We must draw attention to the reductions in the protection of the ecosystem from recent Ontario Government actions and proposals.
- Endangered Species Act proposals will reduce the protection for species at risk.
- Conservation Authorities Act proposals and cuts will decrease the CA capabilities for support of conservation activities including flood control.
- They are cancelling a tree-planting program. Those who are involved warn that the move will lead to the loss of jobs and environmental benefits that forests provide.
- The cancellation of the Cap and Trade system was a costly move that required the Federal government to step in. The proposed gasoline pump stickers may be illegal due to use of half-truths
- It is reported that the cuts to services for various ministries are as follows: Environment, Conservation and Parks 36%, Natural Resources & Forestry 19%, Municipal Services 25%. It is seems certain that these Ministries will not be able to continue to provide all of the valuable ecosystem services that we need.
All of this (as well as other cuts) are being done in the name of reducing the deficit with no mention of providing the necessary income to maintain these useful services. The existence of adequate taxation room is indicated by the growing inequality of income and wealth in Ontario over recent decades. The claim of reduction in red tape hardly seems credible in these cases.
By Don Kerr, Member of Board of Directors and Watershed Action Group