Bill 229 and Implications for Regional Conservation Authorities

Date: November 24, 2020

Author: Tim Lanthier, CAO Grey Sauble Conservation Authority

Commentary by Tim Lanthier, Chief Administrative Officer for the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority.

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As a rural stakeholder, you may have heard recent media reports about the Province’s intent to change the Conservation Authorities Act in an effort to create transparency and reduce red-tape. These most recent changes were introduced in the 2020 budget implementation bill (Bill 229). This is an omnibus bill that covers a broad range of topics and does not allow for direct public input. Although there are many things needed for Ontario to successfully recover from COVID-19, reducing the capacity and effectiveness of community-based organizations is not one of them. Conservation Authorities deliver cost-effective services that ensure growth and development occur responsibly, to sustainably support our local communities.  Successive Ontario governments of all political stripes have created and supported the Conservation Authority model which is now the envy of many other jurisdictions.  This letter to municipalities in the Grey-Sauble Conservation Authority watershed itemizes the concerns Ontario’s conservation authorities, and many Ontarians, have with the legislation. If you are interested in having a conversation with your local MPP about where they stand on these concerns the letter may help inform your discussion.

For more information about Bill 229 and proposed changes read the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority press release "Ontario Communities Put as Risk by Changes to Conservation Authorities Act".