Dave Guergis proposes: moving CA planning powers to Simcoe County
Reccent exchange on www.stopdumpsite41.ca regarding conservation authorities
From Essa Mayor Dave Guergis – May 20 2010
First off the NVCA has grown to over 35 staff with a budget approaching $4,000,000. Almost $2.500,000 in wages. take a look at there budget and see where the money is spent. In Essa our levy has grown by 249.8% over a 9 year period. I sat on the NVCA board in the 90s when we where doing rehabilitation projects like increasing tree coverage on the Boyne river, We successfully reduced the water temperature and the fish returned to spawn . That is called environmental repair. I was also the one how fought to keep the NVCA from being dissolved in the 90s after a Councilor from the town of Collingwood put it on the floor to dissolve them at that time for running a deficit of i think around $160,000.
What I propose is that planning be moved to the upper tier so you would have local and then upper tier or 2 steps of planning with the same legislation adhered to . Now the huge savings be dedicated to a newly formed group to do strictly environmental repair , tree planting , erosion prevention, flood proofing , fishery management, etc.. A major task of the newly formed group would be to solicit corporate partnerships. I think we could easily double our $4mil budget and to also search out groups such as yours to help with these projects. But first off we must use the valuable data already collected by the CAs to develop a long range strategic repair plan. We are falling behind quickly and this plan would solve the problem.
As for site 41 what bothers many elected officials is that the site 41 group fought so hard to stop a fully engineered land fill while the waste from certain municipalities was being trucked to “unengineered” land fills over the same aquifer as site 41. So the argument was not about land fills or the aquifer it was about one particular site. And their waste continues to be trucked to their neighbors ?. I know I am not making sense again, right..Dave
From Oro Medonte Councillor Sandy Agnew May 22, 2010 – I served two years on the NVCA board
-NVCA still does as much or more “restoration” work than in the 90s as do most CAs.
– Protecting existing ecological functions from development is far superior because restoration efforts after destruction seldom if ever equal the original conditions.
– Plan review is the most critical function of CAs. Flooding is a natural part of the river ecology. And it is getting more severe with climate change. No one can prevent flooding but we can prevent loss of lives and property damage by not building in the flood plain.
– It is cheaper to maintain the current flood plain than to try to recreate either a new flood plain or new ecological features and functions.
– Filling in flood plains creates more flooding downstream.
– It is essential to have an independent plan review agency to prevent developers from destroying the ecological functions of the watershed.
– In my opinion CAs often have too much political interference in their work to protect the environment.
-Their budgets to prosecute offenders is woefully inadequate.
– In my 3 years on council and the LSRCA board I have been lobbied by several developers’ frontmen, two of whom are former city mayors.
– CAs have legislated powers – municipal service agencies and associations such as SSEA have no such powers.
– LSRCA was severely criticized by Ladies of the Lake and Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition but the LSRCA still plays a major and critical role in the implementation of the Lake Simcoe Protection Act and Lake Simcoe Protection Plan as it should
From Kate Harries WaterWatch May 23 2010
Recent developments on the issue of the property owned by Leesa Turnbull, the mayor’s wife: In a recorded vote on Friday May 14, the board of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority allowed the Canadian Tire development to proceed if it meets a number of conditions, but nixed her proposal to reserve a portion of her 305 Mill St. property for future development (see recorded vote 1, below). That must be preserved as floodway, the board decided (recorded vote 2). However the board agreed to a request from Turnbull’s planner that evaluation be based on a 2005 aerial survey of the topography, rather than an on-the-ground survey conducted in 2008 that found, after trees had been cleared, a loss in elevation placing the whole property in the floodway, where development is prohibited.
May 14 2010-NVCA-Turnbull-CTire-recorded vote 1
May 14 2010-NVCA-Turnbull-CTire-recorded vote 2