TRCA’s Request for Immediate Changes to the Proposed Conservation Authorities Act and Planning Act Amendments in Schedule 6 of Bill 229 (Omnibus Budget Bill)

December 3, 2020, Toronto, ON – In anticipation that the Province will continue to move forward with Schedule 6 of Bill 229, which proposes extensive changes to the Conservation Authorities Act and Planning Act, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is making one last appeal for the Province to make important amendments to reflect TRCA’s requests before the third reading of the bill.

TRCA has major concerns related to proposed planning, permitting and enforcement provisions and we implore the Province to ensure conservation authorities’ role in protecting natural hazards regarding planning matters determined by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal is maintained in this legislation to help ensure public safety, to protect private property and to ensure billions of dollars of infrastructure investments are not negatively impacted by land use decisions that could exacerbate flooding and erosion damage in the communities we serve.

We further implore the Province to ensure that TRCA’s concerns with regard to permitting and enforcement be addressed, to stop damage occurring to environmentally sensitive areas in contravention to regulations, and that Conservation Authorities be permitted to access properties to stop illegal activities including the filling of valleys and destruction of wetlands.

As a technical advisor to the Province, TRCA staff worked diligently for the past four weeks to articulate our substantial concerns about the impacts that proposed amendments in Schedule 6 will have regarding conservation authorities’ roles in permitting, planning and enforcement which will prevent our organizations from fulfilling our core mandates of watershed protection. We drafted pragmatic amendments and presented these at Standing Committee and held additional meetings with the Province to discuss potential solutions to address these areas of concern.

If the Province chooses to proceed with Schedule 6 as part of the omnibus budget bill, despite the requests from municipalities, conservation authorities, environmental not-for-profit organizations and tens of thousands of Ontario residents for it to be removed, TRCA strongly encourages the Province to make the necessary changes to Bill 229 outlined in our proposed amendments before it is too late.

Key requests:

  • Stronger enforcement to ensure TRCA can appropriate access properties and issue stop work orders without costly judicial proceedings.
  • Maintaining TRCA’s role in protecting natural hazards in Planning Act Local Planning Appeals Tribunal processes to protect communities from risk of natural hazards.
  • Ensuring that TRCA’s science-based watershed approach to decision making is maintained to inform permitting processes, in addition to decisions for development and infrastructure in regulated areas.

Media Contact:
Michael Tolensky
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
416-706-9093 |