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September 04, 2019

September 2019 Issue


This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation. As past President Tony Usher said, "[Planners] have an enormous influence on life in this province...a lot of people outside OPPI would like to hear what we have to say and take us seriously."
I know first-hand all of Ontario's Registered Professional Planners are the experts our elected officials, stakeholders and the public need to help inform choices and inspire communities across the province. Many of us would not be here without the actions taken by many past Presidents, and I want to thank my predecessors, members and OPPI staff for their stewardship of the profession over the past 25 years.
This past year has been one of great change in Ontario. The pace of this change offers opportunities to look forward to renewing the profession. As your outgoing OPPI President, I want to reflect on what OPPI has worked on this past year and how it positions the planning profession to guide Ontario into the next quarter century.
To read more from OPPI President Jason Ferrigan's message to members and the full 2019 Annual Report, please visit OPPI's website. On our website, members can find information about our upcoming AGM, including the meeting agenda, financial summary and much more. 
Members received the official AGM notice from OPPI in late August via email and do not have to register for the 2019 Conference to attend the AGM.

In the upcoming September Council meeting, the 2018-2019 OPPI Council will hold their last meeting of this term to discuss a variety of strategic issues. Some of topics to be discussed at this meeting include:
  • A generative discussion on strategic foresight and innovation
  • 2019 Conference
  • 2020 Financial and Business Plan
  • A discussion on OPPI's public affairs work, including the development of a white paper and response to the Provincial Policy Statement
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 communication channels.
OPPI is pleased to announce the hiring of Miriam Salazar Véjar in a new role for OPPI as our Professional Learning & Events Coordinator. In her role, Miriam will assist with the coordination and implementation of OPPI's learning strategy, including in-person and digital delivery methods such as courses, webinars, livestreams. 
This role also supports OPPI Districts with their annual planning, budgeting, logistics and much more, supports OPPI's "evergreening" process, and coordinates the implementation, monitoring and assessment of member engagement programs. Please join us in welcoming Miriam to OPPI!
As a result of this change, Maria Go is now OPPI's Professional Standards Coordinator. Maria administers the member certification standards, provides administrative support for the complaints and discipline process, monitors member compliance of the continuous professional learning requirement, and supports for OPPI recognition and awards program and revenue generating services. 
As members may know, Maria has been with OPPI for 12 years and started her career at OPPI providing administrative support for membership renewal and certification processing. 

Your Professional Journey

The six Ontario universities offering accredited planning programs welcome OPPI's Outreach Committee in September to speak with planning students directly. Outreach Committee members introduce and welcome student members to the planning profession and OPPI community; and help support the journey of planning students as they complete each academic year and transition to the working world and Candidate membership.
Student members interested in learning more about OPPI and the work of our Outreach Committee can speak with:
  • Pam Duesling, RPP
  • Alisha Cull, RPP
  • Christine Furtado
  • Ali Ryder, RPP
  • Aslam Shaikh, RPP
  • Rebecca Tannahill, RPP
  • OPPI Student Delegate Catherine Tran 
In addition to the Outreach Committee, OPPI's Student Liaison Committee (SLC) play an important role and vital link to planning students in each accredited planning program. Every year, student packages are prepared by OPPI and distributed by SLC reps. If students have any questions about OPPI and student membership, SLC members are the people to reach out to! 
In April, OPPI launched a new student newsletter, developed by SLC, to share important information with OPPI's Student Members. The newsletter is published in September, January and April. Keep an eye out for September's newsletter in your inbox!
Learn more about your SLC and OPPI's representatives on campus by visiting OPPI's website. To all returning student members, OPPI would like to welcome you back and wish you all the best on another successful school year as you continue your planning studies! 
The Professional Standards Board (PSB) launched its new website and certification portal. This new online system will allow candidates, mentors, sponsors, volunteers, university faculty and stakeholders to easily access information about the PSB's certification and accreditation services and will reduce the PSB's environmental footprint. 
Planners who are interested in getting their Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation can now find all the information they need to get started on the updated website. In addition, universities seeking accreditation or reaccreditation can now find information on the process in a more user-friendly way. Please visit PSB's website to learn more.

Building RPP


This year, OPPI is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the RPP designation. Throughout the year we have taken the opportunity to celebrate and honour this important milestone and share this with members. OPPI19: Beyond25 will be no different as we take this opportunity to show members some of the additional activities the Institute has planned to celebrate. 
At OPPI's Hub we will celebrate the RPP milestone in the following ways:
  • Commemorative Bench - over the next seven years, starting with Toronto District, OPPI will place commemorative benches in a municipality within each District. Members will be able to take a selfie on a bench at the OPPI Hub and share photos on social media using the hashtags #OPPI19 and #Beyond25.
  • Time Capsule - working with OPPI's District leadership Team, OPPI Districts have compiled a collection of information to be sealed in an OPPI time capsule that will be opened in 25 years when the RPP designation turns 50.
  • Swag - members will receive swag branded with OPPI's 25th anniversary logo to celebrate this important milestone.
In our last issue of Y Magazine for this year, members will be able to hear from past President Tony Usher, RPP and from Mark Dorfman, RPP, about the effort to get the Ontario Professional Planners Act passed in 1994 and its impact. In addition, members can check out our Planning Exchange blog in October to hear more from Tony and Mark as the conversation continues from the magazine to the blog. 

