Environmental Protection and Being Good Neighbours

Reference Number
46
Text

May 28, 2022

 

I am Murdoch R. Martyn and I have lived here in Georgina all of my life.  My family has farmland and forests on the south side of Black River Road and forestlands and wetlands along the north side. 

 

We are immediate neighbours to two of the possible fixed links being proposed to solve identified problems of transportation and access for the residents of Georgina Island

 

Ensuring that the environment is protected as best it can and being a good neighbour are the key themes of my comments.

 

  1. Environmental Concerns

 

As environmental concerns are of paramount importance to any major project undertaken in Canada, I would ask that all of the Proponent’s potential solutions to the Georgina Island transportation problem be reviewed through a full impact assessment. 

 

I would also ask that the same evaluation be done of any other possible solutions to the transportation problem that are identified by other participants of this assessment as well as other solutions that the Impact Agency itself may propose.  It is essential that the right solution be found.  It may be that we don’t yet know the best solution but the full environmental assessment will find the best solution.

 

 It is critical that there be a technical and economically feasibility evaluation that use best available technologies and science currently known.  If technology and science evolve over the next few years, it is key that those evolutions also be considered by the full environmental impact assessment.

 

It is also important that a full hearing and evaluation of the science be conducted so that we will achieve sustainability, protect as best we can our environment and also ensure that there is minimal climate change at worst, or no climate change at all on a best case scenario.    Sustainability requires amongst other things the protection of the environment and ensuring that present and future generations of Canadians are protected.  Renewable technologies must be part of the solution to the current problem.

 

Continued diesel and other fossil fueled ferries will hurt our climate. The possibility of accidents which might cause spills of diesel into Lake Simcoe cannot be ignored and fossil fuel for ferries should be phased out as quickly as possible.   

 

However, steel production, concrete production and blasting and transporting aggregates over great distances for a fixed link will impact our climate as well and all of those materials are terribly carbon intensive and we all have responsibility to reduce carbon output in order to preserve our climate. 

 

From an environmental perspective it is also important that there be a full hearing such that we know what will be the impact of any solution upon the fish and fish habitats that must be protected, along with any other animal and aquatic species that will be impacted by this proposal.   Migratory birds use the wetlands adjacent to Black River Road (and there are fewer and fewer protected areas on Lake Simcoe that are not already developed or about to be developed) and these migratory birds will also be impacted by any new solution to the Georgina Island transportation problem. 

 

A full environmental assessment will evaluate these factors and determine the best solution to the problem and also consider the statutory and regulatory considerations  set out in the Migratory Birds Convention Act (SC 1994, c. 22), the Species at Risk Act (SC 2002, c. 29), the Fisheries Act (RSC 1985, c. F14, as amended), the Impact Assessment Act (SC 2019, c. 28) and the Canadian Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act, (SC 2021, c. 22).  Of course this is not an exhaustive list of the laws and regulations that must be considered during the full environmental impact assessment.

 

  1. Helping Our Neighbours on Georgina Island

 

There is no doubt that there is a transportation and access problem for the residents of Georgina Island.  It is a shame that this problem exists.  All political parties in Ottawa bear responsibility for not solving this problem.

 

The transportation access problem  is something that the federal government must resolve and do so immediately.  It has the resources and the knowledge through its ministries and agencies to solve the problem. 

 

The federal government also has the constitutional responsibility to protect First Nations and it is high time that it does so for the residents of Georgina Island.

 

 

Murdoch R. Martyn

 

 

Murdoch R. Martyn

Submitted by
Murdoch Martyn
Phase
Planning
Public Notice
Public Notice - Public Comments Invited on a Summary of the Initial Project Description
Attachment(s)
N/A
Date Submitted
2022-05-28 - 12:13 PM
Date modified: