Ontario government cancels program to plant 50 million trees
A healthy amount of trees is considered superfluous, it seems, under Ontario Premier Doug Ford's new cost-cutting regime.
The Canadian Press reported Thursday morning that Ford's PC government has cancelled a tree planting program that would have seen some 50 million new trees planted across Ontario by 2025.
Fitting titled the "50 Million Tree Program," the initiative started in 2008 with an annual budget of roughly $4.7 million. More than 27 million trees have already been planted as a result but, sadly for the health of our forests, the program's funding has been pulled.
Forests Ontario CEO Rob Keen said he was told the by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that the program was being eliminated as a way to cut costs following the announcement of 2019's contentious provincial budget.
"Premier (Doug) Ford wants to reduce the deficit and this was... something they thought was expendable," Keen said to the Canadian Press.
"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."
Keen says that 40 per cent forest cover is needed in Ontario "to ensure forest sustainability." Right now, we're sitting at an average of 26 per cent with some areas showing numbers as low as five per cent forest cover.
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