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441-00179 (Environment)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Member of Parliament for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Whereas:

The negative impacts that TC Energy's project will have on our pristine water, our landscape, our community, our property values and our emotional well being must be addressed.

We, the undersigned, concerned residents of the Municipality of Meaford and neighbouring towns, call upon all levels of government, Municipal, Provincial and Federal to stop TC Energy from building a Pumped Power Storage Plant on the shores of Georgian Bay at the Army Base in Meaford Ontario.

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable STEVEN GUILBEAULT

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) conducts federal impact assessments of major projects pursuant to the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA). The federal process for assessments include the assessment of positive and negative environmental, economic, health and social effects.

The Agency understands that TC Energy’s proposed hydroelectric pumped-storage plant would be subject to the IAA. The Agency is awaiting the submission of an acceptable initial description of the project by the proponent.

Assessments by the Agency involve consultation with the public, Indigenous peoples, federal authorities and all other interested participants, including provincial officials.

Further information on the Agency is available online at https://www.canada.ca/en/impact-assessment-agency.html.

Questions on the Agency’s process can be directed to the Agency’s Ontario Region office via e-mail at iaac.ontarioregion-regiondontario.aeic@canada.ca.

 

 

Response by the Minister of National Defence

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Bryan May

National Defence manages more than 2,000,000 hectares of land and over 20,000 buildings across Canada. As a custodian of Crown land, National Defence is responsible for considering third-party access to its real property upon request.

Situated on 7,685 hectares of land next to Georgian Bay, the 4th Canadian Division Training Centre Meaford (4 CDTC) is a training facility for the Regular and Reserve Forces. TC Energy has proposed the construction of a hydroelectric facility in the area, and subsequently requested access to 200 hectares of National Defence’s land in Meaford. The electricity generated by the proposed hydroelectric facility would be sold to the Ontario power grid.

In July 2021, National Defence signed an Agreement in Principle with TC Energy which determined that the project can be operationally accommodated at 4 CDTC subject to assurances that its construction and operation will not cause negative impacts on Canadian Armed Forces operations, and that all necessary provincial and federal assessments are completed. The Agreement In Principle allows TC Energy to pursue an Impact Assessment under the federal Impact Assessment Act. The Impact Assessment will evaluate a wide range of potential issues including environmental, health, social, and economic impacts and benefits, as well as potential impacts on Indigenous peoples.

Consultation and engagement will continue as the project proceeds through further assessments and regulatory approvals.

National Defence has undertaken the following steps as part of its decision making process:

  • Initial feasibility testing and review:
    • In August 2020, National Defence approved a temporary access agreement to allow TC Energy to complete its engineering and environmental feasibility testing and studies at 4 CDTC Meaford. This follows a temporary access agreement that National Defence issued to TC Energy in May 2019.
    • In June 2019 and July 2021, National Defence notified local Indigenous groups that the temporary access agreement may be extended for further study, and that a review of TC Energy’s testing results will be conducted as a part of National Defence’s decision making process.
  • Internal Assessment and Public Consultations:
    • From May 2019 to September 2020, National Defence consulted Indigenous groups, municipalities, the provincial government, and external stakeholders. These consultations included an online forum and participation at three TC Energy town halls. During these consultations, National Defence heard concerns regarding the possible impact on the environment, the economy, community safety, health, as well as the importance of the land and its historical ties to community members. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada will assess and review these concerns under the Impact Assessment process.
    • From 2019 to 2021, National Defence conducted its own comprehensive internal assessment to determine the project’s potential impact on operational readiness, personnel training, the environment, and Indigenous groups. The assessment raised potential concerns regarding the impact of the project on training and operations conducted at 4 CDTC. National Defence will continue to assess and update these concerns as the project evolves, and as results from the Impact Assessment are received.
    • In July 2021, following National Defence’s internal assessment, the department signed an Agreement In Principle with TC Energy, allowing the company to proceed to an Impact Assessment.

National Defence anticipates that TC Energy will pursue Impact and Environmental Assessment processes with both the federal and provincial governments. Should these assessments be positive, TC Energy may then seek a licence for the project under the Dominion Water Power Act. The project will not move forward unless it is approved by provincial and federal regulatory agencies, and DND determines that the project will not negatively impact the conduct of operations and training at 4 CDTC Meaford.

National Defence and TC Energy will continue consultation and engagement as the project proceeds through further assessments and regulatory approvals. The Government of Canada will continue to assess the project through the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, as well as through relevant federal and provincial government stakeholders. The Department of National Defence will also begin an Environmental Effects Determination, as stipulated in the Impact Assessment Act, related to the proposed relocation of Base infrastructure. The Agreement in Principle commits TC Energy to pay all costs associated with this work.

National Defence will continue to remain open and transparent as the department, Government of Canada, and TC Energy conduct these assessments, and will continue to provide updates, when available, at: http://Canada.ca/Meaford-energy-consultation

 

Presented to the House of Commons
Alex Ruff (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
February 14, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00179)
Government response tabled
March 30, 2022
Photo - Alex Ruff
Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
Conservative Caucus
Ontario

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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