"
Most of the other other developments around the
village of Stittsville are also built on wetlands.
"


Reported in ...
 

The Stittsville News

 



July 26, 2005

Letter: There is a definite dual standard here

Dear Editor:

The City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario are attempting to designate 650 acres west of Stittsville as wetland, against the wishes of the property owners who are being asked to foot the bill and whose land will be effectively frozen if the designation succeeds.  The motivation of the City is to protect and preserve the supposed wetlands, so it is reasonable to examine the City's record in this respect.
 

In the Goulbourn area alone, the village of Stittsville has seen massive development since the introduction of Municipal water and sewer services about 25 years ago.  Since then, there has been, and is ongoing, wholesale development of wetlands in and around the village of Stittsville.

 

 
 
There is no reason that wetland within suburban areas should be treated any differently than wetland in rural areas.

 
 


In Stittsville, Brown’s Supermarket and the adjoining strip mall, at the junction of Main Street and Hazeldean Road, is built on wetland, as is the housing development directly east of it.  There is currently development of wetland north of this area, across the Hazeldean Road.  The current controversy about expanding the Stittsville Tim Horton's is another case in point.  Does anyone doubt that it will go ahead despite the environmental protests. 

Most of the other other developments around the village of Stittsville are also built on wetlands. 

There is no reason that wetland within suburban areas should be treated any differently than wetland in rural areas.  In theory, this is already the case but, in practice, wetland within suburban areas is not effectively protected and gets developed.  The City must then find wetland in rural areas to designate in order to satisfy the environmental lobbyists.  However, designating more wetland does not create new wetland whereas developing wetland destroys it
permanently.  Indeed, the new wetlands that the city is ‘creating’ to compensate for development are contrived, rather than real, wetlands. 

There is a definite dual standard here.  Urban residents and councilors are permitting the destruction of wetlands for suburban development.  Then they turn around and tell the rural residents that ‘we’ need to preserve 'our' environment.  Perhaps the urban residents and councilors should look in the mirror and in their own backyards before preaching to others about the environment.

 
 
 
...the new wetlands that the city is ‘creating’ to compensate for development are contrived, rather than real, wetlands.

 
 
 

Of course, these people have ample excuses: “the land was never officially designated as wetland”, or “the OMB made us do it”.  Nevertheless, real wetland is being destroyed.  And many of these same people are condoning and encouraging such development by living in houses built on wetland.  We have never heard of an urban resident campaigning to do the environmentally responsible thing and boycott such housing. 

It appears that the City and Province only protect wetlands that no-one wants to develop.  That's no protection at all.  Given their record, we have to conclude that wetlands are safer in the hands of private landowners than they are in the custody of the City and Province. 

Until the City is prepared to protect existing wetlands in suburban areas, it should cease and desist from harassing rural residents.
 

Tony Walker
Flewellyn Road
Stittsville


 

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