Conserving Ontario’s Natural Heritage

ERO number
Notice type
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Proposal posted
Comment period
October 25, 2022 - December 30, 2022 (66 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:

October 25, 2022
to December 30, 2022

Proposal summary

In support of Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan 3.0 and the government’s commitment to support the construction of 1.5 million new housing units over the next ten years, the province is seeking feedback on the discussion paper entitled Conserving Ontario’s Natural Heritage.

Proposal details

Everyone in Ontario should be able to find a home that is right for them. But too many people are struggling with the rising cost of living and with finding housing that meets their family’s needs.

Ontario’s housing supply crisis is a problem which has been decades in the making. It will take both short-term strategies and long-term commitment from all levels of government, the private sector, and not-for-profits to drive change. Each entity will have to do their part to be part of the solution to this crisis.

Ontario needs more housing, and we need it now. That’s why the Ontario government is taking bold and transformative action to get 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years.

To support More Homes Built Faster: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan 2022-23, the government introduced the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, which, if passed, would ensure that cities, towns, and rural communities grow with a mix of ownership and rental housing types that meet the needs of all Ontarians.

These changes are providing a solid foundation to address Ontario’s housing supply crisis over the long term and will be supplemented by continued action in the future.

Natural heritage

Natural heritage provides many benefits to people and the natural world. These benefits include providing habitat for fish and wildlife, filtering air and water, mitigating flooding and erosion, storing carbon, and providing a wide range of recreation and tourism opportunities. But conserving Ontario’s natural heritage has become more difficult as development pressures, climate change and other threats isolate and threaten wetlands, woodlands, and other natural wildlife habitat.

These challenges are not unique to Ontario. Natural heritage is under pressure across the globe. Several jurisdictions and organizations, including several Canadian provinces, have responded with programs that offset development pressures on natural heritage, including wetlands.

In Ontario, natural heritage conservation is primarily implemented through the land use planning framework, including the Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement. Several provincial land use plans and statutes provide specific protections for natural heritage features, including wetlands. However, none of these incorporate provisions for offsetting, although some conservation authorities have developed their own policies.

The discussion paper is seeking feedback on how Ontario could offset development pressures on wetlands, woodlands, and other natural wildlife habitat. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is considering developing an offset policy that would require a net positive impact on these features and help reverse the decades-long trend of natural heritage loss in Ontario. 

Your feedback is important. We want to hear what you think about our proposals. Which do you support or disagree with? Do you have any suggestions that would enable Ontario to support development and the growing demand for housing while ensuring that we continue to benefit from the important role that wetlands, woodlands and other natural wildlife habitat play in our communities?

Regulatory impact analysis

Through this posting, we are seeking input on anticipated benefits or costs from businesses that may be impacted by the policy approach being considered to better help the Ministry understand the real costs or cost savings.

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.

MNRF - PD - Resources Planning and Development Policy Branch

300 Water Street, 2nd Floor, South Tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 8M5


Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from October 25, 2022
to December 30, 2022

Connect with us


Public Input Coordinator

MNRF - PD - Resources Planning and Development Policy Branch

300 Water Street, 2nd Floor, South tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7

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