RRCA faces financial uncertainty

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
RRCA faces financial uncertainty
The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA). (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News photo).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is anxiously waiting for the provincial government to release its funding plans for 2020 as staff need more information to plan for future budgets, according to General Manager Richard Pilon.

“Our question is, are we going to get more cuts? Or will we be able to live with the amount of funding given going forward…they’re not telling us much right now,” said Pilon.

Last week, long-time RRCA employee Normand Génier, Forestry Specialist, was released of his duties. Pilon maintains that this was ‘not necessarily’ directly related to the Ford government cancelling the 50 Million Tree Program last month.

“His position was eliminated…a week ago,” said Pilon. “Certainly, the funding cut to the program does not help…but it’s (related to) part of a review of everything we do here.”

Pilon said that staff continually review all of the forestry programs and services prior to the funding cut announcement, assessing if the right services and programs are delivered at the right times. Pilon said the job elimination was part of restructuring within the authority that has been happening for the past few years.

“(We are) looking at the 2020 budget…we are aware of potential cuts that might be happening next year…looking really at the big picture,” said Pilon. “It is all part of restructuring and moving forward as a Conservation Authority…”

In Génier’s absence, Pilon said that other staff are qualified to carry out program duties, an example including assessing butternut trees.

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