NPCA Responds to Ford’s Proposals for Trading Off Nature Protection for Urban Development

Among the Ford Government’s Proposals –

  • A Proposal to remove terms ‘conservation of lands’ and ‘pollution’ as considerations in permit decisions and changes to the definition of watercourse.

  • A Proposal that Conservation Authorities identify potential conservation lands that could support housing development.

A Statement From the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority On Changes To The Conservation Authority Act

Posted October 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Earlier this week, the (Ontario) Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing outlined the next phase of Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, the “More Homes Built Faster Act.”

Inside the Woodend Conservation Area in Niagara. A favourite place in the region for Nature walks.  Should some of this natural land be parcelled off for urban development?

 As part of the plan, the government proposes new legislative changes that will impact Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and other Conservation Authorities (CAs) across Ontario.

Key changes being proposed that impact conservation authorities include:

  • Changes to the CA’s role in reviewing and commenting on planning applications on behalf of municipalities under prescribed Acts: Aggregate Resources Act, Condominium Act, Drainage Act, Endangered Species Act, Environmental Assessment Act, Environmental Protection Act, Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, Ontario Heritage Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, and the Planning Act.
  • New regulation-making ability has been introduced in the Conservation Authorities Act to enable exemptions from natural hazard permits where Planning Act approvals are in place in select municipalities.
  • Amendment to the Conservation Authorities Act enables the Minister to direct CAs to maintain development fees at current levels for the specified period.
  • Proposal to remove terms ‘conservation of lands’ and ‘pollution’ as considerations in permit decisions and changes to the definition of watercourse.
  • Changes have been proposed in the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System (OWES).
  • It is proposed that CAs identify potential conservation lands that could support housing development

We understand bold steps are required to address the housing crisis affecting communities across the Province.

We have been working collaboratively with stakeholders and all levels of government to improve service delivery while protecting critical watershed ecosystems and preventing risks from natural hazards and climate change to ensure the health and safety of Ontarians. 

The NPCA supports Conservation Ontario’s call for meaningful engagement of CAs through the re-establishment of the Multi-Stakeholder Conservation Authority Working Group, comprised of members from conservation authorities, municipalities, the development sector, and agriculture. The CA Working Group helped guide the Province in implementing the last round of changes to the Conservation Authorities Act.

The NPCA will be working over the next few days to understand these changes’ impacts better and provide comments and suggestions for consideration by the Province.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is responsible for reviewing planning applications affected by natural environmental hazards while working in partnership with local municipalities to further the conservation of natural resources.

About the 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 focusing on flood and hazard management, source water protection, species protection, ecosystem restoration, community stewardship, and land management. Learn more at

To read a related post on this issue, click on – 

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


One response to “NPCA Responds to Ford’s Proposals for Trading Off Nature Protection for Urban Development


    With all the changes Ford is making to the Conservation Authorities the only thing left that I could see him doing is bringing back Carmen D’Angelo to the NPCA.

    A brief response from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – While Ford and Oosterhoff and company are at it, why not bring back Bart Maves, Bruce Timms and David Barrick to the NPCA board.


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