MPs jointly push for ACAP fund­ing

Cape Breton Post - - ENVIRONMENT - BY TOM AY­ERS tay­ers@cb­post.com

SYD­NEY — ACAP Cape Bre­ton and 15 other en­vi­ron­men­tal agen­cies un­der the At­lantic Coastal Action Pro­gram are get­ting some help from lo­cal MPs as they seek word on whether fund­ing is com­ing this year.

Eleanor An­der­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ACAP Cape Bre­ton, said in­terim fund­ing has been ex­tended to fed­er­ally-funded com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­grams in Que­bec, “ but At­lantic Canada is still in the dark.”

She said se­nior staff in Que­bec were ad­vised in De­cem­ber that they would be re­ceiv­ing in­terim funds while the fed­eral gov­ern­ment fi­nal­izes a re­view of the over­all pro­gram fund­ing.

ACAP Cape Bre­ton has ex­isted for about 18 years, through sev­eral changes of gov­ern­ment, pro­vid­ing lo­cal pro­grams and ad­vo­cacy for en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

“One of the rea­sons is it works so well,” An­der­son said.

The agen­cies re­ceive core fund­ing from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, she said, but they are also re­quired to raise other funds, some­thing ACAP Bre­ton has been very suc­cess­ful at.

“Each of the ACAPs get about $80,000 a year and it lever­ages three to one” for the Cape Bre­ton agency, said An­der­son.

Be­cause of that, ACAP Cape Bre­ton won’t have to shut its doors if fund­ing isn’t im­me­di­ately avail­able, she added, but some pro­grams would be threat­ened.

Lib­eral MPs Rodger Cuzner (Cape Bre­ton-Canso) and Mark Eyk­ing (Syd­ney-Vic­to­ria) is­sued a press release this month call­ing on fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Jim Pren­tice to pro­vide an up­date on fund­ing.

“ACAP Cape Bre­ton’s pro­grams pro­vide real, mea­sur­able out­comes like pro­tec­tion of lo­cal ecosys­tems, re­duc­tions in green­house gas emis­sions, and ed­u­ca­tion of youth and com­mu­nity mem­bers on best en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tices,” Cuzner said in the release.

“Since its in­cep­tion in 1992, ACAP has been con­sis­tently funded by En­vi­ron­ment Canada, and has be­come a crit­i­cally im­por­tant part of the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” added Eyk­ing.

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