Labour Minister highlights changes to Ontario Drainage Act

Monte McNaughton, the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex and the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, makes an announcement in Watford. 14 August 2020. (BlackburnNews.com photo by Colin Gowdy)

Recent changes to the Ontario Drainage Act are aimed at streamlining approvals for new projects and reducing red tape.

Labour Minister and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton announced the changes during a news conference this week.

He said environmental protections will remain in place.

“Drainage supports productivity by reducing nutrient loss and soil erosion,” said McNaughton. “It provides economic benefits as well as benefits to our local environment. This is good news for farmers and municipalities.”

Some changes include reducing the time it takes to make minor improvements to drainage systems, including municipal drains, changing the timelines for a response from a drainage engineer from 90 days to 180 days, and creating a simplified process to update the engineers’ report to account for changes to the drainage design made during construction.

It’s the first time the Drainage Act has been amended since 1975.