A long-time opponent of Aldershot’s LaSalle Park Marina appeared before City Council this week to renew his complaints.
Jim Thomson was supposed to be addressing a proposal for paid parking for boat trailers, which he supported, but went on to list a variety of other concerns.
Thompson argued that the City should ban jet skis from using the public boat launch and should be doing more to protect the swans, He added a variety of other concerns related to signage and the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club.
“We should move to eliminate gas engines and go only with electric…. Jet skis should be banned completely. They are extremely damaging to wildlife because they can get in close”, Thompson told Council.
Parks and Recreation Director Chris Glenn replied that such a ban was not going to happen. “Motorized boats and jet skis are legally eligible craft that can be using the boat launch and able to be in our waters, so we continue to support that”.
Thompson also took aim at the City for its apparent lack of support for the swans. He alleged that the installation of the new wave break has threatened the swans. He said that under severe winter conditions the wave break would cause the freezing of adjacent waters preventing the swans from feeding. He claimed that a Provincial Environmental Assessment (EA), which focused on the wave break, required the City to do more.
The Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Al Magi poured water on Thomson’s accusation. He explained that the original 2013 EA, to which Thompson referred, was for a large scale, rock wave break, which was never built. The City instead filed an addendum in 2018 for the new wave break requiring the Tumpeter Swan Coalition to do the monitoring of the swans.
“The agreement with the addendum was that the Trumpeter Swan Coalition would do the monitoring. If there are feeding requirements in extreme winter conditions, where there’s ice, they are able to carry that out, so the issues have all been addressed and are consistent with the approvals that we have in place”.
Story by Rick Craven