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Friday, December 14, 2018

Walkerton Residents Warn Province Against Environmental Shortcuts

Walkerton | by Robyn Garvey  

Citizens group member says bypassing crucial steps for source water protection is 'ill considered.'

Making Ontario open for business or taking a step back in province’s water
protection--- that is the fear of the spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens of
Walkerton
who is sounding the alarm over Bill 66.

Bruce Davidson calls Bill 66 “ill considered“, saying the proposed
legislation would allow some commercial development projects to bypass crucial
steps for source water protection.

The same steps that he says were created in the Clean Water Act following the
Ecoli Tragedy of 2000 that claimed seven lives and made thousands of others
ill.

Davidson urges the Province not to ignore the last eleven years of work,
research and deep thought that has gone into source water protection.

He says the work has been already been done, the threats identified and the
money spent.

Davidson says to suggest it is too onerous to do those evaluations on a new
business would be taking a huge step backwards in the progress that has been
made in protecting source water.

He adds that only 1.5 percent of the land mass is involved in well head
protection.

Davidson has spent years as a member of the Drinking Water Source Protection
Committee he is also a member of the Canadian Environmental Law Association and
the Brockton Environmental Advisory Committee.

Davidson says being open for business does not mean slamming the door on the
environment.

He insists you do not have to sacrifice the environment for economics or
economics for the environment, he maintains you can have both.

He cites Walkerton as a prime example, a town that was in desperate situation
in 2000 years ago during the Ecoli Tragedy and is now a beacon of excellence
when it comes to water training.  He adds the community continues
to grow and thrive.

Davidson says if the Province has learned anything from Walkerton, it is that
you don’t skip steps or cut corners.

He stresses taking the proper steps does not negate growth.

Davidson urges the Tories to reconsider Bill 66 as it pertains to the Clean
Water Act, saying the Province is using a machete to remove a splinter.

He says there are better ways to cut red tape.

 

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