Aggregate Resources Policy Framework

Aggregate is governed in Ontario by the Aggregate Resources Act.  The Act was amended in May 2017 and in the fall of 2019 through the Omnibus Bill 132 referenced below. 

The industry is also governed by regulations, standards and policies that, together with the Act, form the framework of aggregate policy in Ontario.  With changes to the Act, also come changes to all the other instruments.  The MNRF has recently updated updated regulation 244/97, as well as some of the standards and policies which are available below. 

OSSGA is working closely with MNRF to ensure that the views of the aggregate industry are understood as new policies are developed.

If you have any questions about the ARA and its impact on producers, please contact Norm Cheesman at

MHBC has kindly provided OSSGA with an updated District and Aggregate Technical Specialists Map.  Please note, this is current as of February 2021 -- but things change quickly!  Remember to check the government's info.go for the most up-to-date information.

2021 Production Fee Schedule from MNRF

Click here for a handy chart from Skelton Brumwell!

The following document is a compilation of four different standards adopted by O. Reg 244/97 under the Aggregate Resources Act:

- Site Plan Standards, August 2020

- Technical Reports and Information Standards, August 2020

- Amendment Standards, August 2020

- Circulation Standards, August 2020


Click here to be taken to O.Reg 244/97

MHBC has kindly allowed us to share their summary of the amendments to the O.Reg 244/97 and the associated standards.

Previous Aggregate Resource Framework Issues and Consultations

Bill 132 - Better for People, Smarter for Business Act 2019

Bill 132, introduced for first reading on October 28, 2019 is an omnibus Bill that touches more than 50 pieces of legislation.

Schedule 16 of the Act includes changes to the Aggregate Resources Act.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Aggregate Resources Act

Various amendments are made to the Aggregate Resources Act, including the following:

   1.  In considering whether a licence for a pit or quarry under the Act should be issued or refused, the Minister or Local Planning Appeal Tribunal cannot have regard to road degradation that may result from proposed truck traffic to and from the site.

   2.  New provisions provide for the following specified provisions in zoning by-laws to be inoperative:

           i.  restrictions on the depth of extraction in specified circumstances, and

          ii.  prohibitions against a site being used for the making, establishment or operation of pits and quarries where the surface rights are the property of the Crown.

   3.  Several amendments relating to licences and permits are made.  Some of these amendments were enacted as part of Schedule 1 to the Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017 but not proclaimed into force; these are reproduced in the Schedule in order to allow for them to come into force on the day the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 receives Royal Assent.

   4.  New provisions are included to address the process for dealing with the following circumstances in which changes to a licence or permit are desired:

           i.  where a licensee wishes to lower the depth of extraction from above the water table to below the water table, and

          ii.  where a licensee or permittee wishes to expand the boundaries of the area subject to a licence or permit into an adjacent road allowance.

For details, refer to the actuall Bill which provides line by line changes to the current Act.

On September 20th MNRF posted proposed amendments to the Aggregate Resources Act on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.

Please see OSSGA's response to the ERO Posting here.

New Delegation of Authority announced by MNRF

March 29, 2018




TO:               Norman Cheesman, Executive Director, Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (OSSGA)


FROM:         Rick Watchorn, A/Director, Integration Branch

                     Jason Travers, Director, Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch



Subject:  Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) – Delegation of Authority (DOA) Changes


We are pleased to share with you that a review of the delegation of authority under the Aggregate Resources Act has been completed.


Effective February 28, 2018 the Delegation of Authority has been updated to address:  


  • New proclaimed sections of the ARA resulting from Bill 39 (Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act) that received Royal Assent on May 11, 2017.
  • Aligning the DOA with the ministry organizational structure, and
  • Improving efficiencies on some administrative decisions - for example, approvals related to minor site plan amendments and licence transfers have been changed from the Regional Director to the District Manager.


For your convenience, we have attached a table outlining the changes to the Delegation of Authority. Some delegated authorities in our policies, such as Policy A.R. 1.00.04, are out of date and we will be revising or removing some of these policies and procedures in the future. We would ask that your members continue to work with their local district office staff for any matters related to the Aggregate Resources Act (regardless of the delegation of authority for the final decision).   


Should you have any questions relating to the revised Delegation of Authority under the Aggregate Resources Act please contact Jason Belleghem, Sr. Program Advisor-Aggregates at or by phone 705-755-3189.


This chart provides members with a comparison between the old DOA and the version which came into force in February 2018.

