On May 13, 2021, the Province of Ontario released a guide for Phase 1 of a two-phase consultation process outlining proposed regulations to support their review of the Conservation Authorities Act.
The guidance document is titled Regulatory Proposal Consultation Guide: Regulations Defining Core Mandate and Improving Governance, Oversight and Accountability of Conservation Authorities. Agencies and individuals have until June 27th to submit their feedback on the proposed regulations through the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO).
Within the document, the Province details the mandatory and non-mandatory programs and services that conservation authorities would be required to provide, agreements for funding of non-mandatory programs and services, transition plans and timelines to establish service agreements, consolidation of regulations under Section 29 of the Conservation Authorities Act, and requirements for establishing a Community Advisory Board.
Cataraqui Conservation and its Full Authority Board, comprised of appointed representatives from all member municipalities, are currently reviewing the document, to provide input from a local perspective.
Mandatory programs and services in the consultation document include these key areas:
- Risk to natural hazards
- Conservation and management of lands owned or controlled by a conservation authority.
- Source Water Protection
- Programs and services prescribed by regulation within a year of the end of the transition period
Non-Mandatory Programs & Services as deemed by the Province include:
- Stewardship, tree planting, forest and invasive species management
- Wetland enhancement and restoration
- Sub-watershed planning and natural heritage mapping
- Ecological monitoring outside conservation authority owned land
- Recreation on conservation authority owned lands, including trails and conservation areas
- Education, training, and cultural purposes on conservation authority owned land
Cataraqui Conservation encourages watershed residents to review the proposed regulations to understand potential changes coming to conservation authorities’ programs and services and submit any comments and questions to the Province.
Comments may be submitted by June 27, 2021, through either the Environmental Registry of Ontario or can be emailed directly to the ministry at email@example.com. The comments received from the posting will be considered by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks when developing the proposed regulations.