Conservation Authorities Act
On October 4, 2021 the Province of Ontario released the first phase of regulations that will begin to implement changes outlined in recent amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act. These regulations include:
Ontario Regulation 686/21 (Mandatory Programs and Services): The regulation details mandatory programs and services conservation authorities will provide with municipal levy and which programs and services will require an agreement with member municipalities to continue to use levy as a means to fund the program. Conservation Authorities can continue to offer non-mandatory programs and services with self-generated revenue.
Mandatory programs and services for Kettle Creek Conservation Authority include:
- Risks of Natural Hazards (flood forecasting/warning, low water response, ice management, land-use planning input, administration of permits under section 28.1 of the Conservation Authorities Act)
- Conservation and management of lands owned or controlled by a CA, including any interests in lands registered on title
- Other Programs and Services (provincial stream and groundwater monitoring, establishing a watershed based resource management strategy)
- Source Protection Authority Responsibilities under the Clean Water Act
Ontario Regulation 687/21 (Transition Plans and Agreements): The regulation details the transition period, ending January 1, 2024, which will allow conservation authorities and member municipalities to prepare for any required changes to program delivery and the budget process.
The first phase of this transition will involve developing a Transition Plan by December 31, 2021 and an Inventory of Programs and Services by February 28, 2022. Agreements for the delivery of all non-mandatory programs and services that require municipal levy are to be in place by January 1, 2024. Until then, conservation authorities will continue with status quo program delivery and levy practices.
Conservation Authorities Act Requirements
The Programs and Services Inventory will be updated throughout the Transition period.
Conservation Authorities are required to establish cost apportionment agreements with municipalities when they intend to offer a non-mandatory service that they deem advisable using municipal funding support. KCCA established a cost apportioning agreement with all seven member municipalities for tree planting and enhanced environmental monitoring.