By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—Both the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA) are speaking out over a series of changes included in the Provincial government’s new Protect, Support and Recover from COVID Act.
“Conservation authorities (CAs) protect life, property, and the environment from natural hazards like flooding and erosion by operating on a watershed scale. This protection is currently implemented by having the Conservation Authority provide municipalities with comments on development applications,” explained Zachary Cox, Marketing Coordinator for LPRCA. “The proposed changes provide the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry the ability to issue permission for regulated development under the Act and it is uncertain what localized technical knowledge and data the Minister will consider when reviewing and deciding on permit applications.”
Helen Jowett, current Chair of the Board of Directors for the GRCA, shares similar concerns: “The Province would like to heighten the role of municipal politicians and their own office in decisions on the watershed. The worrying part is that we will be negating a lot of good technical competency and science that should override a political decision.”