Amendments to Three Statutes administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to support the proposed Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 and a proposal for a new regulation under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act

ERO number
019-0732
Notice type
Act
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Proposal Updated
Proposal posted
Comment period
October 28, 2019 - November 27, 2019 (30 days) Open
Last updated

Update Announcement

We have updated the French version of this notice with the current title of Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019.

November 6, 2019

This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
November 27, 2019

Proposal summary

We are proposing changes to three statutes as part of the proposed Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 and a proposed new regulation under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act. The changes are designed to improve delivery of our mandate to clients, stakeholders and the public, while ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.

Proposal details

The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019, if passed, would enact several legislative amendments that support improving Ontario’s competitiveness, reducing unnecessary red tape and regulatory burden on business, without compromising safeguards that protect public health and wellbeing, safety and the environment.

The following outlines MNRF’s key proposed changes:

Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994

The proposed amendments would support changes to the forest management policy framework to reduce burdens to industry and streamline delivery by government. The proposed amendments would, if passed:

  • enable the issuance of a “permit” to allow a person to remove forest resources from a Crown forest for non-forestry purposes (e.g., roads, mining, utility corridors).
  • modernize the requirements for annual work schedules by removing the requirement for MNRF approvals.
  • enable the Minister to extend a Forest Management Plan.

Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act

The proposed amendments would, if passed:

  • allow future regulations to be made, where appropriate, to relieve existing activities from requirements that would apply to new activities.
  • enable the use of a rules-in-regulation approach, or the mandatory issuance of approvals for more activities, subject to conditions and requirements that would be set out in regulation intended to streamline approvals for the specified approval.
  • clarify the types of geological evaluation and testing activities captured by the definition of “well”.

Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act

The proposed legislative amendments would, if passed:

  • Create a new Minister’s regulation-making authority in the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act to allow the Minister to require some owners of electricity-producing dams to, where necessary, assess, monitor and report on methyl mercury related impacts to water and fish.
  • Amend an existing authority to incorporate guidelines by reference in the regulations.

Regulation Proposal

  • If the proposed Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act legislative amendment is passed, the ministry proposes to develop a subsequent Minister’s regulation that if made, would require some dam owners of electricity-producing dams to, where necessary, assess, monitor and report on mercury levels in surface water and/or fish tissue. We are also seeking comments on this proposed regulation via this notice.

Owners of the twelve existing dams that currently have mercury assessment, monitoring and reporting requirements established through Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks issued Permits to Take Water, would, if the regulation is made, continue these requirements under the authority of the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act and reporting would be to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Each of these twelve Permits to Take Water were subject to consultation prior to their issuance.

New or significantly redeveloped electricity-producing dams may, if the regulation is made, require assessment, monitoring and reporting of mercury, where there is a new or expanded head pond area and/or where there are identified risks associated with human consumption of fish.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks is concurrently consulting on a proposal to amend the Ontario Water Resources Act Permit to Take Water requirements for electricity-producing facilities. See related Environmental Registry Ontario links below for more information.

In addition, there are other administrative and housekeeping changes proposed for the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994 and the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act.

Proposed changes to the Aggregate Resources Act are also included in the proposed Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 and are the subject of a separate registry proposal posting. See related Environmental Registry Ontario links section below for more information. Please note the posting related to proposed changes to the Aggregate Resources Act will close on November 4, 2019.

For more information on other proposed changes included in the proposed Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019, please see the related external links section below.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Strategic Policy Section, Policy Division Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Address

99 Wellesley Street West
Whitney Block, Floor 5
Toronto, ON
M7A 1W3
Canada

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Contact

Tigist Abebe

Phone number
Email address
Office
Strategic Policy Section, Policy Division Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Address

99 Wellesley Street West
Whitney Block, Floor 5
Toronto, ON
M7A 1W3
Canada

Connect with us

Contact

Tigist Abebe

Phone number
Email address
Office
Strategic Policy Section, Policy Division Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Address

99 Wellesley Street West
Whitney Block, Floor 5
Toronto, ON
M7A 1W3
Canada

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