Conservation Authority updates process due to Provincial changes


Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority (SVCA) is updating its permitting process due to recent legislative changes introduced by the Provincial Government.

Effective April 1, 2024, these updates are in response to Ontario Regulation 41/24 and amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act, impacting new buildings and site alterations near watercourses, wetlands, floodplains, and shorelines.

Key changes include:

• Reduced review perimeter around significant wetlands from 120 meters to 30 meters.

• Exclusion of headwater streams without distinct beds and banks from the review.

• Extended regulation by 15 meters along Lake Huron’s dynamic beaches.

• Shifted focus towards public safety, with increased responsibilities in unstable soil and bedrock areas.

• Exemptions for specific projects from requiring a permit, detailed in Ontario Regulation 41/24.

• Enhanced enforcement powers, including the authority for Stop Work Orders and increased fines for non-compliance, reaching up to $50,000 for individuals and $1,000,000 for corporations.

Adjustments include a significant reduction in the SVCA Regulated Area inland from Lake Huron by about 20,000 acres, with an expanded regulatory scope around Lake Huron itself. The emphasis in permitting will pivot towards prioritizing natural hazard mitigation, backed by stronger enforcement mechanisms and steeper penalties for violations of regulation.

SVCA staff remain dedicated to providing support and clarity regarding these legislative changes.

Landowners and interested parties are encouraged to reach out with any questions or for guidance on ongoing or future projects, ensuring a smooth transition to the new regulatory framework. See if your project is within SVCA’s area of interest using the online mapping tool: