Kingston, Ont. group seeks federal impact assessment for Davis Tannery development

Davis Tannery land along the Cataraqui River. Global Kingston

No Clearcuts Kingston says it has asked Stephen Guilbeault, the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to conduct an impact assessment on the risks the proposed Tannery development places on local areas of federal responsibility.

The Tannery site is beside the Cataraqui River which is a National Historic Site of Canada, a National Historic Park and a Canadian Heritage River. It is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“No Clearcuts decided to ask for a federal impact assessment after seeking advice from an environmental lawyer,” said retired biologist Kerry Hill of No Clearcuts Kingston.

“We realized that a federal waterway, water lots, and species protected under federal law could be negatively affected and that the federal government has an interest and responsibility to look into this.”

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The group calls the remediation plans for the site aggressive, as they involve cutting down 1,800 trees, digging up and exporting 400,000 tons of earth, and saying that they bring into question the safety of the river itself and the animals and plant life that depend on it.

According to the group, Indigenous representatives were not consulted by the City of Kingston regarding the enormous impact of the proposed Tannery development on nearby Belle Island, a sacred Indigenous place.

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