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Chapman wants stable conservation authority funds

Oshawa city and regional councillor Bob Chapman wants the Ford government to provide more stable funding for conservation authorities.

Chapman, who is the current chair of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, said the agency, and others across the province, have had a “rough go” over the past few years.

He presented a notice of motion resolving the region ask the province to provide greater funding to prevent downloading of costs to municipalities and to ensure the mandates of conservation authorities are not diminished.

“It’s for our council to say they should not be reducing our funding and should not be diminishing the programs,” Chapman said.

Brock councillor Ted Smith, who seconded Chapman’s motion, said he’s heard the province talk a lot about what it is doing to prevent flooding.

“I think if they put the shoe on the other foot, and kept funding the conservation authorities, we could help reduce some of the flooding,” Smith said.

Brock Mayor Debbie Bath-Haden supported the idea of stable funding but said conservation authorities are causing headaches for local farmers.

“We’ve having a difficult time delivering that message and the message is it’s having an effect on agriculture in Durham Region,” Bath-Haden said. “We see that our agricultural individuals are being slapped with fine after fine.”

However, Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell said it should be expected conservation authorities must be aware of any impacts on local watersheds.

“CLOCA has a role in monitoring agricultural activities near creeks, it’s just a reality,” he said.