Please Consider Leaving Comments – Support from the Carleton Landowners Association for Bill 23’s Limits on Conservation Authorities

The More Homes Built Faster Act, (or Bill 23) is part of a long-term strategy to provide attainable housing options for families across Ontario. This Bill also contains measures that help to return Conservation Authorities to their original mandate.

Since 1946, when Conservation Authorities (CAs) were introduced, they have expanded their interests to the detriment of property owners. Issues with CAs interfering with property rights is probably the number one type of call heard by the OLA.  It has been pointed out that “Ontario is the only jurisdiction in North America that features CAs as a conservation construct out of sixty-three sub-national jurisdictions in Canada and the United States. No other province or state has adopted or is in the process of adopting Ontario’s CA model.” (EnPointe Public Affairs)

And yet, Eastern Ontario municipalities and conservation authorities warn of dire consequences if the restrictions on CAs included in Bill 23 are passed. See their Joint letter sent to Premier Ford and Ministers Smith, Piccini, and Clark here  Were any rural residents consulted before this letter was sent? Why is it that Ontario municipalities need the overhead and duplication of CAs when all other jurisdictions operate without them?

In January 2020, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECF) initiated stakeholder meetings to discuss the Conservation Authorities Act and associated regulations, to further define the core mandate of conservation authorities and the programs and services they provide. One of the invited stakeholders was the Ontario Landowners Association (OLA). As stated by OLA President Jeff Bogaerts, “the Ontario Landowners Association agrees with the direction your Ministry is taking. We look forward to working with you, your Ministry, and the Government of Ontario to find the balance between the Private Landowner, the environment, and the people of Ontario.”

Many of the recommendations that resulted from those meetings are now being proposed as part of Bill 23. Please visit and comment on these measures:

  • ERO number 019-2927: Proposed updates to the regulation of development for the protection of people and property from natural hazards in Ontario. Comments close December 30, 2022.
  • ERO number 019-6141: Legislative and regulatory proposals affecting conservation authorities to support the Housing Supply Action Plan 3.0. Comments close December 9, 2022.

The OLA supports the direction being taken by the provincial government with Bill 23. A report outlining our position has been sent to Premier Ford, and Ministers Smith, Piccini, and Clark. See the report here

If you believe as we do that the measures to reduce duplication, red tape, inconsistent and unclear permitting rules, and interference on private property, as outlined in the ERO reports above, are a step in the right direction, please write to the following and let them know.

Premier Doug Ford  and

Honourable David Piccini, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks 

Honourable Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry 

Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing