About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Someone goes Bronson on the HCBP site

... As in "This ain't over." I suppose it was inevitable when the Ministry of Natural Resources said everything was cool for construction at the Hanlon Creek Business Park that someone would take significantly greater action against the construction plans for the site. This press release just came over the wire a little while ago, and it ain't pretty.

GUELPH, ON, September 1, 2009 – The City of Guelph has just learned that work completed yesterday to repair damage done during the Hanlon Creek Business Park occupation was sabotaged overnight – the time of day when salamanders, particularly juveniles, are most vulnerable. (I enjoy the upfront reference to the salamander, making it sound as if the person or persons that dug the trench were out to harm the salamander.)

Drexler Construction, the construction firm hired by the City to install a culvert at Road “A” on the Hanlon Creek Business Park site, discovered that trenches – filled yesterday to allow vehicles access to the site – had been freshly dug overnight.

As part of its Salamander Protection Measures Plan, developed with input from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Dr. Jim Bogart, Chair of the Jefferson Salamander Recovery Team, the City has deliberately isolated the construction area from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise when Jefferson salamander juveniles would be most likely to be moving from breeding ponds, if any are on site.

As the per the Minister of Natural Resources’ decision last week, the City plans to proceed with the work to rectify damage to the property, while continuing to adhere to the mitigation steps outlined in its Salamander Protection Measures Plan.

And this is not the first bit of mud slung following the successful injunction calling for work on the HCBP site to cease while the MNR did a further assessment in the interest of protecting the Jefferson Salamander. This came out a couple of days ago:

GUELPH, ON, August 28, 2009 – The City of Guelph has modified its claim to reflect its primary interest in recovering costs associated with equipment stolen from the Hanlon Creek Business Park site and damage to property.

As part of the City’s ongoing legal action relating to the Hanlon Creek Business Park occupation, it is required to file a statement of claim by end of day today – 30 days from its statement of action, filed July 30.

The City has no plans to seek punitive damages as part of its claim.

“We have modified our claim for damages sought, to protect our injunction, and to recover costs for stolen equipment and damage to property,” says Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer Hans Loewig. “While the City has no plans to seek punitive damages, it does have an obligation to protect its injunction so that this project can move forward without further cost to taxpayers and unnecessary delays.”

The City may also look to recover costs associated with the present appeal, which it considers unnecessary in light of the Minister of Natural Resources' decision.

Then there was this article in the Guelph Mercury a couple of weeks ago, about how there was a mess left behind on the site by protesters. By "mess," the city meant the various traps and trenches dug by the protesters to stop vehicles from entering the site. It would seem that somewhere though, someone, though more likely someones, decided to take things to the next level. I appreciate their frustration, but this kind of action just gives the city leverage to not take future protesters seriously.

Having said that though, I do find it galling that the city is trying to position themselves as defender of the Jefferson Salamander against the carelessness of hardline, eco-saboteurs. In the political business, I believe this is called "managing the story."

No comments: