The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) has been pursuing an update to its legislation for a number of years. On February 29, 2019, they were successful in getting MPP Lorne Coe to introduce Bill 70, Registered Professional Planners Act
. The OAA met with OPPI officials last week to discuss necessary amendments to the legislation as it relates to the practice of architecture. This was a follow-up to the letter
sent from OAA President Kathleen Kurtin to OPPI President Jason Ferrigan.
While this Bill does not prevent members from continuing to do planning work, it proposes to introduce new title restrictions on the English term professional planner (current legislation only restricts Registered Professional Planner) and the French term urbaniste which, the OAA has argued, does not parallel the English language equivalent (the French equivalent would be urbaniste professionnel). Individuals using any combination of these terms could be subject to a fine of up to $15,000 under Section 25 of the proposed legislation.
The OAA is working with the OPPI to introduce an appropriate exemption or exclusion clause to ensure that this legislation does not have any unintended consequences for architects or the architectural profession. The OAA asserted that architects—as licensed professionals—delivering planning services must continue to be able to refer to themselves as professional planners should they wish to do so. The OAA will keep members updated as the file continues to develop.