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May 01, 2018

May 2018 Issue


Do you know a member who deserves to be recognized for their volunteer work and dedication to OPPI? Consider nominating them for a Member Service Award! OPPI's Member Service Awards recognize extraordinary service to the Institute by OPPI's volunteer leadership.

This can also include honouring a member for their accumulated service over a long period of time, performing a key or integral role with a special project or program, and representing OPPI and the planning profession extraordinarily well in a provincial or national forum.

Read what some of last year's winners have to say about the importance of being honoured and recognized with a Member Service Award:

"In my years with OPPI, I have had the privilege of meeting many dedicated planners who give generously of their time and talent. I know from my own experience as the recipient of the 2017 Member Service Award, recognition from your peers is a great honour." - Angela Dietrich, RPP

"My volunteer involvement with OPPI has been enriching, and I've always enjoyed being able to contribute to the growth of the profession. The unexpected recognition that has come with a Member Service Award is a great honour for me, especially with so many deserving candidates. I'm sincerely grateful. To receive the award in front of so many of my peers at the OPPI Conference made it all the more meaningful." - Chris Wicke, RPP

"While it has always been an easy decision to volunteer in OPPI activities, given all that the Institute offers to use as planning professionals, it was an honour to receive a Member Service Award. Because an award like this is so unexpected, it is particularly appreciated by recipients! Consider nominating a colleague for a Member Service Award this year." - Paul Baskcomb, RPP

The deadline for nominations is June 1. To submit a nomination, visit OPPI's website for more information and to fill out the nomination form.

Let your colleagues know you appreciate their hard work and dedication to OPPI. Don't let this opportunity to honour a special volunteer member of OPPI with this deserving recognition pass by. Nominate a Member today!
Earlier this year, OPPI asked members to provide us with your feedback regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and how OPPI can support members in their roles as planners. The feedback OPPI received was overwhelmingly supportive of this initiative and with members seeing value in OPPI investigating this area further.

At the March OPPI Council meeting, we invited Dr. Duke Redbird, Dr. Sheri Longboat and Calvin Brook, RPP, to share their insights and perspectives on how best to include Indigenous perspectives in planning, and how OPPI can support members as they engage Indigenous peoples to incorporate their perspectives into the planning process.

As a result of this discussion, OPPI Council determined further work on this topic is required, including the creation of a Task Force to examine and recommend how OPPI can respond to these Calls to Action and support members. Stay tuned for more information throughout the year on this valuable work. Additionally, if you would like to be involved or have any recommendations, please email

Your Professional Journey

Each year, OPPI welcomes many new RPPs as members from a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. Only Full Members of OPPI are authorized to use the RPP designation in Ontario.

Our newest RPPs followed and completed the certification process administered by the Professional Standards Board and will be receiving their certificates allowing them to practice as RPPs in Ontario.

We applaud your achievement, dedication and commitment to informing choices and guiding the public, decision makers and stakeholders on the journey to creating inspired communities. Learn more about our newest RPPs by visiting the OPPI website.
OPPI offers three student scholarships - one each for undergraduate and graduate students every year, and a President's scholarship bi-annually. These scholarships recognize Student Members who are making a contribution to their communities and demonstrate leadership in the field of planning.

Please join OPPI in congratulating this year's scholarship winners:
  • The Ronald M. Keeble Undergraduate Scholarship: Alex Gaio
  • The Gerald Carrothers Graduate Scholarship: Meg Morris
  • Andrea Bourrie 2018 Scholarship: Aida Mas
In addition to their scholarship, our winners will be featured in the Ontario Planning Journal and formally recognized in front of the planning profession at our 2018 Symposium in October.

Building RPP

Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) is intended to help members stay current with changes and developments in the planning profession, and to stay informed about innovations and leading practices. This spring, OPPI is offering a series of CPL courses for all levels of experience:
  • Understanding Legislation for Planners (May 4) - SOLD OUT
  • Planner as a Facilitator (May 10-11)
  • Managing Skills for Planners (May 11) - SOLD OUT
  • Project Management for Planners (June 8)
  • Applied Project Management (June 22)
Whether you're a new member or in need of a refresh, apply to our CPL courses and boost your knowledge, stay up-to-date and earn CPL credits!
RPPs create communities that we really want to live in, to grow in, and places that we love today and we can be proud to pass on to future generations. RPPs also provide leadership in achieving healthy and sustainable communities across Ontario, and this work is vital to our quality of life.

Opportunities arise that give RPPs the ability to give back and help their communities and other professions. Two recent examples of RPPs lending their expertise to help other professions include:
  • Public Health Review on the Built Environment and Health - Public Health Ontario (PHO) was looking for an RPP to help their Local Driven Collaborative Project (LDCP) and develop a common resource for public health units as they work with municipalities to foster improved health in urban planning and design. Stephen Dykstra, RPP, is assisting with the creation of a project proposal and completion of a two-year grant for PHO.
  • Healthy Communities by Design - the Healthy Communities by Design team was looking for RPPs to attend and lend their expertise on the development of a guidance document for resident-led designs of low income apartment towers in the City of Toronto. This project seeks to demonstrate how people's influence on, and engagement with, their physical environment impacts their health. Some of the RPPs assisting with this initiative include Andrew Davidge, RPP, Maria Flores, RPP and Sari Liem, RPP.
Thank you to these RPPs and everyone volunteering your time, and providing the ability, expertise and knowledge needed to inform choices and inspire communities across Ontario.

Knowledge Exchange

In this month's Planning Exchange blog post, Uzo Rossouw and John Chmielewski from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) highlights the impact of land use planning on property assessments across Ontario.

As planners it is important we understand how the plans we create and implement have a real impact on both property owners and municipalities who rely on accurate property assessments to generate tax revenues. By virtue of their nature, planning policies, which regulate or restrict land uses, have the potential to drastically influence the value of properties.

