MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Sancton, Andrew

Geographical Areas

Township of Lake of Bays, Township of Mulmur, Kitchener, Town of East Gwillimbury, Hamilton


In 2007, the Province of Ontario introduced a new planning tool called the Development Permit System (DPS) in order to increase the efficiency, certainty, and scope of the planning system. Despite these stated benefits, it has only been implemented in four municipalities. This paper examines the factors that could be limiting the implementation of the system in some municipalities, while encouraging implementation in others, using case studies conducted in five municipalities: the Township of Lake of Bays, the Township of Mulmur, the City of Kitchener, the Town of East Gwillimbury, and the City of Hamilton. Interviews were conducted with a municipal planner in each municipality to better understand how it came to the decision of whether or not to implement the DPS and the factors that contributed to this decision. The findings reveal that there are many factors that could be impacting a municipality’s decision to implement the system, such as the presence of a policy sponsor, the existence of a unique planning problem, satisfaction with the current planning system, and a general lack of knowledge of the DPS.