Smiths Falls reacts to new limitations for Conservation Authorities
In a letter to area municipalities, The Honouorable Jeff Yurek, minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks asks local councils to review and consider their Conservation Authorities’ activities in view of winding down some activities and removing some of their authority and reducing their budgets.
“The province’s funding is a very small portion of the CA’s budget,” pointed out Councillor Chris McGuire, who works for a conservation authority.
The concern is that proposed changes to the CA’s mandate could gut their authority in a way that would hamper their ability to fulfill their mandate.
“Climate change is very real and Conservation Authorities are unique in the country and it’s what didn’t happen that is the result of years of conservation,” said Councillor Peter McKenna. “They are our allies on climate change, our allies on safe drinking water.
Councillors expressed particular concern over the natural landscape and the environment.
“I fear that this will take the protection of wetlands away from the CAs and is taking away our ability to protect our environment,” said Councillor Niki Dwyer.
Conservation Authorities fill a role not just in wetland protection, but storm sewer regulations and education, they protect our source water, pointed out McGuire.
“It’s important that we come out in support of Conservation Authorities they are our ambassadors for climate change stewardship,” said McGuire.
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