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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Beach Raking Talks At AMO Conference

Sauble Beach | by Claire McCormack  

South Bruce Peninsula talked to ministries about Plovers and infrastructure spending.

Photo By Claire McCormack 

The Town of South Bruce Peninsula took two issues to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa last week.

Councillor Matt Jackson says the town talked to the province about beach raking and the endangered Piping Plover bird.

He says two weeks before the conference, they were told the ministry in charge of the issue had changed.

Instead of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the beach will now fall under the purview of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

What that will mean for the future of the beach and its nesting birds is unclear, says Jackson "I think it's going to be a bit of a game of wait and see," but Jackson says he's relieved to hear the ministry is willing to work on an agreement. Jackson feels the last government turned a blind eye to the issue because it wasn't a downtown Toronto issue.

He says the other matter the town discussed at the conference was about how the province funds infrastructure development such as water and sewer based on the total assessment value of homes in an entire municipality.

The problem South Bruce Peninsula has with that, is rural communities like theirs are made up of separate villages of varying levels of value and income.

He says, for example, Sauble Beach has a higher assessed value than Wiarton, and higher income levels. He says the government doesn't take into account the disparity between each community's ability to pay.

He says the province should only consider the income and value of the community being serviced when looking at funding infrastructure projects.

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