QUEENS PARK – The Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 will replace the Ontario Municipal Board with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, and help ensure that proceedings before the tribunal are faster, fairer and more affordable. The new legislation will also create the free Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, which will provide people across the province with information about the land use planning appeal process, legal and planning advice, and, in certain cases, may provide legal representation in proceedings before the tribunal.
Changes Come to Conservation Authorities
The act will also modernize the Conservation Authorities Act, guiding the conservation of Ontario’s watersheds. The legislation clarifies the roles and responsibilities of conservation authorities and strengthens oversight and accountability. It also encourages increased public engagement by setting requirements for more public disclosure and for meetings to be open to the public. These changes will enable conservation authorities to have the flexibility to address growing environmental pressures such as climate change.
“Our government is taking action to give residents and municipalities a greater say in how their communities develop. That’s why we introduced this legislation. These changes will help ensure that communities evolve and grow in ways that better reflect local concerns and priorities.” states Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs.
“This legislation will help create a faster and more accessible process for appealing land-use planning decisions. Giving people a stronger voice in the planning of their own communities will help ensure cities and towns reflect the best interests of the people living in them today, as well as future generations,” says Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General of Ontario
Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry comments, “Communities across Ontario benefit from the efforts of our conservation authorities. This legislation gives conservation authorities the tools and flexibility needed to address climate change, deliver exceptional services to communities, and protect people and property.”