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Pandora's Box

LCWS LETTER TO COUNCIL JUNE 2021


The LCWS is disappointed with Council’s decision to re-open the Pandora's box of Campbell Heights' industrial expansion southward.


Because:

1) In a personal conversation with myself during his election campaign Doug McCallum asserted that the Safe Surrey Coalition was opposed to this happening and that he would not be changing his mind.


2) Public engagement on this subject has been completely absent since 2017. Back in 2017, Planning set out a list of principles for public engagement and then proceeded to ignore them.


3) City of Surrey has no new risk/benefit information to present to Metro Vancouver or if they do it is not being shared with the public.


4) The Madrone Study, commissioned and executed far too hastily was basically AN INFORMATION GAP study and nothing has happened since then to fill in those gaps, i.e. a complete gathering of necessary information as per the study recommendations.


5) The unconfined Brookswood Aquifer is deemed HIGHLY VULNERABLE by the Province and is extremely unconfined! The Province has indicated to me personally, on several occasions, that further development without a SURFACE WATER GROUNDWATER INTERACTION STUDY is high risk.


6) Biodiversity is biosecurity! We have no idea just how badly species at risk will be impacted by any of this. We know we will lose a large chunk of Surrey’s lifeblood (soil).


7) But we do know what has happened to fish. Decades ago the amazing pocket river supported over 20000 spawners; nowadays returns number in the low thousands. We just keep beating up fish habitat (see recent Peace Arch News - https://www.peacearchnews.com/news/pacific-salmon-recovery-report-gives-32-recommendations-to-reverse-salmon-declines/). Everybody knows riparian setbacks alone cannot save fish habitat.


8) The Little Campbell is the only river in Surrey that has a chance of surviving current development modalities with any hope of moving towards it’s original biological integrity.


9) I personally took part in every community meeting held to create Surrey’s Sustainability Charter. It’s personally very disturbing to watch specific ecological objectives being ignored or spun. Ontario has set aside 2 million acres of protected greenbelt; in this part of B.C. we simply issue more and more virtue signals.


10) The community vision (see our document THE DREAM) of room for the river, including much more park space, would be completely killed if this were to go forward.


Dave Riley

LCWS Chair

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