A STRANGE WAY TO HELP
DOUG FORD DECLARED: "I'M HERE TO HELP." Then he cut flood management programs in half.
The Ontario premier visited the Ottawa region a little while ago to survey the damage that the floods of the century were wreaking all along the Ottawa River. From Pembroke to Clarence Creek homeowners were sandbagging as volunteers and the army helped to shore up the riverside against an unrelenting stream of water. The result of his in person visit--the way he chose to help--was to slash funding to flood management programs.
Conservation authorities are funded by the provincial government. They forecast flooding and issue warnings, monitor stream flow, regulate development activities in flood plains, educate the public about flooding and protect natural cover that helps reduce the impacts of flooding. Ford's Natural Resources and Forestry Minister John Yakabuski said the government cuts were required as part of an effort to eliminate the deficit. But the cuts were no reason for the conservation authorities to reduce their flood control programs.
Their response was predictably curt and consisted of one word. How?
Like school boards who have been told to maintain all their school programs and hospitals who have been told to serve all patients and libraries who had half their service monies cut but still offer interlibrary loans and other services, conservation authorities have only half the capacity to prevent floods.
Maybe Doug should put a sandbag where it would matter the most and stop talking about wanting to help.
If he really wanted to help, he would stop cutting funding and service and programs that help people get through some very difficult times.
Just ask all the families that now see their homes under water.
Stand Up. Fight Back. Don’t Give Up.