Bill 108 may threaten Mill of Kintail MVCA says

CARLETON PLACE — New legislation has the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) looking at secondary programming as it is forced to tighten its belt and cut costs.

“The MVCA has begun to review programs and services in order to manage new funding constraints imposed by Provincial Bill 108 (More Homes, More Choice Act), passed in June 2019,” MVCA staff released in a statement today (Aug. 27) “The legislation and a recent letter received from Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek emphasize the need for the MVCA to focus on the following core areas:  risk of natural hazards; conservation and management of CA owned or controlled lands; drinking water source protection; and other programs or services, as prescribed by regulation.”

Consequently, staff are reconsidering the direction set out in the Draft Strategic Plan prepared earlier this year for the Mill of Kintail Museum. 

“The regulation expected this fall will likely limit core funding to these types of museums,” said MVCA general manager Sally McIntyre. “We need to discuss and agree on how we will keep this heritage building open for community use and provide the community the opportunity to pursue other options and prepare an alternative business case for consideration by the MVCA board. That discussion needs to occur now because the province will not release this year’s museum grant until the Strategic Plan ‘containing long-term goals and objectives’ is approved by the board.”

A staff report to be tabled at the Policy and Priorities committee on Sept. 5 presents five options for consideration, including transitioning the museum focus away from the R. Tait McKenzie and James Naismith collections to more closely align with the legislated mandate of conservation authorities.

The committee’s recommendation will be raised to the board of directors at its Sept. 18 meeting, after which the draft Strategic Plan will be amended by staff as directed by the board and tabled for approval in October. All three meetings are open to the public.

“The Mill of Kintail building is a jewel in our portfolio,” McIntyre said. “R. Tait McKenzie and James Naismith are persons of historical significance in the community, and the museum and its collection are highly regarded across the region.  Staff’s recommendation respect both these facts.”

MVCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Formed in 1968, the MVCA manages the watershed in partnership with its eleven member municipalities. For more information, visit,