The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is reviewing the Conservation Authorities Act to better define the core mandate of conservation authorities and their programs and services. OFA recently provided input to the Ministry by attending in-person multi-stakeholder consultations.
Farmers interface with Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities (CA) when they need a permit to erect a new building, or expand an existing building, within an area regulated by a CA. In many cases, farmers may need to deal with more than one CA as Ontario’s conservation authorities are primarily established on a watershed basis.
Farmers regularly express their frustration with their CA due to inconsistencies between the 36 conservation authorities; sometimes due to offering different stewardship programming, their policies for activities on farms differ, and their respect for the role farmers, and their land, play in providing ecological goods and services that benefit all Ontarians.
Over the recent past, there have been several initiatives to modernize CAs, and to clearly define what programs and services that CAs deliver should be mandatory, and which ones should be non-mandatory.
OFA encourages members to participate in the current survey which is intended to gather perspectives from a broad range of stakeholder groups on what should be mandatory and what should be non-mandatory. The survey also asks a series of questions on perspectives about how CAs conduct their affairs, the role and responsibilities of an individual conservation authority’s Board of Directors, who should sit on the Board (only municipal council reps), CA accountability and transparency and CA permitting.
The deadline to provide input and complete the survey is March 13, 2020.
Complete the survey HERE.