A letter to Troy Lifford, MLA for Fredericton – Nashwaaksis, from Rodney Patterson, a Fredericton north resident.
Estey’s Bridge Rural Plan was adopted February 9, 2000; the plan with intent excluded a quarry operation for the subject property. In 2008/2009, the Rural Planning District Commission reversed this decision. Residents most affected by this decision were neither informed nor consulted.
In January 2010, New Brunswick’s Minister of Environment refused to issue an approval for Percy Jones & Sons Ltd. to blast at this location. Jones applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a judicial review of the Ministers’ decision. Arguments were made in May of 2010 before Justice Paulette Garnett who denied Jones’ application.
In 2013 the Department of Environment reversed the 2010 decision. Residents most affected were neither informed nor consulted on this matter. To date, the Department of Environment has refused to disclose the justification for their reversal of the 2010 refusal.
When a trivial matter such as keeping two horses on McLeod Hill necessitates an application go before the NB Provincial Planning Appeal Board surely the magnitude of a quarry operation approval would require such diligence. However, this did not occur.
For whatever reason the NB Provincial Planning Appeal Board was set aside on the day Percy Jones & Sons Ltd. submitted their application to the Rural Planning District Commission. The decisions made in secret by the Rural Planning District Commission and the Department of Environment specific to this matter does not meet the requirements of transparency, intelligibility nor justification.
Is this the model for future land use, zoning and environmental issues? New Brunswick is not a developing nation lacking enacted regulations and guidelines for land use and environmental issues. Provincial legislation requires decision makers meet the standard of reasonableness.
This matter should have gone before the NB Provincial Planning Appeal Board in 2008/2009, for whatever reason this did not occur. Whether an oversight or a wrongdoing it must be corrected in a preventative manner curtailing any continuance and ensuring future wrongdoings do not occur.
Mr. Lifford, will you assist your constituents in correcting this wrongdoing? Will you assist your constituents in having this matter heard by the NB Provincial Planning Appeal Board?