Regulatory Proposals (Phase 1) under the Conservation Authorities Act
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Conservation Authorities Act, R.S.O. 1990
Summary of Decision:
New regulations have been finalized to focus conservation authorities on their core mandate by prescribing mandatory programs and services they must provide, give municipalities greater control over what conservation authority programs and services they will fund, and consolidate "Conservation Areas" regulations.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The regulatory impact analysis does not identify any compliance or administrative costs to business, the public or non-profit organizations associated with these regulations. The regulations implement changes to the CAA to improve governance, oversight and accountability of CAs and address concerns previously raised by businesses and municipalities about CAs extending their core mandate and operation.
Administrative costs related to negotiating agreements with participating municipalities for non-mandatory programs and services a CA determines is advisable for its jurisdiction and requires the municipal levy to fund are anticipated to remain about the same since many CAs and municipalities regularly negotiate annual CA budgets as well as agreements to fund various programs and services today.
The proposed mandatory programs and services set out in the regulation reflect the basic programs and services that CAs currently provide. Municipalities will have new abilities to make funding decisions about non-mandatory programs and services that a CA proposes to offer, which may result in savings.
May 13, 2021
Summary of Proposal:
On December 8, 2020, Bill 229, the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020, which made changes to the Conservation Authorities Act (CAA) and the Planning Act, received Royal Assent. These changes will improve the governance, oversight and accountability of conservation authorities (CAs), while respecting taxpayer dollars by giving municipalities more say over the conservation authority programs and services they pay for. We are committed to ensuring that CAs are focused on their core mandates including helping protect people and property from the risk of natural hazards, the conservation and management of conservation authority-owned lands, and their roles in drinking water source protection.
Regulations have been finalized which implement the legislative changes previously made to the CAA and those recently made through the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020.
The regulations that have been finalized as part of the first phase set out the following:
• Ontario Regulation 686/21: Mandatory programs and services that CAs are required to provide, such as managing risks associated with natural hazards, preparing conservation area strategies and core watershed-based resource management strategies, and implementing the provincial stream and groundwater monitoring programs.
• Ontario Regulation 687/21: Details of the transition plan CAs must prepare, including an inventory of the authority's programs and services, the process to develop the inventory with participating municipalities, and steps taken to enter into agreement(s) with participating municipalities for the use of municipal levies for non-mandatory programs and services the authority determines are advisable in its jurisdiction. The regulation sets out a specific time in which the agreements must be reviewed and to determine whether or not the agreements will be renewed.
• Ontario Regulation 688/21: The consolidation of each of the current individual CA 'Conservation Areas' regulations made under Section 29 of the Conservation Authorities Act into one Minister's regulation. This sets out, for example, prohibited activities and activities requiring permits on lands owned by CAs.
October 1, 2021