The City of Thunder Bay had received a big pile of cash from the COIS Fund. Thee City wanted to use it for the waterfront project. The problem was that the funding was confirmed early June 2009 and the huge, three year waterfront project still had not completed an Environmental Assessment of any kind. Important if you consider the work planned was being done in and around the lake in a former industrial area. A full EA would take a year or two. The COIS money had to be spent by the end of March 2011. What to do?
Well, there is another way. The City could apply for a class EA that steamlines the process. This is for projects where eligible work totals $3.5M or less. Plus, the City of Thunder Bay would complete the EA themselves. Eligible work is work that is not covered by other regulatory bodies such as buildings, electrical etc. So how do you squeeze a $45M foot into a $3.5M shoe? Read the Minister John Gerretsen’s ruling. Its enough to break your heart. It shakes my faith in government everytime I read it.
Its been like this at every turn. with the waterfront project. The City of Thunder Bay is just not bending the rules, they are ignoring them. The situation that is underway right now with the pumping of who knows what into our lake has its roots back in the summer of 2009. This is not the way a City should operate. The City should be one of the good guys.