Monday 20 March 2023

Gun Range updates

We've updates on the gun range. I could write a book, but I won't! I did read all the reports (300 pages total). I write this, since the steering committee has benefitted from other groups who have similarly fought against a nearby gun range, like Ramara Nov. 2020. 

1. Firstly, a member of the steering committee has managed a successful Freedom of Information (FOI) request, and gotten the details of the confidential deal between the OPP and the landowner to clean up the lead and heavy metals. This was a condition of sale. They were sent a 300-page document, consisting of these four reports:

  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) of 1688 Rideau Ferry Rd. gun range, Sept. 4, 2018 (32 pg.).
  • Phase II ESA, March 20, 2019 (98 pg.).
  • Event #1, Groundwater, Surface water & Sediment Monitoring Program, dated Nov., 2019, (166 pages).
  • Event #2, Groundwater, Surface water & Sediment Study, dated May, 2021, (9 pg.).
The history of the OPP recertification activities show that the range was located in a former gravel pit. They scraped the gravel to make a berm at one end, and used railway ties (with creosote) to build the berm wall. Add to that 500 OPP members shooting four rounds or more, one day per year.

There is lead and copper in the ground. The OPP switched over from lead bullets to copper, but not consistently. 

2. Also, here is a new article by a reporter taking over for Evelyn. Hollie did well to come up to speed on the issue. She chatted with us, and I sent her some of the background information. She spoke to our DNE Planner, other citizens, and the gun range proponent.

UPDATE: March 17 – Drummond North Elmsley gun range dispute continues as peer review identifies 'shortcomings' in initial study Article by Hollie Pratt-Campbell. 

These are the timelines of this project:

  • neighbours spread the news of the application by going door-to-door (Sept. 22, 2022) received in the DNE Offices in August,
  • back up materials (i.e., the application documents; application, BTE noise study, Zanderplan consultant report) were disseminated to those who were interested (Oct. 3, 2022),
  • concerned residents began contacting and emailing one another,
  • we met with the township planner and gave him background, played my gun fire video, gave him copies of the letter the OPP sent residents regarding shooting dates, (Sept. 29th),
  • the first letter-to-the-editor was published Oct. 5th, more followed,
  • a steering committee of concerned citizens began meeting in October,
  • silent partners have been researching the Ontario Land Tribunal process, should we have to appeal,
  • 100s of questions have been sent to DNE by phone or email – this is ongoing,
  • letters were sent to the DNE planner, as per protocols, protesting this rezoning,
  • emails began flying as residents became concerned (I've 180 email threads, Joe has 283),
  • a poster was created, beginning on Nov. 4th re: Oct. 11th meeting, posted to Facebook pages,
  • the first public meeting (Oct. 11th), was standing room only, about 90 in attendance,
  • Facebook page private group (Oct. 15, 2022),
  • the petition was researched, designed, printed and disseminated (543 names, first proposed Oct. 15th, presented to staff Dec. 6th),
  • one council member declared conflict of interest and recused himself in November. That leaves 4 members to vote on the issue.
  • planning, creating, costing, fundraising and putting up "No Gun Range" signs (planted Nov. 18/ stolen Nov. 21),
  • contacting the media; radio, TV interviews,
  • big public meeting including Zoom, Dec. 6th, with several presentations to Council, at which time they deferred the vote,
  • I tracked down the previous landowner owner, cttee. got access to the OPP correspondence (Feb., 2023),
  • an FOI request for the OPP clean up plans I & II, was filed (rec'd Mar., 2023).

Many of us are filling our swear jars...


Tom said...

...I'm on my third swearing jar.

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh my. I guess it's still not settled, though I couldn't really figure out what the latest action was...definitely didn't say they're working out a clean-up plan. So sorry.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Keep on keeping on, Jenn and co! yam xx

Elephant's Child said...

Good luck. I so understand the filling of the swear jars...

Patio Postcards said...

What the many can achieve working together. Well done you. I hope someone is listening to all this.

Kay said...

Holy smokes, Jenn! You are amazing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you all.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Lots of work to stop the pollution of noise, earth, and ground water!

Red said...

Keep on truckin! Planning issues are tough.

Divers and Sundry said...

It's good you have a group willing to keep on this.

Jeanie said...

How wretched. Just keep going. Personally, I think they should build a huge, very tall building around it and make them shoot inside.