Despite Blow from Ford Government, Niagara’s Conservation Authority Determined to Soldier On

Brenda Johnson, Hamilton city councillor and Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board

“The NPCA is thankful to its partner municipalities, residents, nature clubs, professional associations, not-for-profit organizations, volunteers, community groups, and many others who made a difference by voicing their support for the important work of conservation authorities. …We are especially grateful to our local media for their ongoing coverage and helping us keep our communities informed.                                                                               – Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board Chair  Brenda Johnson

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)

Posted December 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

NPCA REMAINS COMMITTED TO KEEPING PEOPLE AND PROPERTY SAFE AND CONSERVING THE WATERSHED’S NATURAL RESOURCES

On December 8th, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 229 Budget Measures Act, along with Schedule 6 approving changes to the Conservation Authorities Act.

While the NPCA was hoping for full withdrawal of Schedule 6, as it presents significant challenges related to its planning and permitting activities and defending lands as the second largest landowner in Ontario, partial success was achieved.

During the process, amendments to Schedule 6 addressed conservation authorities’ enforcement activities, as well as several governance-related concerns pertaining to the appointment and duties of Board members.

However, the new additions to Schedule 6, requiring a conservation authority to issue a permit when the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issues a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO), pose further challenges to the mandate of conservation authorities.

“The NPCA is thankful to its partner municipalities, residents, nature clubs, professional associations, not-for-profit organizations, volunteers, community groups, and many others who made a difference by voicing their support for the important work of conservation authorities,” says Brenda Johnson, NPCA Board Chair “We are especially grateful to our local media for their ongoing coverage and helping us keep our communities informed.”

NPCA CAO Chandra Sharma

“The purpose of conservation authorities is ‘to deliver programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development, and management of natural resources in watersheds across the province,” says Chandra Sharma, NPCA Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary-Treasurer. “The NPCA remains fully committed to its purpose and looks forward to continuing the great work that has been accomplished in the last 61 years.”

The NPCA will continue to be a strong contributor to Ontario’s local economy, both from an eco- tourism and community health perspective, and its proactive hazard management activities that result in avoided cost of damage to people and properties in the watershed. Future work will also focus on dealing with the challenges of climate change and extreme weather.

“We will work to ensure that the new regulations serve the best interests of the Niagara Peninsula watershed and all watersheds across Ontario,” adds Johnson. “The NPCA will continue to seek opportunities for consultation on the proposed changes and guidelines.”

Learn more about the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority at www.npca.ca. Follow Facebook and Twitter for more updates. 

About NPCA – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is a community-based natural resource management agency that works to protect, enhance, and sustain healthy watersheds. With 61 years of experience, the NPCA offers watershed programs and services that focus on flood and hazard management, source water protection, species protection, ecosystem restoration, community stewardship, and land management. 

The NPCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario and manages 41 Conservation Areas within the Niagara Peninsula watershed held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. These natural and shared greenspaces marry nature, culture, and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.

For a recent news commentary Niagara At Large posted on the Ford Government’s decision to follow through with legislation that would gut services Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities provide, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/12/10/ontarios-ford-oosterhoff-regime-renders-another-blow-to-our-natural-heritage/ .

And – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/12/08/ford-oosterhoff-government-passes-bill-to-gut-conservation-authorites/ .

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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