Not every Innisfil resident supports Big Bay Point project
Based upon the recent press release of the Big Bay Point Resort developer, in reference to the Memorandum of Settlement offered by the Province of Ontario, one might conclude that almost every one and every group is supportive of the proposal for this project.
I would choose to strongly disagree. Three parties did not sign this agreement. I speak for one of these parties, The Innisfil District Association, a group of about 300 Innisfil families. We commend the strong stand on the many environmental issues taken by the province and their insistence that all of these issues be resolved before any construction can begin. Also, the new proposal insists that over one third of the project area be environmentally protected. In the developer’s earlier proposal that forest, including trees over 100 years old, would largely have been lost.
The IDA could not support this Memorandum of Settlement because we object to the size of the proposed development, 2,000 units and 1,000 boat slips. We had no say in these issues.
They were established in meetings between the developer, the town and the county. We suspected these private meetings were being held but, in spite of our requests, we were not invited to join them until later, after these issues had been established.
Further, the press release on April 4 read, “the staff of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority are on record as being in support of the project”. Yet, as recently as April 12, 2007, the following statements were made to me and others by the executive of the Conservation Authority:
• The LSRCA completed their review of Big Bay Point and provided comments in 2004.
• The authority was neither a party to the settlement agreement between the province and the other parties, nor has the authority seen this agreement and therefore cannot comment.
• This further supports the need for a watershed based plan. Currently there is no holistic growth management framework for the Lake Simcoe basin and the LSRCA continues to advocate for this.
My association agrees with this position of the LSRCA, and stresses the need for a growth framework for the lake’s watershed.
For without this framework or policy, how can the conservation authority properly advise on any new large projects around the lake and in particular those proposed for non-settlement areas.
Don Avery, President of The Innisfil
District Association