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Save Our Streams campaign seeks new leadership on Hamilton Conservation Authority board

The Hamilton Conservation Authority board will elect its chair for 2022, during a meeting on February 3rd. Lisa Polewski / 900 CHML

A group of local residents is pushing for new leadership on the Hamilton Conservation Authority board, but the current board chair says their campaign is “misguided.”

Organizers of Save Our Streams Hamilton have launched an email campaign, requesting that Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson not be re-elected as board chair on Feb. 3.

Campaign spokesperson Craig Cassar points to a series of decisions by Ferguson, which he argues put development over conservation.

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“He is making decisions and demonstrating an ideology that is the exact opposite of what someone in charge of the conservation authority should show,” says Cassar.

Save Our Streams points to Ferguson’s votes to hide the Chedoke Creek sewage spill from the public, and what it describes as his repeated attempts to destroy a locally significant wetland.

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Ferguson counters that, “I’m not aware of any wetlands that we’ve bulldozed,” arguing that the number of protected natural areas has grown during his tenure.

“In 2021 alone, we purchased and brought into our ownership, so it’s protected forever, another 177 acres of natural areas,” says Ferguson, “which gets added to the 11,000 acres that we already own.”

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“I just think this whole campaign is misguided, they’ve got some misinformation from somewhere,” concludes Ferguson.

More than 125 residents have emailed the conservation authority board seeking the leadership change, and Cassar is hopeful their plea will be heard.

“We don’t have direct influence on it, but we think if enough people speak up and demonstrate that this is important that they would make the right decision,” Cassar said.

 

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