Ewing tables motion calling for IJC to review low water levels

MORRISBURG – Late in the September 18th South Dundas council meeting, councillor Bill Ewing offered a motion to council concerning the low water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake St. Lawrence. Ewing’s motion was presented during mayor Evonne Delegarde’s report to council about the September 11th water level meeting held in Long Sault.

Ewing’s motion was not part of the approved council agenda and was seconded by deputy-mayor Jim Locke to table it for discussion.

The lengthy resolution (268 words) concerned the “extreme low water levels between the Iroquois Dam and Moses-Saunders Power Dam.”

Ewing’s four-part motion called for the federal and provincial governments, along with the International Joint Commission to maintain a “consistent water level between the Iroquois dam and Moses-Saunders dam.”

Ewing called on the IJC to understand the impact the water levels are having on the ecosystem, wildlife, and wetlands, as well as the economic impact on businesses and residents in the area.

His motion asks that the IJC undertake an extensive review of the water levels to “ensure that better operating measures will be implemented” and that IJC undertake an extensive public consultation to review the low water impacts of Plan 2014.

During discussion of the motion at the council table, Ewing said he wanted the motion circulated to neighbouring municipalities, the federal and provincial governments, and various ministries.

Delegarde said it was too bad that the councillors did not have the motion in advance. “We could have done up a proper resolution,” she said.

Ewing explained that he felt the need to do something after attending the meeting in Long Sault.

“It didn’t seem to be going anywhere,” he said. “Nobody was looking at the effect of [Plan 2014] to the shorelines.”

Ewing said he was surprised that the department of Fisheries and Oceans was not upset with impacts to the shoreline.

“If you do anything on the shoreline, they are breathing down your neck,” he said. “Why are they not upset about this?”

Locke added that he felt that there had was not a lot of consultation in the creation of Plan 2014.

Ewing agreed to withdraw the motion for staff to rewrite. The motion will return the next council meeting, October 2nd.