Dean Campbell, our Chair of the Post-Flood Action Committee has reported that in a judgement issued on June 9, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that it is up to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to decide whether to appoint a public panel to review the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project.
It was determined that the Springbank Project comes under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). CEAA had previously decided that an environmental assessment is warranted, but via a ‘desk review” rather than a full “panel review”. The decision not to have a panel review was challenged by a group of landowners whose property would be acquired to build the Springbank Project. A panel review involves a public hearing and could add a year to the overall regulatory approval process.
Dean has drafted a sample letter below for you to consider sending to the Minister urging her not to appoint a public panel review. Please cc: the persons indicated below. As the decision must be made within 60 days of the June 9th judgement, it is advisable to send your letter by July 31st.
Dear Honorable Minister Catherine McKenna:
The court has asked you to decide if it is in the public interest for a review panel to be appointed for the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project. I urge you; do not send this to a review panel. A review panel will needlessly extend the time when the public will be at risk from flooding.
I will be personally at risk until the project is completed because…. (insert your story here)
It is four years since the flood of 2013. Even if the project does not go to a review panel it will take until 2021 for the mitigation of the Springbank project to take effect. Further delay to this timeline is unacceptable. It is in the public interest to move quickly to protect the population of Calgary, downtown Calgary, and other downstream communities from flooding.
There is a small vocal opposition to this project, but they do not speak for me or for the public interest. I support this project as do my elected officials (Federal, Provincial, and City) who have publicly stated their support for this project. This support from across the political spectrum and at all levels speaks loud and clear about the public interest.
Please do not allow the opponents of this project to delay it further. Do not send it to a review panel.
[your name here] [your address here]
Thanks for your consideration of this matter.