Conservation Ontario, the non-profit association that represents Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities, has made their submission for the 2019 Ontario Budget Consultation publicly available on their website, and here’s what we’ve learned:
The Province of Ontario currently provides Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities with annual transfer payments of:
- $7.4 million for natural hazards work (flooding and erosion);
- $5 million in matching funds to address flood infrastructure (dams, dykes etc) issues; and
- $7.2 million under the Ontario Drinking Water Source Protection program to protect sources of drinking water.
It’s not clear whether Conservation Ontario believes that this funding is under threat in the cost-cutting milieu of the current government, but the public comments from Kim Gaine, General Manager, Conservation Ontario, makes the case that this funding, which adds up to “less than $1 per year from taxpayers”, reaps many public benefits:
- Saves lives – prevents flooding and protects sources of drinking water.
- Provides early warning to Ontario municipalities about flood events.
- Prevents millions of dollars in additional flood damages to property, reducing the financial and mental stress and dislocation of many residents.
- Makes sure we have enough water for all our needs – people, industry and Ontario’s ecosystems.