Save the Walleye applied for the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) in February.
Projects aimed at the conservation and protection of fish or fish habitat or the restoration of fish habitat within the municipal boundaries of the City of Kawartha Lakes.
To restore the two most important prime historic spawning beds in the Kawartha Lakes in order to conserve and protect walleye.
Sounds like we should be eligible, right?
NOPE! We were declined.
We requested $25000 to cover materials and supplies (silt curtain, large limestone boulders, rock, rock delivery, high hoe, high hoe operator) and we reflected an in-kind contribution of $100 000 that we would have had to pay if Kawartha Conservation hadn’t generously offered to fill out this expensive form for us. Both cash + in-kind contributions are used to calculate whether applicants meet a minimum funding request of $75 000 (the fine paid by the COKL for habitat destruction elsewhere in the COKL).
The reason for our rejected application was that we only asked for $25 000. First of all, that’s not the case. With in-kind contributions, our funding request wa $125 000. Secondly, isn’t it so very government that if you only need $25 000 to make a major change, you have to triple that amount in order to qualify for government help?
After several emails back and forth with the program officer about the ambiguous language for funding requirements, and though not stated anywhere in the application instructions or in the fund description, the only applications considered by the MOE were those who asked for exactly $75 000.
To understand why we feel something fishy is going on, read the correspondence between Save the Walleye and the program officer:
I have attached a copy of the application that was received to the Environmental Damages Fund. I’m not able to see where your request of $126,450 is reflected, I only see the $24,700. The website and call for proposals indicated that there was $75,000 of funding available, and that projects had to apply for that amount. Unfortunately even if the request was $126,450, this too would have been deemed ineligible as it would be requesting more funds than what is available.
To clarify, are you saying that if the request for funding was for less than $75 000 or for more than $75 000 that applicants were ineligible to receive these funds? An applicant must have requested exactly $75 000 to qualify as eligible for the Environmental Damages Fund?
You are correct; the total request had to be the exact amount of the funds available, $75,000 to be eligible.
This conversation went on for several more months with STW asking for admission of wrongdoing. But government follows an unvaliant practice of not doing that. We dropped our pursuit of an honorable apology and shook our heads in tired defeat.