Municipal Planning and Environmental Autonomy
An update on provincial paramountcy and its implications for progressive environmental planning and decision making
The Issue / Idea
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) enables municipal powers over land use planning which has direct implications for the environment. At the same time the MGA limits the ability of municipalities to meet their planning objectives by curtailing municipal powers with respect to the environment where provincial authorizations are also at play. To what extent can provincial authorizations undermine municipal decision-making on the environment?
This project highlights select legislative changes to the MGA and discusses how they may undermine municipal autonomy over environmental outcomes. Some of these legislative changes occurred as recently as 2020 while others date back to the early 1990s. This report describes these changes and the resulting implications for municipal planning and decision-making. The question that underpins the report is whether we have gone too far in limiting municipal powers to set a planning agenda that acts to protect the environment.
Municipal Planning and Environmental Autonomy: An update on provincial paramountcy and its implications for progressive environmental planning and decision making
This project was undertaken by
The Environmental Law Centre
Max Bell Foundation