Ontario’s NDP Calls on Ford to Stop Cuts to Conservation Authority Programs for Youth Jobs, Flood Management 

St. Catharines city workers piled sand bags around the historic lighthouse at Port Dalhousie this spring to protect it from what have become record high water levels in Lake Ontario. Photo by Doug Draper

“The ravages of climate crisis are evident all around us, and conservation authorities are trying to respond to record flooding in our watersheds with less resources than they had before.” – Monteith Farrell, Ontario’s NDP critic for Natural Resources and Forestry 

Posted June 4th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford’s cuts to the Conservation Authority’s programs for youth jobs and flood management are taking away opportunities from young people, and putting communities in danger, said Judith Monteith-Farrell, NDP critic for Natural Resources and Forestry. 

A closer look at the sandbags piles around the base of the historic lighthouse in Port Dalhousie as Lake Ontario waters reach record high levels. Photo by Doug Draper

The NDP MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan said that the Ford government’s cuts to Conservation Authorities includes the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Summer Employment Opportunities Program for youth. 

“This program helped Conservation Authorities employ and mentor youth, and gain relevant experience for their careers,” said Monteith-Farrell. “Why did this government cut the Youth Employment Program?” 

Monteith-Farrell said that while Doug Ford is cutting opportunities for youth, his short-sighted cuts to conservation authorities are still going ahead even as the authorities are trying to respond and prevent record flooding in watersheds with less money than they had before. 

“The ravages of climate crisis are evident all around us, and conservation authorities are trying to respond to record flooding in our watersheds with less resources than they had before,” said Monteith-Farrell.

Sand bags piled in an effort to hold off Lake Ontario’s rising waters at Lakeside Park beach in St. Catharines, Niagara  this spring. Photo by Doug Draper

 “These cuts put communities at risk.” “When will Doug Ford reverse his cuts to the Natural Hazard Management Grant, protect communities and increase funding to conservation authorities for natural hazards?” 

To listen in or view some back and forth between the NDP critic and Ford government on these matters, click on the links below – 

Audio: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qpobvpg90g0t1xd/Q8_Monteith-Farrell_06-03-2019.mp3?dl=0

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4xci98skrinwtqv/Q8_Monteith-Farrell_06-03-2019.mp4?dl=0

A Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

For flood management efforts alone, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority stands to have its $180,000 annual provincial funding cut almost in half at a time when it has a significant amount of floodplain mapping to do.

Niagara municipalities may be on the hook to make up the difference through property tax revenue  if the province follows through with the cuts.

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

 

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