Action Alert - We Need Our Conservation Authorities

On November 5, 2020, the Ontario government tabled omnibus budget measures Bill 229 in the Ontario Legislature, Schedule 6 of which proposes fundamental changes to the Conservation Authorities Act and to the conservation authorities’ role in land use planning.

Bill 229 is the most recent in a disturbing trend of using omnibus budget measures bills to make substantial changes to environmental laws, thereby sidestepping the public’s right to comment under the Environmental Bill of Rights.

In CELA’s view, the proposed changes to conservation authorities in Bill 229 will not achieve the crucially important goal of building climate resilience for Ontario. To the contrary, the package of amendments as proposed are likely to set back watershed planning and implementation of an ecosystem based approach by decades.

CELA recommends that Schedule 6 not be enacted in its present form and instead be withdrawn in its entirety from Bill 229.

Further, CELA recommends that the Ontario government immediately seek to ensure that the current mandate of the province’s 36 conservation authorities is maintained and enhanced, in order to effectively protect, restore and manage the watersheds where 95 percent of the people of Ontario reside.

Resources

Blog: A Recap: Conservation Authorities, Land Use Planning & Minister’s Zoning Orders

CELA Special Counsel, Healthy Great Lakes, Anastasia Lintner blogs about the increased use of Minister’s Zoning Orders, recent legislative changes that impact Conservation Authorities, and what’s next for environmental policy in Ontario.

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Open Letter to Ontario MPP’s on Bill 229 (Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020)

CELA’s open letter to Ontario MPP’s calling for the removal of Schedule 6 from Bill 229 (Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020), which would have significant and alarming impacts on Conservation Authorities.

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Media Release: Alarming Amendments – Provincial Government Introduces Motions that Further Restrict Conservation Authorities

Press release in response to new motions that further restrict the responsibilities of Conservation Authorities.

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WRITE TO YOUR MPP

 MPPs have a responsibility to advocate for their constituents and our communities.  Send an email asking them to defend our Conservation Authorities.  Find your MPP here.

TALK TO YOUR MPP ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Find your MPP’s social media handles and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.  Share CELA’s posts about #WeNeedCAs and tag your MPP.   

CALL YOUR MPP TO SHARE YOUR PRIORITIES

It is your MPP’s duty to help their constituents. Politicians of all parties determine their policy positions, in part by listening to what people back home are doggedly asking them to do. Find your MP’s name and phone number here.

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