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The bill restricting the power of conservation authorities passes

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Grand River Basin – the province now has full control over the Conservation Authority development process.

Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act passed its third reading and received royal approval in the Ontario Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. His first reading was on November 5th.

The omnibus budget bill includes changes to dozens of pieces of legislation, including changes to the Conservation Authority Act at six o’clock.

Seven Greenbelt Council members resigned in protest of the six-member bill, including former Local Water Planning Director Kevin Eby and former Toronto Mayor and former cabinet minister. federal Conservative David Crombie.

“This will have significant long-term consequences. “And the problem is once you disassemble something, it’s extremely difficult to put it back in,” Eby told Record earlier.

“So the likelihood is that conservation authorities will effectively sterilize at this point, and we’re going to lose a phenomenal expertise that is so critical to Ontario as we begin to look at how we respond to climate change, how to respond to it. significant growth? “

Bill 229 authorizes the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to issue development permits.

Environmental opponents who have called for the removal of Plan Six from the bill, including Environmental Protection, Ontario Nature and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, say the law allows political influence to determine environmental, conservation and development decisions. based on the pool of conservation authorities- doing

The bill also obliges Conservation Authorities to issue development permits if a Minister’s Zoning Order has been approved and the area in question is not within Greenbelt.

Minister Zoning Orders bypass public contribution to change the zoning of a development area.

The bill was amended to address some concerns raised by Conservation Ontario and others including allowing up to 30 percent of board members to be citizens instead of being made entirely by elected municipal officials, reverting to key tasks. the members of the board of the Conservation Authority to advance the objectives of the Conservation Authority rather than their individual municipalities, and allowing the still proclaimed ability for the Conservation Authorities to issue prohibited work orders to continue.

“This reduction of the Conservation Authorities takes the province back over 70 years, to a more dangerous time when we did not know better. “Now, however, we know better and accept that Ontarians deserve more, including wetlands, forests and floodplains that are untouched and unpaved,” said Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Protection in a statement. .

Environmental Protection Estimates at least 50,000 Ontarians said they wanted the Sixth Program to be scrapped.

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Leah Gerber’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through the Local Journalism Initiative. Funding allows him to report on stories about the Grand River Basin. Email [email protected]



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