The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) is extremely pleased with the provincial government’s inclusion of a key amendment to the Ontario Water Resources Act in the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. The amendment was introduced on October 28, 2019 in the provincial legislature.
“I strongly commend this government’s leadership in removing the unnecessary costs and burden of being regulated by duplicative pieces of legislation,” said Paul Norris, president of OWA. “This elimination of overlap will both boost investor confidence and ensure that investment is made in projects rather than in process.”
In 2001, the province amended the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act to add and implement new requirements specifically applied to waterpower facilities across Ontario. Subsequent amendments to the Ontario Water Resources Act—like the Permit to Take Water regulation—targeted to address water takings added additional costs and processes for the waterpower industry.
The OWA and its industry members have long advanced the view that the existing provisions within the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act comprehensively regulate waterpower facilities in the Province of Ontario. The proposed amendment in the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 is an important burden reduction measure that is expected to decrease costs by millions annually for the waterpower industry, according to OWA.
“This type of targeted approach to the reduction of regulatory burden is both prudent and progressive,” Norris added. “I look forward to continuing to work with the government to find efficiencies while ensuring the public interest is protected.”