Conservation Authority Launches New Online Enforcement Complaints Form
Goal is to deliver better service and improve internal processes
Lake Simcoe watershed – May 28, 2021 - In response to a tripling of complaints so far this year over last year, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has implemented an online enforcement complaint form (see link further down). The new online form makes it easier for residents to register a complaint if they think activities are being carried out in areas regulated by the Authority, without approvals.
“The dramatic increase in complaints over last year (90 received so far this year compared to 30 at the same time last year) required us to find a better way to manage the complaints,” explains Ashlea Brown, Director of Enforcement and Regulations for the Authority. “The new form reduces the amount of time it usually takes our staff to collect information, giving them more time to evaluate and investigate. The form also provides another avenue for residents to submit their complaint.”
Residents who think that activities are being carried out in a regulated area* without approvals can submit their complaint online – day or night. Information about who made the submission is kept strictly confidential and not shared with anyone outside the investigation team. Just as the Authority protects the privacy of citizens who submit the complaints, they also do not provide investigation updates. “Basically, once a complaint is submitted, there’s no further need to reach out to us,” says Ashlea. If we need to, we’ll follow up with the complainants.”
Ashlea reminds residents that resolution times can vary widely. “Most of the time, we find that people are willing to work with us, especially once they realize the potential negative impacts of their actions. Of course, there are always exceptions. In cases where we may have to issue violation notices, the process can take much longer.”
* An area is likely regulated if it is in or near a watercourse, river or stream valley, wetland, shoreline and/or hazardous land like a steep slope or a flood plain.
It is the mission of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to collaborate, protect and restore the Lake Simcoe watershed with innovative research, policy and action.
Senior Communications Advisor
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Toll Free: 1-800-465-0437
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