Provincial Government Overhauls the Land Use Planning Appeal System and Strengthens
December 12, 2017 - Today, Ontario passed legislation that will modernize Conservation
Authorities and give communities a stronger voice in land use planning, said Kathryn
McGarry, MPP Cambridge and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
"Communities like ours benefit from the efforts of the Grand River Conservation
Authority, and the many conservation authorities across our province," said McGarry.
"Today we took a huge step forward in ensuring conservation authorities have the
tools and flexibility they need to address climate change, deliver exceptional services
to communities, and protect people and personal property."
The Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act will modernize the
Conservation Authorities Act, guiding the conservation of Ontario's watersheds.
The legislation clarifies the roles and responsibilities of conservation authorities
and strengthens oversight and accountability. It also encourages increased public
engagement by setting requirements for more public disclosure and for meetings to
be open to the public.
These changes will enable conservation authorities to have the flexibility to address
growing environmental pressures caused by climate change, such as flooding.
"This legislation is also taking action to give residents and municipalities a greater
say in how our communities are developed and grow," said McGarry.
"Giving people a stronger voice in the planning of their own communities will help
ensure these areas reflect the best interests of the people living in them today,
as well as future generations."
This legislation will also replace the Ontario Municipal Board with the Local Planning
Appeal Tribunal, and help ensure that proceedings before the tribunal are faster,
fairer and more affordable.
The new legislation will also create the free Local Planning Appeal Support Centre,
which will provide people across the province with information about the land use
planning appeal process, legal and planning advice, and, in certain cases, may provide
legal representation in proceedings before the tribunal.
- Ontario has 36 conservation authorities, which are local organizations that manage
and protect water and other natural resources.
- Ninety per cent of people in Ontario live in a watershed managed by a conservation
- The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will replace the Ontario Municipal Board. It
will be an independent tribunal making decisions at arms' length from the government.
- In 2015-2016 (the most recent year for which data is available), the Ontario Municipal
Board received 1,460 cases from across the province.
- The Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act will come into force
on a date named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.