Conservation Matters: Conservation Authorities Act Under Review

Conservation Authorities Act Review

What is the Conservation Authorities Act?

The Conservation Authorities Act is a legal document created by the Ontario Provincial Legislature in 1946. The act oversees Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities.

It ensures the conservation, restoration and responsible management of water, land and natural habitat through programs that balance human, environmental and economic needs throughout Ontario.

We need your help

Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities deliver a wide range of programs and services that protect important water and land natural resources. Conservation matters because we rely on these resources for healthy watersheds that help us adapt to climate change, support a sustainable economy and promote our own well-being.

The Conservation Authorities Act is under review. You can tell the Province that Conservation Matters and that the work of Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities is important. The integrated watershed mandate of conservation authorities is important and should be more strongly reflected in an updated Conservation Authorities Act.


Connect with us on social media! Show your support on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #ConservationMatters.

What’s at stake? What do conservation authorities do?

These are some of the vital services provided by Ontario’s conservation authorities:

Watershed Management
Planning, implementation, monitoring, reporting

Flood & Erosion Control & Prevention
Structures, monitoring and warning systems

Water Quality & Quantity Management
Monitoring networks, source protection, watershed reporting, Dams, reservoirs, stormwater, wetlands, septic system approvals

Development, Interference & Alteration Regulation
Regulate development and activities in or adjacent to river or stream valleys, Great Lakes and large inland lakes shorelines, watercourses, hazardous lands and wetlands

Natural Heritage Protection
Sensitive land acquisition and securement, tree planting, official plan input and review, land management

Watershed Stewardship
Rural water quality programs, rehabilitation and restoration programs, fish and wildlife, Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program, woodlot management

Technical Support for Land Use Planning
Plan input and review, technical advice and studies, community sustainability plans, Class EA reviews, EIS reviews, emergency response, engineering and hydrogeologic support, fishery reviews, geotechnical reviews, stormwater / low impact studies, natural heritage systems design

Education & Recreation
Outdoor recreation activities, environmental education programs and centres, outreach activities, water festivals

For more information, contact:

Jon MacMull
Supervisor, Marketing and Communications
Credit Valley Conservation

Comments (3)

  1. CVC
    Keep up the great work on your watershed!
    In many ways you are leading Conservation Ontario members!
    Education, recreation and community involvement in ecological restoration and long-term monitoring of tree/shrub plantings and forest biodiversity are some of the areas we have been happy to see you undertake.
    We have been happy to work with you and plan to support you in as many ways as we can.

    Alice Casselman
    Association for Canadian Educational Resources

  2. The work of Environment protection for the Public good is absolutely Essential. However there is too many Con.authorities (namely 36) and there is no need for that many authorities. For the sake of uniformity in regulations and their application only one authority under the Environmental Ministry must be sufficient. At present there is simply too much bureaurocrat meddling and inconsistent application of regulations. Sometimes these authorities are just t splitting a hair, just to show their unlimited powers,without much thought.
    Their handling of case of Play ground in the property of Ontario Khalsa Darbar, forcing them to lift a thin layer of dirt where they made a grassy play ground for children ,was very ridiculous action going on for several years.Finally the Sikh Church had no choice to get the dirt trucked away to far off places in order to satisfy the conservation authorities.resulting in enormous pollution from burning fuel by the trucks and lot of related expenses.
    The CVC there did not act in the best interests of the environment and the community.

    If one look at all the creeks running into lakes through City of Toronto. These were all open creeks at one time, with the increase in population and demand for affordable housing within city limits more housing was built, resulting in covering and making those creeks underground. Just with time the same perhaps will happen in Brampton and Mississauga and other suburbs. Some of these Authorities are too powerful and lack common sense in many instance when forcing their regulations. They do nothing to even inform the residents near the creeks to let them inform about the precise regulations. Some of these authorities are so high handed that they defeat the real purpose of protecting the environment and force poor public to abide by their orders that at times are just silly. This is not a complaint ,but just a comment on the state of affairs of the AUTHORITIES.
    I the above case CVC acted on a silly complaint of individuals who did nothing to remove and place the dirt in its proper place and landscape, when they were in power controlling the Gurdwara management. But when they lost the election and the new elected Committee did the Right thing to remove all the dirt to faraway place and the remaining was spread into a thin layer, and grass was seeded to make a beautiful playground for free usage of the children in the community, the defeated party made a silly complaint and forces the new management to lift all that dirt. Now they have leveled the place again to make it a play ground. What good it did to the environment by CVC acting on that shortsighted complaint is beyond one’s comprehension. That is why some some sensible regulations are required to really protect the environment or some sensible people are put in authority to regulate. Too much powers without any oversight and appeal result in oppression !

    Ajit Singh.

  3. Integrated Watershed Management is an evidence-based ecological concept that has emerged from modern hydrogeological research and analysis. It is really the only such concept that can logically form the basis and organizing idea for a comprehensive plan to protect and conserve our vital but endangered water resources at a provincial level and possibly beyond. As such IWM should form the foundation for an updated provincial policy that should be enshrined in revisions to the Conservation Authorities Act.

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