McGuinty's Two Cents Worth

Dalton McGuinty's government has shown once again how much they care about landowners and their property. The Stewardship Fund of $18 million over 4 years is nothing short of a joke.

The State of Washington in the U.S. is offering $2.7 billion in tax credits over 10 years to landowners who take steps to help endangered species recover:

March 01, 2007 — By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Save the species, save a buck. Landowners frustrated by the Endangered Species Act might get a carrot instead of the stick under a proposed revision of the law that would offer them tax incentives to give the critters a home. That approach is emerging as a narrower alternative to a comprehensive overhaul of the endangered species law, a priority for Republicans before Democrats took control of Congress this year. While environmentalists credit the law with saving and reviving species like the bald eagle and spotted owl, many farm and property rights groups contend it unduly restricts legitimate land uses, provoking lawsuits instead of helping plants and animals.
Several senators, including the Democratic chairman and senior Republican on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, are supporting a bill offering to $2.7 billion in tax credits over 10 years to landowners who take steps to help endangered species recover. "In one way or another, this bill has been about five years in creation," Sen. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, the legislation's chief sponsor, said Wednesday. Rather than amend the Endangered Species Act, the bill offers landowners an incentive to abide by it, in contrast to the "more regulatory" approach now being taken, Crapo said.
Last year, the House passed a bill by then-Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., that would have stopped the government from designating "critical habitat" where development is limited. The legislation stalled in the Senate and environmentalists successfully targeted Pombo for defeat in the November election.
Some advocacy groups, including Environmental Defense and the National Wildlife Federation, have joined the American Farm Bureau Federation in supporting Crapo's bill.
"For too long now, we've been relying exclusively on regulations that had the unintended consequence of pitting landowners and environmentalists against each other," said Michael Bean, senior attorney for Environmental Defense.
Source: Associated Press

Just to put this in perspective:

Washington State-

  • 68,192 square miles
  • $2.7 billion in tax credits

This boils down to:

  • $39,594/sq mile over 10 years or
  • $3,959.40/sq mile each year $6.19/ acre

In Ontario-

  • 415,598 square miles
  • $18 million Stewardship Fund

This boils down to:

  • $43.31/sq mile over 4 years or
  • $10.83/sq mile each year
  • $0.02 cents/acre

There are 640 acres per square mile and in Ontario that means a potential wind fall of 0.02 cents per acre. When a farmer wants to rent land the cost to him is $200/ acre-a far cry from the 0.02 cents the government wants to pay when they deem his property habitat for endangered species.

Environmentalists and their puppet politicians in Ontario are going to have to come to the same conclusion that they did in the U.S. because landowners will not stand still as the government steals their land.

There are thousands and thousands of acres of Crown Land, why doesn't the government use their own land and develop it as habitat for endangered species?

There is a breeding program for the endangered Loggerhead Shrike. They are being bred and raised by caregivers. These birds are being released in selected areas. Bird watchers in the area are watching for the birds and are reporting their sightings. (They have no respect for landowners, in some cases opening gates and trespassing on private land, one farmer lost 32 cows because of an open gate). If a Loggerhead Shrike is found on a property the possibility of that land being designated habitat is very high (up 124 acres for a nesting pair is designated) and this for a bird that was not there naturally but planted there. Let's remember birds migrate and some of these birds will not stay in the same spot. Remember too, there were several species at risk many years ago that have made a remarkable recovery without the ‘Species at Risk Act'.

All this is doing is giving the Liberal Government more control over our land which is also why the Federal Liberals won't enshrine property rights in the constitution.

Ken Turnbull

Director, Glengarry Landowners' Association

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