Citizen Group Continues To Challenge Fort Erie Motor-Racing Proposal

By John Bacher

(Following a public hearing, a provincially appointed member of the Ontario Municipal Board recently tabled a decision that will allow a controversial plan for a giant motor-racing track to be built on more than 800 acres of land in Fort, Erie, Ontario. In this post, Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society member outlines the group’s reasons for appealing the decision.)

At 9 a.m. this past November 13th, 2012, the Niagara-based Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board of its decision to allow plans for a giant motor racing facility in Fort Erie, Ontario to move forward.

A stretch of Miller Creek on the property where a proposed motor-racing track would go in Fort Erie, Ontario. Photo courtesy of the Preservation of Agricultural Society

Our appeal of OMB member Susan de Avellar Schiller’s decision following a public hearing to approve the zoning for Canadian Motor Speedway seeks to maintain the current Good Agricultural zonings and official plan designations with the Niagara Region and Fort Erie that now protect the 827 acres of land where the raceway would go.

In making the appeal, PALS was careful to confine ourselves to the limitations of such cases that are considered under Section 42 of the Planning Act.  Such appeals cannot attempt to repeat the arguments of the hearing. They must confine themselves to errors of fact and law made by the OMB member who heard the case.

One of the most serious errors in law, in our view, was the disqualification of PALS expert witness Dr. Hugh Gayler in land use planning on the grounds that he was a self-defined member of our society. In making her decision Schiller relied upon the notion put forward by the raceway proponents of PALS as an “advocacy group.”

In our appeal PALS informed the OMB that we are not “an advocacy group”, but rather “an educational group which on occasion must advocate for protection of prime farmlands at the Ontario Municipal Board.”

We also pointed out that “rather than find deficiencies based on lack of sufficient research and familiarity with the land use planning issues in dispute, the opposing parties chose to challenge Dr. Gayler’s testimony through his association with a supposed “advocacy group.” This is an approach that challenges the ability of people to work together to protect the environment, in this case prime farmlands and natural areas, and is incompatible with the norms of a liberal and democratic society. 

PALS was also stunned to find that Schiller made errors in her description of PALS expert witness Dr. Michael Dickman, as an authority in “sweet water” habitats”, and “cold saltwater fisheries.” Our appeal pointed out that Dr. Dickman’s research in Canada was actually based on cold water/fresh water habitats in Canada and subsequently on tropical warm water habitats in China.

In another strange twist, Schiller took the view that Miller Creek which, if the speedway is constructed, will become heavily urbanized, is viewed by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, (NPCA) as being in a “degraded condition.” Such a view, PALS told the OMB, was contrary to the Agreed Upon Statement of Facts of ecological experts for the hearing. They concluded that Miller Creek is a Type One, Critical Fish Habitat.

Schiller also claimed that Dr. Dickman’s objections regarding the loss of tree and forest cover over Miller Creek were a mere “expression of concern.” In response, PALS pointed out that rather than merely being concerned, Dr. Dickman testified that as a result of a proposed new channel for Miller Creek, there will be “a net loss of productive fish habitat due to elevated temperatures and increased predation losses of fish and invertebrates. In time fast growing shrubs  planted by the proponent will vegetate the re-aligned creek borders but it will take 20 to 30 years or more before mature trees shade and protect the re-aligned portions of the creek.          

One of the most serious errors PALs believes Schiller made was to claim that the headwaters spring for Miller Creek, which is proposed to be the site of a massive recreational vehicle, overnight parking area, will be a protected area. Our appeal notes that, “the Hearing Officer could have designated this feature as an environmentally protected area,” but chose not to.

PALS also believes that Schiller erred by claiming that all the significant forests on the site will be protected. These are threatened by planned future road widenings of old municipal road allowances on Laur and Gilmore Roads to five lanes. She also ignored how one area of Significant Forests, identified as the East Hedgerow, is proposed to have this protection removed so that the motorway can cross it. It now provides nesting habitat for the Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, American Robin, Gray Cowbird, Yellow Warbler, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Common Grackle, Blown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole and the American Goldfinch.

In our view, Schiller further erred in claiming that the Bobolink a Threatened Species was only found in “minimal numbers” on the proposed motorway site. This ignores the motorway proponent’s own Environmental Impact Statement made in 2009. This found that, “The Bobolink was locally common, predominately in fields and hayfields along Bridge Street between Laur Road and Sunset Drive. Most pairs were associated with active agricultural land supporting active hay crops.”

Most significantly, we believe that Schiller erred in confusing PALS’ alternative site with a proposed residential subdivision south of Oldfield Road in Niagara Falls. This area has become designated as a provincially significant wetland, which would buffer the actual alternative site from noise impacts, as no development is permitted on such lands.

It is to be hoped that the OMB will wake up and see the Bobolinks, nesting song birds, frogs and fish that will have their habitats doomed by the motorway scheme. It would be tragic if these important habitats are buried in a pile of errors. 

John Bacher is a veteran member of the Preservation of Agricultural Land Society, a citizens group that has been dedicated for more than three decades to the protection of rural lands in and around the Niagara region.

(Niagara At Large invites you to share your views on this post. Please not that NAL only posts comments from individuals who also share their first and last name.)

 

 

 

93 responses to “Citizen Group Continues To Challenge Fort Erie Motor-Racing Proposal

  1. Welcome to the long list of appeal losers in Fort Erie.

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  2. Congratulations to John Bacher and PALS for continuing this important fight. It is definitely wrong to destroy this wonderful natural habitat and I am glad that someone is speaking for the creatures who can’t speak for themselves.

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  3. Jennifer Clarkson

    I am sympathetic to the need to keep environmental issues top of mind. The Niagara River Parkway and other neighbouring creeks will become the new homes of wild life. In stalling the progress and develoipment of the raceway, we are talking about the survival of a town. Fort Erie needs the jobs and economic impact that CMS will bring. I love nature, but I also care about living in a vital community.

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    • Well said ! ……This raceway will bring so much good to the town and surrounding areas …..real people are in big trouble and on the verge of loosing everything they have worked for because they need a better paying job….or just need a job period…….I’m not up on the numbers of how many jobs this raceway will provide for the good people of the niagara area but I know it will save many of us …..Please don’t blow the one chance this area has at a new start because of your narrow minded belief that this project will be a death sentence to the fish and birds of the area……I think that nature is much more able to adapt to changes than what you would have us believe ….I also think that there may be a chance that the creek could benefit from a good planed out restructuring to make it work with the speedway design …………If you care about what the people want and need you should pick up a phone and call lets say 20 people of Fort Erie at random and ask them what they want ……..What ever happened to majority rules ?

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  4. Your area of Ontario is suffering, ie closing of Fort Erie Horse Track among many, and, yet you choose to fight a golden opportunity to bring in millions of dollars and many job opportunities to your community. I cannot understand your thought process. Good luck. If you lose this track then enjoy the high unemployment, poor infrustructure, and the continued acknowledgement of your community as a undesirable area to locate both business and residential projects. Bravo!!!

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  5. I see this as legitimate concerns. The thought process that would allow such an undertaking is not in the best interest of the area and for that matter the Niagara Regoin in general. Considering the serious side effects that such an developement could cause, more research is needed. This should not be centered around the many enviromental issues but also include all of the agenda’s by everyone involved.

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  6. Maybe you should come to Fort Erie and see that the entire town is about to become a wasteland. If no new jobs are created, it will literally be rest stop (toilet) for people going to the US. This province is COVERED with agricultural lands that can (and should) be protected. This small area is needed so a town can survive.

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  7. This is horse shit !!! Will you just give it up already !?!? We need this speedway and the growth it will bring to the area …..god!

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  8. So, I guess this group would rather see the town of Fort Erie die, rather than re-energize it. I’m not saying these aren’t, or shouldnt be issues, but instead of working to destroy something that is potentially good for Fort Erie and Niagara as a whole, perhaps work on a common goal that includes the best of both. If you fight this addition, Fort Erie is dead, plain and simple.

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  9. It is of interest that you have not commented on the merits of our appeal. Let us sincerely pray that the OMB considers our appeal on this basis.

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  10. We can all thank our provincial government for creating such a debacle. This horse racing has been a mainstay for Fort Erie for decades…but they choose to waste our money elsewhere….sad!

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  11. I am fed up with the way this whole thing has turned into a big joke. As a person whom sent almost 13yrs working in Fort Erie I realize that it will take more than a handfull of investors from another country to bring life back to the town. Some kind of a lesson should have been learned because of the demise of the horse track. After all, what was once the pride and joy of the town was and still is owned by someone who has no interest in Fort Erie or its people. No matter how long or what kind of appeal it takes a due process must be taken. If not who the hell knows what will happen to the town so many people love.

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  12. John you came to a packed town meeting and protested the planting of trees on agricultural lands. Now 10 trees will fall on the east hedgerow and you make it sound like they are going to deforest the area. The road allowances you speak of are primarily buckthorn as is the brush that “shades” the creek. Your last article you eluded this was habitat for heron’s. If you look at the wetland and watershed maps you’ll see this is the only area with enough free space to plan any thing sizable and they are working around the wetlands that do exist. They approached the environmental community (not you) at the beginning for advice on whether to manage the wetlands or leave them alone. The tiny area they wish to remove protection from is minuscule. This creek is not healthy and if dredged and re-mediated could be but no one is going to do that for a farmers ditch, certainly not any farmer I know. If you cross the highway you will see a much different picture. There are herons, egrets and a variety of biodiversity there but the West side of the highway is not the paradise you describe. The environmental community needs to know how to pick it’s battles and balance community, economy and save the most important environmental features. Your farming has caused more environmental devastation than any road network or development but we need to eat. Fort Erie needs an economy and you have stalled that once again. I ask that you focus your efforts on assuring the Bowen Rd overpass remains a 3 leaf clover and that the remainder of Millers Creek see it day of cleaning up instead of focusing on the closure of our last sizable tract of shovel ready land. I can only assume your supporters have not walked this property or looked for the fish that don’t make the long dark trip under the QEW or seen the roundup burns along the tiny buffers of this creek etc. This is a joke but it’s a bad one.

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  13. Bacher’s million dollar home is located on what was once beautiful nature land.

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  14. This is not a bad joke. I myself saw while walking on the Bowen Road allowance a Great Blue Heron flying in Frenchman’s Creek. When a large percentage of an watershed becomes urbanized- streams bascially die. Through this impact the waters downstream of the motorway on Miller, Frenchman’s and Beaver’s Creek, will be negatively impacted. Along the road allowances, while walking with me along the Frenchman’s Creek floodplain even the experts of the Speedway admitted to me that what was regenerating forest was not Buckthorn but Pin Oak. Hawthorn, not buckthorn is major species that shades Miller’s Creek. Plans are underway to improve the municipal drains of other Fort Erie Creeks in the same manner than was applied very well by the Town on Beaver Creek.

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  15. House assessements are in and they are dropping in value, jobs in Fort Erie, hummmm None, Have you drove the streets of this town and seen the for sale signs in the front yards. This town needs this badly, We need buisnesses in this town, Get off the band wagon and let them build. I am sure they will do a fine environmental job or preserving this area. People have to stop before we loose this. It’s not a retirement town no more. If you want to retire go up north or down south. Too many people are loosing there houses and are moving out of town.

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  16. Our appeal is not a joke, nor is the protection of streams and forests. Whenever a stream become heavily urbanized the wildlife that it supports begins to die. The accepted threshold in Ontario is around 25 per cent. Currently the streams impacted by the motorway, Miller, Frenchman’s and Beaver, are healthy warm water fish habitats. Although these streams on the subject lands are not in their most pristine condition, they are important for downstream habitats.

    It needs to be understood that potentially bigger areas will be impacted if we lose our appeal. As a condition to persuade three farmers to withdraw their OMB appeals, the developer agreed to purchase their properties in the advent that he obtained the zoning approvals needed for the motorway. This means that there will be 1,500 acres impacted- and that we will likely see more re-zonings in the future in this environmentally sensitive area.

    I have witnessed personally a Blue Heron in Frenchman’s Creek while walking on Gimore Road. This area of Gilmore Road is now an attractive hiking trail. It is slated to become a five lane highway. There is a lot of native vegetation in the floodplains of Miller and Frenchman’s Creeks. Much of it is mature Pin Oak, not just exotic invasive Buckthorn.

    The farmers who have farmed the land have done so in a responsible manner. I was surprised to find that most of the land that the developer was promising to renaturalize- was already undergoing ecological succession, by the wisdom of a past farmer owner. The developer also claimed that Miller Creek could be easily crossed by farm machinery. After walking the creek escorted by the developer’s experts- I found that there were only two crossings of the creek. Both were carefully marked in a responsible way.

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  17. Bacher, the appeal isn’t a joke, but you are. The appeal is an absolute waste of everyone’s time, except for you and your agenda. You obviously want to make a living off the taxpayer, given your ambitions as a politician, which you fail miserably at. You need to understand that voters, ie, taxpayers are way more concerned with job opportunities that will help them pay the bill, one of which is taxes that, oh ya!, pay the salaries of politicians, than a seemingly undesirable patch of land that no one wants to farm.

    Stop this nonsense!

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  18. It seems that the people behind this project are already having some financial problems. According to the latest news release the company is having a difficult time bringing money into this country. Why would that be!! No other comment on my part. Atleast at this time

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  19. The joke sir is that one individual such as your self, can possibly ruin a wonderfull tourism and job opportunity for the whole Niagara area. Factories have closed forcing many out of work. Some have been forced to rely on the area food banks to keep them selves and their children fed. Every project that comes along your group opposes, supposedly just to save a few animals and trees. I am sure that they will adapt to other surroundings. To bad for the citizens who need a project like this in order to survive.

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  20. It is important for people to consider that there are economic benefits that flow from Fort Erie’s high quality environment, that would be at risk if it was degraded. Consider for instance that its environment is so appealing that it has attracted people from Buffalo to have homes here since the 1890s. This brings with it benefits, such as the Buffalo Canoe Club. In a rush to attract the speedway, we may lose features that are attractive to people to come to Fort Erie not only to live in, but to invest and created businesses. PALS’ appeal and our whole case did not just negatively oppose the speedway. We went to considerable effort to show that if it is approved for racing, it could be improved by having for instance, parking removed from stream headwaters and located in areas designated for light industry. We have pointed this out in our appeal. The OMB hearing officer claimed the headwaters of Miller Creek is now protected. It is not. It is slated to become a parking area for recreational vehicles. The hearing officer could have made this ecologically sensitive area part of the environmental protection area and put parking on lands designated for light industry, or supposed university research park.

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  21. It is no joke fellow Sir. I’d rather be without a job than be indebted to the likes of those people. Do you mean to tell me that you and the likes of you are so desperate. What next, selling your first born for because you think that you can get something out of it?

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  22. From the MNR website
    “Threats
    Bobolink populations have declined considerably over
    the past half century. As a wide ranging species that
    migrates in and out of Ontario, there are likely several
    causes for this decline, and we need to know more
    about the threats to Bobolink in this province. Along
    their migration route and in their wintering areas in
    South America, they are considered a pest of grain
    crops.
    Mowing of hay during the breeding period may
    inadvertently kill and disturb nesting adults and young
    birds and destroy eggs and nests. Cutting hay in early
    to mid July coincides with the time that young birds
    are in the nest and are not able to fly. In addition, the
    quality of Bobolink nesting habitat has likely declined
    over time due to modern hay production practices
    such as earlier maturing seed mixtures and shorter crop
    rotation cycles.”

    Looks like agriculture is taking the finger for this one.

    Most of the tree cover over the creek is not hawthorn or pin oak. Some might be hawthorn but the new creek (not ditch) can be bettered through plantings. Of course you see herons on Frenchman’s Creek John. It actually has fish and flow. Even at flood stages the section of creek you defend isn’t much more than a trickle at the outlet of the property.

    Follow it down stream and you will find florescent tubes etc dumped in it on Pettit Rd, a municipal dump (where they’ve found vinyl chloride in the water table), a hoarder who’s open oil pans overflow into the water along with his junk, another illegal dumping location and even a dam stopping fish migration near it’s outlet. Most of it has been designated as wetland and won’t see high density impacts. I will research your other claims of additional land opening up as a result though.

    I don’t disagree a speedway will have negative impacts but it’s going to be built somewhere and I’d rather it be in my back yard where we can police it. I am concerned about absentee owners and noise. I do realize this is just a courtship right now and I don’t think this is the town savior but I think your arguments have been deceptive and exaggerated.

    http://maps.niagararegion.ca/Navigator/?config=npca
    Please zoom in with this map until you reach a scale of 1:10,000 to see the watershed boundaries and check off the operational layers. No John I don’t think your a joke but the fight you picked is. Anywhere else and I would probably be beside you. Your making the environment sector look non-negotiable and untrustworthy.

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    • Regarding the Bobolink there was no deception. I just stated that the hearing officer ignored the evidence presented by the Speedway at the hearing that the Bobolink on the site was in their words, “locally common.” While the agricultural problems you describe are a factor in the decline of Bobolink so is urban sprawl. Fort Eire is the last stronghold of the species in Niagara. It will take over 30 years to get the betterment you are hoping for- Miller Creek also will have a smaller floodplain than it does now with what they are proposing. Regarding my “claims” unless the speedway buys three additional farms the agricultural zoning will remain in place and the speedway will not be built.

      I am not making the environmental sector look non-neotiable and untrustworthy. Our expert witness at the hearing Dr. Mike Dickman took care to tell the OMB the following:

      If the project is approved, the remaining 827 acres owned by the applicant, which are not already in tree cover, should be put into forest cover. This would be in keeping with the goal of making the Canadian Motor Speedway Carbon netural. The creation of a large forest would absorb carbon and other pollutants. It would also improve forst interior bird habitat of the existing Provincially SIgnificant Wetland foests and improve the health of Miller and Frenchman’s Creeks. It could be required by the Board as a condition of approval that these lands be put into an environmental protection designation and zoning in the relevant Niagara and Fort Erie plans and that there be a trasfer of ownership; to an appropriate conservation agency such as a land trust, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, the province or a private conservation group such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

      There are a lot of lands proposed for light industry and a supposed research park that are not needed for the motorway and could have been protected by the OMB, had they chose to listen to our evidence. It is the motorway advocates, not PALS who are the non-neogitators.

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      • Your expert witness told the OMB “the remaining 827 acres owned by the applicant, which are not already in tree cover”??? You told our council you were against planting trees on agricultural land!

        The folks at ICanter are wondering how anyone can claim bobolinks are “predominately in fields and hay fields along Bridge Street between Laur Road and Sunset Drive.” because they thought they had them all the bobolinks there on House Rd this year as they have many environment partners in the reclamation of FARMLAND. They still have a section they farm but they have set aside an area for nesting birds and the bobolink is doing very well there. Perhaps the 30 meter buffer of grassland along the new Millers Creek will give them a chance. A local naturalist told me yesterday that this was a very good year for the bobolink as well.

        John we\ll have to agree to disagree on this one. If you ever decide to help with a clean up of the rest of Millers Creek (the areas that actually hold fish and migratory birds etc) you can count on me to help.

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  23. Peter Koutroulakis

    John Bacher and many others before him use anything in the spotlight to turn the light onto themselves.
    The trouble with attracting attention to one’s self is that it allows many thought provoking people to look further into their false claims and get to the real crux of the issue.
    Not the envrionment as perceived, but some of the people behind the environmental organizations that use flora and fauna for political gain and not really in the business to protect them.
    Until the MNR and some of the responsible development community takes over, that is…..
    Yes John, we know our backyard better than most and know the inherit risks of some other developments, BUT we also know that we now have a new partner with the ability to clean up these particular lands that have been abused and the wildlife that can’t co-exist there, as it remains.
    Let’s us move forward together cautiously, with the environment and the developer in mind and let’s get on with it, already!
    BTW, good luck running for office in St. Catharine’s again as an NDP, as it’s the only thriving community in the region and they don’t need you there either.
    Bobolinks, toads and other species are endangered by the likes of people like Mr. Bacher and don’t be mislead or mistaken!

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  24. If the wildlife cannot co-exist there the Bobolink would not have been present to have been identified in the surveys done by the proponent that the hearing officer ignored. There were also a breeding pair of the rare Meadowlark when they did their initial survey as well. The pair left after the former grassland was turned into a wheat field by the same people you are having so much faith in to protect the environment who if there scheme is approved will be cutting down thousands of trees!

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  25. I wish you people would wake up and see that Fort Erie and the Niagara Region need this track. they have an enviromental plan set. The jobs short term and long term that this is bringing in. the money that the track will bring in is crazy. I cannot understand why you would protest this?

    A Note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – For the record, Niagara At Large has not taken a position on the Preservation of Agricultural Society’s decision to further appeal plans to contruct this speedway in Fort Erie. The question of this speedway has been a matter of interest and debate for more than three years now and NAL will continue to serve as a venue for arguments for and against this project.

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  26. I was considering moving back to town in the near future but I’m afraid when that time comes there will be no point. Zero jobs, zero growth etc. Losing this track would be an embarrassment to the area. No other businesses will want to come to town in fear they might be deveopling on top of an ant hill. Everytime I come back to visit another business hits the deadpool, while housing prices drop like stones. The speedway might not save the town but it will definitely be a step in the right direction to a possible economic recovery.

    Get a grip!

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  27. I just happened upon this “article” and the responses to it. It is possible to develope lands without altering them negatively in the long term, while improving the economic climate in a region. Both sides have valid arguments. I have worked in the automotive industry, the racing industry and in the enviromental protection industry. I have heard arguments from both sides that are routinely self serving, and heard legitimate arguments from both sides.. The OMB is not full of “newbies” nor enviromentalists, nor is it as influenced by developers as some would have us, (the public), believe. Having worked in the enviromental protection industry I witnessed large corporations in automobile manufacturing LEADING the way in enviromental protection, often over compensating. Quite often cottagers, residents and local businesses are surpassed by large margines, when it comes to protecting the enviroment, by new corporate citizens. A balance needs to be found and there are laws and statutes in place to care for wildlife while progressing economically. My opinion is that working together, in a conservative yet progressive partnership would be beneficial for all involved. The “my way or the highway” attitude by either side is counter productive. I have no financial or political interest in the situation going either way, no longer work in either industry, and don’t own nor profit from anything in the region. Might get down that way once every few years, would be tempted to visit more often if there were a new facility though.
    I am a proud Canadian. This Country was built by people with differing agendas, backgrounds and ideologies. Why have a winner and a loser when both sides can work together and come out on the other side as proud partners in a flourishing, diverse area? The big dollar people needed for a project such as this will eventally walk away if the level of litigation escalates. Do those who oppose this developement think that the area will flourish without new investment? Why not lead an economic comeback, in partnership, rather than fight each other into oblivion? Some will say I am a dreamer, wanting big business and enviromentalists to team up, but hey dreamers built great nations and economies with ideas for new partnerships. Wouldn’t it be a feather in all the participants caps to do this and do it right?
    Jim Coneybeare.

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    • There are at least four businesses in Fort Erie that are currently set to close in the new year. Thats ontop of what already has. Not to mention the countless jobs that the horse track let go.
      I cannot understand how an why the OMB and the canadian goverment hasnt just realized that we need this. Just come out and say its a go. End of discussion. We lose a few trees. THey plant hundreds more. They move a ditch. and make a creek. both birds and fish adapt to their enviroment.

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  28. Peter Koutroulakis

    Get a grip is right!
    Greater Fort Erie is fast becoming an unemployment town plagued by delay after delay while there are NO immediate environmental issues that the Ministry of Natural Resources are proclaiming as “Protected or Preservation Areas” in this 10 year plan in the making!
    Bacher claims Fort Erie should first deal with brownfield development but who in their right mind would venture to town after hearing about all the false claims of the environment, beaucratic red-tape and the nonesense created by wanna be politicians that help crucify a once thriving community filled with opportunity instead of helping it?
    With the growing hostility in un-founded claims, developers and business people are now being stereo-typed as “anti-environment” and only “venture capitalists” disregarding the MNR and the multitude of social media blogs that paint every investor with the same brush are not helping the situation.
    Case in point: A P3 investment model was created by Fort Erie Town staff.
    A multitude of investors came forward and through proper planning, with the environment in mind, the developer was then subjected to years of unnecessary delays with hurdle after hurdle created by wanna be politicians and their supposed “environmental groups”.
    These very people that were distorting the environmental issues at Bay Beach, became elected officials in 2010 while the Ontario Municipal Board and the Ministry of Natural Resources still found this particular development plan as good and appropriate planning with the environment in mind.
    Until this day, not one of these so-called politicians have claimed defeat and the whole town has fallen on deaf ears by new prospective investors.
    In the meantime, the intial Canadian Motor Speedway OMB Approval was a welcomed sight last month, for many in town and now Bacher and PALS are subjecting this town once more to another round of ill-advised delays which Fort Erie can’t afford.
    As a businessman myself and an environmetal minded individual who just planted several thousands of dollars worth of trees on my own property, I see things quite vividly now in recent years and understand why our beloved town has fallen off the employment map.
    What we need now, more than ever, is a swift OMB approval and no more delays, so we can ALL help the creeks flow better, help the flora and fauna survive with little objection from those seeking political power.
    If you are truly in the business of helping the environment as you say Mr. Bacher, let us work together and we will all be better for it.

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    • Regarding this latest round of attacks, neither myself or PALS got involved in the Bay Beach controversy. I don’t know of any of our members either who made presentations on this issue, or objected in any other way. Needless to say, whatever to my mind is objectionable about this proposal could have been avoided had the condonimium simply have been built on the other side of the road it is is being proposed for, away from more recent mappings of dynamic beaches.

      If the OMB had listened to our suggestions about improving the motorway we would not be now objectioning. The coffin that is being complained about is of their making, not PALS.

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      • Peter Koutroulakis

        Your objections Mr. Bacher, to the CMS are subjective at best. Your objections to the Bay Beach plan are also subjective and have been scrutinized for far too long even after so many dismissed appeals, leaving a lasting impression that Fort Erie is a new battle ground for supposed environmentalists when infact are maligning critical economic benefits of a struggling community for their own political gain and you cannot deny it.
        The dynamic beach arguement fell short as did all the other obvious misinformation of the approved plan. Appeal after appeal and the OMB and the courts still found no reason to stop the Bay Beach condo project but the damage in the investment community remained, as the Bay Beach condo plan was unnecessarily delayed for several years.
        What the condo and the CMS developments obviously have in common are initial OMB approvals that has been years in the making stalled by supposed stewards of the environment, but when all was said and done, both proposed developments are only subjected to aspiring politicians that use such objectionary OMB rulings as a platform to further their own agendas. Yes, those very elected officials in Fort Erie aren’t contesting the CMS plan but they have already received their seats on Town Council, so you might say their environmental fight is over.
        We as a region cannot support such abuse of the OMB appeal process and Fort Erie is a perfect example of a once development friendly community willing to investigate new proposals and now being stereo-typed as a community that can’t be trusted by the investment world.
        If that is your quest, you and yours have been successful in doing so, as many investors I communicate with on a daily basis are very weary of this type of behaviour.
        In the meantime, there are many mature trees that used to be saplings still growing in the fields of nurseries when they may have had a permanent home.
        These mature trees may have many similarities to young adults in the region still living with their parents well into their thirties for obvious reasons, as unemployment is at a staggering rate.

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      • Peter Koutroulakis

        I am not attacking, but revealing the issues that surround such claims that Fort Erie lands are not fit for appropriate development which in fact have been deemed appropriate by the MNR and the OMB, so we should all work together to ensure these new developments move forward in a timely fashion.
        Your objections Mr. Bacher, to the CMS are subjective at best. Your objections to the Bay Beach plan are also subjective and have been scrutinized for far too long even after so many dismissed appeals, leaving a lasting impression that Fort Erie is a new battle ground for supposed environmentalists when infact are maligning critical economic benefits of a struggling community for their own political gain and you cannot deny it.
        The dynamic beach argument fell short, as did all the other obvious misinformation of the approved plan. Appeal after appeal and the OMB and the courts still found no reason to stop the Bay Beach condo project but the damage in the investment community remained, as the Bay Beach condo plan was unnecessarily delayed for several years.
        What the condo and the CMS developments obviously have in common are initial OMB approvals that has been years in the making stalled by supposed stewards of the environment, but when all was said and done, both proposed developments are only subjected to aspiring politicians that use such objectionary OMB rulings as a platform to further their own agendas. Yes, those very elected officials in Fort Erie aren’t contesting the CMS plan but they have already received their seats on Town Council, so you might say their environmental fight is over.
        We as a region cannot support such abuse of the OMB appeal process and Fort Erie is a perfect example of a once development friendly community willing to investigate new proposals and now being stereo-typed as a community that can’t be trusted by the investment world.
        If that is your quest, you and yours have been successful in doing so, as many investors I communicate with on a daily basis are very weary of this type of behaviour.
        In the meantime, there are many mature trees that used to be saplings still growing in the fields of nurseries when they may have had a permanent home. Why is this industry failing as well and why aren’t more ‘environmentalists’ not planting trees on their own properties as it’s obvious that it is not happening.
        These mature trees may have many similarities to young adults in the region still living with their parents well into their thirties for obvious reasons, as unemployment is at a staggering rate.

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  29. I think both sides can have what they want, but PALS shouldn’t be trying to stop the project. what they should be working towards, is a modification of the plans, which it sounds like the track is already planning on anyway. everyone could potentially get the best of both worlds. it can be done. Bristol Tennessee is a perfect example. it’s an environmentally rich area, with a very small community, roughly the size of Fort Erie, that also has a racetrack. everyone co-exists quite well, AND, the two NASCAR races that are held there every year, more than sustain the community for the entire year. this is what Fort Erie needs, aswell as something else that hasn’t been proposed yet, but you should be trying to work with this, not against this John. these people need help and solutions, not a coffin.

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  30. Rather than opposing tree planting on farmland I wrote a book “Two Billion Trees and Counting: The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz”, about a man, from Fort Erie, who did exactly that. You can see the legacy of his wisdom all over Fort Erie today, where farmers had the good sense to let such marginal areas as the floodplains of creek, renaturalize into forest cover-including on the motorway site.

    Where the Bobolink are was submitted by evidence put foward by the proponent’s biologists. They also admit they are still there. It would be better for the floodplains of the various creeks to be in tree cover, rather than grass. What is being proposed by speedway advocates through Niagara At Large would be harmful to the creeks that flows through the speedway lands. By having them lined with grass as is being proposed by your debater, would cause them to warm up harmfully. Fish would also be vulnerable to predators by the loss of tree cover. If the realigned channel of Miller Creek is built it will take 30 years to have as much tree cover on the site as there is now.

    If the speedway were to be approved its environmental impact would be reduced if the OMB had designated more areas environmental protection where forest cover would be expanded. PALS would have been grateful to have gained something significant through this difficult process. Then we would not have to be debating this issue in this forum.

    The way the speedway is being proposed now, there will be no net gain of forest cover. I saw the three areas where is is claimed by the speedway that this will be done. Two of them are regenerating into forest. The third is where there are road widenings proposed-which will reduce the benefit of what is being proposed there.

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  31. Peter Koutroulakis

    No one is objecting to groups trying to protect the environment and it’s the location that should be the main focus, not one of the group members themselves as I have stated above..
    The initial land search for this particular development and subsequent land acquisitions started almost ten years ago and those involved were looking for land that was condusive to development, as most investors do in these trying times.
    Those days are gone where developers were unaware of environmetal issues on parcels of lands, purchased those particular lands and built on them with little regard for the environment.
    The MNR today, is fully aware of the minute environmental issues of this site and so are the OMB officials that deemed it appropriate for development.
    Like I said before, I recently planted many new trees on a plot of forested land and when sourcing out nurseries, I was shocked to see maturing trees instead of samplings. Many nursery owners are effected by this poor economy as well and if ‘tree huggers’, aren’t buying them such as myself, who will sustain this latest industry also in decline in the Niagara Region?
    Will it be our youth that Toronto Star reports that has the highest unemployment rate at 15%, the highest it’s been in a generation?
    A generation that sees the 15-24 year old aspiring employee fighting to compete with university grads taking their minimum wage jobs away from them?
    What ever happened to opening the door for opportunity for the next generation?
    What ever happened to good paying jobs for the trained and/or educated in the region?
    Is it that we all got too comfortable in our own lives that we forgot those that fought for our future and now, we can’t provide basic health-care for them?
    Economists have been warning of the risks of complacency and if and when we all move forward together as one, using technology and our new found knowledge to grow an economy with the environment in mind, this development and others could possibly open the door to other prospective stake holders. If there is renewed spirit in the region, the manufacturing sector may consider us for a new start green energy facility or we may also have the opportunity to re-locate an industry that is sitting on much more valuable land in the GTA and is thinking to locate in Niagara at a lesser price and re-investing their new found wealth in new technology or retooling their new facility and possibly expanding their employee base.
    As many know, there are plenty of vacant industrial sites in the region that are beckoning. Some are polluted brownfields that need immediate attention and some are up to todays standards and just need a purpose.
    With forward thinking proponents on both sides and a little compromise, the Niagara Region may find itself with re-newed hope and if these ill-advised delays hamper our reputation as a destinaton for opportunity, be prepared for higher unemployment, higher taxes and less health services with aspiring contrarian politicians being elected to compound our economic situation.
    Look no further than our present majority of Fort Erie Town Council and what became of a stalled residential development approved several times by the OMB and the courts and the new elected contrarians that tried to thwart it.
    The town is now left with picking up the pieces and a horrible reputation as a town not ready for the next chapter of opportunity, while the provincial government has turned their backs on us.
    We need a swift OMB approval on the CMS and no more appeals or delays, like never before!

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    • Well said peter. This is a opportunity for our kids. The development that will come of this in the future is huge.
      John… you say that the fish would be more exposed to their prey… in the current condition that the creek is in now…they are just as equally exposed. Oh wait, it’s dry. There are no fish.

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  32. Regarding the two previous comments if there is a coffin, which I do not accept, it was of the OMB’s making. During the hearing Dr. Dickman went to considerable length to show how the speedway could be improved by creating a forested buffer on lands which were proposed for uses such as light industry, which could more appropriately be located within the existing urban boundary. In response to an earlier comment at the public meeting at the Fort Erie Council, I said that this buffer should be on the proponent’s lands, not as it seemed to me at the time, on the lands of a neighbouring farmer, Richard Jukosky.

    Regarding speedways there is not the support in the City of Niagara Falls which there is in Fort Erie. People there for whatever reason, do not believe that such developments will be good for their community, despite similar economic problems. Niagara Falls has suffered from a lot of plant closures and there is also declining tourism because of new security rules. There was a proposal to have a speedway in Niagara Falls, which had a public meeting under the Planning Act. There were over a hundred people opposed to the speedway, and only a nandful of supporters.
    The comment of one of the speedway opponents that I must clearly recall came from a cancer doctor. In addition to concerns about air pollution, she spoke about her experience in growing up in Cayuga, Ontario which is home to a motor speedway. She said that while growing up in Cayuga, her big ambition in life was to be able to get a job which would take her away from this facility.

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    • Peter Koutroulakis

      Mr. Bacher, you are now claiming that people near Cayuga raceway are subjected to more air pollution and cancer is more previlant there?
      We have plenty of small raceways in the region, and hundreds of border guards working at North America’s largest bridge crossing at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, not to mention all the other bridge crossings in Niagara.
      Thousands of cars and trucks idle on these bridge 24/7, 365 days a year for almost a century and still to this day, not one border guard we are aware of has claimed to have respiratory desease or anyother inherit risks caused by bridge traffic.
      FYI, the Niagara Falls community you mentioned, is much larger than Fort Erie’s, as is the entire Niagara Region, Southern Ontario and Western New York, collectively.
      If you are looking for naysayers, you’ll find plenty BUT you’ll also see and hear a multitude of supporters from outside of Fort Erie for the Canadian Motor Speedway that no one including you can deny. These numbers are staggering and the support we see is overwhelming all across both sides of the border.
      If you are looking for the big stage, you have it but tread lightly as your misinformed numbers in support of your cause is very small compared to the speedways. What all these communities have in common is that are desparately looking for a new lease on life, one world class development at a time.
      This CMS development creates that type of stimulous in all sectors thus creating jobs that your plans don’t even begin to address.
      The weary job seeker and their friends, such as myself would like a swift OMB approval once more and for you to acknowledge OTHER AREAS that need immediate environmental attention.

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  33. Dear Mr. Bacher
    I am hoping you will read this message and understand the situation that many families, not only in Fort Erie but across Niagara face.
    I understand your cause and your reason for believing that this Speedway is not a good answer or fit. I ask you to consider what I have to say.
    I would also like to appeal to your Christian side. As Christians we struggle to always do what is right, not just in the face of God but by our fellow man. The answers aren’t always clear and transparent.
    I have experienced life from both ends, from financial success to financial failure. All I can do is maintain my family and raise my child to be a better person. Most in Niagara are not looking for wealth but just relief from unemployment and to make life better for their children. This is how most of us view this Speedway. Perhaps in better economic times, your cause would have more support. As of right now, I am asking that you consider what the lesser of 2 evils will be. I also ask that you consider your actions in this and question how many people are being negatively impacted by your appeals.
    There are many businesses, especially in Fort Erie that are holding on by a thin thread. These businesses have 1 or more employees that have jobs. When you add the small businesses up in Niagara and Fort Erie, they make up our largest source of employment. Restaurants and retail being the bulk of that. The reality is that this is our main industry now. Factory jobs aren’t coming back. Farming is not the answer and with our wetland designations in Fort Erie by our Provincial government, farming is even less viable. Many small businesses are watching to see what happens with this speedway. It will make or break their futures and that means more jobs or more lost jobs. There will be no neutral ground in this. Your appeal of the OMB can have a negative impact on thousands of families across Niagara. I am not asking you to believe what I am saying but think about what I am saying and look for the truth yourself. This is what we Christians need to do in every situation. Sin by definition is when you hurt yourself or someone else by your actions. If you succeed in stopping this speedway, you sir will hurt literally thousands. Many among them are children who already struggle to be clothed and fed properly. If their parents are out of work these children will suffer more.
    So I ask you to step back outside your understanding of what this Speedway means and come back in and look at it through the eyes of others who really need it. To many this was a blessing and the ONLY thing left to help us all out. This is what is the greater good. This Speedway will benefit far more people than any minor nuances it may cause a few. Please let the system work, which it has and withdraw your appeal. Even delays will hurt many people and cause irreversible damage and if you are truly and good Christian man, I believe that all you need to do is rethink this and understand it.
    Thank you for your time.

