CHELSEA SAYS MEECH LAKE STRUCTURES WITHOUT PERMIT WILL BE TORN DOWN: MPs WILLS AMOS AND GREG FERGUS STILL HIDING...

CHELSEA SAYS MEECH LAKE STRUCTURES WITHOUT PERMIT WILL BE TORN DOWN: MPs WILLS AMOS AND GREG FERGUS STILL HIDING...
Posted on June 2, 2016 | Jean-Paul Murray | Written on June 2, 2016
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On May 31, three years following my access to information request, I received documents that the Quebec Commission of Access to Information had ordered the municipality of Chelsea to disclose.

Those documents pertain to inspection reports regarding the 80% of Meech Lake residents who continue to violate a shoreline renaturalization bylaw, seven years after it was adopted...

However, there seems to be a serious problem with the documents. On the evidence, 37 reports seem to be missing: the 2013 Chelsea shoreline inspection report says 60 inspections were carried out that year; yet, the municipality has only disclosed 23 reports. I’ve asked Chelsea’s executive director to explain why 37 reports were missing or nonexistent. He hasn’t yet answered...

How can the municipality know whether the 37 properties for which there is no report respect or violate the shoreline renaturalization bylaw, or the bylaw prohibiting the building of structures within 15 metres of the high water mark?

The documents that Chelsea has been forced to disclose also confirm that most of the properties inspected have shoreline structures for which there is no permit.

In the attached article, Chelsea Mayor Caryl Green says “Where a permit cannot be produced, the structure will need to be torn down.” She made the same claim in another paper (“Shed on Meech Lake: a thorn in the lakeside,” by Anastasia Philopoulos, The Low Down to Hull and Back News, June 25, 2014, p. 14). I’ll just bet she’ll be sorry she ever said that.

Meanwhile, MPs Greg Fergus and Wills Amos are still AWOL on this file. Hiding from it, actually. The lakebed, where 79 structures were built without permit, belongs to the federal government by virtue of Section A (2) of the August 1, 1973 "Agreement between the Government of Quebec and National Capital Commission regarding the transfer of the management and control of certain public lands in the Quebec portion of the National Capital Region."

Here's what the Agreement says: "The Government (Quebec) undertakes to: (...) Transfer to the Commission the management and control of the rights of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Quebec in the lake bottoms located in the Townships of Hull, Onslow, Eardley, Masham and Aldfield, under the control of the Gorvernment, within the limits of Gatineau Park..."

I wonder how many Meech Lake residents who own structures built without permit made a financial contribution to Wills Amos during the last campaign. His posters were all over Meech Lake Road in 2015.

Mr. Amos told me in 2013 that he couldn’t support the Liberal Party of Canada’s policy on Gatineau Park, since he needed support from Meech Lake residents to secure the nomination... This was widely reported... Very cynical and opportunistic for someone who claims to be an environmentalist. Mr. Amos has since denied he ever told me this...

On May 31, 2016, the West Quebec Post reported that neither Wills Amos nor Greg Fergus had responded to requests for comment on shoreline/lakebed violations... ("Chelsea Violates Freedom of Information Law About Conditions on Meech Lake?" By Reuel S. Amdur, West Quebec Post, May 13, 2016, p. 9).

Stay tuned for further developments on this.

 

About The Author

A writer, certified/literary translator and communications specialist with nearly 25 years experience working on Parliament Hill. In 2015, Ekstasis Editions published his translation of Robert Lalonde's Little... More

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