Letter: Please remove MVCA build restrictions

To the Editor,

Dear FordNation, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MPP John Yakabuski) and MPP Merrilee Fullerton,

I live in Fitzroy Harbour and I have been directly affected, by both the 2017 and 2019 floods, as have many people in my community of Ottawa, Ward 5 (thank you Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, for all the tireless efforts and commitment you make to support your community, I’m not sure where we’d be, without your help and without you fighting for us).  

I am writing today to plead with the provincial government along with the Ministry of Natural Resources, to reduce their control over the rules and regulations enforced by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. Once this water recedes, I will have a very costly clean up, followed by the repair or replacement of part of my septic system, the repair and regrading of my property and the rehabilitation of my retaining wall, in order to protect myself against future flooding.  

While an independent inquiry as to why floods, of this magnitude have even occurred, is of great interest to me, ultimately, I’ll never know the actual truth as to what has happened (an admission of error or guilt would be very costly to those responsible, imagine the lawsuits).  

That is why, moving forward, the repair and protection of my property should not be so tightly regulated, that it is nearly impossible to obtain permits.

The MVCA, under the dictation of the MNR has set unreasonably high restrictions, sighting “the main objectives of this regulation are to ensure public safety, to protect property with respect to natural hazards and to safeguard watershed health by preventing pollution and destruction of sensitive environmental areas.”

I’m sure you well know that the 1.5 million sandbags, the City of Ottawa has had to pay for, has already altered the landscape, created hazardous conditions, polluted beyond our comprehension and has certainly destroyed sensitive areas.  

I’m simply asking that residents be able to make these changes permanently and proactively, instead of reactively and at undue expense to all. I urge you to please consider changes to these regulations. Regardless if this disaster was freak weather, politics, money, power, or a combination thereof, just please give us the ability to protect ourselves, moving forward.  

Beverly Harrison,
Fitzroy Harbour.

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