    Greg Bonito

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  34. Millers what????? Half of the people in this town didn’t even know we had a Millers Creek. And after the race track comes to town I am sure they will do the necessary changes required in order to comply. Let stop stalling and build this place, our town will finally hit the map in a good way and not for just all the bad items coming up. Look at the places closing in this town, now Ontario Bakery, home hardware and I am sure many many more. We are a border town let the infrastructure come to this town…….!!!!!!! Get on the band wagon. Quit complaining, it will only be good for everyone….

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  35. ohhh yes, this is why companies quit looking at Fort Erie to build, it’s sad, I am not proud to say I live here any more with groups like this stopping projects at times like this…..

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  36. Over and over we are hearing how this proposed project is going to create massive work for the people in the region. To this day we have not once heard any solid information about what those wages may be. As a matter of fact the only thing in regards to money that we have heard is, is how much these people have spent. Are we that naive to believe that these so called jobs will be of a benifit to all of us. Are we that desperate that we are willing to sell our soul to someone that has given us nothing but empty promise’s?

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    • Mr.Costa.

      Does wage matter vs unemployment? Empty promises? If it wasnt for these protesters CMS would already be racing. Jobs would already be here. Thats not empty.

      Mr Bacher

      You cannot compare Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. yes they both are hurting economically but by far we in Fort Erie are taking the worst of the two. the people of this town want the track. Do you live here? Are you worried for your job?

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    • @ Peter Costa, jobs are jobs and the only steady one in town is Walmart. Do you need specifics? Do you think this track will run itself. Any jobs are better than none.

      Unbelievable.

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    • Mr. Costa ….This project WILL create jobs …..I will do my best to break it down for you……
      I’m not an educated man and will try my best to use my big words …but don’t count on it .

      I am more of a steel worker slash millwright and have worked around much smaller projects than what the race track will be (not sure of the scale of the project) so these numbers WILL be off a bit ..

      1 .First a crew will come in with dozers,excavators,dump trucks,and whatever other machinery and man power that will be necessary to get the land set on grade and dug out ready for footings, and or whatever other concrete work needed for phase one of a structure build…

      so far a rough estimate of jobs created …….
      surveyors 4 to 8 ?…….
      supervisors 8 or more ………
      machine operators 15 to 20……..
      truck driving jobs 20 or more………
      general labor 40 or more…….
      concrete workers 20 or more……..
      Like I said I don’t know the scale of this project but I’m sure my numbers are on the low side ….

      Local business that stands to profit…hotels and restaurants (if some of the workers are from out of town ) …..
      Local gas station (that much machinery will use lots of fuel)
      Local quarry (thousands of tons of stone will be needed)
      Local concrete plant ( going to need lots of concrete)

      2 The second phase is where I would most likely come on the scene….
      With much but not all of the concrete work done in phase one of the project the stage will be set for the steel workers to come in and do a bunch of structural steel work ……with any luck the beam work will be fabricated in one or more local metal fab shops (that have had many rough years scrounging for work) .

      It would take thousands of man hours to cut, drill, cope, weld, and paint the beam work …20 or more men for 2 to 3 months of in shop work…….
      The beam work would then be loaded on transport trucks and shipped to the build site…. many transport loads to the job site…

      Crane and boom truck operators to lift beam work and structures into place 4 jobs easy
      A crew of no less than 15 steel workers will be needed to erect beam work …(could be as much as 3x more men than my guesstimate)
      I’m going to stop guessing the number of jobs that this project will bring and just say this is only the tip of the ice burg !! This place will need brick work , electrical work , plumbing, roofing, windows, insulating ,road work, the paving of the main track and parking lots and many many more things ….. And last but not least (or maybe first on the list of things to be done) is the attention that will be given to Miller creek to ensure it will not wither and die (any more than it already is)

      Mr. Costa ….
      you asked …”Are we that naive to believe that these so called jobs will be of a benefit to all of us?” (I took the liberty of fixing your grammatical errors when quoting your question)

      The answer is no this raceway will not benefit all of us…….does a dried up half dead creek benefit anyone? ……I can’t think of anyone that can benefit from this creek…..well maybe John Bacher can….
      Who will be selling their soul ? I don’t even understand what the hell that means …..And why would anyone be talking about wages for the race track when they can’t even get the okay to build the place?

      Thanks …

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      • Statements and questions need the correct punctuation at the end of the sentence. A statement needs a period, and a question needs a question mark. In the case of what you tried to quote has been misunderstood. Also a quote is started with, “and ends with.”

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  37. Regarding the “environmental plan” of the Canadian motorspeedway I got some sense of this while walking in the company of their environmental experts with Dr. Dickman in the field on the subject lands for two days. There are essentially three aspects to this plan. One is to relocate Miller Creek.

    The relocated Creek would be on grasslands which current provide habitat for the Threanted Bobolink. These grasslands would be dug up for the relocated creek and a proposed shopping center.

    The relocated Creek also would have a smaller area of floodplain than the current creek has. This would mean there would be less room for fish to use the floodplain area to spawn in.

    Some people have questioned if there actually are any fish in Miller Creek. The fact however, is agreed to by the Ministry of Natural Resources, who have designated the Creek as a Type One Fish habitat. While people wonder if fish can swim under the Queen Elizabeth culverts, I have seen fish that do this while walking on Frenchman’s Creek on the motorway lands. There are many creeks in Fort Erie where fish do successfully swim under the culverts. Also there is a problem of storm water pollution going downstream. This will be significant just from the widened roads alone.

    The other aspect of the environmental plan are three targeted restoration areas. All of these are in Frenchman’s Creek floodplain where any development potential, except for limited uses like swimming pools and golf courses, is prohibited. Two of these areas are already regenerating successfully, so there is no need to plant trees here and the lands are already protected from development. There is a third area where some tree planting is possible. However, here this lands will be impacted by proposed changes to Laur Road and Gilmore Road. If the speedway is constructed these roads will be widened to five lanes from being hiking trails. Not only will a lot of trees and forests be cut down by doing this, but the proposed restoration area will be impacted, especially by an interchange at Laur and Gilmore Road.

    There may have been some “aspiring politicians” that were involved in the Bay Beach controversy, but none of the people that were involved in the opposition to the motorway have ever sought public office. If you go to the website of the Bert Miller Nature Club, you will see no aspiring politicians there.

    Also I find it quite reprehensible that people are being attacked for being aspiring politicians. This certainly shows a low regard for the demoractic political process.
    What my role model is for a politician are the faithful Christian ones who worked to oppose slavery. Like them I pray that I am being motivated by God’s grace working in me. Also I would like to point out that in their day they were opposed by economic arguments, that what they were doing was bad for jobs.
    F

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  38. Peter Koutroulakis

    To explain why we need this proposed development is to explain why we have little else to offer working class people and will continue to do so until we have a better reputation for job creation in the region.
    This development is part of the solution that will help fix the employment problem, it will also allow the area to be on the global map, as a first of its kind “Carbon Neutral” Raceway that is clearly a positive intiative for an area looking for renewal.
    Imagine an environmentally friendly industry such as this breaking ground and how many others may come to investigate the area because of it?
    What are we really saying to the investment world if we deny this plan or keep stalling it?
    Is that the reputation you want to pass onto the the next generation that is techno-savvy and are desparate for hi-tech employment opportunities in their backyard or are we willing to continually send them off to college to never see them come back to the region again????
    Some should put their personal differences aside and think of those young adults waiting for us to give them the opportunites that we had or our parents before us.
    Give this proposed plan a chance to bring more jobs to the immediate area and allow other employers to follow. That is how the Niagara Peninsula became the Golden Horseshoe long ago, one plan at a time, one industry at a time. Don’t let this development get away, as our reputation isn’t getting better and there won’t be many more coming to the region if we keep denying approved plans.
    FYI, I for many years, have been very involved with many politicians in all levels of government and the private sector, to engage everyone in a positive growth strategy that needs to be implemented for the sustainability of every stake holder in the Niagara Region, especially the unemployed.
    Building the Niagara economy with the vast majority of residents in mind, who are from the middle class, is what we are intending to do and what made this country a world leader in the first place.
    Don’t let years of planning and hard work stall when we are now at the start/finish line!

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  39. Mr. wilton,
    Before you decide to correct anyone you should look at yourself and the way that you are doing things. By the way I will not even consider correcting the way that you wrote your own name.

    Your perception of the jobs that may be availible is as valid as what you seem to believe is right or wrong.

    I have to give credit where credit is do. Nice try!

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  40. I did not claim to offer any statistical proof about public health problems in Cayuga as a consequence of the speedway. I simply repeated what a cancer specialist told a public meeting on a proposed speedway in the City of Niagara Falls. This was that the Cayuga speedway was so disagreeable for her growing up in this community, that her big ambition in life was to leave it.

