CRC objections to Carp River flood plain development validated

Today (February 5, 2008) is a red-letter day in the long struggle to bring sanity to the proposed development in Kanata West. As a result of being given the computer model for post-development flood level analysis on the Carp River, Ted Cooper, a City water resource engineer who was pulled off the project in 2004 when he raised objections, was able to point to egregious errors in the model. (He was given the model because he has appealed three Carp River-related zoning amendments to the Ontario Municipal Board.)

The media are focusing on the biggest error — that the run-off from the 700 hectares of development was not included in the calculation — but there are several more. This one error could raise post-development flood levels by as much as half a meter; the additional errors could add as much again.

Read Ted Cooper’s letters to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor Larry O’Brien.

Ottawa Citizen coverage on Feb 5 2008, page A1:  Patrick Dare   Randall Denley

(Note: there are some factual errors in both stories.)

Follow-up story in The Citizen [You need an OPL card number to access these articles], on the Mayor congratulating Ted Cooper.

Ottawa Citizen Editorial, Feb 6 2008, p. C4.

Two letters to the Editor – Ottawa Citizen, Feb 7 2008.

An article also appeared in the Vancouver Sun, Feb 5, 2008.

CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning, 5 Feb 2008) : report by Alistair Steele and interview with Councillor Peggy Feltmate.

CBC News web site. CBC Radio’s All in a Day. CBC Television News at 6. CTV News at 6. Ottawa Business Journal [no longer found online].

Again on CBC Radio News, 6 Feb 2008; on Ottawa Morning, an interview with Ms. Sommerville of Canadians for Properly Built Homes.

See also a page put together by John Almstedt.

Surely the prize for the most ill-founded comment, as quoted in the Citizen, comes from Minto’s Jack Sterling. He says they may not be able to build in the flood plain but then may not have to improve the flow of the Carp River either. As if run-off from the 672 hectares of proposed development outside the flood plain would not have to be accommodated! Sooner or later, the solution that Ted Cooper and the Carp River Coalition have been advocating — that improving the Carp River requires improving it up to its “sufficient outlet” (near Carp Village) — will have to be taken seriously.

The Coalition, Ted Cooper and Ottawa Riverkeeper have been waiting since July 2006 for a response from the Minister to their Request for a Part II Order under the Environmental Assessment Act that the Class Environmental Assessments for Kanata West be elevated to a full-blown Individual assessment. The City has now asked that the Minister put his decision on hold.

Councillors are asking that a third-party assessment be made. The City’s Auditor General will issue his report on the Kanata West/Carp River mess in May. This story is not over, but it seems finally to be heading in the right direction. The residents of Ottawa owe Ted Cooper a huge measure of gratitude for his persistence in protecting the public interest.

Erwin Dreessen