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March 01, 2019

March 2019 Issue



In the upcoming March Council meeting, OPPI Council will discuss a variety of strategic issues. OPPI Council will discuss the member value proposition on the following issues:
  • Is Council's practice of conducting generative discussions on OPPI mega issues adding value? Are there emerging topics to consider? In 2017-18, Council engaged members and stakeholders in generative discussions on mega issue topics such as incorporating Indigenous planning perspectives, technology and its impact on planning, climate change, member value proposition, professional standards knowledge and expertise capacity building.
  • Review of OPPI Public Affairs Strategy and our approach to responding to Bill 66.
  • OPPI's participation in a nation-wide compensation survey.
  • The 2018 Financial Audit - did we achieve our financial targets and goals?
  • Activity update on landmark celebrations for 25 years of RPP and CIP centenary.
  • Planning Alliance Forum - establishing a service agreement.
OPPI Council meets four times a year. Council approved agendas and minutes are available upon request to the OPPI office. The goal is to engage members in shaping the direction and initiatives of OPPI and continue to deliver on our INSPIRE OPPI Strategic Plan 2020. Members are encouraged to speak up and get involved and stay in touch throughout the year through OPPI's many communications channels.

OPPI's District Leadership Team Chairs and Vice Chairs meet annually with Strategy Group Chairs, OPPI President and President Elect at the District Strategy Forum to share experiences and identify actionable priorities for the next year.
Starting to plan for 2020, this year's Forum on March 21 will have the opportunity to provide early input into OPPI's next Strategic Plan. As well, the team will discuss priorities in key strategic areas and continue to develop District co-creation ideas to develop a realistic District action plan that provides relevant and meaningful services to our members.
Stay tuned for more information throughout the year. District events are opportunities for members to learn more about the work happening in your local area and to get involved. Members can always check our Events webpage to see what is happening in your local District!

Your Professional Journey


OPPI is seeking interested members to join our Planning Issues Strategy Group in an advisory role that is focused on influencing the planning profession for the betterment of planning in Ontario.
Guiding the work of the Planning Issues Strategy Group is OPPI's new Public Affairs framework. In addition, a new Terms of Reference has been drafted that outlines responsibilities for volunteer members, including working with staff to proactively identify key "mega issues" that impact and transcend borders and advance these issues with decision-makers and stakeholders, monitor current and emerging legislation and policy and advises staff on responding, and advise staff on issues that are best suited for knowledge sharing and discussion across the planning profession.
Members should ideally reflect geographical and professional practice diversity and ideally plan communities in small (under 50,000 residents), medium (between 50,000 and 200,000 residents) and large (over 200,000 residents) populations. If you are interested in joining OPPI's Planning Issues Strategy Group, please fill out our Volunteer Application Form by March 29

Building RPP


Prior to the last election OPPI reached out to members to inform you that our professional regulation legislation had died on the order paper as a result of the closure of the legislature for the June election. Since then, OPPI has sought an opportunity to work with the new government and reintroduce this legislation to enhance professional regulation for the planning profession in Ontario. 
OPPI is pleased to announce that we have taken the first few steps to reintroduce our professional regulation legislation. On Tuesday, February 19, Chief Government Whip and MPP Lorne Coe introduced Bill 70, the Registered Professional Planners Act in the legislature. In addition to this, the bill has passed First Reading and is one step closer to becoming law in Ontario. 
On Thursday, February 28, MPP Coe introduced Bill 70 for Second Reading and it received unanimous consent from the Legislature. The bill has now been referred to the Committee of General Government. Members interested in reading the Hansard transcript from Thursday's session can visit the Ontario Legislature website, or members can view the debate.

OPPI will continue to keep members posted about the future progress of the bill. Members seeking information about this legislation can visit OPPI's Legislative Corner webpage for information and updates. OPPI would like to thank MPP Coe, ministry staff and the many others, including OPPI's government relations firm, Strategy Corp, for their assistance. 

Knowledge Exchange

Planners are constantly multi-tasking, collaborating, working hard and looking for ways to save time or somehow make more out of each hour in the day. One way that we bend our temporal limitations is to provide for written and verbal short-cuts, specifically through acronyms. However, sometimes in an attempt to save time we end up confusing other people and sometimes even other planners. In this month's Planning Exchange blog, Mark McConville, RPP takes a closer look at confusing planning acronyms and how to make sense of the terminology used in planning meetings.
Click here to read more

OPPI's Student Liaison Committee (SLC) is organizing a day-long student case competition on March 9, 2019. 
Teams of five to six students from each accredited planning program will work on a case study project provided by the City of Toronto and York University, and present their recommendations to a panel of Registered Professional Planners (RPPs).
The winning team is profiled in OPPI's Planning Exchange Blog, receives complimentary registration, and is invited to make a presentation at the 2019 Conference at the Beanfield Centre on October 1-3, 2019.
Thank you to the City of Toronto and York University for providing the case project and again to York University for providing the venue for the event. 

