On November 19, 2014, Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, sent out letters to two parties who had requested a Part II Order and to the City, allowing the widening of Old Richmond Road through Stony Swamp to go ahead but setting three conditions prior to construction.
The conditions are not onerous but require the City to work extra hard to minimize impact on Stony Swamp. The letter to the Greenspace Alliance continues with eight pages of responses to concerns raised in our letter of March 2, 2014.
It is unfortunate that for the sake of saving four minutes in commuter time the powers-that-be decided against a serious consideration of expanding Fallowfield Road, thus avoiding an impact on Stony Swamp altogether. Putting the best face on it, these two points are noteworthy:
+ page 9 of the Response puts a strong burden on the NCC:
"The National Capital Commission is in the process of completing its Stony Swamp Habitat Restoration Plan which will identify the future desired ecological conditions for Stony Swamp and a prioritization of restoration actions. As part of the federal environmental effects analysis, the National Capital Commission will conduct a comprehensive environmental study of the Project's potential effects on Stony Swamp. The National Capital Commission will require the City to implement strict mitigation alternatives as part of the Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation."
+ pages 10-11 of the response again make reference to the Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation and outline what mitigation measures will be considered. Unfortunately there is still no specific mention of wildlife movement beyond endangered species and turtles.
In short, continued vigilance will be required to ensure that the best possible mitigation plan is devised and implemented. The ball is now essentially in the NCC's court to ensure adherence to standards and values as expressed in various policy statements.
Erwin - 28 November 2014
On September 17, 2014, Minister Lisa Raitt replied:
Dear Mr. Dreessen:
Thank you for your correspondence of April 15, 2014, which was also addressed to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and the Honourable Glen R. Murray, Ontario’s former Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, concerning your organization’s Part II Order request for the proposed Hope Side Road–Old Richmond–West Hunt Club Corridor Environmental Study Report. Please accept my apology for the delay in replying.
I should note that, although Transport Canada is not involved in this specific project, I appreciate your concern for the ecological heritage of the National Capital Greenbelt. These are values that are shared by all levels of government, and I have confidence that Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Glen R. Murray, will give full consideration to your request and render a fair and informed decision.
Again, thank you for writing.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Transport
c.c. The Honourable Diane Finley, P..C., M.P.
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
The Honourable Steven Del Duca, M.P.P.
Minister of Transportation
Government of Ontario
The Honourable Glen R. Murray, M.P.
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Government of Ontario
The Centretown News published an article by Garrett Barry dated 24 October about our fourth proposition, on the role of advisory committees:
It includes comments from Jim Watson and Martin Canning.
E.D. - 25 October 2014