Recently, I met with Wolfe Island flood victims, after being invited by residents to hear first-hand, their concerns.
Months after the Trudeau Government signed Plan 2014, the controversial plan that raises water levels in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed basin, Wolfe Island residents were flooded, and worse two years later.
As the Member of Parliament with over 241 kilometers of Ottawa River shoreline and a significant number of flood victims, I share the concerns of Lake Ontario residents for 2020.
Catastrophic flooding in the Ottawa Valley only occurred after Plan 2014 was signed. Every indication that 2020 will see similar flooding.
Residents were quick to point out that Lake Ontario is up 45.7cm, than the level it should be at for this time of year. That 45.7cm rise in water level corresponds to Plan 2014’s goal to create 26,000 hectares (64,000 acres) of wetland.
With that much additional water in the system, the capacity to absorb the spring melt is severely limited.
What was very disheartening to hear from the Wolfe Island flood victims, was the fact they were never given the opportunity to be consulted on the plan to flood their properties.
This did not stop the previous claim made by the International Joint Commission (IJC) that:
‘No concern was expressed in Ontario about Plan 2014 damage to coastal development during the 2013 hearings on Plan 2014.’ (p.40 Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Plan 2014).
A minority report to the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study which led to Plan 2014, concluded:
“the study was conducted and reported in a manner biased against residents and businesses located on the shoreline and embayments of Lake Ontario; All of the recommended operating plans will result in increased damages to the shoreline and riparian property owners“P. 4 Minority Report of the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence Study to the International Joint Commission March 2007
And on page 6 of the same report:
“Despite assurances to the public throughout the Study process that any recommendations resulting in significant negative consequences would be accompanied by provision for mitigation and, perhaps, compensation, none are recommended by the Study”.
The time to act, before the 2020 flood season, is now.
The IJC is the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.
Plan 2014 was signed by the Trudeau government.
The time has come for the federal government to take responsibility for its actions and fix this mistake.
Over the last 5 years Trudeau has sent $2.65 BILLION overseas for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. He has spent virtually nothing to help Canadians in the same way even though he blames damages on Climate Change.