Windsor West MPP at odds with mayor's support of wetland designation removal

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky says she is open to a discussion with mayor Drew Dilkens about the future of the South Cameron woodlot. This is after she penned a letter to Premier Doug Ford, calling on him to reinstate the wetland designation.

Lisa Gretzky says it's more than just a municipal issue

Parts of the woodlot has had its provincially significant wetland designation removed. (Mayor Drew Dilkens/Facebook)

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky welcomes a conversation with Mayor Drew Dilkens about the future of South Cameron woodlot.

On Monday, Gretzky made public a letter to the Ontario premier, calling on him to reinstate the provincially significant wetland (PSW) designation for about 20 hectares (50 acres) of the woodlot.

The designation, retracted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry last month, would have meant that no residential development can occur.

Gretzky said she is surprised the mayor supports the premier on this issue.

MPP Lisa Gretzky says she is surprised the mayor supports the premier on the decision to get rid of the wetland designation. (Mrinali Anchan/CBC)

"I was shocked about the way that I heard about it and the fact that the mayor has gone to the premier directly asking for this because that's not a conversation I was privy to," she said.

"I was not aware it was taking place but I was really more concerned about the constituents and the fact that people living here in Windsor — it appears they were cut out of that conversation."

Provincial or municipal? 

Gretzky said "countless constituents" have voiced various concerns to her about the effects of getting rid of the designation.

Some of those concerns include potential increased flooding, disappearance of natural habitats for rare species.

A portion of the South Cameron woodlot. (Google Maps)

She said there could be a detrimental impact if any properties are built in the woodlot, also referencing a report about disappearing forests and wetlands in southern Ontario by the Environment Commissioner of Ontario Dianne Saxe.

The MPP said she's unsure who the mayor consulted with prior to meeting the premier and raising the issue.

Despite being at odds with Dilkens, Gretzky said the future of the woodlot is not just a municipal issue. 

"This is also a provincial issue because ultimately it was up to the premier and the minister to ensure that the designation was changed," she said.

"It's their call, they can reverse it if they want — ultimately I'm responsible to the constituents that I represent, whether they agree with me or not, I have to listen to them and I have to take their voices to Queen's Park." 

With files from Flora Pan


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