The public consultation on the location of a future interprovincial bridge will begin in February 2008. The Friends of Petrie Island have expressed serious concerns about the massive impact of a bridge at or near Petrie Island, both from the standpoint of beach use and, more importantly, of potential destruction of key natural habitats. Residents are encouraged to make their views known. Check local media and the City of Ottawa website for further updates.
Interprovincial Crossings - 2nd Round of Public Consultation Sessions
Six crossing sites have been identified in the east end of Ottawa:
The objective of this round of public consultation is to seek comments
on the following:
Below are the comments submitted by the Friends of Petrie Island in 2007.
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT STUDY OF FUTURE INTERPROVINCIAL CROSSINGS IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
PUBLIC CONSULTATION SESSION ONE: JUNE 2007
COMMENTS BY THE FRIENDS OF PETRIE ISLAND
The Friends of Petrie Island (FOPI) originated in 1997 and were incorporated in 1998. FOPI’s objectives are to participate with the City of Ottawa and relevant agencies in the planning, development and management of the Island, with particular attention to the environmentally sensitive nature of the site, respecting its biodiversity, maintaining its ecological integrity and ensuring appropriate public consultation. FOPI provides volunteers for the conduct of activities on the Island, for the support of special projects aimed at the preservation and/or enhancement of the Island, and for the development and delivery of educational programs for the general public and interested groups as the need arises.
Preliminary Crossing Alternatives
In accordance with the preliminary coarse screening analysis (p 6), “alternatives may be recommended for elimination from further consideration because they do not solve the problem statement, cannot be implemented, or exhibit significant negative impacts upon the natural and social environments in comparison to the other alternatives being considered.”
The Friends of Petrie Island are of the opinion that Corridor E5 (Tenth Line Road – Montée Mineault) and Corridor E 6 (Petrie Island) should be eliminated from further consideration because of the potential for significant negative impacts on the natural and social environments in these corridors. Both of these corridors pass through or in close proximity to urban natural area (UNA) 92, described in the City of Ottawa Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study as “ Petrie Islands and mainland.”
Impact on the natural environment
a) Petrie Islands have long been known for their natural and recreational values. The uniqueness of the Petrie Islands environment and adjacent mainland has been recognized by a number of official designations, including being classified as a Provincially Significant Wetland and as a candidate provincially significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).
b) Petrie Islands and the adjacent mainland (UNA 92) were evaluated in 2005 as part of the City of Ottawa Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study (UNAEES) and were rated “High” overall. The evaluation described Petrie Islands as “a natural creation of the Ottawa River in a critical wildlife corridor position, with exceptionally diverse plant and animal life, vegetation of provincial interest and good recreational access. ...” The adjacent St. Louis Woods and Petrie West natural areas (UNA 188) are described as “excellent examples of native Ottawa River riparian swamp forest with exceptional special feature values and high potential for additional special features. Together the three natural areas form the largest riparian complex in the study area.”
c) The terms of reference and the preliminary screening analysis do not give adequate consideration to the significant environmental attributes of the Petrie Islands. Irrespective of the alignment or the technology selected, it is difficult to envisage a solution that does not have the potential for significant adverse environmental impact on the Petrie Islands and adjacent mainland.
Impact on the social environment
a) Petrie Island is the only significant waterfront recreational area and beach open to the public in the eastern urban community. The current and planned facilities are the results of many years of planning and public consultation. They provide invaluable and irreplaceable opportunities for passive daytime recreation and for interpretive programs based on the natural attributes of the area. Irrespective of the alignment or technology, the infrastructure and traffic associated with a new corridor on or near the Petrie Islands will almost certainly have a negative impact on existing and planned recreational facilities, nature trails, and interpretive opportunities along the Ottawa River shoreline.
b) The preliminary screening analysis is inconsistent in its identification of cultural facilities that may be impacted by corridors. Contrary to the analysis, which states that there are “no major cultural facilities in the area” of the Tenth Line and Petrie Island corridors, existing cultural facilities within these corridors include the Grandmaitre Ecological Reserve, the Al Tweddle Picnic Area, and Stuemer Park, plus a privately-owned marina. These facilities, along with the nature trails in the Queenswood forest, will be affected.
Province of Ontario Land Use Planning Policy Statement (2005)
The Tenth Line and Petrie Island crossing corridors are also perceived to be inconsistent with the spirit of the Province of Ontario Land Use Planning Policy Statement (2005), which imposes restrictions and conditions on development and site alteration in significant habitat of endangered and threatened species, significant wetlands, significant areas of natural and scientific interest (ANSI), and lands adjacent to natural heritage features and areas, in order to ensure that there be no negative impacts on the natural features or their ecological functions. This statement states that healthy, active communities should be promoted by:
a) providing for a full range and equitable distribution of publicly-accessible built and natural settings for recreation, including facilities, parklands, open space areas, trails and, where practical, water-based resources;
b) providing opportunities for public access to shorelines; and
c) considering the impacts of planning decisions on provincial parks, conservation reserves and conservation areas.
The policy also states that:
a) Natural features and areas shall be protected for the long term.
b) The diversity and connectivity of natural features in an area, and the long-term ecological function and biodiversity of natural heritage systems, should be maintained, restored or, where possible, improved, recognizing linkages between and among natural heritage features and areas, surface water features and ground water features.
In summary, the Friends of Petrie Island are of the opinion that the Tenth Line (E5) and Petrie Island (E6) corridors:
a) have a high potential for significant adverse impact on a area that is classified as a Provincially Significant Wetland and as a candidate provincially significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI)
b) will effect the only significant waterfront recreation area in the eastern study area
c) will effect several cultural features, including the Grandmaitre Ecological Reserve, the Al Tweddle Picnic Area, and Stuemer Park.
It is therefore recommended that the Tenth Line and Petrie Island corridors not be carried forward.
If, notwithstanding these concerns, either or both of these corridors are carried forward, FOPI seeks assurance that these issues will be fully considered and addressed in the Terms of Reference and in subsequent phases of the study process.
We thank you for your consideration and we remain available to assist the study team as a source of local knowledge with respect to Petrie Islands and our community.