marked yet another opportunity for Oakville Chamber members to weigh in on important policy issues being considered by our government leaders. A fundamental role of the Chamber on behalf of our members.

Honourable Yasir Naqvi’s full speech can be found here.

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