The Natural Heritage Conservation Act (NHCA) was assented to in 2002. It provides for natural heritage and biodiversity protection measures and is a framework for creating aquatic reserves, biodiversity reserves, ecological reserves and man-made landscapes, as well as for the recognition of nature reserves on private land.
It is the principal legislative tool by which Québec exercises its powers in order to meet its commitments regarding the conservation of natural settings, in particular by establishing a network of protected areas (French) representative of its biodiversity.
The Act to amend the Natural Heritage Conservation Act and other provisions (amending act) (French, PDF, 379 KB) came into force in March 2021. It is the most significant amendment to the NHCA since its adoption and targets the following three objectives:
This regulation was enacted in February 2022 and complements the transitional provisions of the amending act concerning existing protection measures.
This Act (PDF, 647 KB) was assented to in April 2022. Its general objectives are to standardize, upgrade and strengthen measures enabling the enforcement of legislation under the responsibility of the Minister. It enacts the Act respecting certain measures enabling the enforcement of environmental and dam safety legislation (French, PDF, 341 KB). It consolidates and harmonizes the provisions applicable to control measures by providing a common framework for the enforcement of several Acts under the responsibility of the Minister, including the NHCA.
An administrative version of the NHCA (French, PDF, 457 KB) presents the amendments made by Bill 102, which mainly affect administrative measures and penal provisions. The version incorporates the amendments made in March 2021 by the amending act.
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