Examining the accuracy of the CRD 2015 environmental assessment
The CRD 2015 environmental assessment is here
This study of the deficiencies in the CRD Parks environmental presentation is ongoing. We have not received yet all the information we requested from the CRD in July 2015.
The background can be seen here
The duty of the CRD when holding public meetings is explained here:
Our letters to the CRD throughout 2015 warning them of the problems with the CRD presentation, and calling on the CRD to check the presentations before proceeding can be seen here
Despite many calls, the CRD refused to check their presentations and held public meetings through 2015. The public were misinformed and left uninformed of crucial information, and the CRD refused to provide information needed in the public interest.
We say again to the CRD, you have a duty to make reasonable inquiry before proceeding further. We have shown below the material issues with the CRD presentation - any one of these is grounds to pause the process.
Issues we have with the CRD 2015 environmental assessment include:
1. Failing to warn the public of rising sea level
The CRD failed to inform the public that its own projections indicate that Island View Beach will be under water in just 35 years. Had this been known, it would almost certainly have had an impact on the public's opinions and recommendations for the park. See here
2. The apparent deliberate attempt to mislead the public about to the number of "species at risk" in the park.
CRD Parks were tasked with making a "factual, technical and scientific" assessment about the natural environment found in Island View Beach Regional Park. They stated to the public that "There are 33 confirmed species at risk that use the park or immediate foreshore." At the time of making this statement, CRD Parks knew that not all these species they listed were confirmed, and some were neither in the park or immediate foreshore. See here
3. The CRD Parks "at risk species" presentation is virtually non-existent, and does not meet any standard of being factual, technical or scientific. It provides no information to assist the public come to an informed opinion about species in the park. The CRD claimed 9 species at risk were "confirmed resident" in the park but these is no evidence to support the claims for 3 of these species, and it appears the CRD was aware of this in February 2015 yet continued to make this claim. See here.
4. The CRD exaggerated and fabricated stories about the mosquito drainage ditches and berm in an apparent effort to thwart the policy set by the CRD Board and incite the public against them. See here
5. The inexplicabale failure to disclose known information about the cause of salinity in the north of the park and the Tsawout lands. See here
6. The wrong use by the CRD of Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping, claiming it to be scientific without disclosing its limitations, and that the data collection was outdated and which gave misleading results. See here
---------------------- more work is needed past here ---------------------------------------------------
7. The Survey after Step 1 (to be expanded)
8. The November 21, 2015 meeting was fatally compromised because the public were not given complete and accurate information necessary for them to be able make informed, thoughtful and rational presentations
- effectively there had been no environmental assessment by the CRD so there was nothing for the public to build on.
- putting the ditches, berm & berms on the table despite assurances from CRD Board they were not up for discussion
- not informing the attendees that the bulk of the public canvassed at the beach by the CRD said to leave the park alone
- not informing the attendees that rising sea level will flood the park within 35 years
- not providing information requested that was in the public interest, despite many requests.
9. Final online survey
- the first page was set so a selection must be made from the CRD's choices even if the public didn't agree with any of those choices. Couldn't say no, and couldn't move on to rest of survey until that was answered
- subsequent pages were manipulative
- there was no apparent control over the number of surveys a person could enter - same as 2013
- the CRD promised the survey would be online until mid-night on November 22, 2015 but it was cut off in the morning of the 22nd and the people who had relied on the assurance of the CRD were denied the opportunity to comment.