In 2012, the Ontario government began reviewing the Aggregate Resources Act to modernize and strengthen the Act and its associated policy framework. In 2013, the Standing Committee on General Government made recommendations for strengthening the Act. Last year, the province held a series of engagement sessions to hear what key stakeholders, agencies, and First Nation and Métis communities had to say about topics related to the management and regulation of aggregate resources in Ontario.
This paper sets out a blueprint to build a strong and modern framework that will better support aggregate management in the province and help achieve four goals:
• STRONGER OVERSIGHT - by introducing new tools, powers and provisions that improve effectiveness, efficiency and flexibility
• ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY – by updating and enhancing application requirements, developing new tools to deal with existing sites, and improving record keeping and reporting
• IMPROVED INFORMATION AND PARTICIPATION – by improving consistency in requirements, enhancing opportunities for involvement, and making information more accessible and easier to understand
• INCREASED AND EQUALIZED FEES AND ROYALTIES – by changing Crown land fees and royalties, indexing fees and royalties, working with municipal organizations to address infrastructure impacts and creating provisions for the future
Through this paper, the government is seeking early feedback on proposed changes to legislation, regulation, policy and standards associated with the Aggregates Resources Act. There will be further opportunities for input on detailed changes to content of the regulatory and policy implementation tools proposed within this document as we move forward, including appropriate posting on the Environmental Registry.