Ontario cancelling $4.7M tree-planting program

Ontario cancelling $4.7M tree-planting program
Canadian Press
April 25, 2019
April 25, 2019 2:45 PM EDT
TORONTO — Ontario is cancelling a tree planting program, with those involved warning the move will lead to the loss of jobs and environmental benefits that forests provide.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry told Forests Ontario the day after the Progressive Conservative government delivered its budget this month that the 50 Million Tree Program was being eliminated.
Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, said since 2008 more than 27 million trees have been planted across Ontario through the program, which saved landowners up to 90 per cent of the costs of large-scale tree planting.
It was started as a carbon sequestration program, Keen said, but planting that many trees also helps clean the air and water, protect shorelines and reduce erosion.
About 40 per cent forest cover is needed to ensure forest sustainability, Keen said, and the average right now in southern Ontario is 26 per cent, with some areas as low as five per cent.
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The program’s annual budget was about $4.7 million, Keen said, and Forests Ontario was told it was being cancelled as a way to cut provincial costs.
“Premier (Doug) Ford wants to reduce the deficit and this was…something they thought was expendable,” Keen said.
“We certainly recognize that with climate change coming it’s going to be more important than ever to have healthy, contiguous, large forests to be able to mitigate climate change and certainly adapt to climate change.”
The majority of the funding went to Forests Ontario’s planting partners, such as conservation groups, stewardship groups and First Nations, who worked with landowners to get trees planted, Keen said.
The government also recently cut funding for conservation authorities’ flood management programs in half.
The CEO of one of the main nurseries that grows seedlings for the program said the cancellation of the 50 Million Tree Program will lead to more erosion in flood zones, as well as poorer air and water quality, warmer lakes and streams without forest cover to shade them, and less wildlife habitat.
“It may be a way for the government to save some money, but it’s very short-sighted and it’s going to cost us a lot more in the future,” said Ed Patchell.
Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said it’s reckless to cut a program that helps prevent flooding, especially at a time when Bracebridge is experiencing a flooding emergency.
“It’s clear that the premier does not believe that the new licence plate slogan ’A place to grow’ applies to trees and forests,” Schreiner said in a statement. “For them, Ontario is no longer a place to grow, but instead a place to get axed.”
Patchell said the loss of the program means about 30 to 40 per cent of Ferguson Tree Nursery’s base income will disappear, and he will likely have to cut six to eight full-time and seasonal staff.
He predicted the cancellation would also lead to layoffs at organizations such as conservation authorities, which partner on the tree planting.
A spokeswoman for Natural Resources and Forestry Minister John Yakabuski said the government is committed to balancing the budget in a responsible manner.
Justine Lewkowicz said in a statement that the forestry industry, which depends on a sustainable supply of wood, is a responsible steward of the province’s forests.
“On average, the forestry industry plants 68 million trees per year, creating jobs for foresters, nurseries, and tree planters,” she wrote.
She did not say how many trees are harvested per year.
NDP natural resources and forestry critic Judith Monteith-Farrell said cancelling the 50 Million Tree Program puts Ontarians at risk.
“Fewer trees will mean more air and water pollution, more erosion in flood zones, less habitat for wildlife and less protection from the accelerating impacts of climate change,” she said in a statement.
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Toronto needs to become its own city province.
Quote: Originally Posted by Johnnny View Post

Toronto needs to become its own city province.

Ford is the Premier of Toronto.

That should be clear by now.
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

Ford is the Premier of Toronto.
That should be clear by now.

And Horgan is a complete and utter idiot. That should also be clear by now. What can you say about a moron who supports the ban on twinning the TMX in one breath, then whines about high gas prices in BC and that Alberta needs to find a way to increase the gas flow into BC in the next breath. There is a way but you stupid f*cks would rather it ship by rail.
Tree nursery to destroy millions of trees due to Ontario cutbacks
Canadian Press
May 6, 2019
May 6, 2019 7:47 AM EDT
The Ontario government has cancelled the 50 Million Tree Program. Trees Ontario Photo
One of the main nurseries for an Ontario tree planting program that’s being scrapped by the province said it will likely have to destroy about three million trees because of the cancellation.
Ed Patchell, CEO of Ferguson Tree Nursery in Kemptville said he can’t afford to pay for staff, supplies and operating expenses to run the nursery and maintain all the trees that are in various stages of growth.
“If we don’t have a potential client to buy those trees, then I can’t afford to keep putting money into it,” Patchell said.
“It’s cheaper to destroy them at a young age than it is at the ship age, plus I don’t have to keep carrying the costs. It’s not something that we want to do, it’s something that we’re going to be forced to do because we can’t financially carry it.”
Last month the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry announced it would cancel the 50 Million Tree Program, which has seen the planting of more than 27 million trees across Ontario since 2008.
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Ferguson Tree Nursery was one of the main nurseries that grew seedlings for the program, which saved landowners up to 90 per cent of the costs of large-scale tree planting.
Patchell said the province allowed for this spring’s tree plant to go ahead, but it won’t continue next year.
His nursery has been growing the trees in fields and green houses in Kemptville through a contract with Forests Ontario, which managed the program and received the provincial funding for it.
The trees then went to planters, conservation authorities, private contractors and stewardship groups. They were planted on private lands to help re-establish forest cover and reclaim sites that weren’t ideal for agriculture throughout the province — primarily in southern Ontario — said Patchell.
Not all the trees are ready for shipping right now, with some of them only a year old, which is a financial challenge for the nursery.
“It can take up to four years before a tree is at a size that it’s actually suitable to ship, so the challenge is, how do we pay to keep growing these things if we don’t have clients?” Patchell said.
“That’s why there’s going to be a certain amount that will have to be destroyed because of that. We actually have more than the three million in the ground, so that’s what we’re looking at, is having to destroy to keep everything affordable.”
Patchell said the cancellation of the program will have an impact on the environment, noting it may lead to soil erosion and reduction of forest cover, air quality, water quality and wildlife habitat.
He doesn’t plan on destroying the trees immediately, but said he can’t carry them all summer. Patchell plans to decide over the next month exactly how many trees need to be destroyed.
“There are some people that are showing some interest in supporting the program, so we’ll have to see what happens,” Patchell said.
“I’ve had lots of people saying, ‘Can I buy 100 trees here or 100 trees there?”‘

Meh, being it was a Liberal program, $4.5 million of that was probably administration and "advertising" costs anyway.

It was started as a carbon sequestration program, Keen said, but planting that many trees also helps clean the air and water, protect shorelines and reduce erosion.

Canada's forests actually emit more carbon than they absorb

Well that darn Alex "CBC" Jones strikes again! Darn him! It's another conspiracy!
Curious Cdn
Trees are Prog stuff.

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