Jump to: Conservation Authorities


The Ontario Museum Association works with its members to ensure a relevant and sustainable museum sector for the benefit of Ontario residents and our global community. 

An advocacy-focused newsletter is sent to members on the 2nd Thursday of each month. See past issues here

Museums and the Federal Election
Election Day is October 21st, 2019
Canada’s national, provincial, and territorial museum associations, including the OMA, have sent joint letters to the leaders of six federal parties highlighting the urgent need for: 
  • A review and modernization of the National Museum Policy
  • A review of funding streams for museums and an expansion of the Museums Assistance Program to ensure more sustainable funding 
  • A simplification of the funding process, especially for small museums
The letters also ask leaders to respond to two questions: 
  1. What are your views on the importance and role of museums?
  2. How would you respond to the other key recommendations above?
The OMA will keep members informed of responses to the letters, via our social media, website, and our ONmuseums Newsletters. 

This nation-wide collaboration between the Ontario Museum Association and its partners across the country is an important step in speaking with one voice to our federal representatives. 

I encourage you to share the infographic, Museums Matter, and the museum associations' media release with volunteers, board, colleagues, and friends. Increase awareness and support for Canada's museums, galleries, and historic sites during the federal election period. Speak to the impact of Ontario's museums.

Elections present an opportunity for us to ask questions and speak directly with candidates from all parties. Museums are determined to be part of the national conversation.  

Please contact me if you have any questions about the use of these materials, and we look forward to sharing responses from the parties. 

Thank you, 

Marie G. Lalonde
Executive Director
Resources for the Federal Election: 
Media Release HERE. 
Museums Matter infographic HERE. 
Letters to the Party Leaders HERE.
OMA Resources: 
Ontario's Museums OMA Handout HERE.

Changes to Conservation Authority
Operations May Affect Museums
Following the passing of Bill 108- the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019, the Honourable Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks wrote a letter to Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities informing them that "changes will require conservation authorities to re-focus their efforts on the delivery of programs and services related to their core mandates." 

2% of Ontario’s museums are governed by conservation authorities, including sites like Black Creek Pioneer Village, Westfield Heritage Village, and the R. Tait McKenzie Museum. 

In a statement to CBC Ottawa regarding the operations of the R. Tait McKenzie Museum in Almonte, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Press Secretary Andrew Buttigieg said the Bill 108 "clearly specifies" that municipalities "have the option to enter into transparent and public funding agreements with conservation authorities for non-core services, such as operating the R. Tait McKenzie museum."

Read the Letter from Minister Yurek HERE. 

Read more about the R. Tait McKenzie Museum from CBC Ottawa HERE

In the Media: 


In response, on September 27th, Ontario Museum Association President Petal Furness sent a letter to Minister Yurek, encouraging consultation with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and stating the value of museums and historic sites connected to Ontario’s Conservation Authorities for visitors and tourists. Museums in Conservation Authorities offer learning activities that bring thousands of people to special events in rural areas in off-peak tourist seasons.

“Conservation Authorities that make heritage and cultural experiences a part of their functions have significant impacts for their communities and their vitality. If requiring Conservation Authorities to re-focus on their “core mandate” means a loss of these vital places and programs, the people of Ontario will be losing a valuable part of their communities.”

Read the full text of the letter HERE.


The OMA is following up with museums connected to Conservation Authorities, and has offered consultation alongside the Ministries of Environment, Conservation and Parks; and Tourism, Culture and Sport. 

For more news about Advocacy, see the Advocacy editions of the OMA eNewsletter, ONmuseums, on the second Thursday of each month. ONmuseums is an OMA Member Benefit; to learn about membership, click here!