- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

The Chief Building Official (CBO) is a position mandated by provincial law, ensuring that the Ontario Building Code is followed in everything that is built, demolished or renovated.

Since 2014, that job in Owen Sound has changed hands seven times.

August 29, 2014 Brian Green retired after working 28 years for the City, 19 of them as Chief Building Official.
He was replaced by Kevin Hicks. News sources at the time said "Hicks was a Senior Inspector with the city of Kingston, before jumping at the chance to move to Owen Sound."
Hicks' own LinkD in profile says he has been a professor at St. Lawrence College since 2014, and a senior building official in Kingston for 15 years, from 2003 until the present. No mention of Owen Sound.

June 26, 2017 Owen Sound council appoints Brian Green as Chief Building Official of Owen Sound. It is a position that must be filled at all times, according to the Ontario Building Code Act, so we assume Mr. Hicks had returned to Kingston.

That September council appointed Alex Rouselle as CBO, and he remained in the job through the "Public Meeting to receive input regarding changes to building fees in the City's proposed 2018 Fees and Charges By-law", but apparently was gone two weeks later, because by February 12, Brian Green was back on the job.

March 19, 2018 Jon Taylor was appointed Owen Sound's CBO, and then on June 11, Kevin Linthorne was promoted from by-law enforcement officer to Chief Building Official.

Municipal councils are mandated by law to have a Chief Building Official at all times to meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code Act. The CBO has the final word on whether building permits are issued or denied, and is the only person who can authorize a "stop work order".

Considering this council's desire to encourage development, this is not an insignificant issue. Since the Sydenham Condominium started work, for example, the CBO with whom the developer must comply has changed seven times (although three of them were the experienced Brian Green). Since Mr. Linthorne was promoted, Mr. Green is still providing continuity by working as a building inspector for the City in his retirement.

For everyone's sake, we wish him good health.


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