Under the ARA, licences are issued for private land, and permits are issued for Crown Land. Permit fees are comprised of two components: Royalties and Permit fees.

This is an explanatory note on the impact of ARA Amendments on both royalties and permit fees.

Recycled Aggregate: How it affects tonnage and fees

As part of the review of the Aggregate Resource Act (ARA), there have been changes to the way the ARA counts the tonnage related to recycled aggregates on your site. OSSGA has been in contact with MNRF and we are providing some clarity to questions that have arisen from industry members in regards to tonnage considerations and the levy on recycled aggregate.

Click here for more information.

Ontario Regulation 244/97 under the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) has been amended to make changes to aggregate fees and royalties.

Some of the changes (e.g., increases to private land and Crown land fees) will begin starting with the 2018 production year. Other changes (for example, indexing) will begin starting with the 2019 production year.

Attached, for your information, is a notice that was mailed to aggregate operators summarizing the regulatory changes.

MNRF has informed us that these changes are the first phase in a broader review of aggregate fees. In the second phase, the ministry will consider some of the more complex issues, including how fees are distributed between upper and lower tier municipalities.

The OSSGA / TAPMO Joint Levy Committee has submitted a response to the proposed changes to the Aggregate Levy, Regulation 244/07.  The comments focus on the proposed timing of the implementation of the levy, the amount of the levy itself; and, our collective concerns that the proposed regulations do not address the seven recommendations that the Committee believes are essential to ensuring the government’s ability to carry out its public responsibilities to appropriately monitor and enforce the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA). 

OSSGA and TAPMO have proposed a three-phase system starting on Jan 1, 2018 and continuing yearly until 2020.

Bill 39 is "enabling" legislation that will provide new powers to the Minister, with the details of those powers to be addressed through regulation, standards and policies to be developed at a later date.  Given this phased approach, this submission proposes changes to the legislation to include language and enough detail to help forestall any unintended consequences in the future.

This table provides a side by side comparison of the Bill, OSSGA's suggested drafting changes to the original language in the bill, and a rationale for the change.

Ontario has introduced legislation to modernize the management of resource extraction in the province.  Click here for a PDF of the legislation.

Press release from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

MNRF's A Blueprint for Change, A proposal to modernize and strengthen the Aggregate Resources Act policy framework

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) released A Blueprint for Change, its proposal to modernize and strengthen the Aggregate Resources Act.

The ARA Review has been ongoing for nearly five years. The Provincial Government announced a review of the Aggregate Resources Act during the 2011 Provincial election.

The Standing Committee on General Government held hearings on the ARA review in 2012 and released its report including 38 recommendations in October 2013. The Government issued its response in February 2014 generally supporting the spirit of the Standing Committee recommendations.

There was further focus group consultation in the fall of 2014.

The attached document is OSSGA's official response to A Blueprint for Change.


OSSGA is currently completing a line-by-line review of the proposed revisions to the four Provincial Plans.  To-date a number of revisions have been identified that will significantly impact the licensing of new aggregate reserves within the GGH.   These include:

  • The expansion of the provincial natural heritage system beyond the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plan;

  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate within significant woodlands without consideration of the ‘no negative impact test’.  This revision is also being proposed within the Niagara Escarpment Plan;

  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate operations within endangered and threatened species habitat without consideration of the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, which may permit development within habitat if the application results in an overall  benefit to the species.  This revision is also being proposed within the Greenbelt Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan;

  • Requiring immediate compensation for any  habitat that would be lost from a site with equivalent habitat on another part of the site or on adjacent lands even if the habitat doesn’t qualify as a key natural heritage or key hydrologic feature.

  • Discouraging extraction within Prime Agricultural Areas and requiring rehabilitation back to agriculture (which by definition will prohibit  below water extraction  within these areas of the GGH);

  • Mapping and policy changes to the Niagara Escarpment Plan that will significantly restrict where new aggregate operations may be considered; and,

  • Having the changes take effect immediately – which will effectively make any changes for sites with licence applications that have not yet been approved retroactive.

OSSGA will be meeting with Ministry officials (MMAH and MNRF), staff and other stakeholders to raise our concerns and underscore the importance of these issues to the availability of close-to-market aggregate in the years to come.  MMAH is hosting public meetings to help those interested learn more about the proposed changes.  A list of public meetings is available here.  Members are encouraged to attend the meetings.  Background materials are available on OSSGA’s website.   We will keep members informed of new developments through Rock Talk throughout the summer months.  


OSSGA Policy Papers and Submissions