Brady questions Premier: Has OLT been hijacked?


QUEEN’S PARK— Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Bobbi Ann Brady caused a stir in the Ontario Legislature today when she questioned the government whether the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) has been hijacked by friends of developers.

“I respectfully ask if the premier can articulate what skills and qualifications one must possess to be considered an appointee to the OLT,” Brady said in Question Period.

Brady’s question came in light of the recent appointment of former Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt to the OLT. This coincides with recent questioning in the House concerning the appointments to the judicial system. The Premier dubs these appointments as like-minded. Although the question was directed at the Premier, Ontario’s Attorney General Doug Downey took the liberty to respond.  Rather than detail the qualifications of a prospective appointee, the minister got creative and asked what would disqualify an appointee. Brady was quick to answer that in 2022, while mayor, Hewitt had called on the Ford government to dissolve the OLT citing it was hindering development.

“I’ll answer that question because the member opposite said it’s a very important tribunal, so I’d expect the prime qualification would be to uphold the mandate of the OLT,” Brady said. “But interestingly enough, in February 2022, Mr. Hewitt called on this government to dissolve the Ontario Land Tribunal because it was slowing development. He then proposed a city of 40,000 at the Nanticoke industrial park, and then the Premier appointed him the PC candidate in Haldimand—Norfolk…It’s difficult not to conclude that the tribunal has been hijacked.”

Brady reminded the Chamber that the OLT is a tribunal meant to protect public good, but it seems to have veered from its original mandate. She explained that recently there has been news that a developer friend of the Premier’s plans to build a seasonal cottage development on agricultural land at Lowbanks. The developer was to appear before Haldimand County council in January 2024. Days before the developer was to appear before council in January 2024, he cancelled and will now “take his chances” at the OLT.

Brady pointed to the fact the Hamilton Spectator reported in 2022, that the OLT ruled in favour of developers 97 per cent of the time.

In her final question Brady asked, “Is the OLT in place to protect the public good or is it in place to accelerate development and feather the nest of developers and friends of this government?”


For more information, contact MPP Bobbi Ann Brady at [email protected] or 519-428-0446