We need to clean house - Escarpment commission

RE: 'Escarpment is 'on life support'; Approval of Dufferin expansion defies Niagara Escarpment Plan' (Oct. 29).

Joan Little's article on the demise of the Niagara Escarpment was truly distressing.

It appears the members of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) need to review the escarpment plan as well as their own role. Lately, it seems they are intent on selling the escarpment off a piece at a time. At the moment, it is a quarry; in the future, it will be the lands flanking the proposed mid-peninsula highway.

I noted with interest one portion of the article: The suggestion by NEC staff that, "alternatively, if the staff recommendation is not accepted, the NEC approve the amendment with conditions."

As witnessed at a hearing on the mid-peninsula highway in Owen Sound, commissioners voted against the staff report even though some commissioners admitted they hadn't read it. Are commissioners working towards developing the escarpment instead of preserving it?

If we're going to save the escarpment, we need to do three things: Stop the expansion of the Dufferin quarry; stop the mid-peninsula highway; and get some people on the NEC who understand and work with the escarpment plan.

One quick way to ensure the appointment of commissioners who respect the escarpment would be to change the provincial government which selects the appointees.

Tunnel vision and the profits of the few should not outweigh dividends to Ontario citizens that would be forthcoming from an area recognized worldwide (one of 276, ranked on global importance with the Florida Everglades and the Galapagos Islands) as a natural biosphere reserve.

-- Susan McMaster, Flamborough.

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