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Letter to the editor: Conservation Authority

To the Editor

I am gravely concerned about the proposed emasculating of the powers of Ontario’s Conservation Authorities buried in the so-called COVID-19 recovery budget. Those powers were put in place after the war, and later strengthened after Hurricane Hazel, because of the flooding and devastation it wrought.

Our CAs help municipalities and developers choose the least harmful course when it comes to their projects. Conservation Authorities protect our natural areas like wetlands and forests and in that way help protect the people of this province from the risks of flooding and contamination of water sources. And we know those risks are on the rise.

In addition to providing us with clean water, oxygen, and flood mitigation, forests and wetlands also sequester carbon and provide important habitat for our fellow creatures. In part due to habitat loss, vertebrate animal populations have shrunk an average of 60 percent since 1970. And we have very little natural habitat left as urbanization increases.

More than 150 organizations, mayors, municipalities and nonprofits are urging the Ford government to preserve the powers of our Conservation Authorities by removing Schedule 6 from the budget bill.

This past weekend, former Conservative MP David Crombie resigned as chair of the Greenbelt Council, along with six other council members, because of this assault on our Conservation Authorities. They felt they were not being heard.

What will it take for this government to listen to, and care about, the average person in this province? And about leaving us with a healthy, habitable home?

When will they put the “conserve” back in “Conservative”?

Ginny Colling, Scugog

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