Environment & Economy By Leah Gerber 23546 Views

Bill limiting conservation authority power passes


Grand River Watershed — The province now has total control over the development permitting process of conservation authorities.

Bill 229, the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act, passed its third reading and received royal assent in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on Tuesday. Its first reading was on Nov. 5.

The omnibus budget bill includes amendments to dozens of pieces of legislation, including changes to the Conservation Authorities Act in schedule six.

Seven members of the Greenbelt Council resigned from their positions in protest to schedule six of the bill, including a former director of community planning for the Region of Waterloo, Kevin Eby and former Toronto mayor and former Conservative federal cabinet minister David Crombie.

“This will have significant long-term consequences. And the problem is, once you dismantle something, it’s awfully hard to put it back together,” said Eby to the Record previously.

“So, the likelihood is that the conservation authorities are effectively neutered at this point, and we’re going to lose some phenomenal expertise that’s so critical to Ontario as we start to look at how do we respond to climate change, how do we respond to significant growth?”


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