In 2012, the Commission invited public comments on a proposed new approach that included a regulation plan called Bv7 (the name signifying it was version seven in a series of modifications to Plan B+). The Commission held 12 information sessions and hosted a four day web-based dialogue that allowed people to ask questions and provide information and opinions to a panel of regulation plan experts. Plan Bv7 was supported by many, but there were also many who voiced their opposition. Particularly among property owners along the south shore of Lake Ontario there was concern about the slightly increased risk they would face under Bv7.
The IJC has carefully considered public comments it received last year. The proposal includes the following new features:
- A policy for deviating from regulation plan flows, including trigger levels for extreme high and low water conditions on Lake Ontario.
- Plan 2014 performs much better than Plan Bv7 without deviations for Lake Ontario coastal interests while providing nearly the same environmental improvements.
- Conditions and criteria for the Order of Approval that take account of the more extreme water supplies experienced since 1960.
- Numerical criteria for Montreal and Lac St. Louis water levels to retain current benefits for downstream interests.
- Substantial further work on an adaptive management strategy that will be implemented over time.