Some environmental groups are profoundly disappointed the Ontario Municipal Board has dismissed an adjournment request in the BBP mega-marina hearing in Innisfil Ontario.
First Nations had asked for an adjournment of the hearing pending further involvement and studies of the area.
In a decision Friday monring, the board dismissed the motion to adjourn. Written reasons will be released prior to the commencement of the hearing on Tuesday, August 21 at 10 am.
“We’re shocked that a provincial Tribunal could dismiss our concerns without even letting us become a Party,” said Luc Lainé, cultural heritage liaison for the Huron-Wendat in Ontario. “The Supreme Court of Canada is very clear about the duty to consult First Nations; somebody should tell Minister Gerretsen and the OMB.”
The Huron-Wendat Nation are still awaiting a response from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to letters sent by their Grand Chief on July 25 and August 7.
“The OMB has endorsed the practice of treating First Nations as second class citizens,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “A court needs to review the Board’s decision that Rogers Cable and Canada Post get full hearing rights, but you can make up the rules for First Nations as you go along.”
“The OMB is putting the cart before the horse with this decision,” said Don Avery, President of the Innisfil District Association. “The developer is years away from getting the marina approved, but the Board wants to charge ahead under rules everyone knows are going to change in favour of the Lake.”
The Ontario Municipal Board hearing resumed yesterday at 10 a.m. at the Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, Ontario (Room 41), 6015 Highway 89.
The hearing is expected to last for four months.