We know what you're thinking - it's only May, why should I register now for an event in October? Here are three great reasons to register for #OPPI18 now:
  • Early bird registration saves you 14 percent off the cost of our Member rate
  • Get priority access to our mobile workshops, the most popular sessions at our event
  • Our host city, the City of Greater Sudbury, is a northern city built on resilience and ingenuity. There is no better place to explore the theme of community readiness. Don't take our word for it, learn more about Sudbury's unique identity from the Sudburians and We Live Up Here!

OPPI and WeirFoulds would like to thank members for attending our Planning Justification Report and Municipal Staff Report: What will they look like under Bill 139? in-person and on our livestream.

Our panelists Denise Baker (Partner, WeirFoulds), Emma West, RPP (Partner, Bousfields Inc.), Mark Simeoni, RPP (Director Planning Services, Town of Oakville) and our moderators Bruce Engell (Partner, WeirFoulds) and Barnet Kussner (Partner, WeirFoulds) reviewed and discussed a number of topics during the two-hour session, and answered questions from participants.

Recordings of the livestream presentation and question and answer session is available on OPPI's Digital Learning platform. OPPI members who participated in this event may be eligible to claim CPL learning units.

Thank you to attendees (in-person and online) for your participation, and to WeirFoulds, our panelists and RPPs, and Webcast Guru for your assistance in this Bill 139 livestream event.

What You Need to Know

Last call for submissions for July/August OPJ
Are you a student or educator working on research of a project you just want to tell the entire planning profession about? This is the last call for submissions for student projects and work for the July/August issue of the Ontario Planning Journal. Submit your article by May 15, 2018 and tell everyone about the great work you're doing! Please email submissions to

Do you have an announcement you want to share with OPPI?
Have you been promoted recently? Approaching retirement? Hired new RPPs at your firm? Share the good news with OPPI and we can promote it in our communications. It's fun to celebrate milestones and new opportunities, and let your colleagues and fellow members know what is new with you. If you have any announcements to share, please contact us at

2018 OACA Conference
OPPI is a promotional partner for the 2018 Ontario Association of Committees of Adjustment & Consent Authorities (OACA) Conference taking place June 3-6 in Niagara Falls. Members interested in attending can network and meet with other professionals representing related professions. In addition, hear OPPI President, Jason Ferrigan, RPP, lead a workshop discussing the valuable role that Registered Professional Planners have in the decision making process. Learn more about the 2018 OACA Conference and register today.

Public Health and Planning 101 Course
Don't miss this free online course, brought to you by OPPI, the Ontario Public Health Association and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Developed by volunteers and staff, and inspired by research and user feedback, this introductory level course is designed to bridge the gaps between both professions, as well as provide greater opportunities for developing collaborative partnerships to help create and foster healthy built environments. Learn more and sign up today!

Career Opportunities

Advertise your available planning positions with OPPI's Job Postings. There is no better way to reach qualified planning professionals.
Targeted to planners, search the OPPI Job Ads to save you time and effort when looking for a new position.
Search Now
Please see the current active postings below:
  • Planning & Design Project Manager, Transit - Waterfront Toronto (contract)
  • Planner - The Corporation of The County of Prince Edward (full time)
  • Planner - City of St. Thomas (full time)
  • Current Development Planner - City of Brantford (full time)
  • Planner I - City of London (full time)
  • Planning Technician - Town of Caledon (full time)
  • Community Planner - Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs/Ministry of Housing (full time)
  • Development Planner - Niagara Region (full time)
  • Economic Development Coordinator/Development Planner - Municipality of Brighton (full time)
  • Manager of Planning - Town of Orangeville (full time)
  • Director, Planning & Development - Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) (full time)
  • Director of Planning and Building Services - City of St. Catharines (full time)
  • Planning Technician II - City of Guelph (full time)
  • New Official Plan - Sudbury East Planning Board (RFP)
  • Policy Planner - City of Belleville (full time)
  • Planner II - City of Thunder Bay (full time)
  • Senior Heritage Planner/Architect - City of Vaughan (full time)
  • Manager of Policy Planning - County of Wellington (full time)
  • Project Manager, Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review - City of Guelph (contract)
  • Director, Long Range Planning - The Regional Municipality of York (full time)
  • Director, Community Planning - City of Calgary (full time)
  • Senior Planner - Town of Wasaga Beach (full time)
  • Planning Technician - Haldimand County (contract)
  • Junior Planner - RFA Planning Consultant Inc. (contract)
  • Project Manager III (Municipal Real Estate Development) - Halton Region (full time)
  • Planner - Township of Oro-Medonte (full time)
  • Coordinator, Climate Change - The District Municipality of Muskoka (full time)

Upcoming Events and Courses

  • SHADE Bootcamp - Shade design and UVR protection (May 1)
  • Lakeland and Northern Districts Planning for Seasonal Second Homes (May 3)
  • Understanding Legislation for Planners OPPI Course - SOLD OUT (May 4)
  • Lakeland District Jane's Walk: Art in the Park (May 5)
  • Lakeland District Jane's Walk - Building Community Around Heritage Features (May 5)
  • Eastern and Lakeland Districts Managing Assets for Sustainable Communities: A CIP Training Series (May 9)
  • Planner as a Facilitator OPPI Course (May 10-11)
  • Managing Skills for Professional Planners OPPI Course - SOLD OUT (May 11)
  • Land and Development Conference (May 15)
  • 20th Annual RPAA Spring Reception (May 17)
  • Oak Ridges and Toronto Districts Aga Khan Museum Architecture and Garden Tour (May 27)
  • Southwest District BYOB [bring your own book] Club Meeting (May 30)