What We’re About

RPCO

REGIONAL PLANNING
COMMISSIONERS OF
ONTARIO

CHARTER

INTRODUCTION 

Most of Ontario’s population reside, work and enjoy life in the cities, counties and regions that are represented by the Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario (RPCO). These municipalities are the economic engines and cultural centres whose continued health is vital to the long-term prosperity of Canada’s most populous province and its over 14.7 million residents.

RPCO is uniquely positioned to promote and advocate for the health and future prospects of Ontario’s largest communities by responding positively and collaboratively to constant and evolving changes that have swept the municipal landscape in recent years. From government restructuring to affordable housing to fostering sustainability and most recently having to rethink the way we live, work and do business – these challenges have given rise to a growing role and vision for RCPO.

VISION 

RPCO, as a group of senior municipal planning leaders from across Ontario, will work together to promote excellence in planning to achieve sustainable and resilient communities, including healthy natural, cultural and social environments, and the growth of a strong and competitive economy.

RPCO will advance this vision by:

Promoting excellence in land use planning in Ontario and advancing opportunities for positive change.
Responding to challenges brought about by changing roles and responsibilities of the provincial planning context by spearheading key planning initiatives.
Engaging and collaborating with other jurisdictions in Ontario and beyond for the greater benefit of planning.
Debating and taking positions on emerging issues.
Establishing and sharing best land use planning practices.

MEMBERSHIP STRUCTURE

RPCO’s reach across Ontario is broad, but its membership is kept to a relatively small number to ensure that the group functions efficiently and effectively.

RPCO’s reach across Ontario is broad, but its membership is kept to a relatively small number to ensure that the group functions efficiently and effectively.

Current members of RPCO are:

The Regions of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo, York, and the District of Muskoka.
The Single-tier Cities of Barrie, Brantford, Chatham-Kent, Greater Sudbury, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie Thunder Bay, Toronto also part of GGH Caucus and Windsor. 
The Counties of Haldimand and Simcoe.

An area of common interest for a number of RPCO members is their location within the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horsehoe. Within the Growth Plan area, there are planning issues that are unique to this group. A GGH Caucus is a subcommittee of RPCO and includes the municipalities noted in bold above.

RPCO is led by a Chair who is elected for a two-year term by the RPCO membership. The Chair, in consultation with two Vice-Chairs and the Chair of the GGH Caucus, arranges five or six meetings a year, sets the Agenda, and is the main point of contact with Provincial ministries and other professional organizations.

The GGH Caucus meets separately from the main RPCO group and is led by the GGH Caucus Chair. The GGH Caucus meets four to six times a year at the call of the Chair.

To ensure that the broadest range of land-use planning issues are being considered by RPCO, the following subcommittees have been created. Typically, each RPCO member municipality is represented by a senior-level staff member on these subcommittees, and each subcommittee is led by a Chair elected from within the group:

Long Range Planners of Ontario (LORAPON)
Development Directors of Ontario (DDO)
Regional Information Systems Working Group (RISWG)
Affordable Housing Working Group

Smaller, more specialized working groups may be formed by the subcommittees to address specific issues as relevant issues arise.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR POSITIVE CHANGE

Given the composition, vision and structure of RPCO, functional areas of interest where RPCO leadership is required are:

  • Integrated policy development and land use planning.
  • Comprehensive and proactive climate change strategies dealing with community energy, greenhouse gas reductions, and the avoidance and mitigation of the impacts of climate change on our communities.
  • Infrastructure planning (both hard and soft services) and the service delivery that follows.
  • The importance of mobility planning, including transit and emerging technologies in a regional context.
  • Integrating local planning efforts into the Ontario-wide context, while identifying common issues facing the larger municipalities.
  • Implementation of the Provincial policy led planning framework and a resource of best practices and professional expertise to assist RPCO members and the Province in the development and implementation of Provincial legislation and policy.
  • Enhancing residents’ quality-of-life through planning for inclusive and complete communities, best practices in urban design, affordable housing, protection and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage resources; encouraging social inclusion and integration through the built form.
  • Recognition and working in partnership with Indigenous communities.
  • Support for OPPI/CIP and the mentoring and development of the next generation of professional planners in Ontario.
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