"Since the city says its motivation is to protect and preserve supposed
wetlands, it is reasonable to examine the city's record."



From the...



 

THE POLITICS OF WETLAND PROTECTION

 
 
                                                                                   MIKE CARROCCETTO, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

Tony Walker comlains that landowners west of Stittsville will lose financially when 650 acres of rural land are designated as wetland. He critizes a double standard that has permitted destruction of wetland elsewhere in the city for surburban development.
 
 
Environmental practices are all wet
 
The Ottawa Citizen
Sunday, August 7, 2005

The City of Ottawa and the province are designating 650 acres west of Stittsville as wetland, against the wishes of landowners, whose properties will be drastically devalued without compensation, and effectively frozen for development. The affected area involves more than 60 homes and farms.

Since the city says its motivation is to protect and preserve supposed wetlands, it is reasonable to examine the city's record.

In the Goulbourn area, there has been wholesale development of wetlands in and around the village of Stittsville. Brown's Supermarket and the adjoining strip mall are built on wetland, as is the housing development east of it. There is ongoing development of the wetlands directly north of this area.

 
 
The city and province are permitting the destruction of wetlands within suburban areas for development, but then they tell rural residents that "we" need to preserve "our" environment.

...Given this record, we have to conclude that wetlands are no safer in the custody of the city than in the hands of private landowners.

 
 

Many recent developments around Stittsville are also built on wetlands, and there are many other examples throughout Ottawa.

There is a dual standard here. The city and province are permitting the destruction of wetlands within suburban areas for development, but then they tell rural residents that "we" need to preserve "our" environment. Perhaps these people should look in the mirror and in their own backyards before preaching to others about the environment.

Of course, they have ample excuses: "The land was never officially wetland," or "the OMB made us do it." Nevertheless, wetland is being destroyed.

And many of the people involved are encouraging such development by living in houses built on wetland. We have never seen a campaign to boycott this environmentally irresponsible housing.

It appears that the city and province only protect wetlands it thinks no one wants to develop. That's no protection at all. Given this record, we have to conclude that wetlands are no safer in the custody of the city than in the hands of private landowners.

As an affected homeowner, I suggest that the city should stop harassing rural residents until it is prepared to protect existing wetlands in suburban areas.

Tony Walker,
Stittsville
Goulbourn Landowners Group

 The Ottawa Citizen 2005


 

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