by Edith Cody-Rice
Today’s Ottawa Citizen has a story on the Enerdu hydroelectric project. In it local Almonte resident and member of the Mississippi RiverWatchers, Brian Young, states that the whole regulatory process has been a joke.
Mr. Young cited the expansion of the generator which could increase the damage upriver already being caused by the flash boards inserted at the top of the Mississippi River falls at Almonte. He added that the Class EA environmental assessment did not go far enough.
A Class EA environmental assessment is conducted by the very proponent who is asking for approvals. This constitutes a classic conflict of interest, unacknowledged by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Naturally the proponent will submit an assessment that most favours its project and it is difficult to escape the perception that the assessment may be biased. Scott Lee, Manager of the Kemptville Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry responded to a Millstone question about this inherent conflict by stating that this was the Millstone’s “opinion”. The Ministry denied a request of town council for a “Part II” order which would have entailed a more complete and objective examination.