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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Conservation Authority May Require Expertise

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

NDP proposal would require 50% of the board to have scientific qualifications.

Brockton is sounding the alarm over an NDP proposal to amend the Conservation Authorities Act.

The proposed amendment will require Conservation Authority Boards to have a composition of 50% members with scientific backgrounds.

Brockton Deputy Mayor and Saugeen Conservation Authority Board of Director Dan Gieruszak calls the proposal unworkable.

He says it would greatly restrict the ability of municipal councils to appoint Board members.

It would also be extremely problematic, as the current Board of Directors is made up entirely of municipal council representatives.

Saugeen Conservation Board of Directors Chair Luke Charbonneau agrees.

In his personal opinion (not speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors), Charbonneau calls the proposal unpractical and unnecessary.

He says there is no need to make radical changes to the way directors are appointed noting the current system works well.

Brockton Councilor Chris Peabody calls it an example of “Toronto-based thinking, restricting the autonomy of rural areas of Ontario.”

As such Brockton Council has passed a motion opposing the Amendment to the Conservation Authorities Act.

Peabody is hopeful that if enough municipalities voice their opposition, the amendment will die.

This motion is currently in the first reading stage.

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