Michael Gottheil, former chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, has been nominated to serve as the cross-appointed Chair of the newly formed Environment and Land Use Planning Cluster. The Environment and Lands Tribunal “Cluster” consists of the Assessment Review Board, Board of Negotiation, Conservation Review Board, Environmental Review Tribunal, and Ontario Municipal Board.

Mr. Gottheil will ultimately oversee all 5 boards, exercising the responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer for all tribunals, as part of an initiative by the Ontario government to streamline and improve public accountability of tribunal practices.

The clustering of these agencies serves as another step towards the enactment of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 (Ontario) which has yet to have been proclaimed, but which received Royal assent as part of the Good Government Act, 2009 passed on December 15, 2009.

When in force, the Act will require the clustered agencies to jointly draft and implement policies outlined within several public accountability documents, including a mandate and mission statement, a public consultation policy, a service standard policy, an ethics plan, and a member accountability framework. The consultation plan will describe how the tribunal will consult with the public when it is considering changes to its rules or policies. The service standard policy will set out the standards of service that the tribunal intends to provide and a process for making, reviewing and responding to complaints about the tribunal's service. The member accountability framework will provide a description of the functions of the members of the tribunal and a description of the skills, knowledge, experience, other attributes and specific qualifications required of a person to be appointed as a member of the tribunal as well as a code of conduct for the members of the tribunal.

The Act also requires the clustered agencies to jointly prepare governance accountability documents, including a memorandum of understanding, a business plan and an annual report to be entered into and/or approved by the Attorney General within regularly scheduled intervals, as applicable.

The Act is available on e-laws in anticipation of its imminent proclamation. To view the Act please see: