We have detailed to the Ministry of the Environment many environmentally-significant changes the proponent has made to the plans they had approved several years ago. In response to our concerns, the proponent replied to the Ministry that their changes were minor, but the proponent’s response was written by someone not competent in the areas required, and included false, deceptive, and nonsense statements.
While the proponent received environmental approval two years ago, they have since made environmentally-significant changes to their plans. They are attempting to use their approval to build something in a manner which was not approved.
Over the past months we have sent several letters detailing these changes, for example:
- This January 8, 2015 letter to the Ministry of the Environment describes some of the proponent’s proposed construction changes, asking that the envronmental significance be assessed through the required Addendum process.
- This March 10, 2015 letter to the Minister of the Environment detailing further environmentally-significant changes, again asking that the proponent be required to submit an Addendum.
- This April 8, 2015 letter to the Minister of the Environment noting that his Ministry has not replied to my letters, and again presenting the concerns.
- This April 17, 2015 letter requests the Minister of the Environment to require the proponent to prepare an Individual Environmental Assessment, as this formally requires the Minister to be involved, as it appears our requests are not actually being received by the Minister.
While the Ministry did not respond to any of these letters, they did forward our April 8, 2015 letter to the proponent, who then provided this May 14, 2015 response, which was forwarded to us with this May 26, 2015 response from the Ministry of the Environment.
The current situation therefore is:
- We have detailed many environmentally-significant changes the proponent has made to their approved plans.
- The proponent claims their changes were all minor, and the Ministry of the Environment has so far accepted these claims, so has not required the proponent do any further environmental assessment work.
- We have carefully reviewed the proponent’s May 14, 2015 response, and find it:
- Includes nonsense, and false and deceptive statements.
- Makes unsubstantiated claims in areas outside of the author’s competence.
- Demonstrates dishonourable conduct and a complete lack of respect for the public, public input, and the environmental assessment process.
Our detailed response to the Ministry of the Environment is in this June 15, 2015 letter.
- We have asked that if the proponent will not provide another Addendum, as this proposed project has enough fundamental major problems, it should be cancelled.
The provincial government and the taxpayers of Ontario will be comforted to know that according to the Ministry of Natural Resources’ well-written RFP to which the proponent responded, the proponent could not claim costs or expenses as they chose to not honour their commitments and therefore they provided incorrect and misleading statements in their original proposal pursuing the opportunity for this work.
We await a response from the Ministry of the Environment.