April 15, 2012
A province-wide group has requested Queen’s Park and Ottawa provide funds to replant trees in towns and cities across Canada in reaction to the devastation caused by the emerald ash borer.

“We’re recognizing this is going to cost municipalities millions of dollars,” says Toni Ellis, president of the Ontario Urban Forest Council. “Trees will have to be taken down and replanting done. We think that given the value of trees, the province and the feds should jump in.”

The council, a non-profit organization dedicated to the health of urban forests, estimates the total damage from the pest in Canada will amount to $2 billion.

In February, Ellis’s group sent a notice to Ontario’s 440 municipal councils asking them to back a resolution that calls for provincial and federal governments to establish urban forestry mandates and programs which includes funding assistance for the control of and management of the emerald ash borer and any future significant imported diseases and insects.