Green Party leader criticizes Ontario's flood strategy

Green Party leader criticizes Ontario's flood strategy | Insurance Business Canada

Green Party leader criticizes Ontario's flood strategy

After the provincial government of Ontario unveiled its flood strategy, Green Party of Ontario leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner called out the plan for not providing any details about a flood fund.

The Flooding Strategy has a list of recommendations on how Ontario residents can better manage flooding risks, but the plan does not mention anything about the province setting up a fund to reimburse the costs of anti-flood measures.

Read more: Ontario unveils flood strategy

According to Schreiner, the provincial government has actively worked to undercut flood prevention efforts – including cancelling a tree planting program and budget cuts to conservation authorities.

“The fact that there’s no funding attached to any of the recommendations in the strategy makes me think the government isn’t taking this as serious as they need to,” he said.

However, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski explained in another statement that the new strategy is not meant to prevent floods.

“They can’t be prevented,” Yakabuski told CBC News in an interview.

The strategy is intended to enhance Ontario’s system for flood forecasting, and then alert municipalities and property owners of any rising water risks.

“So, by having that information, we’re in a better position to predict — nothing’s perfect — but to predict when and where floods might occur and, to some degree, the veracity of them,” the minister said.

Yakabuski added that the government is investing $4.7 million in the warning system. He, however, did not disclose if the government is considering funding flood mitigation efforts.

Schreiner pointed out that it is less expensive to prevent a flood than to pay for the resulting damages.

“It’s so short sighted and fiscally irresponsible for the government to take this approach,” the MPP remarked.