    Regarding lack of sympathy for low income people, I can offer one point which should be of condolence. My income is simply too low to afford to drive- I dont’ know where this business about a million dollar home comes from. It has not been a natural area since the 1820s, when according to historical research done by a friend of mine, there was a massive forest fire in the area.

    My low income however, helped me discover something about motorways which was quite disagreeable. My wife, Mary Lou left a pouch at a home in North Pelham at PALS event. To recover it, I had to cycle all the way back. Doing this however, was quite Providential since on the way I went by for the first time the Merrtiville Speedway. It was overhung by a cloud of smoke, thicker than every I have seen from an industry.

    To achieve a carbon neutral speedway I would suggest that Niagara At Large Readers write to the Ontario Municipal Board. This would be to encourage them to modify the hearing officer’s decision, so that areas which are now designated as heavy industry in the motorway proposal- which could be located on industrially zoned lands east of the Queen Elizabeth Highway, are instead designated as Environmental Protection and reforested.

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    • Merrittville is a dirt track. Its dust your seeing. as far as pollution goes. There is more pollution comming from the ships that travel the Welland canals then would be.from the track. With technology today these cars arent the concern.

      Again fish adapt to their enviroment. if they cant swim up one creek….they go the next.

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  41. Is Merritville Speedway a dirt track? That could explain the cloud of “smoke” above it. I’ve cycled thru Ft. Erie in the middle of summer and the stretch of street north of the bridge 4 or 5 years ago was pretty quiet I wonder what it will be like after the horse track closes? The town needs the speedway.

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  42. As usual some people take things for what they assume they should be. Everyone thrives on the idea of that maybe some good paying jobs will be handed to them at no charge. This does not happen! There has been more than one time that the city of Fort Erie has had well paying respectfull employment opportunities. Still some people would like you to believe that good wages are not an issue. Can you honestly tell yourself and your family that the departure of the well paying jobs at the slots and the track had no impact on your community. Are you that desperate to settle for something less than you deserve?

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    • I would have to “assume” that you (Peter Costa) are retired and living in Fort Erie and just want to live out the rest of your days in a quiet town with no need for a job.(that’s about all Fort Erie has to offer)

      Yes Peter we do thrive on the idea that some good paying jobs may be created …..
      First a person would have to apply for said job and then be interviewed and when a suitable applicant is found they would then be offered a job and a starting wage…. I believe that’s how it works and wasn’t aware that anyone on here thought they were going to get a good paying job just handed to them “at no charge” ….Can’t say I have ever been charged for a new job but hey you never know !

      Are you saying that you believe that this multi million dollar establishment would only offer minimum wage jobs ?

      And yes Peter the loss of the horse track was a HUGE blow to the community ! ( finally something we can agree on ! )

      ” Are you that desperate to settle for something less than you deserve?”
      Settling for a half dead creek where a multi million dollar state of the art raceway could be would be my and many others idea or settling for less than what we deserve !

      Mother nature is much more resilient than many would have us believe …….When I was a kid growing up in St. Cath there was a section of one of the original canals that ran along Oakdale ave. that was so polluted nothing lived in it. This section of the canal was nicknamed the root beer river… Now just a few years after the pollution was addressed and for the most part cleaned up it’s now thriving with large mouth bass,channel cat’s, perch, and a few other breeds….. My point being is that if the root beer river survived countless years of being nothing short of a milky stinky foamy lifeless drainage ditch and now support a healthy fish population I’m sure Millers creek will do just fine with whatever needs to be done to reroute it …

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  43. Regarding the adaptability of fish I recently attended the A. D. Latornell Symposium which had a session of urbanizing watersheds. One of the points that was hammered home to us that after a watershed becomes more than 25 per cent urbanized it begins to die. Fish species that survived formerly in the past are no longer able to survive because of increased water pollution. We were told that there was not a single watershed in Ontario where streams were able to escape this fate through storm water management practices.

    Miller Creek if the motorway goes adhead, will be urbanized beyond the safe threshold. Its entire headwaters will be urbanized. Similar impacts although less severe will also degrade Frenchman’s and Beaver Creeks. To get some sense of what urbanization can do, consider why there are no more Grass Pickerel in the province of Quebec. They were there in the 1950s and a friend of mine from a suburban area north of Montreal, enjoyed fishing and eating them. The Grass Pickerel in Quebec did not die from overfishing. They perished from deforestation and urban sprawl.

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    • The section of Millers Creek your hoping to protect does not come anywhere near 25%. The section you hope to protect from “Urbanization” isn’t a creek. It’s a ditch nothing more. If you look at the outflow at the Niagara River end and the outflow at the end of the speedway section you’ll be lucky if it is 1%

      Now go look at Colbeck Dr in Welland. That is a crying shame and worthy of your efforts but you pick this battle! Please don’t compare this to the rootbeer river either. Those fish are disgusting specimens and shouldn’t be handled let alone eaten but that level of pollution is a million times fold to what we’re proposing in Fort Erie. I still think the farm run off is worse then what we are proposing.

      And John once again you twist the truth. This area is not being deforested and we don’t eat the grass pickerel. They are an endangered species you know. If you even had a clue what level of pollution they were living in due to past practices you’d shake your head at what your saying.

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      • Only 5% of Ontario’s land mass is suitable for farming yet it provides for 50 billion annually in associated revenues for the Province of Ontario. The world bank has announced by 2100, 44% of the worlds current farming area will be in severe drought. It doesn’t make economic sense to pave over what remains of our workable farming areas. It’s like killing a cow to access the milk. It’s an ignorant thing to do consider the fact that lands like this with viable water supplies are in global decline. Please visit this link and view further concerns regarding this project. http://www.slideshare.net/Waterloomoriane/raceway

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  44. Peter Koutroulakis

    No one is selling their soul in Fort Erie or the Niagara Region, for that matter.
    The Canadian Motor Speedway plan was set in motion long ago and has met every criteria for good and proper planning according to all the government agencies including the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Municipal Board.
    Denying the obvious only leads to more unemployment and more bank foreclosures. When the OMB approves this plan again soon, move on and find something else worth protecting the environment over.
    As for jobs and the unemployment rate, this approved plan is a step in the right direction and will infact help the rate decrease while also improving the flow of a creek in dire need. The flora and fauna will also be protected with the help of the Ministry of Natural Resources and all of our community groups that help protect the environment.
    BTW, I didn’t see anyone arriving by bicycle at the OMB Hearing at Fort Erie Town Hall or with horse and buggy either.
    I doubt anyone lives in a tree house like the Keebler’s either and if one thinks this is a ridiculous point I’m making, what is clearly ridiculous is debating an approved plan that is being denied in a form of an ill-advised environmental appeal that will go nowhere.
    The OMB officials always do their due dilligence when they approve a plan and it is also someone’s democratic right to appeal it but it doesn’t really stop anything.
    It is just an uneccesary delay and most us in town have had plenty of experience with similar delays and a few people not adjusting to the ever changing landscape. Landscape that was previously farmed and later found to be better suited as a development of this nature.
    An amusement park in town displaced farmland a century ago and now this same land will soon house a residential condo complex.
    A motorspeedway will also be planted on former farmland soon also, to seed some well deserving job seekers in the coming months.
    Two POSITIVE steps in the right direction that will allow others to come and develop even better paying jobs with the help of the MNR and the OMB!

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  45. I am wondering if any of you people have ever driven a car on a track before?

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    • To answer your question Peter ….Yes I have driven a car on a track …..well a minivan on a dirt track that is .

      I entered my wife’s old mini van in the eve of destruction at Humberstone this year and loved every minute of it . I have been a fan of dirt track racing since I can remember and had always wanted to race myself but life always had other ideas . I started building a 81 Monte Carlo into a pure stock car and plan on running it next season at Humberstone .

      I don’t know if you have ever been to a race or not but it really is a good time and a place where friends and family can go every week to cheer on their favorite racers.

      I urge anyone here that has never been to a race track paved or dirt to make the time to go and see what it’s all about. Watching a race on tv doesn’t count it’s just not the same.

      I hope the fact that I have raced on a track and plan to race next year doesn’t somehow make everything I have written invalid !

      I highly doubt that I would ever race on a paved track because I would much rather run on a dirt track but I know that if there was a race going on at the Canadian Motor Speedway it would be top on my list of places to go .

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      • With all respect I totaly expected the you for one where more than interested in driving a car at a track. That kind of put a whole new twist to an all ready strange plight. FYI: Driving on a track bored me. Sandpit races where alright or even the Firepark flats where good but street racing was my game. Coon Rd, South Service Rd, Lundys Lane, Dorchester Rd, that was where to race. I almost forgot, Niagara Drag Strip at the old airport in Niagara Falls N.Y.

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  46. Even though I believe in the process. That everyones concerns. Both pro and cons should be heard. It is perplexing how one person can be allowed to delay a project allready approved by the OMB. That they do not act quickly on this requested review. And with some degree of accountability, announce if they are in fact going to do a review or dismiss that request. I am sure that the Speedway does not want to announce. What wages or specific jobs will be available until all approvals. By the repectfull agencies are given. And of course the number of jobs that will be available depends on the events that will take place. Although like everyone else. I am hopeful that if they build it they will come. Granted most of the long term jobs may not be high paying as jobs in the industrial sector would be. But then I don’t see any industrial jobs coming back to the area. Other than possibly small green energy manufactures. Hopefully this project will help sustain the tourism industry in the region. With regards to the lodging, restaraurant and small business sectors. And hopefully their growth will then spread to other sectors and the area will once again become prosperous for all.

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  47. (Peter Costa | December 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    I am wondering if any of you people have ever driven a car on a track before?)

