New Laws for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves
Ontario has reached a significant milestone: the province’s new Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act is now in effect.
The Act came into effect September 4, 2007, replacing the Provincial Parks Act, which was more than 50 years old. The new legislation was drafted after extensive consultations, using input from the public, stakeholder groups, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and the Ontario Parks Board of Directors.
For the first time, ecological integrity will have first priority when planning and managing provincial parks and conservation reserves.
Other benefits of the Act include:
- Enhanced accountability, requiring the Minister of Natural Resources to publicly report on the health of parks and protected areas at least every five years
- Increased protection, prohibiting major industrial uses such as mining and forestry, by law
- Streamlined legislation, regulating and managing provincial parks and conservation reserves under one act.
Ontario is now positioned as a Canadian leader in protected areas legislation. Our world-renowned system of provincial parks, conservation reserves and wilderness areas support natural heritage protection, and provide significant recreational and tourism benefits.
The Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act will guide how these special areas are planned and managed - ensuring that future generations will benefit from a cleaner, healthier and more diverse natural environment.