As I promised at Wednesday’s Peaceful Gathering, here is an update:
Norfolk County Officials told us that MNR insisted that the county remove the newly placed stop logs. We have asked for a copy of the directive from the MNR that shows this demand. It was confirmed, as we suspected, that there was in fact no directive from MNR. We have however been provided with copies of sensitive inter-office Norfolk County email communication that show that Norfolk County took the initiative themselves to remove the logs after consulting with and being advised by Ryan Elliot of G.D. Valllee Ltd. Ryan is the person who did the Safety Review of the dam in 2010.
Eric D’Hondt’s statement in the Port Dover Maple Leaf was that the party(s) who placed the logs were trespassing on Norfolk County Property. In an email this week from one of our elected officials we were told that “No one seems to own the dam”. So it appears as though people cannot be charged with trespassing if they are on the dam since there is no owner.
Simon’s Construction removed the third log yesterday amid raucous protests that they were going to allow even more mud and silt to be dumped into the harbour than what they have already released. We demanded that they contact Scott Zerbes ( Senior Municipal Technologist Engineering Division Norfolk County) and Mayor Charlie Luke before they proceeded, but our cries went unheeded, the log was removed and MORE mud has entered the harbour now. Go look, you can see it pouring over the spillway. The next log was not removed (yet) Friday morning so hopefully someone from the county had enough sense to realize that there was more harm than (perceived) good being done by removing the logs. HOPEFULLY they will not remove more. And if they do, then hopefully there will not be ANOTHER dredge bill for over $200,000 (do you know where this money comes from???)
CHCH has reminded us of the MNR’s policy on dams. There are 2 video clips in the article. If you didn’t read/see it, it is at this link http://www.chch.com/silver-lake-protest/
At the end of it all we have generated a LOT of publicity and attention, which is what we needed. Now we need to stop with the publicity and run with this momentum and remain positive and move forward to get Silver Lake restored. Now.
We are recommending that citizens and supporters work diligently in conjunction with Norfolk County and the MNR to support Marion Gadsby’s work-in-progress to restore Silver Lake. Marion’s group has a plan that would involve dam repair, dredging, silt traps and the installation of fish ladders and a hydro-electric generator. Marion has been advised that in principle the County and the MNR are in agreement with the direction in which her plan is headed, and Marion wants things to begin happening this year- this is not something that she nor anyone else wants to see sitting idle for 5 more years.
So a number of us are supporting Marion’s efforts and we encourage you to do so too. However, remember that Charlie Luke, John Wells, Eric D’Hondt, etc. are also citizens, property owners, taxpayers and people who have feelings and opinions too. I respectfully ask that if you have opinions of any of our elected officials or Norfolk County staff that are less than positive that you please not present these opinions in public forums. As good as it may feel to vent, nothing good comes from it. We will keep you updated with respect to Marion’s group’s progress and how you can help.
Enjoy the weekend, thank you all for your help and support for bringing Silver Lake to the forefront.