The Ontario government is creating a working group to help implement changes to conservation authorities. Hassaan Basit, president and CEO of Conservation Halton, will chair the new group that will provide input on the development of proposed regulations under the Conservation Authorities Act. The group will also provide input on how conservation authorities are governed.

“As we move forward together, we want to build stronger relationships with conservation authorities so we can work together to ensure consistent best practices, good governance, and appropriate accountability to best serve the people of Ontario,” said Jeff Yurek, minister of the environment, conservation, and parks.

“I’d like to thank Hassaan Basit for the discussions over the last few weeks which helped inform some recent amendments to the legislative changes to ensure conservation authorities have the tools they need to protect their communities,” added Yurek. “I look forward to continuing our positive and constructive dialogue towards our shared goals.”

The new working group will include representatives from conservation authorities and other experts. Representatives of the working group will be announced in the coming weeks.

Once representatives begin work in January 2021, the working group will provide input to help the Province develop regulations that will focus on:

  • The mandatory core programs and services conservation authorities would be required to provide.
  • The agreements between municipalities and conservation authorities, as well as the transition period associated with non-mandatory programs and services.
  • How local members of the community can participate in their conservation authorities through community advisory boards.

“Partnerships and collaboration are critical to ensure that conservation authorities can continue making watershed-based resource management decisions in the interest of the environment, health, and safety,” said Hassaan Basit, president and CEO of Conservation Halton.

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“Alongside conservation authorities across Ontario, Conservation Halton is looking forward to working with the province, offering scientific expertise and leadership, in the development of regulations pertaining to recent amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act contained in Bill 229,” added Basit.

In addition to the input provided by Hassaan Basit and the working group, the Ontario government will be seeking the public’s feedback on regulatory and governance proposals through the Environmental Registry. Public consultation on these proposals is expected to begin early in the new year.

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