TRCA’s Response as the Government of Ontario Completes Third Reading of Bill 229

December 8, 2020, Toronto, ON – This afternoon, the Government of Ontario completed the third reading of Schedule 6 of Bill 229, which reinforced that conservation authorities exist to deliver programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development, and management of natural resources in watersheds in Ontario.

In accordance with this purpose, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will continue using a science-based watershed approach to its decision making and will not be changing its practices related to planning and permitting except as required when the Bill is proclaimed.

As an apolitical technical agency, TRCA did everything in its power to advise the Province on pragmatic concerns regarding governance, planning, permitting and enforcement sections of the legislation. While the final legislation raises a number of unprecedented challenges and concerns related to planning and permitting, TRCA acknowledges the Province for modifying some parts of Schedule 6 in Bill 229 to reflect our input, including the “Membership and Governance” and “Objects, Powers and Duties” sections, which reinforce that board members have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the conservation authority in which they serve, and that conservation authorities have flexibility to provide optional programming and services to its partner municipalities and stakeholders in their jurisdiction, without Provincial restriction. The Province also made some proposed changes to the enforcement section, which will strengthen our ability to address unlawful activities, once enacted.

Well in advance of today’s vote, TRCA started working with its partner municipalities to refine existing agreements and establish new contracts, where required, and the organization expects to be ready for transition as prescribed by future regulations, which are currently being drafted by the Province.

Regarding upcoming regulations, TRCA anticipates applying our knowledge and best practices as part of the consultation process to inform development of the guidelines prior to the guidelines being approved by the Province.

TRCA is thankful to its partner municipalities for their unwavering encouragement, including their unified voice in opposition of Schedule 6, in addition to our vast network of residents, companies, professional associations, not for profit organizations, and others who voiced their support for the importance of building sustainable communities. Your powerful message was heard by TRCA and we will continue to operate in a manner that maintains your trust, as we truly understand that conservation matters.

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