Ontario Protecting Local Watersheds and Increasing Accountability
Ontario is working to provide conservation authorities with more flexibility to
address growing environmental pressures, while also improving accountability and
oversight through proposed
legislation, introduced last month.
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry made the announcement
today at the Grand River Conservation Authority. The legislation would make changes
that stem from a two-year review of Ontario’s Conservation Authorities Act, which
will strengthen oversight and accountability over conservation authorities, increase
consistency in roles and responsibilities and improve collaboration and engagement
with local communities.
The legislation will, if passed:
- Enable the government to conduct program and operational reviews
- Update the board member appointment processes
- Clarify the roles of conservation authorities and the scope of their programs
- Provide the government with the flexibility to update conservation responsibilities
to deal with emerging challenges.
“We recognize and value the important work done by our conservation authorities.
Our government is committed to supporting conservation authorities and the valuable
work they do for our communities. Together we can ensure that our conservation authorities
continue to deliver the important local services that communities have come to rely
on.” — Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
“Conservation Authorities have a long and successful history in watershed management
in Ontario. Throughout the years, they’ve worked with the province and other levels
of government, as well as many agencies and citizens of Ontario. We’re proud of
the results of this work and look forward to continuing collaboration for healthy
watersheds and people.” — Dick Hibma, Chair of Conservation Ontario
- In addition to the proposed legislative changes, Ontario is releasing
Conserving our Future: A Modernized Conservation Authorities Act. This paper
is the result of several years of consultations with stakeholders from across the
province, and describes all of the changes that are being made as a result of the
Conserving our Future: A Modernized Conservation Authorities Act is posted on
the Environmental Registry.
- Ontario has 36 conservation authorities – local organizations that manage and protect
water and other natural resources.
- Ninety per cent of Ontarians live in a watershed managed by a conservation authority.
- The Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, if passed, will make
amendments to modernize the Conservation Authorities Act.
Conservation Authorities in Ontario
Conservation Authorities Act