MPs jointly push for ACAP funding
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.