    Yes ….so what is your point?

    This track will be on the scale of Iowa Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Richmond Speedway, and many others. Perhaps Mr. Costa you could research these tracks and find that they do offer many job opportunities to their respective communities. And, certainly not all low paying opportunities, but many in hospitality, marketing, and infrustructure that require certain skills that pay well…..but you do your research and satisfy yourself…I am sure you will!

    I don’t live in Fort Erie….just a racer and race fan who would love to see some world class oval racing in Ontario and all the exposure it can bring. I am simply amazed at how a self promoting fool like Bacher, who has no interest in the folks of Fort Erie…(just wants to get his name in the headlines for his next election in St Catherines)…can slow down a project that has so many positives for an area that needs these opportunities. The points that this moron Bacher keeps falling back on are a “bad joke”…more of a joke than he is!

    If I were a resident of Fort Erie, I would make sure Bacher and his office felt my presence as often as I could…..he needs to get the message to go back and crawl under the rock he came from and worry about his own back yard not Fort Erie’s!

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    • Mr. Lockhart, thanks so much for that idea that you posted. It turned out to be exactly what I expected. There definitely was some interesting information about when and where races will take place. What else can one expect coming from a country ten time the size of Canada. All of the tracks that you did mention seem to be busy on Nascar sanctioned race days. By the way those race days only happen a few times a year.

      Researching the tracks confirms that Nascar does not sanction any track that is not already built. Therefore if there is even a sight chance of CMS being sanctioned it will not happen for a number of years. I am sure if you read the news paper you would have known that the Nascar is not impressed by CMS and their claim that they where already a sanctioned track.

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      • Boy you are a half empty guy! Go back and do more research! You need to build the track first…duuhhh! No sanctioning body will sanction a track until it is built.

        Iowa and Kansas have built industry around their tracks and do not just look to NASCAR to survive. CMS will also have the advantage of a road course for road racing events but more importantly, corporate events…hey that reminds me…Kansas just added a road course to further their opportunities! If you think tracks live off of one event per year, please do us all a favour and get off this thread…you do not know of what you speak. CMS has a plan that includes more than one oval race to survive….hello McFly???

        Great job on recognizing the market size of the U.S….umm do you also happen to recognize how close Ft Erie is to that market? Not only would Upper New York State, Pennsylvania, and Ohio markets flock to CMS not just for NASCAR, but ARCA, K&N and ACT for oval but also SCCA, NASA, CASC, and of course Grand Am, (NASCAR’s road racing sanctioning body) for road racing events.

        Oh and then there are the off shoot events and programs run at a facility like CMS….automotive testing and research, entertainment, and cultural.

        Canadian NASCAR and oval race fans travel to the U.S. constantly to watch races and spend money…these number in the hundreds of thousands per year. CMS would certainly enjoy these customers as well as the markets described above.

        Costa, you seem to just want to argue and not try to work with the majority to try to make this great opportunity a reality. Wholly shyte you and Bacher are so blind it is just unbelievable. I cannot believe CMS has the patience to put up with this. No wonder Fort Erie has the reputation described in many of the posts above…with you and Bacher crawling around I wouldn’t want anything to do with the town.

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  48. Regarding deforestation this is a reality. Forest will be cut for widening Bridge Street, Gilmore and Laur Road. There is a forest next to Miller Creek that is planned to be removed for a paved “VIP parking area.” There are a lot of trees on Bridge Street, which wil be removed for the speedway.

    The loss of 25 per cent refers to the urbanization of the motorway on Miller Creek. The Fort Erie Creeks watershed plan warns that Miller Creek is already experiencing increased hardening.

    I only mentioned the Old Welland Canal in response to a motorway supporter, who apparently disagrees with you. Regarding agriculture there is good cover of trees to filter out farm pollutants. I walked all of Miller Creek with the experts of the motorway. There was just one place where tractors could cross, which was carefully flagged.

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  49. Peter Koutroulakis

    This whole thread is typical of an apiring political figure that won’t give an inch or be swayed in any way, shape or form.
    Compromise is not in their vocabulary and their own wishes must be granted , no matter what the laws of the land approve.
    We experienced a few of those types of political figures in Fort Erie lately and all it got us was a provincial badge of dishonour for being portrayed as a community not willing to negotiate with the development world or even sustain an industry willing to cooperate.
    Both the tourism and manufacturing sectors that have been in Fort Erie for more than a century are vanishing and we now have a small incoherent group of abolishonists ruling the masses at the worst time of our history.
    What needs to be told to some of these political types is that Fort Erie is very resilient and will infact embrace this new development and many more that are willing to take the necessary steps that the province requires to deem them good and proper planning with the environment in mind.
    These same political type’s time is almost up and Fort Erie is ripe for progress, no matter what the John Bacher’s of the Niagara Region say or do.
    Good luck to all and let’s get motoring!

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    • Regarding the greatness of the OMB’s decision, Dr. Galyer was not disqualfied for his lack of expertise- the hearing officer. Ms. Schiller accepted this. He was rejected for being a self-identtified member of PALS. If this criteria were applied fairly the Niagara Region and Fort Erie could not have had their planners testify at the hearing.

      Regarding the supposed lack of our group to compromise, Dr. Dickman suggested on to Ms.Schiller. This was that the lands that were supposed to be for the MacMaster Research Park, the light industry lands and some of the parking areas be reforested. If Schiller had accepted this, we would have been grateful for a positive achievement and never appealed the decision.

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      • Well next month Mr Bacher you and your “Pals” will finally get dismissed for good on the CMS approval and we will get it done. The trees will grow again. The fish will still adapt. Lets get the jobs in and let the future come to Fort Erie…

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      • Regarding the comments I have no idea of what the environmental constraints were concerning Canada’s Wonderland. Needless to say I was aware of the issue at the time and did not get involved. It appears the opponents were just concerened with farmland loss, There was nothing about possible impact on streams or wildlife. There were certainly no provincially significant wetlands around Canada’s Wonderland-the whole area was deforested in by the 1880s and remains so today. You could not find a heron there no matter how hard you looked.

        It has to be understood that the Canadian Motorspeedway is part of a large important ecosystem that is at risk from sprawl. The City of Niagara Falls recently tried and blessedly failed, to have a strip along the Queen Elizabeth Highway re-designated to permit urban development all the way to Fort Erie. The future of an ecosystem which now has the best fover cover in any part of the Carolinian life zone is not a source of merriment.

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      • There in lies the difference Mr. Bacher. Dr. Gayler was rejected for being a member of PALS. Therefore he can not give testimony on behalf of a group he is a member of. As of course he his going to give tesimony based on the beliefs of your organization.
        While yes I suppose it could be said that the planners recognize the potential of said proposal. Since they are not part of the developement group, I think it is safe to say,they would be expected to give testimony based on a code of conduct required of them as planners.

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  50. On a local level, Canadian Motor Speedway isn’t just about jobs; it’s about creating a sense of community…pride in our Town. A racetrack is more than the cars that race on it; a racetrack is about people and community! Every day that your appeal delays construction is another day that funds are not raised for various Children’s Charities, Disaster Relief Organizations, Food Banks, Animal Shelters, Service Organizations, Holiday Toy Drives, Fire Fighters, Blood Drives, Hospitals, Medical Organizations, Medical Research, Automotive Research and Development and Green Technology. Most people don’t realize how the Motorsports Industry is always giving back to a wide variety of local community charities and national organizations. Jeff Gordon (CMS Track designer, 4-Time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and driver of the #24 AARP Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) hosts an annual bowling event that raises $300,000 in one night for finding a cure for cancer in children and that’s just a small portion of the funds raised through his Foundation. Another example is when natural disasters occur; racetracks host events where you can drive your car on the track for a donation to the Red Cross.

    It would be nice to have kids growing up in our area, spending time with families and friends at the track and even learning the spirit of competition through racing. There is little to do in Fort Erie and not a lot of opportunity for careers in town, which is why most children grow up and move away as fast as they can. Perhaps having a high school co-op or post-secondary placement in mechanics, engineering, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, information technology, marketing, accounting, or human resources (to name a few) would give students an opportunity to grow into careers right here in Town. Community events such as the Friendship Festival and the Santa Claus Parade would also benefit from participation by Canadian Motor Speedway. Fort Erie would be highlighted on an international level and visitors from around the world would experience the Niagara Region either through the TV, Radio or first hand. A race weekend spike in sales could be enough to pay the expenses of gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants for several months.

