Review of proposed policies for a new provincial planning policy instrument.

Environmental Registry of Ontario posting #019-8462

Aster Environmental Services

4/21/20241 min read

The Province of Ontario has posted a request for comment on a new policy document that would see a major shift in the planning policy framework affecting the southern portions of the province. In theory, the policies of the existing Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan) are proposed to be merged. The outcome from a natural heritage perspective is that the existing strong natural heritage protection policies of the Growth Plan would be removed. Provincial-level natural heritage protections would fall to the previously applicable PPS policies, which are far weaker.

This change continues the pattern of progressively weakening natural heritage protections throughout the province, from cuts to Conservation Authorities, loopholes to the Endangered Species Act, and countless policy changes that favor urban sprawl and unchecked housing growth. On a positive note, this change will reduce burdens on rural landowners attempting to undertake reasonable activities that were previously stifled by Growth Plan policies. The changes will place far more importance on conclusions and recommendations of environment consultants such as AES, as conformity with the new policies will be largely dependent on the outcome of impact studies.

The decision was posted to the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) at the following link:

As diligent environmental consultants, AES reviews all relevant postings on the ERO to remain up to date on regulatory changes that may affect our clients and services.