Letter: Town of South Bruce Peninsula - Sauble Beach Dunes and Lakeshore Boulevard On-Street Parking Improvements

Letter: Town of South Bruce Peninsula - Sauble Beach Dunes and Lakeshore Boulevard On-Street Parking Improvements

UPDATE: SON will be meeting on site with staff tomorrow morning.

 

November 24 2020

Town of South Bruce Peninsula
c/o Lara Widdifield
Director of Public Works
lara.widdifield@southbrucepeninsula.com


RE: Town of South Bruce Peninsula - Sauble Beach Dunes and Lakeshore Boulevard On-Street Parking
Improvements


We have been made aware by concerned Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) members and members of the general
public of works proposed by the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (the Town) along Lakeshore Blvd (from
Crowd Inn to Kinloss Lane) in Sauble Beach, ON, Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory. From our understanding,
and in review of the Town Council Report dated November 17 2020, the Town of South Bruce Peninsula have
approved of works to: cut back dune sand, install concrete block retaining wall, contour dune from wall to peak,
and remove trees and vegetation along 469 m of Lakeshore Blvd. The purpose of these works is to address
vehicle - pedestrian safety issues due to parking congestion along Lakeshore Blvd. The works are planned to
proceed imminently (this week of Nov 23) and to be completed by mid-December 2020.We understand that
Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks
(MECP) have received copies of the proposal regarding the above works and have indicated conditional
acceptance of these works, pending submission of detailed design.

We have several concerns regarding the above described works. Firstly, the location in question (the waterfront
along the shore of Lake Huron including from Lot 25 to the middle of Lot 31), is and always has been part of
Saugeen First Nation Indian Reserve #29. The town is well aware of this fact. The fact that this land is
Saugeen’s reserve land been confirmed by the Federal Government, which has previously advised project
proponents that no activities can occur there unless “you have obtained the consent of Saugeen First Nation to
proceed with the” activities. As such, any undertaking on this portion of Saugeen’s reserve land without consent
is unlawful and is trespassing on the reserve. The claims of the Town that they hold title to this portion of
Saugeen’s reserve are subject to ongoing litigation filed against the Town by both Saugeen and the Government
of Canada and that matter is expected to proceed to trial next year. Secondly, the location in question is within
the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory and based on the described works, there is potential for negative impacts
on the environment of SON Territory, including a notably sensitive ecosystem (sand dunes) and species at risk
bird habitat (piping plover) and we have not received notice of these works or any detailed plans, permits or
approvals from the Town, GSCA, or MECP.

Based on the information provided in the November 17 Town Council Report, we do not believe that any
consideration has been made regarding the proposed works and the Town’s obligations to consult Saugeen First
Nation in regards activities occurring on Saugeen First Nation’s land, to consult Saugeen Ojibway Nation
regarding SON’s Aboriginal and treaty rights in SON Territory or the potential environmental impacts to the
sand dune ecosystem and sensitive species. In addition, we do not see that alternative solutions to the parking congestion issue have been proposed or considered by the Town, or that environmental impacts have properly scoped, assessed or mitigated.

The Town must provide to SON copies of all proposals or applications submitted to GSCA and MECP
regarding the proposed works and include SON in future submissions of additional materials (e.g., detailed
design). Additionally, we request that GSCA and MECP provide to SON any written reviews, comments, or
conditional approvals provided to the Town on this matter.

All plans to proceed with the proposed work must stop until the Town has fulfilled its obligation to consult with
and obtain consent from Saugeen First Nation regarding the proposed activities to occur within Saugeen First
Nation Indian Reserve #29, and until Saugeen Ojibway Nation (Environment Office) has a full understanding
and opportunity to review and assess the scope of work, consideration of alternatives, and the assessment of
potential environmental impacts and mitigations.

Please forward the requested materials to Kathleen Ryan (Kathleen.ryan@saugeenojibwaynation.ca) on behalf
of Saugeen Ojibway Nation and Doran Ritchie on behalf of Saugeen First Nation (doran.ritchie@saugeen.org)
to initiate consultation regarding works described in this letter.


Miigwetch,
Kathleen Ryan
Acting Manager
Saugeen Ojibway Nation Environment Office
kathleen.ryan@saugeenojibwaynation.ca

CC.
Chief Lester Anoquot – Saugeen First Nation
Chief Greg Nadjiwon – Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
Doran Ritchie – Councillor Saugeen First Nation
Mayor Janice Jackson - Town of South Bruce Peninsula – Jjackson@brucecounty.on.ca
Tim Lanthier – Chief Administrative Officer – Grey Sauble Conservation Authority – t.lanthier@greysauble.ca
John S. Ritchie – Manager – Owen Sound District Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks –
john.s.ritchie@ontario.ca

 

Click here to view as a PDF