Amherst Island ERT Wraps Up

“The project is putting children’s safety at risk and that is something that I don’t think we, as Ontarians, want to tolerate”

Kingston Heritage Published June 8, 2016   

By Mandy Marciniak

amherst Island haywagon

On June 7, members of the Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI), along with many Island residents, gathered at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church to hear the final submissions in their appeal against Windlectric Inc.

The submissions were the final part of the more than six month long Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) that took place regarding the project, and members of APAI were feeling optimistic.

“It has been a long process and we are very proud of what we have accomplished and we are very confident,” said Michele Le Lay, a member of APAI before the final hearing. “We feel we had a fair hearing.”

The final instalment of the tribunal started with a statement from island resident and concerned parent Amy Caughey, who originally spoke to the tribunal in December. Caughey’s main concern is the proposed placement of a concrete batching plant and high-voltage substation directly next to the school on the island.

“It seems like all the industrial activity will be occurring next to the school and I think it is too close,” she said. “Also, the cumulative impacts of this project, especially on the school, have not been assessed. It seems that each component is looked at individually, but it is not looked at as a whole and I think that is a major problem.”

Caughey explained that after six months of hearings she still has numerous unanswered questions about the safety of the project, especially in relation to the school, and she worries that her children and others will be at risk.

“The project is putting children’s safety at risk and that is something that I don’t think we, as Ontarians, want to tolerate,” she said. “We don’t have enough information and if we just go ahead and do this, it is actually our children who become the test to see if the directive is right or wrong and I think that is entirely inappropriate in Canada in 2016.”

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