Lower Thames Watershed – The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) Board of Directors recently appointed Municipal Enforcement Unit (MEU) to assist Conservation Authority staff in achieving compliance with its Regulations under Section 28 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alteration to Shorelines and Watercourses) and Section 29 (Conservation Areas) of the Conservation Authorities Act. MEU is a private company specializing in Municipal By-Law Enforcement and has contracts throughout Southwestern Ontario.
The Regulations are important public safety tools, for restricting development in hazardous areas due to flooding, shoreline erosion and interference with the hydrologic function of wetlands. The potential for loss of life and property damage is greatly reduced by the enforcement of these regulations, according to Don Pearson, LTVCA General Manager. Moreover, the Conservation Area regulations govern permitted uses on Conservation Authority owned properties, increasing public safety and preventing environmental degradation from unlawful uses such as all-terrain vehicles which promote erosion and disturb wildlife. Randall Van Wagner, Manager of Conservation Lands and Services, believes the presence of MEU enforcement officers will greatly enhance the Conservation Authority’s ability to keep users and the environment safe on some 25 properties comprising more than 600 hectares. “We want people to enjoy the out of doors by using our Conservation Areas” says Van Wagner, “as long as there is respect for other users and the properties themselves.”
MEU officers will have the authority to enforce regulations under the Conservation Authorities Act as well as other statutes including the Trespass to Properties Act, the Off-Road Vehicles Act and the Dog Owners Liability Act. They have the authority, training and tools to provide users with education regarding the purpose of the regulations, and will emphasize compliance through cooperation. MEU Officers will carry identification indicating their authority to enforce regulations on behalf of the LTVCA and will work closely with other provincial and municipal officers to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach.
“We believe this will prove to be an effective and efficient approach to improving public safety and environmental protection throughout the LTVCA’s jurisdiction,” according to Pearson.
For further information, please contact
Valerie Towsley – Resources Technician (519) 354-7310 ext.226
Randall Van Wagner – Manager of Conservation Lands and Services (519) 354-7310 ext.230