Transition Ottawa

Building Community Resilience Through Action

Sierra Club Canada is working with local environmental and community groups to try and stop the Terry Fox Drive Extension.

This unneeded road and proposed sub-development will have serious consequences for several species in the area including the threatened Blanding's Turtle.

Join our campaign by signing a petition letter here: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5654/p/dia/action/public/?actio...

Learn more about the project and our campaign by clicking here: http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/endangered-species/save-blandings-turtle

Please help by passing this message along.

Tags: Fox, Green, Space, Terry, Turtle

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** Too Late for Meeting but you can still Send an Email to the City if you Wish to Express your Concerns **

_________________________________________

Received an email update from Wildlife Ontario today:

-- Blanding's Turtle Action Alert --

For all Ottawa supporters of the Blanding's Turtle, tonight is the night to pack a meeting at City Hall. City staff will be briefing the Greenspace Advisory Committee. Also on the presenters' list are Ottawa citizens who have many serious concerns about the planning and environmental assessment processes for the road. They will be presenting evidence of a very questionable environmental assessment process rushed through so the city can grab stimulus money from the
federal government.

This is an opportunity to make your views clear and show your support for a halt to construction.

For those not able to attend you can communicate directly with Mayor Larry O'Brien who celebrated Earth Day by planting a seedling only a few days after a 200 year old black maple was chopped down to make way for the road. Larry.OBrien@ottawa.ca

What: City of Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee

Where: Colonel By Room, second floor of City Hall, 110 Laurier West

When: 6:30 pm, Monday April 26, 2010
Advisory committee votes to hold Terry Fox extension

Unanimous motion to be sent to council to halt construction

By Kate Jaimet, with files from Zev Singer, The Ottawa CitizenApril 27, 2010


The Ottawa forests and greenspace advisory committee will ask city council to put the construction of the Terry Fox Drive Extension on hold and order a more thorough environmental review.

The committee passed a unanimous motion Monday night to ask the city to "immediately re-examine the demographic, transportational and economic rationale" for the project and to halt construction until an "in-depth ecological analysis is undertaken."

The request will come before the city's planning and environment committee, where it would need the endorsement of councillors before it could be voted on by City Council.

The $47.7-million Terry Fox Drive Extension is being built now to take advantage of $32 million in federal and provincial stimulus funding that runs out in March 2011.

The original plan to build the road dates back to a 1983 Ontario Municipal Board decision to expand Kanata's urban boundary into the South March Highlands, with the road marking the outside perimeter of development.

Once the road is built, 182 hectares of natural lands inside the arc of the road are expected to be bulldozed for housing.

But the highlands, a 895-hectare area of near-pristine woodlands and wetlands, have been identified by the province as a candidate for the designation of Area of Natural and Scientific Interest containing a complex of Provincially Significant wetlands.

As well, the province has passed endangered species legislation that covers several animals and plants in the highlands, including the Blanding's turtle, American ginseng and butternut tree.

The highlands were identified as "one of the most significant ... for maintaining biodiversity and ecological function," in a 1997 report on natural areas commissioned by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton.

"It's very disappointing to know the work has been done in terms of identifying these special areas and to know it means nothing," Heather Hamilton, vice-chairwoman of the advisory committee, said during the meeting Monday night.

The city conducted an environmental assessment of the road project in 2000, with an addendum in 2004. It has obtained the necessary provincial permits regarding endangered species. And it completed an environmental screening report this year, which was approved by the federal government.

Dozens call for stop to Kanata Terry Fox Dr. extension

By JUSTIN SADLER, Ottawa Sun

A few dozen concerned residents packed into a city committee meeting to make it known they oppose the extension of a main arterial road through a sensitive forest in Kanata.

It was standing room only at the city’s forest and greenspace advisory committee meeting Monday evening.

Marjorie Edwards, who lives on Old Carp Rd., said she fears the extension of Terry Fox Dr. will lead to more development and further destruction of sensitive environmental areas, with devastating consequences.

“The land is going to be developed. It started out as environmentally protected land from the province and it still is, but people seem to be able to find ways of circumventing it,” she said.

The road will encroach on habitat of about a half dozen species at risk, including the Blanding’s turtle and the western chorus frog. The project will also pass through four significant wetland areas and require about 10.5 hectares of clear cutting.

Judy Makin, who also lives in the area, shares Edwards’ concerns.

“Unbeknownst to most of the city of Ottawa, we’ve got a little Algonquin Park in our backyard and we’re putting a road through it. It’s not wise,” she said, comparing the South March Highlands to the protected provincial park.

Makin called on the advisory committee to recommend council issue an immediate stop work order to prevent any further construction. She also called for the establishment of a governing body, what she called the Ottawa Forest Keeper, to protect sensitive areas and deny destructive planning proposals.

“We cannot allow this roadway to provide the final doorway to even more destruction,” she said.

Some changes have been made to construction plans, explained Shawn Taylor of Dillon Consulting — the company contracted to do design the roadway — including reducing the size of the road’s footprint.

Crews will also create a man-made wetland area by transplanting part of an established wetland area that will be destroyed to another location in the Carp River drainage plains.

Though the work requires the removal of 25 at-risk butternut trees, crews will replant 622 seedlings at various sites throughout the city, he said.

Despite the objections, the construction is moving along as planned.

It’s disappointing, Edwards said.

“I don’t think I’m alone in my concerns, but I also don’t think I have much power in this,” she said.

Katherine Forster said:
** Too Late for Meeting but you can still Send an Email to the City if you Wish to Express your Concerns **

_________________________________________

Received an email update from Wildlife Ontario today:

-- Blanding's Turtle Action Alert --

For all Ottawa supporters of the Blanding's Turtle, tonight is the night to pack a meeting at City Hall. City staff will be briefing the Greenspace Advisory Committee. Also on the presenters' list are Ottawa citizens who have many serious concerns about the planning and environmental assessment processes for the road. They will be presenting evidence of a very questionable environmental assessment process rushed through so the city can grab stimulus money from the
federal government.

This is an opportunity to make your views clear and show your support for a halt to construction.

For those not able to attend you can communicate directly with Mayor Larry O'Brien who celebrated Earth Day by planting a seedling only a few days after a 200 year old black maple was chopped down to make way for the road. Larry.OBrien@ottawa.ca

What: City of Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee

Where: Colonel By Room, second floor of City Hall, 110 Laurier West

When: 6:30 pm, Monday April 26, 2010
A new Facebook Group has been created -- Suspend the Terry Fox Extension in Ottawa. At the time of this writing, there were only 31 members.

Another opportunity to multiply the message.

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