• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Ruffling the water: Wasaga pitches conservation authorities be disbanded

In Agencies
May 14th, 2019
Nina Bifolchi

Wasaga proposes disbanding conservation authorities

By Ian Adams Wasaga Sun

Is it time for conservation authorities to be dissolved?

The Town of Wasaga Beach thinks so, as it advocates that Queen’s Park dump the region’s two conservation authorities and hand off their duties to Simcoe County as part of the provincial government’s regional review.

The town’s chief administrative officer, George Vadeboncoeur, put forth a recommendation that matters such as flood control, protection of drinking-water sources, and land-use planning applications be assumed by the upper-tier municipality.

“This would reduce duplication between local governments and the authorities and allow for a co-ordinated approach to be applied across both watersheds (Nottawasaga Valley and Lake Simcoe Region), leading to more effective and efficient decision making,” he wrote in a report to town council’s co-ordinated committee; that report has now been presented to the regional review panel.

The existing structure, Vadeboncoeur stated, adds “a degree of complexity to the decision-making process, as it pertains to development review, that is unnecessary.”

Mayor Nina Bifolchi — a former NVCA chairperson — told Simcoe.com she is comfortable the county could incorporate those duties without compromising public safety.

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