• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Flood-prone communities in South Simcoe question province’s priorities

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In Agencies
May 13th, 2019
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Doug Hevenor

Doug Hevenor

Concerns rise as funding dries up for conservation authorities

by Brad Pritchard Alliston Herald

Shortly after this year’s provincial budget was tabled, a steady stream of stories began to surface about all the funding cutbacks rolling out across the province, targeting everything from public health units to libraries, conservation authorities and many others.

One of these decisions was a 50 per cent reduction to the funding the province provided to conservation authorities to help deliver flood hazard reduction programs.

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA), which has jurisdiction in 18 municipalities with a coverage area of approximately 3,700 square kilometres, had an annual budget of $417,000 for the program. A little less than half of that, about $188,000, was covered by the province. The province will now only provide half of that amount, or just over $90,000.

The NVCA has received the same amount of provincial funding since 1995 to help deliver the program, according to chief administrative officer Doug Hevenor.

To make up for the shortfall, he said, the agency will look at reducing all noncritical program spending and will also seek alternate funding sources.

While the program will still be delivered as normal, he said he expects it to run a deficit this year of about $20,000.

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