The Conservation Authorities Act, administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), enables two or more municipalities in a common watershed to establish a conservation authority in conjunction with the province. The purpose of a conservation authority is to deliver a local resource management program at the watershed scale for both provincial and municipal interests.
Conservation authorities have played a significant role in Ontario’s natural resource management landscape for nearly 70 years, establishing a successful legacy of resource stewardship and an impressive record of protecting people, property, and communities from water-related natural hazards (e.g. flooding, drought, erosion).
In order to ensure that the Act is meeting the needs of Ontarians in a modern context, the MNRF is seeking to engage with ministries, municipalities, Aboriginal communities, conservation authorities, stakeholders and the public to initiate a review of the Conservation Authorities Act, including addressing roles, responsibilities, funding and governance of conservation authorities in resource management and environmental protection.
The posting of a discussion paper is intended to solicit public and multi-sector perspectives on the existing legislative, regulatory and/or policy framework which governs conservation authorities and the programs and services they deliver.
This discussion paper outlines a number of ways to engage in the review and MNRF encourages all parties to participate. The discussion paper focuses on the Conservation Authorities Act and policy framework, not on any individual conservation authority.