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OGRA Advocacy Results in EA Reforms that Benefit Ontario Municipalities
On Tuesday, the Government of Ontario passed the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act. Included in this legislation are reforms to the Environmental Assessment Act and paves the way for the complete overhaul of the Class Environmental Assessment process. This is cause for celebration for OGRA and municipalities across the province as the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) process has become cumbersome and hindered local efforts to build infrastructure with cost certainty and predictable timelines.
More specifically, the Act changes the EA system from one that requires a review on every public infrastructure project by default to one that only requires reviews for projects included on a specific list of high risk projects. A regulation creating the new list has yet to be released but OGRA looks forward to working with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks and our partners in developing this list. Low-risk projects such as installing traffic lights and bike lanes will be exempted under the current regulatory proposals.
OGRA has been working to support the efforts of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) and the Municipal Engineers Association (MEA) to have these changes implemented. As part of OGRA’s 2019 Advocacy Day, the OGRA Board of Directors met with MPPs at Queen’s Park to push for the changes proposed by MEA and amplified by RCCAO’s landmark 2019 report on the issue.
“OGRA has been working hard on MCEA reforms and no doubt our meetings last November at Queen’s Park proved to work. Our voices were heard by MPPs and we appreciate their action on this matter.” said OGRA President Rick Harms.
“This is another example of OGRA working on behalf of its members best interest and making positive change for municipalities and its residents. We will continue to advocate for our members and work with different levels of government for change.” said Joe Tiernay, Executive Director, Ontario Good Roads Association.
The Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) was founded in 1894. Based out of Oakville, Ontario, OGRA is governed by 15 board members with 17 staff supporting its membership. The mandate of the Ontario Good Roads Association is to advance the infrastructure and transportation interests of its members through training, advocacy and services. OGRA currently has more than 650 members, which includes corporations, municipalities, and First Nations. For more information visit www.OGRA.org
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The Ontario Good Roads Association advances the infrastructure and transportation interests of our members through training, advocacy and services.