Ontario city residents petition to save flood-preventing woodlot from development

Ontario city residents petition to save flood-preventing woodlot from development | Insurance Business

Ontario city residents petition to save flood-preventing woodlot from development

Thousands have signed an online petition calling for the mayor of Windsor, Ontario to prevent any residential development on a local woodlot – one that could lower the flooding risk of its immediate surroundings.

Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens last week announced the retraction of a provincially significant wetland designation from about 20 hectares of the South Cameron woodlot. The mayor had spoken to the premier about having the designation lifted to allow future residential development.

This decision, however, has been met with strong opposition. An online petition calling for the mayor to protect the woodlot from development has gained over 2,000 signatures.

“If something is done on that property, inappropriately or improperly, then it could have a negative impact on the immediate surrounding properties,” Essex Region Conservation Authority director of watershed management services Tim Byrne told CBC News in an interview.

A report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada in 2018 said that “natural infrastructure” such as wetlands are under-utilized options in preventing rising flood damage.

Byrne said that before any development can be done on the woodlot, the builders will have to do an environmental assessment first.

CBC News reported that, for now, there have been no development proposals presented to the city, ERCA or the province.