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OPPI Public Affairs Strategy

Since 2000, OPPI employed a public affairs strategy that focused on providing almost 150 policy submissions for a variety of provincial legislation to inform the government of their proposed changes. Once submitted, the government could choose to accept or ignore the advice provided. After some careful thought, in 2018, OPPI decided it was time to update this strategy to ensure advocacy work and outreach to the government is as effective as possible. 

What is the focus of the public affairs strategy?

In updating its public affairs strategy, OPPI is focusing on three areas:

Leadership on "Mega Issues": proactively identifying key issues that transcend jurisdictions and borders that require future-forward planning guidance. The issues may vary from year to year but remain the focus of communications, CPL, knowledge exchange and the general work of OPPI. In 2019, OPPI has started this process by identifying three “mega issues” to focus on: uneven growth, climate change and technology. These issues are pulled from OPPI’s Strategic Plan but also from member feedback and issues being faced in communities across Ontario.

Response to Current and Emerging Legislation and Policy: This area focuses on "planting a flag" on proposed or actual legislation and policy affecting the integrity of the profession and of the professional execution of the role of Registered Professional Planners. This also includes planning and development issues where the approach will be to not develop a consensus position of planners. One of the areas members have expressed great interest in learning more about is the "plant the flag" area and how responses are developed by OPPI. Several factors go into a decision to develop a response, including:
  • The scope of the impact of the issue: is it affecting some, many or all planners?
  • Is the topic already known and of concern to planners?
  • Has OPPI solicited input from the membership broadly and regionally, convening strategy groups and/or joining efforts with partner organizations?
  • For issues that require a response (affecting professional standing or practice), did staff seek Council's timely input (or the Executive Committee’s input if the issue is pressing and Council is not available)?

Ongoing Support to Knowledge Development, Exchange and Learning: OPPI will provide an online forum for knowledge exchange and ideas on opportunities, issues and situations facing planners. This could also include emerging items from a community of interest eager to develop knowledge on a particular topic. This knowledge and information exchange will also inform OPPI's ongoing Learning Strategy.  

These may be individual member-driven topics as in “does anyone have guidelines for X? Or have you faced this situation?” or emerging from a community-of-interest eager to develop a body of knowledge on a particular matter. While this is membership co-creation, and thus dependent on members to contribute, OPPI will strive to make it easy for members to participate.

Public Affairs process

There are several factors that help develop and execute OPPI’s public affairs strategy and process. To better understand how OPPI conducts its public affairs process, please see the infographic below (click to enlarge).

As OPPI continues to roll out its public affairs strategy for issues that come up, there will be refinement of this strategy but members are encouraged to provide their feedback and ask questions on the process and selection of issues.