After several years of pressure from conservation groups, Ontario lived up to its promise to pass the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act (Bill 11) in June 2006. The new legislation is the first new Ontario Parks Act in fifty years and will protect the current system of more than 600 provincial parks and conservation reserves – covering over 9% of the province.

The new law came into force on September 4, 2007 and we continue to monitor the implementation of the Act and look for strategic opportunities to ensure the purpose of the legislation is upheld.

Why was Ecojustice involved?

Ecojustice had assisted in the development of the legislation, including drafting a model protected areas act and making submissions before the Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly. Our participation ensured that the legislation sets ecological integrity of the protected areas as a priority.

What does this victory mean?

Ontario’s outdated Provincial Parks Act was last substantially revised in 1954, when the park system was made up of only eight parks. The province’s new legislation was passed by the government on June 22 and will provide protection for Ontario’s current system of more than 600 provincial parks and conservation reserves – covering over 9% of the province.

Front and centre in the new legislation is the concept of Ecological Integrity, which will become the guiding principle in our parks, putting nature first and moving away from industrial development.

The new law came into force on September 4, 2007 and we continue to monitor the implementation of the Act and look for strategic opportunities to ensure the purpose of the legislation is upheld.