Trump & Trudeau choose military spending over the Great Lake

Trump & Trudeau choose military spending over the Great Lake

Postby Oscar » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:25 am

Trump & Trudeau choose military spending over the Great Lakes

[ http://canadians.org/blog/trump-trudeau ... reat-lakes ]

March 4, 2017 - 6:00 am

(PHOTO: Bombs being loaded onto a CF-18.)

US President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to slash the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative -- that helps fund the cleaning up the Great Lakes -- by 97 per cent.

Global News reports, "The U.S. government is considering slashing funding for Great Lakes restoration by 97 per cent next year — from US$300 million to $10 million annually, a leaked document shows. 'The scale at which these cuts are being discussed would be devastating', Jordan Lubetkin, spokesperson for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition told the Detroit Free Press. The proposed budget plan for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), obtained by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, also reveals how the EPA’s total budget would be cut by a quarter."

The Great Lakes are the source of drinking water for about 40 million people.

In 2014, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported, "The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched by President Barack Obama in 2009, his first year in office. Initially funded at $475 million, the program received $300 million the next two years and $285 million in 2013. The initiative has invested more than $1.3 billion in more than 1,700 projects to clean up toxic pollution, reduce runoff from cities and farms, restore habitat and fight invasive species such as Asian carp."

The Council of Canadians has called for a $500 million federal budget allocation in this country to implement a Great Lakes Action Plan that would establish a framework for local decision-making, clean up areas of concern, control invasive species, and create an inventory of pollutants.

In 2010, the Harper government allocated $8 million for the Great Lakes and in 2011 it announced an additional $5 million over a two-year period to improve nearshore water and address phosphorous pollution. Water campaigner Emma Lui has noted that the Trudeau government's Budget 2016 allocated just $3.1 million to improve nearshore water and to address phosphorous pollution in Lake Erie.

Meanwhile, Trump has announced that he wants to increase the current $600 billion US military budget by $54 billion. And last month, the Trump administration welcomed the Trudeau government's decision to replace Canada's fleet of CF-18 fighter aircraft. The Liberals claim not to know how much this will cost, but the estimated cost of a single CF-18 is about $75 million. The previous Conservative government had planned to spend about $45.8 billion to buy and maintain a new fleet of fighter jets and this could be in the range of what the Liberals intend to spend as well.

The Liberals have also now indicated they will spend up to $500 million to modernize the military's existing fleet of 77 CF-18 jet fighters.

Trump plans to submit his budget to Congress the week of March 13. Trudeau's finance minister Bill Morneau is expected to table his budget the week of March 20.

#WaterNotWar

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ http://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
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