Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Conservation program axe may fall on farmers

The Ontario government’s budget cuts to conservation authorities could bring an end to programs designed to offset farmers’ costs to protect water.

The Grand River Conservation Authority and the Waterloo Region were pioneers in jointly offering help for projects such as streambank fencing, tree planting and manure storage.

Many other conservation authorities have since copied those initiatives. There is keen interest on watersheds into Lake Erie where there are concerns about algae blooms.

Recreation programs, such as camping, may also be on the chopping block after the province issued a notice that conservation authorities should limit their budgets to “core programs”.

Remember that the cuts come after Premier Doug Ford cut taxes for his corporate and wealthy funds by an astonishing $3.6 billion. Now he's emphasizing moves to reduce the deficit that created.

And what's equally irritating is that his budget cuts fall heaviest on the lower income people and rural areas, the very people who provided him with the votes to take power. Kind of like Trump, eh?