Ont. transfer payments to conservation authorities for flood management reduced by half

Ground Water Canada
April 15, 2019
By Ground Water Canada
Newmarket, Ont. – Provincial funding for conservation authority programs that warn people about flooding and help protect property from costly damages has been reduced by half as a result of the 2019 Ontario Budget.

Using a watershed-based approach, conservation authorities deliver effective and cost efficient flood management programs across the province, partnering for many years with the Province, municipalitiesand others," said Conservation Ontario in a news release. Before this reduction $7.4 million in provincial funding was shared across the 36 conservation authorities towards this work.

“The impacts of these reductions will vary from CA to CA; however,they will all be felt immediately, particularly in smaller and more rural conservation authorities,” said Kim Gavine, general manager of Conservation Ontario. Gavine said cutting natural hazards funding is particularly problematic right now in light of the fact that Canada is experiencing stronger and more frequent flood events as a result of climate change impacts, Gavine added.

Conservation authorities' responsibilities include forecasting flooding and issuing warnings; monitoring streamflow, rainfall and snow packs; mapping floodplains; managing and operating $2.7 billion in flood infrastructure such as dams and dykes; regulating development activities in floodplains; contributing to municipal emergency planning and preparedness activities; educating the public about flooding; protecting, restoring and rehabilitating natural cover that helps reduce the impacts of flooding.

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