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Earlier this week, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing outlined the next phase of Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, the “More Homes Built Faster Act.” 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 over 60 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

Media Contact: 
Erika Navarro, Communications Specialist  
905.788.3135 ext.262 
Mobile: 905-650-4027