Ministerial Order: Objections To Kanata West Proposals Vindicated

Minister issues Order under s. 16 (3) of the EAA

On July 21, 2008, just over two years after receiving “Part II Order Requests“, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment responded with an Order to the City regarding all further development in the Kanata West area.

In addition to the arguments put forward by the Part II Order Requesters, the 6-page letter [467 KB] refers to the City’s own request of January 25 to halt the Ministry’s review in light of errors discovered in the modeling underlying all the environmental assessments and project proposals; to a February 8 memo from the City’s planning director about interim development (updated versions are here – 550 KB); and to the Auditor General’s report.

In light of all this, the letter issues an Order under section 16 (3) of the Environmental Assessment Act, imposing a long series of Conditions in respect of all 22 Projects now held up (not just those subject to Part II Order Requests). Highlights:

+Following the Third Party Review which Council authorized on June 25, the proponents (City and KWOG) are to report to the Ministry on the implication of its findings for the 22 Projects.
+The City must come clean on its flood plain policy.
+The findings of the Third Party Review must be applied to all previously submitted reports.
+The proponents must come up with a detailed phasing plan.
+The City must incorporate all that in Updated Project Documentation and may have to issue a new Notice of Completion with provisions for appeal.

To top it off, the letter puts great stress on climate change adaptation and urges the proponents to consider the implications for these projects.

Finally, the letter reminds the City and KWOG that failure to comply with this Order is subject to prosecution under section 38 of the EAA. In closing, the letter makes reference to an earlier letter from an MOE Director spelling out in detail additional information required for future applications under the Ontario Water Resources Act for sewage works and storm water management facilities in Kanata West.

Comment
At last the Carp River / Kanata West debacle is turning in a positive direction! The Minister’s Order is a strong vindication of the concerns expressed by critics of the proposals. The City and Kanata West Owners Group have only themselves to blame for the delay. City engineer Ted Cooper was removed from the project in 2004 for asking the kind of questions which are now contained in the Order. The Carp River Coalition for a while in 2006 had a constructive dialogue with some owner representatives, working towards an expanded scope of River restoration — to its ‘sufficient outlet’ near the Village of Carp. That dialogue has fallen silent.

It is never too late to turn a threat into an opportunity.

Erwin Dreessen
26 July 2008

Letters:
The Minister’s cover letter to the Carp River Coalition
The Minister’s letter and Order to the City (467 KB)
The Director, EAAB’s letter to the City
Update:
Follow-up letter from the Director, EAAB, dated September 5, 2008 (2.1 MB)

Media coverage:
Patrick Dare, Ottawa Citizen, 26 July 2008, page A1 [article no longer online]