Conservation Authorities Act

Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities fall under the jurisdiction of the Conservation Authorities Act which was reviewed and modernized in 2017. 

The Act was originally created by the Ontario Provincial Legislature in 1946 to ensure the conservation, restoration, development and management of Ontario’s natural resources through programs that balance human, environmental and economic needs.

Provincial objectives for the 2015-2017 CA Act Review:

  • Strengthen oversight and accountability
  • Increase clarity and consistency in Conservation Authority programs and services
  • Increase clarity and consistency in regulatory requirements
  • Improve collaboration and engagement
  • Modernize funding mechanisms

Conservation Ontario and the Conservation Authorities are working with the government of Ontario and other stakeholders to implement changes introduced as a result of the modernized Act.

Memorandum of Cooperation Between the Province and Conservation Authorities

Following up on the new Conservation Authorities Act, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) was signed on April 17, 2018 by the Province and Conservation Ontario. The agreement formalizes their longstanding partnership to protect Ontarians from natural hazards such as flooding and to ensure the health of Ontario's natural resources. 

Conservation Authorities Contribute to Provincial Priorities

Ontario's 36 Conservation Authorities work in many different partnerships and collaborations with a variety of provincial ministries including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Conservation Authority programs contribute to achieving outcomes of many provincial priorities including: protection from flooding hazards, ensuring healthy Great Lakes, sustainable growth, protection and restoration of natural heritage (biodiversity), outdoor recreation, health and tourism, outdoor and other environmental education curriculum, water quality and quantity, as well as, environmental monitoring and reporting.