Urgent Call to Action: Remind MOECC that We Still Want a Full Parkway EA!
February 03, 2015 (Important Update May 6–see bottom of page).
With a ruling on the Parkway EA Appeals expected very soon, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change needs to hear from all of us now that a bump-up to the Environmental Assessment is critical and necessary.
The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), Glen Murray, has, for the past 22 months, been considering the 82 requests for a full Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Peterborough Parkway Extension. With a full EA, the Minister would demand a broader study that fully addresses all the issues and make the final decision on whether or not the extension should proceed. Critically, if Minister Murray rejects the 82 requests, Parkway construction would likely start this spring!
It is urgent that all of us act now to remind Minister Murray of the extensive public concern about the Parkway project. Our community has much invested; this decision will influence Peterborough’s transportation priorities and planning for years to come. Cities around the world are investing in climate change mitigation. But a Parkway extension would divert much-needed city resources and drag Peterborough infrastructure even further behind, with massive economic, social, and environmental costs. Minister Glen Murray and Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal need to be reminded that a decision in favour of a bump-up will be well received and supported in Peterborough!
Please take the time now to write a letter. It needn’t be long. It needn’t be detailed. Minister Murray and MPP Leal will read and count the letters. The 82 people and organisations who submitted the original “bump-up” requests are especially encouraged to write. But new voices will still be heard and counted too. Numbers matter!
Keep in mind that the Minister is not deciding the outcome of the Parkway; the Minister will decide whether or not to submit the Parkway decision to a full EA that will better address key issues. Your letter should reflect this understanding. Many specific deficiencies with AECOM’s Class EA are identified in the bump-up requests. These flaws still stand and can be noted, but the context has changed since April 2014. While the message is yours to choose, here are some ideas to consider:
- Urgency for action on climate change is now undeniable (November Paris summit, COP21).
- Ontario’s Liberal Government is committed to climate action.
- Peterborough is developing a Climate Change Action Plan and the Citizens’ Climate Action Forum is underway; city resources should be prioritized for sustainable infrastructure, not a $100 million road extension.
- The Official Plan review is decades overdue, but will likely commence this spring and the Transportation Master Plan review will likely unfold later this year. No significant transportation decisions should be made until these important and central policies are brought up-to-date to reflect new sustainability priorities.
- Investments in cycling infrastructure and transit work, attract commercial investment, and improve citizens’ quality of life.
- Research from around the world has proven congestion cannot be addressed in the long term by building more roads.
- Improvements to Peterborough’s inadequate transit system and cycling infrastructure should be priority over the destruction of green space for more car traffic.
- The political landscape has changed; Peterborough has a new council who have not voted on the Parkway, and we have a new MP and federal government focused on projects that will mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Faith in pubic engagement in City issues needs to be restored; the process of a comprehensive, full EA will be an important step in improving Peterborough’s damaged civic space.
Update, May 06
In February, 2016 the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) ordered the City of Peterborough to provide more information on the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process used to decide on the future of the Parkway extension. The Minister indicated his staff needed more information in order to understand the city’s decision making process and reasoning to help decide whether or not to order a fuller EA.
On April 4, 2016, the City sent a response to MOECC without scrutiny or discussion by Council. The City response is deep within the City website.
Coalition volunteers spent the next month reviewing the City response and began drafting a rebuttal to the claims the City made. The PGC sent their response to the Minister on April 27.
Please read our response
If you agree and want to see a more balanced review of the Parkway proposals, write or email both Minister Murray and our local MPP, Jeff Leal.
Hon. Glen Murray, Minister MOECC
2nd Floor, Macdonald Block
M2-22 – 900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1N3
Hon. Jeff Leal, Minister OMAFRA
236 King Street,
Peterborough, ON K9J 7L8
Please consider sending us a copy of your letter. We like to know what people are thinking and you come up with some pretty amazing points. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your commitment to a green, walkable, cycleable, transit-friendly, engaged & sustainable Peterborough!
Pete Hewett, Cam Douglas & Rob Steinman at the Peterborough Greenspace Coalition.