On this last day before the election, I will blog about the issues as I see them and as I have been able to extrapolate from the last 4 years. Please feel free to comment and discuss the issues. I do not have all the answers but feel free to contact me. I am willing to discuss them.
This issue appears to have been placed on the back burner or many citizens are either not aware or have forgotten about it. I would also venture to say that two of the Ward 2 candidates have no idea what the letters mean.
CBRA is a risk assessment process that is used to examine the environment in and around an area that may have been contaminated as a result of commercial, industrial or mining activity. These environmental reviews, ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, are not uncommon. What made this one different was the estimated large scale of the environmental damage and health risks to every resident of the city, especially those in close proximity to the primary subject site in the East Village. As such, Port Colborne was the first Ontario community to be the subject of a CBRA that included the entire municipality.
When the Ministry announced it, they advised the City that the process should be completed within 2 years. That was 12 years ago and we are still waiting. The Ministry is in possession of all of the required documents, comments and final draft report and yet we have heard nothing. Ministry officials are silent and don’t want to answer any of our questions. There appears to be no time line for the release of this critical final report.
Some people have indicated that its has taken so long that it no longer matters what the MOE or the report says. I beg to differ.
In the past few years, the city has been approached by developers that have proposed some significant projects for Port Colborne and, in particular, Ward 2. Because of the lengthy delay in releasing the final report, these business people have been unable to attract partners, investors or obtain financing. The lack of a report is costing a lot of people a lot of money. The biggest loser is the City and its residents. For every day the report is delayed, another day goes by without new development. Another day without new development is a day that the city does not receive new tax revenues. Another day without new tax revenues is a day that the City Council has to continue struggling with decisions that could see taxes raised beyond the rate of inflation and/or service cuts.
The City of Port Colborne needs closure to this long drawn out affair so that this City can proceed with the growth that can happen. I know that my colleagues on City Council are with me when I say to the Ministry of Environment, please, finish the job! That’s all I and everyone in this city is asking for and it’s all we have been asking for more than a decade!
FINISH THE JOB!
Election 2014 is all about the issues that are important to you. Read more about me and what I will do for you. If you have any questions, there may be an answer in my Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to contact me with your own comments and questions. Thank you for your continued support.