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Dear members of the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority Board,

I am writing in regards to the exemption to Policy 868 to allow the issue permit of GS 20-363 grant by the board.

My name is Theresa Stafford, I am a retired educator currently residing in Sauble Beach with my husband John. We have been residents in South Bruce Peninsula for 18 years.

We watched the video recording of the meeting when this exemption was made. The members of your board were not informed of the full extent of the work proposed by the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. Characterizing work as a “little bit of digging” and “with some vegetation removal … there’s a few plants there” is inaccurate. “It may encroach into the dunes 5 or 6 feet at most” is a gross misrepresentation. We have surveyed the area as marked by stakes installed by the town, after your deliberations, I believe. At the southern end of the zone in question the stake, which the town has confirmed as the western edge of the retaining wall is 13 feet from eastern edge of the dune. This tapers off but as we move north, at each subsequent marker depths of 10ft, 9ft, 8f, 6ft etc continue for at least half of the length of the proposed cut.

As to vegetation; there are several mature pine and birch trees that are situated east of the marked cut line. (See photo). Other tree root systems will be compromised and a combination of junipers, beach grasses and other plants unique to beach ecosystems will be removed or damaged. Due to erosion and high water levels the breadth of the dune system is quite narrow in this area. This proposed removal with significantly reduce the amount of dune structure.

There was a pertinent question asked regarding consultation and coastal engineering. These kind of reports could have provided the board with important context and background to enable a considered and reasonable decision. The absence of these reports was given a short shrift explanation relying on the applicants concerns rather than speaking to your responsibilities.

The characterization of the timeline of this work as “an emergency” is disingenuous. There is no dispute that there are safety issues that need to be addressed but there are several options not entertained that could make it safer in this area, many of which would not require the exemption you granted. These alternatives were not considered or discussed at you meeting.

The area in question is, as you should be aware, is currently the subject of a long standing land claim by the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). This claim is supported by the Federal Government of Canada. The town failed to consult SON in this matter.

We urge you to reconsider and revoke the exemption until such time as you have the opportunity to address all the errors and omissions detailed above.

At a time when conservation authorities are asking the public to defend them from the machinations of the Provincial Government, surely it is time for you to defend the resources that you have been charged to protect. As strong supporters of the conservation authorities we trust that you will do the right thing before it is too late. Work is scheduled to begin Thursday Dec. 3.

Theresa and John Stafford, Sauble Beach






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