New Act regarding the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve easements and covenants.
Bill or Act:
Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Repeal Act, 2022
Summary of Decision:
The Greenbelt Statute Law Amendment Act, 2023, which was introduced as Bill 136, received royal assent on December 6, 2023. It reinstates the same legal protections for the easements and covenants applicable to the lands within the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve that were in place before the 2022 repeal of the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Act, 2005.
The enactment of DRAPA, 2023 repeals the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Repeal Act, 2022 and deems the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve easements and covenants valid regardless of any action taken before or after February 28, 2005, to release or amend them. This decision aligns with the decision to return lands to the Greenbelt that were removed in December 2022 by incorporating the description of the Greenbelt Area in legislation.
The government has acknowledged that the process for the 2022 Greenbelt removals was too fast and not sufficiently transparent.
In response to the feedback by Indigenous communities, the public, municipalities and stakeholders and the recent reports from the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario and the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario, the Greenbelt Statute Law Amendment Act, 2023 was passed. It returns the 15 sites back to the Greenbelt that were removed in December 2022 and incorporates the Greenbelt Area and Oak Ridges Moraine Area boundaries directly into legislation.
The amendments maintained the lands added to the Greenbelt in 2022, which includes a total of 9,400 acres (13 additions of portions of Urban River Valleys and lands in the Paris Galt Moraine area). This new legislation fulfills the government's commitment to fully restore these lands and provide protections to the Greenbelt moving forward.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The legislative changes impose barriers to development by deeming any easements or covenants applicable to the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve valid. These easements and covenants restrict the use of the land to agriculture, preventing alternate uses and urban development.
October 16, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
Royal Assent Date:
December 6, 2023