The 21st century has seen remarkable change on a global scale. With growing populations, rising environmental concerns and emerging technologies, the world of planning is less predictable than ever before. On February 9, the annual Waterloo-Ryerson Undergraduate Planning Conference (WRUPC) aimed to capture a variety of challenges that the next generation may face through the theme of "Planning for Uncertainty."  
Hosted by the University of Waterloo's Planning Students' Association, the full-day conference featured 150 student attendees from both Waterloo and Ryerson's accredited planning programs. Keynote addresses included Sean Hertel's discussion on the changing role of planners, as well as Kitty Chiu's presentation on the use of scenario planning in transportation. 
A lively round of Planning Jeopardy commenced in the afternoon, followed by a Jane's Walk of Uptown Waterloo led by Kae Elgie & Philippe Elsworthy. To end the conference, Mike Witmer, Eric Pisani and Jacob Terry facilitated interactive break-out sessions on topics such as autonomous vehicles, ridership in the Region of Waterloo, and uncertainties experienced by development planners in the City of Guelph. 
The event was a great opportunity for students to think critically about what the future of planning may entail. While uncertainty may be at the forefront of the profession, the conference highlighted the important role of planners in addressing wicked problems and preparing for future challenges.
2019 is a landmark year for Ontario's professional planners. We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation in Ontario; the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer it!
To commemorate this significant milestone, OPPI is facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century by exploring the key issues that reach beyond regional and territorial boundaries, including: uneven growth, climate change and technology. 
OPPI would like to thank Aird & Berlis LLP, Bousfields Inc., Macaulay Shiomi Howson Ltd. And Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. - for their sponsorship of OPPI19 and their support and contribution to a great event this year! If your organization is interested in sponsoring our event, please visit our website for more information. 
OPPI19: Beyond25 will take place on October 1-3, 2019 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto. Save the date and stay tuned for more information regarding registration and our upcoming conference. 

What You Need to Know

Ontario Launches Data Strategy Consultations
The Ontario government is seeking input for a provincial strategy that will help Ontario benefit from the data economy. The development of a data strategy will be guided by core principles which include a focus on ensuring data privacy and protection is paramount, and that data is kept safe and secure. The government is seeking feedback through an online survey until March 7, 2019.

OPPI Council Nominations Open Until April 1
OPPI's Governance and Nominating Committee is looking for a few good people to join OPPI Council as Directors and President Elect. Full Members have until April 1 to put their name forward for a Director position and contribute to the planning profession. Visit OPPI's website for information on the nomination process.

OPPI Seeks Public Interest Representatives
OPPI is seeking non-planners for volunteer positions on OPPI Council (two-year term) or on our Complaints or Discipline Committees (three-year terms). These three positions will offer an external perspective on the deliberations of OPPI's Council and Complaints or Discipline Committees, enhancing transparency and ensuring the interest of the broader public is paramount. If you are interested, complete the online application form by visiting OPPI's website no later than April 1, 2019.

2019 Toronto Urban Design Awards
The City of Toronto Urban Design Awards recognize a wide range of projects that demonstrate improvements to the built environment and quality of public places in the city. Designers, developers, project owners, community groups, design students and others are invited to enter eligible projects no later than 12 noon on Monday, April 29, 2019. Submission categories include: elements, private buildings in context, public buildings in context, small open spaces, large places or neighbourhood designs, visions and master plans, and student projects. New for 2019 is the inclusion of general contractor to the credit board. Project entry details and program information is available at

What Aquatic Species At Risk Are In Your Planning Area?
Members should be aware that municipal policies for development around water require careful attention to protect sensitive aquatic species, and specific approvals from federal and provincial governments may be needed. You can now reference a national Aquatic Species at Risk (SAR) Map to find out whether federally listed fish and mussel species at risk or their critical habitats occur within your planning area. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has also implemented a national "one-window" approach to streamline the permitting of project activities that may impact fish, fish habitat or aquatic species at risk. Detailed guidance on federal Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act requirements appears on DFO's Projects Near Water website. This includes self-assessment criteria that will help proponents determine whether or not their work requires review by DFO. For more information on working near water, contact the Fisheries Protection Program at 1-855-852-8320 or

Career Opportunities

Are you listed in OPPI's Consultant's Directory? If you're not in, it's time to get in! If you're looking to do some consulting on the side or looking for RPPs to work with for that big project you're leading, and everything in between, OPPI's Consultant's Directory is for you. Sign up today and get listed!

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.

Please see the current active postings below:
  • Manager, Transportation Planning - Region of Durham (full time)
  • Manager, Planning Services - The Corporation of the City of Thorold (full time)
  • Planner II (1 Year Term Position) - City of Campbell River (full time)
  • Development Project Manager - The Region of Halton (full time)
  • Planner - Zelinka Priamo Ltd. (full time)
  • Planning Summer Student - City of Burlington (contract)
  • Planner II - Township of King (full time)
  • Intermediate Planner - The Region of Halton (full time)
  • Intermediate Planner, GIS Specialist (contract up to 1 year) - Town of Caledon (contract)
  • Planner II - Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (full time)
  • Intermediate Planner - The Region of Halton (full time)
  • Manager, Development Planning - City of London (contract)
  • Director, Planning & Building Services - Town of Newmarket (full time)
  • Junior - Intermediate Planner - Lakeshore Group (contract)
  • Professional Land Use Planner - Gowling WLG (full time)
  • Planner - Town of Renfrew (full time)
  • General Manager of Infrastructure & Growth Management - City of Barrie (full time)
  • Director, Housing Services - Region of Waterloo (full time)
  • Planner I - Environment - the Municipality of Chatham-Kent (full time)
  • Intermediate Planner - EcoVue Consulting Service (full time)
  • Temporary Planner - The Corporation of the Town of Ajax (contract)
  • ...and many more!

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