Drainage Act Regulatory Proposal

ERO number
Notice type
Drainage Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Notice stage
Proposal posted
Comment period
December 9, 2020 - February 7, 2021 (60 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:

December 9, 2020
to February 7, 2021

Proposal summary

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking feedback on a regulatory proposal that would implement the recent amendments to the Drainage Act. The new regulation would reduce burden, streamline approvals and address stakeholder concerns while maintaining environmental standards.

Proposal details

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is proposing a new Minister’s Regulation to implement the amendments that were made to the Drainage Act under the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 (formerly Bill 197), which received Royal Assent on July 21, 2020.

The amendments enable development of a new Minister’s Regulation which would:

  • Provide a simplified process for minor improvements to municipal drains;
  • Simplify the process for approving updates to engineer’s reports for changes to the design made during construction; and
  • Adopt the Drainage Act and Conservation Authorities Act Protocol (DART Protocol) by reference.

The proposed new Minister’s Regulation supports the government’s commitment to reduce burden and promote economic development by streamlining processes, saving time, cutting costs and reducing project delays.

No changes are proposed with respect to the requirements for environmental protection. Existing environmental protections, environmental approvals and issuing permits will remain in place and will not be reduced.

The new Minister’s Regulation may reduce barriers to implementing projects that provide flood protection with environmental co-benefits such as reduced erosion and nutrient loss.

It may also result in an increased number of projects that include green infrastructure principles by using the DART protocol and the simplified minor improvement process that ensures projects are completed in a more efficient way.

Please see the Drainage Act Discussion Paper which outlines the proposed changes.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.


Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from December 9, 2020
to February 7, 2021

Connect with us


Sara Peckford

Phone number
Email address
Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch

1 Stone Road West
Ontario Government Building, 2nd floor, Southwest
Guelph, ON
N1G 4Y2

Office phone number

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