Having attended the presentation of the Port Stanley Harbour Environmental Risk
Assessment, I can only conclude that those involved in the assessment want us to
trust that they have our best interests in mind. There is certainly minimal information
in terms of hard numbers that would enable one to determine on their own what the
harbour situation is. I did hear repeatedly that all the real details are contained
in a stack of paper 3 ft in height in our library. Oddly enough, this resembles the
same tactic that Hollywood mystery writers resort to when either the defence or
crown attorney wants to hide some crucial bit of information during a court case.
All I want is a single map of the harbour lands that display in colour (a scale
from a value of 10/red - you die after one week of exposure to 0/green - you
can roll in the dirt all day, every day with no health impact) the risks of exposure,
but that's not the case with the latest presentation. Without hard factual numbers,
how can anyone assess for themselves whether the remedial work done on the harbour
lands have made them safe and for what types of exposure? The presentation suggests
that the lands could be transformed into something called "Parkland", but nowhere
is it made clear how to relate "Parkland standard" to, say, my own backyard or yours.
Viewing the east berm map available today, no structure with a basement can be built,
so I guess those studies describing housing, etcetera are now just that - another
study only loosely coupled with the real world, gone to reside in the "Great Round
File in the Sky".
Presentations are by their very nature supposed to be communications, but without
meaningful number-based detail, this presentation failed to communicate anything
of value. Under such circumstances the presenters can hardly claim that they have
our informed consent. We can only sit and wait to see what happens, but when? Will
it be 2015 or 2016 before work begins? Better question: when will the harbour be
ours to use - 2020?
Port Stanley, ON