OFA is concerned about the potential unintended consequences negatively impacting the agricultural community regarding the proposed legislative and regulatory changes to the Conservation Authority Act to support the Housing Supply Action 3.0. OFA is in favour of conservation authorities focusing on risks associated to natural hazards such as flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches, and unstable soils and bedrock. However, OFA is concerned that the removal of some of the oversight currently provided by conservation authorities may lead to nearby properties being negatively impacted. We are opposed to changes that expose our members to increased risk, including risks related to water quality or quantity for both surface and/or groundwater.
We believe that since conservation authorities have a role and responsibility in development related to natural hazards, the ability to appeal planning decisions counter to these objectives is necessary. OFA requests that the ability of a conservation authority to appeal on its own right or be party to an appeal be retained. Additionally, OFA believes that fees charged by conservation authorities should reflect the actual cost to deliver the permit, program, or service.