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Policy Proposal Notice:   EBR Registry Number:   012-4509
Conservation Authorities Act Review Discussion Paper
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Date Proposal loaded to the Registry:
July 20, 2015
Keyword(s):   Compliance  |  Monitoring  |  Water  |  Conservation
The comment period for this proposal is now over.
Description of Policy:

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.

Purpose of Policy:

The purpose of this discussion paper is to identify opportunities to improve the existing legislative, regulatory and policy framework that currently governs conservation authorities and the programs and services they deliver on behalf of the province, municipalities, and others.

Other Information:

While feedback on any aspect of the existing legislative and regulatory framework is welcome, the focus of the discussion paper is on the three overarching areas of:

1. Governance;
2. Funding mechanisms; and
3. Roles and responsibilities.

Link to the discussion paper: http://apps.mnr.gov.on.ca/public/files/er/Discussion_Paper_2015.pdf

The following weblinks provide the supporting/additional information about this notice:

• The Conservation Authorities Act
• Ontario Regulation 97/04 – Content of Conservation Authority Regulations
• Ontario Regulation 139/96 – Municipal Levies
• Ontario Regulation 670/00 – Conservation Authority Levies
• Conservation Authorities

Public Consultation:

This proposal was posted for a 91 day public review and comment period starting July 20, 2015. Comments were to be received by October 19, 2015.

All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.

Other Public Consultation Opportunities:

Written comments and other feedback can also be sent directly to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at mnrwaterpolicy@ontario.ca


Julia Holder
Policy Analyst
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Policy Division
Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch
Water Resources Section
300 Water Street
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-5905
Fax: (705) 755-1971