The Friends of the UNB Woodlot has asked the City of Fredericton to take proactive steps to protect our drinking water from future contamination sources such as shale gas development. On Tuesday, August 9, 2011, Mayor Brad Woodside promised that the Friends of the UNB Woodlot would be allowed to make a presentation to the City. He said that the City of Fredericton has a committee system, and that our group would be granted a presentation to the Public Safety Committee, a committee which includes several city councillors. Mayor Woodside also said that the Department of Environment would be requested to make a presentation at the same time.
I cautioned Mayor Woodside that our Wellfield Protection Plan is just one piece of the protection umbrella for our drinking water. We have to take the example from the Province of Ontario (after their Walkerton water contamination tragedy), and implement watershed-based source protection planning for all of our communities in this Province. We must protect our forested wetlands, and our watersheds in general.
Friends of the UNB Woodlot is about protecting the forested wetlands that is called the UNB Woodlot. Businesses such as Costco should not be subsidized by UNB and our city taxpayers to pave over our wetlands at the top of the hill in Fredericton. This will only lead to increased flood risk, increased property taxes, increased home and business insurance rates, and decreased UNB Alumni support.