View topic - Ontario Budget 2020... parks, conservation, environment...

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PostPosted: November 8th, 2020, 11:14 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
The Government of Ontario highlighted $6 Million in funding for Ontario Parks in their recent 2020 Ontario Budget, with 2021 being the “year of the Ontario staycation”.

Vacationing in Ontario (staycationing) may allow staycationers to claim a 20% tax credit to reduce costs of in-Ontario tourism. This has not been finalized yet, so specifics are not included in the budget statement.

I've bolded some sections that may be most relevant here. The amendment to the Parks Act to increase fiscal sustainability isn't specific.

Supporting the Environment, Parks and Conservation

The people of Ontario are passionate about the great outdoors and the natural spaces that communities offer. This is why the government is investing in the following suite of initiatives that would help enhance economic recovery, while continuing to support the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.

Enhancing Ontario Parks

The tourism sector has been especially negatively impacted by COVID‑19. The outdoor tourism sector has increased in importance as people look for more opportunities to safely enjoy the outdoors. Demand to visit provincial parks increased as a direct result of COVID‑19 and the disruptions to the travel sector. Upgrades to Ontario Parks facilities and services will support increased visitation and provide an additional boost to the recovery of the outdoor tourism sector. Visitors to Ontario Parks create spin-off benefits to local communities, especially in regions across Southern Ontario and in the North. The government is supporting economic recovery of these communities and tourism businesses to increase visitation and improve fiscal resilience by:

- Investing one-time funding of $6 million to electrify more campsites, and revitalize and expand the number of roofed accommodations;

- Providing online delivery to supplement Discovery Education programs; and

- Amending the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006 to increase fiscal sustainability.

These enhancements to Ontario Parks will complement the government’s initiatives to preserve jobs, support businesses and help the tourism sector recover from the impacts of COVID‑19. See the 2021 – Year of Ontario’s Staycation section earlier in this chapter for more details.

Preserving and Protecting the Environment
Supporting a Greener Economy

The government has successfully developed a made-in-Ontario alternative to the federal Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS) for emission reductions. In September 2020, the federal government accepted Ontario’s Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) program as an alternative to the OBPS. Ontario’s EPS will help the province achieve its share of Canada’s 2030 emission reduction targets while supporting economic growth.

In August 2020, the government launched Ontario’s first-ever multi-sector climate change impact assessment, anticipated to be released in 2022. This study will include a comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts on Ontario’s communities, economies and the natural environment, and will provide information to help to strengthen the province’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Strengthening Conservation Partnerships

Spending time in nature and green spaces has a positive impact on a person’s health and well-being. The government is committed to working with partners and conservation leaders to preserve more areas of significant ecological importance, protect natural areas and promote the importance of healthy, natural spaces.

This is why the government will partially match private contributions to the Greenlands Conservation Partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance. This investment of $20 million over four years will be used to help conservation partners purchase new privately owned protected areas, and for the restoration and management of those properties. Through this support, the people of Ontario and future generations will have even more trails and green spaces to use and enjoy.

The government is also looking to expand the quantity and quality of the Greenbelt for future generations. This includes expanding conservation space by exploring the potential to support a large near-urban provincial park at East Humber Headwaters in King Township.

Empowering Earth Rangers

Taking concrete action to address various environmental challenges requires everyone’s collective involvement. To support the environment, the government is investing $100,000 over two years in Earth Rangers, a youth-focused conservation organization dedicated to educating children and their families about biodiversity, inspiring them to adopt sustainable behaviours and empowering them to become directly involved in protecting animals and their habitats. The investment would support Earth Rangers’ efforts to educate children and youth in areas related to several of the government’s important environmental mandates such as species at risk, protected areas, climate change and litter.

Protecting the Great Lakes

Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is a key commitment in the Province’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan. In September 2020, the government committed to investing about $7.5 million to contribute to the health of the Great Lakes and watersheds, an important part of Ontario’s economic prosperity and well-being.


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