On November 5th, the Government of Ontario revealed its plans to severely curtail the role of Conservation Authorities in watershed planning and management. Schedule 6 of omnibus Budget Bill 229 proposes numerous changes to the Conservation Authorities Act (CAA) that will undermine efforts to conserve biodiversity and build community resilience to climate change.
Alarmingly, the proposed changes were introduced as part of a budget bill, which means that the public’s right to comment under the Environmental Bill of Rights is over-ridden, as explained in the Environmental Registry of Ontario notice (ERO # 019-2646).
Ontario’s Conservation Authorities are a unique and widely respected innovation.
The vital role of our Conservation Authorities in watershed-based land use planning and permitting must be retained to prevent unchecked development that puts communities at risk from flooding and other climate change impacts through loss of wetlands, woodlands and farmland.
We encourage you to contact your government representatives to ask that Schedule 6 be removed. Given how quickly Bill 229 is likely to move through the Legislature, we need to act together – quickly and decisively.
This link opens an email with the government representatives information pre-populated based on your entered address: https://ontarionature.good.do/conservationauthorities/send/