The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is to be congratulated for recognizing the need to review and update the approval processes that have been in place for many years. It is also positive that MNR has investigated the approval processes used in other jurisdictions in an effort to become familiar with ways to reduce any unnecessary burden associated with regulatory compliance.
Clearly, MNR has a mandate to manage the natural resources of the province on behalf of Ontario citizens. Regulatory instruments are an essential component of any management strategy overseen by a government agency. The OFA has no objection to regulations that are enabled by legislation and specifically address a legislative objective in a manner that is effective and efficient from the perspective of both the regulator and the regulated sector.
A key component of regulatory modernization is to involve affected regulated sectors. Given that agriculture is a land-based economic activity, and that MNR manages natural resources that are a component of most farm landscapes, Minister Gravelle’s quest to develop a “transformative plan for MNR” is of particular interest to the OFA.