Proposed Amendments to the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act

Regulation Number(s):

Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act
Summary of Decision:
As part of Bill 139, the Less Red Tape, More Common Sense Act, 2023, the government proposed changes to the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act (NEPDA) that would find efficiencies to better serve client and community needs. A decision was made on November 21, 2023, to proceed with amendments to the NEPDA. Changes to the NEPDA came into effect with royal assent of Bill 139 on December 4, 2023. These changes have:
• Removed the requirement to publish notices in newspapers for Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) amendment proposals and associated hearings and instead require the publication of these notices on a Government of Ontario website or the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) website, or as determined by the Hearing Officer.

• Expanded the Minister's regulation-making powers to enable broader exemptions for low-risk activities.

• Broadened the range of compliance tools and powers to provide NEC staff greater abilities to inspect and address non-compliant development activities.

These amendments modernize the NEPDA by improving service delivery, reducing redundancies and administrative burdens, and broadening compliance tools for the NEC. By reducing delays and focusing on more complex applications and protection measures, the Ministry is creating more efficient processes and saving time for applicants, while ensuring protection for the escarpment is maintained.
All comments received between November 22 and December 4 were reviewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The anticipated impacts of the legislative amendments on Ontario businesses are neutral to positive.
The amendments are expected to reduce delays in processing applications, streamline processes, and lead to greater cost savings for clients through efficiencies and the removal of requirements to circulate notices in newspapers.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
October 19, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
Contact Address:
Royal Assent Date:
December 4, 2023