Land use, First Nation concerns on display during Day 2 of Burl's Creek OMB hearing

On the second day of the Ontario Municipal Board ("OMB") hearing regarding the Burl's Creek Event Grounds archaeological issues and First Nations concerns were explored by Chief Keith Doxsee representing the Montagnais Metis First Nation, and David Donnelly, counsel for SaveOro and West Oro Ratepayers' Association ("WORA"). Under cross-examination, Jamie Lemon, who prepared a Stage 1 archeological assessment for Burl's Creek, said both the Huron-Wendat Nation and Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Culture wrote in separate letters dated May 19 saying the temporary zoning by-law should not go forward until after a Stage 2 assessment is complete.

Mr. Dave Hogson, an agrologist for Burl's Creek, and Mr. Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner for Ontario and econologist for SaveOro and WORA, also took the stand.

A significant portion of David Donnelly's cross-examination of Hodgson was based on the latter's change of opinion regarding the type of buffer required via a minimum distance separation zone. Hodgson had previously considered a Type A buffer, which is substantially larger than a Type B buffer. Hodgson's opinion changed because he didn't consider the events occurring on the subject lands as “high intensity” recreational use.

Miller disagreed with Hodgson's classification.  “The density is far in excess of what you see in any normal campground situation,” Miller said. “All this is on the highest impact of camping, as it were. This is hardly camping in a normal sense of the word. This is an intensive use of the land more akin to a box store parking lot than camping.

Read the news coverage here.

Day 3: First Nation call for more studies of Burl's Creek surfaces at OMB hearing

Lengthy opening day at Burl's Creek OMB climaxes with tense cross examination