Farms Flooded by Municipal Waters

While we watch the devastating floods in southern Alberta, we have our own flooding problems here in Ontario. In Bradford, millions of dollars of crops have been lost after a dike broke for the second time in three weeks. Farmers are blaming the unusually high water levels in Lake Simcoe for the damage and have called on the federal and provincial governments and the conservation authority to address the situation.

A similar situation is playing out in Ottawa in North Gower where close to 1000 acres of farmland have been flooded.

Appeals to Parks Canada, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), and the City of Ottawa at a meeting on Thursday June 20th resulted in little more than excuses and finger pointing among the three levels of government. Over 70 farmers and members of the Ontario Landowners attended the meeting to hold the government, and in particular, the RVCA to account.

Despite being warned of the rising waters over three weeks ago and with their office in the same neighbourhood as the flooded farmland, they claim they were unaware of the situation. Conservation authorities conduct watershed studies; pester private property owners about wetlands and floodplains, block renovations and construction but they seem to have forgotten their original mandate to protect private property from flooding and erosion. Its time they returned to this original responsibility!