    With so many businesses closing in Fort Erie in the last few years, and all of these development delays; if the Canadian Motor Speedway does not go through, I don’t imagine ANYONE EVER trying to invest anything in Fort Erie EVER again. We will truly become the ‘armpit’ of Canada! I don’t understand how when The Town of Fort Erie, The Niagara Region and now the Ontario Municipal Board all agree that the Canadian Motor Speedway is ‘good planning’ for the land that you feel you know better. Instead of bringing your concerns to CMS, listening to their responses and communicating with them about their implementation plans, you keep trying to halt the entire project. It is NOT PRIME Farmland and using those words to lobby people is misleading. Local farmers have struggled with the land to get crops to grow despite dumping topsoil on the land each year. There is a bedrock quarry across the street, and bedrock under the shallow soil on the CMS site. Miller Creek is already man-made is going to be widened and enhanced by CMS…it is part of the plan! The trees and natural areas are going to be incorporated into the site. After years of you lobbying against CMS, you are the last man standing…not even a resident of Fort Erie. You make it sound like the land is covered in prime farmland on top of a wetland with a Carolinian Forest on top. Which is it? Anyone who actually lives in the area know it as some cleared farmland between a quarry and the QEW highway, where some farmers have tried to make a go of it for years, with a tiny creek and some trees. When I look at the CMS plans, I see lots of trees, natural areas and a large creek running through the property. At the OMB hearing in June, any points you may have had were lost or already addressed by CMS or deemed not important enough to stop the project. If you had a strong case, your years of research and fact finding testimony wouldn’t have so heavily relied on one person as a witness. I believe the OMB Vice Chair took a break for a second opinion on whether or not to accept Dr. Gayler as a credible witness. I would guess that she did read Dr. Gayler’s submission prior to the hearing, and yet still did not rule in your favour. Even people who at that point shared in your cause prior to hearing, felt that the there was not enough testimony to go against the Town of Fort Erie, CMS and Niagara Region experts. There was a feeling in the Council Chambers that your appeal basically made a mockery of the OMB process. Even though it’s your right to appeal, lots of money could have been spent elsewhere instead of on Town and Region officials and lawyers and the OMB. You had your turn and successfully managed to delay the project again. I agree that the natural heritage of an area should be considered, incorporated and respected throughout any development and truly believe that the Canadian Motor Speedway has accomplished this through its research and planning. I seem to remember that your definition of ‘natural habitat’ did include humans. Please accept the OMB decision and move on. If you need to feel better about moving on, I would love the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the many social, cultural, economic and even environmental benefits to having the Canadian Motor Speedway in our town, province and country.

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  51. It is not to difficult to understand why nothing seems to work in Fort Erie. It is definitely not the lack of trying to attrack new enterprises, yet it seems everything is meant to fail. What does it take to understand that the ideas are not what is wrong. A prime example of this is with the Slots. It brought in huge amounts of money to the town and in turn the horse track was a success. Then both closed. Next the government information centre closed. Red flags should have have gone up considering these two very bad events that had a impact on many people. Yet the list of closures continue as we speak. Could it by chance be the lack of leadership, I don’t belief so. There is plenty of that on all fronts. Maybe all of those people on all fronts should take a good look at themselves and start thinking about the all people of the town and not the select few. I am sorry to say that there is no easy fix on the horrizon and it doesn’t come in the form of empty promises.

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    • I sure am glad that people like yourself (Peter Costa) and John Bacher weren’t around way back when Canada’s Wonderland was on the drawing board ! Peter would be all like ” How can you sell your soul for a amusement park ? Bla bla bla …doom and gloom ….” And John would be all like ” I saw a bird land over there one time and there is a little creek over there and bla bla bla” ….. I bet lots of animals ,and birds were displaced when it was built and yet the world kept turning after the park was built.

      Peter I can’t understand why you oppose the building of this track so adamantly .
      “Nascar does not sanction any track that is not already built. ” This is true ….so what better reason to just get it built already so the process towards getting the track sanctioned can begin ?

      Peter try to believe that if CMS is willing to spend the $$$ to build this track that they would be damn sure to do everything in their power to make it a success… Why wouldn’t they ?

      John …do you ever feel like everyone around you is just rolling their eyes and wishing that you could just accept the OMB decision?
      When the OMB decision went public and the CMS was approved myself and every person I talked to were elated …..and not long after we hear that yet again you have screwed progress yet again!

      Nice…

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  52. Shawn, Unfortunately things are not always as they where meant to be. Just because somebody tells us that this is the way it should be doesn’t mean it is the right way. Believe it or not when people begin to understand that every opinion counts things will start to get better. Until then I will continue to do what has to be done, and voice my opinion. Oh and by the way, did you happen to feel the same way about the Slots and Track closing and what did you do about it?

    To be honest as possible I believe that no matter what is said here or anywhere else the Canadian Motor Speedway will be built. If it is successful that is another story. After all this is said and done I will still be able to voice my opinion. Louder and clearer than ever before!

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  53. It has come to my attention that some people find it easier to call other people names rather than face their own idiosyncrasies.

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    • I’m sorry Peter I didn’t stand up and voice my opinion about the horse track closing and to tell you the truth I really don’t care for horse racing and have never played slots or even stepped foot in a casino. I would have however tried to do give my support any way I could have because many people would be affected adversely. I trust that you did as much as you could to stop it that you were able to take up the slack caused by my absence.

      I’m also sorry if you feel that I have called other people names (not sure if you were referring to me or not) .

      I look forward to the day that they break ground and start building the track and hope to be able to play a small part in the build not that I need the work but just to be able to say I helped to build one of the coolest things to ever be built in our region .

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      • The OMB have not given their approval to the Speedway. The Exeuctive Chair effectively stayed that decision over the issue of the refusal of Ms. Schilling to qualify an expert witnesses.

        Part of the site is woodland, part is wetland and part is prime agricultural land. All the wetlands are forested but some forests are not ranked as wetlands since it is believed that they contain too many plant species usually found in dry habitats. It is absurd to say that I am stacking these categories on top of each other. The land does fit the definition of prime land, which in Ontario is Class one to three and much of it during the hearing was growing wheat, soybeans and corn.

        There will be major forest destruction since roads that go through forested swamp wetlands (the wetlands on the site are forests, not marshes, fens or bogs) will be widened to five lanes. Some of these road allowances are now just hiking trails. The motorway will also cut through itself two linear forests.

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  54. Looks to me that Mr. Bacher thinks that his expert witness knows more than the MNR and the NPCA. My understanding is that although the OMB have given their approval for the change in the zoning bylaw. The project can still not move forward until those two agencies give their approval on the changes that the developers are proposing for Millers Creek etc. I would think that any changes these agencies approve would only enhance the creek.

    Even though it is true Nascar, and I would think any racing body, would not sanction a track until it is built. I would think that anyone contemplating building a 400Millon dollar complex. Would have done some due diligence about the possibility of such groups being interested in using such a facility.
    I also think the fact that Nascar is currently running races in Canada. And that one of their drivers Jeff Gordon has helped in the design of the speedway. Would lead one to believe that if you build it they will come.

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  55. (I am not referring to Shawn) Unlike some people I do not consider any thing that is said here important enough to consider it as being personal. On the other hand I will never step down when I feel that someone questions, insults or tries to intimate me because of my opinion. The rude, ill-mannered behaviour that has been displayed by one person in this forum only proves that if to you don’t have something constructive to say, you shouldn’t say it.

    A Brief Note from Niagara At Large – I agree with Mr. Costa that we should all at least be respectful of one another as individuals, regardless of how much we may have differences on this or other issues.

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  56. Happy Holidays each and everyone one of you. May all of our wishes come true.

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  57. Certainly hope that my wish comes true. That Mr. Bacher and his group are sent packing. Happy New Year.

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    • Thanks for the Happy Holiday wish Peter….Happy Holidays to you and yours as well 🙂

      And Bryan it looks like we have the same wish! 🙂 Cheers 🙂

      Lets hope we have some good news in the new year !

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  58. Lets hope so.

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  59. I respect and think it is admirable that there are those raising what they feel are important points to secure the well being and development of wildlife in the Fort Erie area. As a person who enjoys the outdoors in the Niagara area I am happy that there is a voice for preserving environmental quality. However, I also hope that the resolve of those who see the racetrack as an important step in a much needed economic resurgence of the area are equally steadfast. Fort Erie continues to weaken in so many aspects important to the quality of life of its human inhabitants (tax payers), and CMS presents a viable opportunity to turn things around. Yet after so many months, there is a struggle to come to a conclusion on how to meet both (environment and economic) concerns and move forward with this project.
    I am sure there are other towns (Buffalo?) who would love to have this challenge. I hope those involved can overcome these challenges and come to an agreement soon. The potential job opportunities and entertainment spend will help right a struggling local economy. These opportunities do not come along everyday, never mind when really needed, so lets not let it slip through our fingers.

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  60. Peter Koutroulakis

    Unfortunately, all the evidence presented in this OMB Hearing went unnoticed by those that felt defeated by the process.
    All the critical environmental concerns were addressed as the law permits and stll this matter was challenged and then OVER RULED and APPROVED by the only governing body that has the last word.
    The crux of the real issue for those in complete denial, is the evidence produced by one the challengers was not accepted as expert evidence and therefore, the opinion, infact was not taken as evidence.
    An appeal on such a lame excuse only shows that some cannot and will not accept that the environment, the development and the laws of the land are in concert with eachother and those in denial are totally out of tune with the present circumstances.
    A tele-conference by the OMB and the parties involved will take place soon while these types of delaying are avoidable if everyone understood simple logic and didn’t project themselves as a superior authority.

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    • The superior authority has for now over ruled the hearing officer. As for environmental concerns being addressed, the hearing officer did not address access roads which will cut up existing forests, and natural areas that the motorway is promising to create in the future.

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  61. I am going to be the first one to admit that the web site that I just found about the designers of what may be your racetrack is impressive. But on the other hand not very informative. Lets wait and see! http://www.paxtonwatersarchitecture.com/home.html

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  62. Another business closes in Fort Erie leaving 100 people out of work.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if PALS could see the need for (the motor speedway racing) developement and the dollars it will bring into the area.

    Instead of fighting the developement. Perhaps some co-operation on PALS part with the developers and the Ministry Of the Environment would be beneficial to all.

    The area needs this project not only for it’s stand alone potential. But hopefully it will draw attention to the area and bring other much needed development along with it.

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  63. Peter Koutroulakis

    John Bacher is not a superior authority on this subject, nor is his colleague, whose ‘opinion’ was denied by the proper authorities.
    Leading people to believe anything to the contrary is very unfortunate.
    Throwing a couple of dollars at an appeal just to thwart approved development unsuccessfully, will be their legacy.
    Onward and upward, Fort Erie!!!

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