Smart Prosperity Institute welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on Bill 139 - (Schedule 4) – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017: Amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act.

We welcome the proposed clarification of the role of conservation authorities in providing programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in Ontario watersheds. We also welcome the recognition (in the supporting document Conserving Our Future: A Modernized Conservation Authorities Act) that climate change and the resulting vulnerability of natural resources and biodiversity, coupled with the continued growth of Ontario’s communities, only underscores their important role in providing these programs and services.

In light of the proposed clarifications, we would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the potential for conservation authorities to be key players in two innovative areas that could help advance Ontario’s environmental and economic well-being: municipal natural asset management and environmental markets.

For more on municipal natural assets, check out our Municipal Natural Assets Initiative page.