Long Point Causeway Improvement Project


Council approves $58k for Causeway Ecopassages

Port Rowan Good News, Nov. 2012

After hearing deputations from Causeway Improvement Committee (CIP) Coordinator Rick Levick and Stu Ross of the Friends of the Causeway (FOCAS) , Norfolk Council approved $58,000 in funding towards the cost of installing three ecopassages under the County-owned Causeway Road at Long Point.
CIP deputation
CIP Coordinator Rick Levick addressed Norfolk Council on October 2 in support of the County staff recommendation to approve $58k for the installation of three ecopassages under the Causeway Road this fall. Levick cited the tight timeline for installing the ecopassages before winter frost stops the work and that “much of the funding we have raised for this project must be spent by March 31, 2013”.
To date, CIP volunteers have secured more than $890,000 over the past six years to undertake work on the Causeway, including erecting 4,000 metres of wildlife fencing and paid over $150,000 for mandated environmental and engineering impact assessments. Levick said: “Norfolk taxpayers have not had to contribute to any of the work completed to date… we are able to contribute $187,000 towards the construction of the ecopassages and another $18,000 to install fencing to link the passages to the existing fencing.
FOCAS response
Stu Ross spoke on behalf of the “Friends of the Causeway” local citizens’ group which is opposed to the Causeway Improvement Committee plan to install ecopassages under the road. Ross urged Councillors to reject the request for $58,000 towards the cost of installation, saying that the County’s roads are “deteriorating faster than we can repair them” and that “Norfolk Council should not use taxpayers money for wildlife when there are human needs”.

Webmaster’s Note. The following is Mr. Levick’s response to Council regarding the FOCAS deputation.

As Council has permitted a representative of the FOCAS group to speak against the ecopassage project, I have a few comments. Firstly, I would advise Council that the Ministry of the Environment turned down a request by FOCAS to “bump up” the EA to a much more complex and costly schedule c process. To have done so would have been a colossal waste of time and taxpayers’ money.

I would also note that the MOE also did not accept FOCAS’ alternatives to the ecopassages or any of its other claims such as the ecopassages causing the draining of the big creek marsh. Instead, the MOE approved this project based on the scientific credibility of what was proposed by the experts we consulted in preparing the EA document.