Today, Ontario passed legislation that will modernize Conservation Authorities and give communities a stronger voice in land use planning announced Cambridge MPP and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kathryn McGarry.
"Communities like ours benefit from the efforts of the Grand River Conservation Authority, and the many conservation authorities across our province,” said McGarry. “Today we took a huge step forward in ensuring conservation authorities have the tools and flexibility they need to address climate change, deliver exceptional services to communities, and protect people and personal property."
The Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act will modernize the Conservation Authorities Act, guiding the conservation of Ontario's watersheds. The legislation clarifies the roles and responsibilities of conservation authorities and strengthens oversight and accountability. It also encourages increased public engagement by setting requirements for more public disclosure and for meetings to be open to the public. These changes will enable conservation authorities to have the flexibility to address growing environmental pressures caused by climate change, such as flooding.
“This legislation is also taking action to give residents and municipalities a greater say in how our communities are developed and grow,” said McGarry. “Giving people a stronger voice in the planning of their own communities will help ensure these areas reflect the best interests of the people living in them today, as well as future generations.”
This legislation will also replace the Ontario Municipal Board with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, and help ensure that proceedings before the tribunal are faster, fairer and more affordable. The new legislation will also create the free Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, which will provide people across the province with information about the land use planning appeal process, legal and planning advice, and, in certain cases, may provide legal representation in proceedings before the tribunal.
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