QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP says Doug Ford’s new round of cuts to conservation authorities threaten to leave Ontario homes and communities even more vulnerable to floods. The new attack was revealed in an Aug. 16 letter from Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Jeff Yurek, to conservation authorities and municipalities.
“Ontarians are scared, rightfully so, about the growing impacts of the climate crisis. Ontario communities have seen record-level flooding, with devastating consequences to family homes, small businesses and community property,” said Judith Monteith-Farrell, NDP critic for Natural Resources and Forestry. “Doug Ford is leaving Ontarians with even less protection in his ongoing war against the environment.”
Yurek’s letter, first reported on by the National Observer, orders conservation authorities and municipalities to cut programs outside their “core mandate,” apparently intending to eliminate work that supports healthy watersheds and watershed monitoring programs. The letter goes on ominously to state that Yurek will review all legislation and regulations as the Ford government plots even more changes.
“Doug Ford is dragging us backward in the fight against climate change, and the costs of that are huge,” said Ian Arthur, NDP critic for the Environment and Sustainability.
“The price of rebuilding again and again after floodwaters recede is far greater than the cost of improving the province’s protections from flooding. Of course, the next generation is going to pay a far worse price if Doug Ford continues his war on the environment.”