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Port Stanley Harbour Assessment
  January 29, 2014  
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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?

Dave McKee
Port Stanley, ON

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