Knowledge Exchange

Following up on last month's blog post about urban resiliency, this month's Planning Exchange blog features a case study on the Scarborough Centre area and why it is uniquely suited for an urban resiliency study. Learn more from a group of Ryerson University masters students as part of a client-based studio assignment about this area of Toronto and what can be done to plan for mitigation, adaptability and recovery from change.
Click here to read more


In April, OPPI announced its partnership with the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) to create learning modules on climate adaptation geared specifically toward professional planners. As part of that announcement, OPPI invited its members to participate in a voluntary needs assessment survey to establish learning priorities within the topic of climate change adaptation.
Thanks to your contributions, planning of the educational modules is well underway. Here is a brief overview of what we learned from you:
  • Only 9% of respondents feel well-equipped to respond to climate change impacts in their practice;
  • Climate change impacts, best practices in climate change adaptation and planning, legislation and policy around climate change are the biggest areas of need amongst respondents; and
  • Resistance to and lack of buy-in, lack of meaningful policy and tools, and lack of knowledge or access to credible Canadian data represent the biggest challenges to respondents. 
The 2019 OPPI Conference is fast approaching and climate change is one of the key issues that will be addressed. Don't forget to register for the biggest planning conference of the year in Ontario.
If you have any further questions about the survey data, or OPPI's climate change adaptation project, please contact OPPI's Education Manager, Ryan Des Roches.

New this month: listen to episodes of ULI's popular Electric Cities podcast on OPPI Digital Learning
Hosted by Jeremy Warson, RPP, this podcast explores issues related to land development and planning across the Toronto region and features speakers and experts from planning and other related disciplines. Topics addressed in the podcast include affordable housing, municipal governance, and transit-oriented development. 
Don't forget that time spent listening to the podcast may be claimed as learning units under OPPI's Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program. Please consult the CPL Program Guide for more information. 

What You Need to Know

PLACE19 Conference - October 18-20, 2019
OPPI is proud to announce its partnership with PLACE19 to promote the second annual National Student Planning Conference, which is being held in Toronto from October 18-20 at Ryerson University. If you are interested in a speaking opportunity at this conference, please submit a proposal that includes a title, brief description of the session, speakers, and multimedia needs, to  
CIP World Town Planning Day Call for Abstracts
CIP invites members to participate in its week-long World Town Planning Day activities. A call for abstracts is now open for members to submit their proposals. This year's theme will be "Planning and the Sustainable Development Goals" and members are asked to present their projects and experiences that demonstrate how planning can advance at least one of the following four themes: Equality and Diversity, Environment and Climate Change, Sustainable and Healthy Communities, and Economic Development. Members interested in submitting their proposals can visit CIP's website
Niagara Escarpment Plan - Proposed Visual Impact Assessment Technical Criteria
The Niagara Escarpment Commission is inviting comments on proposed technical criteria for Visual Impact Assessments. The Niagara Escarpment Commission is revising its 2008 Visual Assessment Guidelines in accordance with the Niagara Escarpment Plan (2017) and its provision whereby "the Commission, in consultation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, may from time to time issue guidance material and technical criteria" to assist with the implementation of the Plan. The purpose of the technical criteria for Visual Impact Assessments is to support, but not detract from, the Niagara Escarpment Commission in its role of interpreting and applying the policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan. The draft criteria will be posted for review and commenting until September 16, 2019 and is available to view on the Niagara Escarpment Commission website
Urbanizing Suburbia: The Nordic Solution
The City of Brampton is hosting a panel discussion event with Urban Land Institute, Nordic City Solutions and Ryerson University on September 10 at 7:00 p.m. Join Nordic experts from Helsinki, Sweden, and Denmark as they discuss development in terms of mobility, affordable housing, and complete communities. Topics will also include tapping the innovation economy, the transformation of post war suburbs and the simplification of civic operations in dealing more effectively with 'city building' and stewardship. For more information on this event, please visit ULI's website

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:
  • Principal Planner - University of Ottawa (full time)
  • Project/Space Planner - University of Ottawa (full time)
  • Planner - Transportation - City of Toronto (full time)
  • Planner - County of Lambton (full time)
  • Manager, Planning & Development - Haldimand County (full time)
  • Senior Heritage Planner - City of Brampton (full time)
  • Expeditor and Business Development Officer - Town of Halton Hills (contract)
  • Manager of Planning - County of Perth (full time)
  • Principal Planner - Regional Municipality of Waterloo (full time)
  • Team Lead Planning - Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (full time)
  • Senior Planner - Township of Woolwich (full time)
  • Zoning Administrator - Town of Wasaga Beach (full time)
  • Assistant Heritage Planner (14-month contract) - City of Brampton (contract)
  • Community Planner - Township of South Stormont (full time)
  • Planner II - Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (full time)
  • Senior Planner - Policy Planning - Town of New Tecumseth (full time)
  • Cultural Planner - City of Mississauga (full time)
  • Manager, Land Use Planning - County of Bruce (full time)
  • Recording Secretary to the Committee of Adjustment - City of Cambridge (full time)
  • Planner I - Development - City of Markham (full time)
  • Planner - Tay Township (full time)
  • Community Planner - Town of Collingwood (full time)
  • Planner - Township of Amaranth (contract)
  • Senior Environmental Planner - Gannett Fleming Inc. (full time)
  • Environmental Planner - Gannett Fleming Inc. (full time)
  • Senior Planner - WND Associates Ltd. (full time)
  • ...and many more!

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