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.
In order to ensure that the Conservation Authorities Act is meeting the needs of Ontarians in a modern context, the MNRF is undertaking a review of the Conservation Authorities Act by seeking feedback from municipalities, Indigenous communities, conservation authorities, stakeholders and the public regarding roles, responsibilities, funding and governance of conservation authorities in resource management and environmental protection.
This posting is intended to solicit public, Indigenous and stakeholder perspectives from interested parties in relation to the five identified priority areas of improvement.
The five priorities for updating the Conservation Authorities Act include:
1. Stronger oversight and accountability in decision making;
2. Increased clarity and consistency in roles and responsibilities, processes and requirements;
3. Improved collaboration and engagement among all parties involved in resource management;
4. Modern funding mechanisms to support conservation authority operations; and
5. Enhanced flexibility for the Province to update Conservation Authorities Act in the future.
MNRF encourages all parties to participate by reviewing and providing feedback on the document entitled Conserving Our Future: Proposed Priorities for Renewal.