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FRASER WETLANDS IN THE NEWS! Check out the coverage of Day One of the OMB Hearing:
All in all, a good first week for FFW!
• On the first day, FFW and Curve Lake First Nation lawyer David Donnelly introduced a motion to shift the hearing location from Wilson Park Community Centre in Woodview, ON, to Curve Lake First Nation during the days the Board will hear testimony concerning cultural heritage/archaeological issues.
After discussion about the logistics and scheduling involved in making the move, and suggestions on the part of the proponent’s lawyer that it would disrupt the flow of his expert witnesses testimony, the motion was granted. The hearing will shift to facilities at Curve Lake on Tuesday, October 4, 9:30 a.m. (We’ll update if there’s any change to this schedule.)
• It was also decided that Participant Statements would be read on Monday, September 26, 12:30 pm.
• The afternoon of the first day began with the developer’s planner, Peter Josephs of Ecovue Consulting Services in Peterborough, walking the board and gallery through the development plan with some focus on the size, nature and features of the property.
• Mr. Josephs introduction was followed by the testimony of Chris Ellingwood, owner of Niblett Environmental Associates, Inc. of Lindsay, the developer’s environmental expert. Mr. Ellingwood testified that he had been studying the subject property for 20 years. The developer’s lawyer questioned Mr. Ellingwood until the following afternoon, when FFW lawyer David Donnelly began his cross-examination, which ran over to the following day.
• Under cross examination, Mr. Ellingwood revealed a number of weaknesses in his assessment of the property and conceded that in terms of the 30 metre shoreline buffer – a much touted feature of the development plan that is designed to be left untouched with NO shoreline development or activity – “People will do what they want.”
• Next up, the developer’s phosphorous and lake capacity expert, Mike Varty, and the developer’s stormwater expert, Ken Smith, who was seemingly unaware that the property’s West Bay – an area of intense (proposed) development and a prime stormwater drainage area – is a provincially significant wetland. Mr. Smith also conceded that he hadn’t considered the effect of chemicals such as winter road salt or calcium chloride as a dust suppressant on the wetlands.
• Monday the hearing will commence at 2 pm in order to accommodate a scheduling conflict.
Stay tuned for details!