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Ontario municipalities receive enhanced environment, climate and energy authority

The ECO is delighted to see that Ontario municipalities now have additional environmental, climate and energy powers, due to Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2017, which received Royal Assent on May 30, 2017.

Below we’ve summarized the changes:

1. Municipalities can now make by-laws respecting climate change.

2. Municipalities can now make by-laws respecting the protection or conservation of the environment that require buildings to be constructed in accordance with prescribed provisions of the Building Code e.g., requiring green roofs.

3. Municipalities may now provide for or participate in long-term energy planning.

4. Municipalities may soon be required to adopt and maintain policies with respect to the protection and enhancement of the tree canopy and natural vegetation in the municipality.

5. Under section 2 of the Planning Act,the Minister of Municipal Affairs, municipal councils, local planning boards and the Municipal Board must have regard to matters of provincial interest and lists examples. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to a changing climate are now added to the list.

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