Wetlands Given a Second Chance?

Wetlands (in dark blue), the Twin Pad Arena Site (red), and the location of 4 culverts along Pioneer Road which previously maintained north to south water flow (orange and green dots). Two culverts (1 & 2, orange dots) were not replaced. Culvert 2 - previously carried water south from the Archaeology Centre Wetland to the wetland complex within the Wildlife Sanctuary. Light blue outlines the study block for the Arena development (mostly Wildlife Sanctuary). Image via Debbie Jenkins.

In a hilarious turn of events, Peterborough city council has lost an $18-million dollar grant that would have allowed the Dual Pad Arena project to take off.

The project, which is best known around Trent University and the city as the project that would endanger over 25 species in the wetlands area and has been viciously fought against by students, staff, and interested parties at every turn, would not be missed. The land the proposed arena would sit on is comprised of 22 to 24 acres of wetland at the Symons Campus, and is part of the Nature Area. This area includes hiking trails for the community as well as wetlands where Trent University students from several majors, including Outdoor Education and Environmental Sciences, spend classes discovering insects, animals, and plant life native to the grounds.

The grant, originally promised by the Liberal provincial government (no longer in power), was just recently announced as no longer arriving. Mayor Daryl Bennett is expecting only a year delay; however, because apparently money grows not on trees but out of the asses of politicians, the total cost of the arena is expected to come to roughly $40 million.

Where will the extra money come from? Bennett and city council are expecting $6 million annually from the new Shorelines Casino Peterborough by Crawford drive and Costco. That’s $6 million from gambling addicts being fed into a community-damaging recreational idea. Drain the helpless, give to the middle class. Conservative MPP Dave Smith believes it will be easy to get the money to finish the project.

That’s not the only draining that will be happening, though — oh, no! In order to complete this nauseating plan, the marshland around the area will be filled in, destroyed for the enjoyment of soccer moms and their minivans filled with kids.

If the project is completed, the Northcrest arena on Marina boulevard will close. Everything needs to be better, newer, and more expensive.

On a completely serious note, and directed to Peterborough city council: stop this now while you have the opportunity. I just cannot stress enough how bad of an impact this will have on the environment at Trent University, on land that should be considered protected. A lot of people do not want this to happen, and it will severely damage the relationship between the city and those who care about the environment — particularly, an entire generation of University students who will look down on the council for this horrible mistake of a decision. Please take the chance to make a change and protect our wetlands.

For more information on this, please see my piece from April on the subject, as well as the proposed project itself.

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