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Special Update | Public consultations tomorrow: wetland mapping and water rate review


Additional details: City of Ottawa Water Rate Review Consultation + South Nation Conservation Authority / Rideau Valley Conservation Authority Draft Wetland Mapping Public Consultation happening  TOMORROW (Tuesday, June 25)


Rural residents of Ward 19 will likely have received a mail out regarding the upcoming Water Rate Review Consultation that is being conducted by City staff this Tuesday, June 25 at 7 pm at the Navan Arena. This is a joint consultation between Ward 19 and Ward 1.


The South Nation Conservation (SNC) Authority and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) are holding a public consultation regarding draft updates to their wetland mapping on the same day. You can view the draft updated wetland mapping by clicking here. Their drop-in-format consultation is happening on Tuesday, June 25 from 3 pm to 8 pm at the RJ Kennedy Arena in Cumberland.


Unfortunately, because the City of Ottawa is not involved in the wetland mapping, there was no coordination between the two meetings. When it came to my attention that they were scheduled on the same day, I asked SNC if they would be willing to change the date. Disappointingly, this was not possible as the date had already been advertised in several places including local newspapers.


Similarly, the City of Ottawa consultation could not be moved as mail outs had already been delivered to homes weeks ago, and you would have seen the promotion of this event in several of my e-newsletters, Navan Nugget, through the Navan Community Association, etc. A last minute date change would have surely caused confusion.


While residents have the ability to attend both consultations, I recognize this is a big ask on two topics that you care deeply about, and that many were unaware of the wetland mapping meeting until recently. I agree that promotion of this consultation has been insufficient.


As a compromise, I have asked SNC if they would be willing to host a second event, in Navan, where residents would have the ability to book 1-1 sessions. SNC are amenable to this, and those details are still being finalized. I will share them once it is scheduled. In the meantime, if you are unable to attend tomorrow evening, and are interested in attending this second opportunity in Navan, please email me as it would be helpful to gauge interest: catherine.kitts@ottawa.ca


I appreciate that there is much concern in our community over both consultations. On the water rate review, know that the rural councillors share your concerns and are working to amend what has been put forward by staff.


On the wetland mapping, it is important to note that this is a new regulation imposed by the provincial government (more info here). SNC previously regulated Provincially Significant Wetlands but the new regulation requires SNC to regulate all wetlands to achieve consistency across the province. I would encourage you to voice your concern to our Members of Provincial Parliament (Stéphane Sarrazin for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell / Stephen Blais for Orléans). I have also made provincial officials aware of my concerns.


That said, SNC staff have communicated to me that unlike their natural hazard maps (which are extensively studied), they expect that much of the mapping still needs to be refined and wetland boundaries need to be confirmed on site. They have also shared with me that areas that are being added to the wetland mapping, due to the new provincial regulation, will not have the same development restrictions as Provincially Significant Wetlands. The policy will recommend protecting existing development rights and ensure that people can still build or develop these properties if they had an existing lot of record on the property.


I encourage you to attend one of the upcoming in-person opportunities if possible, but if you think that the mapping is not accurate, you can reach out to SNC any time as they are willing to meet on site. More info here: www.nation.on.ca/consultations


Hopefully this has provided further clarification. I will be attending the wetland mapping consultation in Cumberland after City Council concludes tomorrow, and then will be present at the Water Rate Review consultation tomorrow in Navan. Hope to see you there. 



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