Letters to Mayor and Council

News / August 6, 2019

Steve, Phil and Brad,

My wife and I have now settled in Prince Edward County and will now make Glenora Road our home. We purchased the property three years ago and have been working to build a new house ever since. At the time of purchase I was not aware of the situation at Picton Terminals and only learned of the problems a short while later. I quickly dismissed the issues, as I felt that polluters were dealt with back in the sixties and we simply did not tolerate any environmental destruction by business, particularly regarding the Great Lakes. To my surprise and shame, little has been done to stop the irresponsible actions by this business despite clear evidence of their inability to handle material or act in a responsible way regarding our environment.

Recently, Save Picton Bay members Victor Lind and Brian Etherington presented to PEC Council on Tuesday July 23, 2019. These two gentlemen brought forward clear concise arguments, despite being rudely interrupted, as to the actions of Picton Terminals. To date three levels of government and countless agencies have been fooled by Picton Terminals. Very little has been done to monitor, correct or arrest the continual disregard for our environment, neighbouring properties or our beautiful Picton Bay. One would have thought that given that Picton Bay is the source of the drinking water of residents of Picton, special care and attention would have been given to protecting these waters. This has not been the case.

I will not go any further, your are all familiar with this matter. I simply want to know the PEC Council response. Would it be possible to have all 3 levels of government gather to discuss the necessary actions to bring this reckless operator under control? It sickens me to watch the daily destruction of this beautiful resource. Please, please take action before we pay a heavy price for our lack of initiative.

Looking forward to hearing back from you,

Ken Stewart

From Mayor Ferguson:

Thank you for your email.The provincial and federal levels of government are fully aware of the activities of Picton Terminals. The province, through its ministry’s Director’s Order dated June 14th, has expressed its opinions about the company’s activities, and I have spoken (frequently) with Todd Smith and his office about continuing and ongoing oversight by the ministry and more frequent visits by its officers. Further, Minister Smith is keeping the newly appointed Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Jeff Yurek, apprised of PT.

I hope this information is helpful in letting you know that municipally pressure is being exerted to ensure PT acts responsibly and in the best interests of the community.


Steve Ferguson
Mayor, Prince Edward County
From: Lynn Braun [] Sent: August-06-19 8:23 AM
To: AAA – Council
Subject: Picton Bay info

Dear Councillors Prinzen & Niemen,

We are writing to you as residents of Ward 2, Prince Edward County, with respect to the council meeting on July 23, which we are unfortunately unable to attend. We understand there will be presentations at this meeting on the subject of the Ministry of Environment’s order in regards to Picton Terminals (PT). The purpose of this note is to stress our concern and support for the Council to resolve to enforce compliance and remediation of PT’s handling of materials and contamination discharges into Picton Bay.

Over the last several years PT has invested in machinery, roads and dock improvements on its site. The success of their business will hopefully broaden employment and sustain a strong tax base to the benefit for all in the area. These benefits will turn to hardship and shame however, if we do not protect everyone against the environmental risks that this enterprise seems intent on ignoring. I am sure that you need no reminder that much of the community and their financial wellbeing depends on the natural beauty of the surroundings, its dependence on the harvest and the welcome of visitors. PEC should be in the vanguard of protecting and promoting this legacy. We should insure we do all we can to preserve, if not ameliorate, the lands and waters around us. This holds true no matter where you live, but particularly so in PEC. To turn a blind eye to even the potential of increasing environmental degradation is to gamble with our health and the future we strive for.

Please reflect on your mandate to insist that no one party should be able to promote their personal financial ambitions ahead of the safety of current and future generations. While the medicine to achieve a higher standard may seem bitter (costly) today, current and future residents will look back and see your efforts for the leadership that you instil. If the business of PT cannot afford the cost of compliance then perhaps we must decide whether we can afford the risk. I suggest to you that we know the answer to this question. Wise and prudent men do not take big risks for little or no gain.

With thanks,

Marcia Visser and Robert Beutel

2B Cedar Lane

Picton , ON

Good morning Phil

I live at 39 Owen St, from my point of view in Picton, but actually in Hallowell, making you my Council member. My wife met your wife when she came to our door campaigning our your behalf during the election.

As my wife did for your wife, I want to share with you my concern for Picton Bay and about the ongoing activities at Picton Terminals. While I know the PEC Council does not have full jurisdiction over the situation, I believe it ought to be very concerned about the threat to Picton Bay itself as well as the threat to the water source for the County which comes from activities at Picton Terminals. Contaminants getting into the water from the site, material on the bottom of the bay being stirred up by the massively increased ship traffic, as well as the threat posed by possible spills and other accidents (which as you know has already happened once) are all things I want Council to proactively work against. Picton Terminals may have the right to certain operations, but I want Council to look for ways to ensure those operations are limited as strictly as possible.

Save Picton Bay will be presenting deputations to Council on Tuesday. I will be there in the gallery. I trust I can count on you to give the deputations fair consideration, and to be active on Council to find ways to protect our environment.

Best regards

Charles Morris

Mayor and Councillors: I am writing to you today as a resident of Picton and as a concerned citizen of Ontario and Canada. Approximately 2 years ago in a published Op Ed article to the Wellington Times I drew attention to the fact that the Bay of Quinte which includes Picton Bay was still considered to be a “Pollution Hot Spot” as documented and highlighted by the International Joint Commission (IJC) of the Great Lakes. In the article I pointed out how despite several decades of effort and many millions of dollars from Federal, Provincial and Municipal sources, that the Quinte region in the last IJC review of progress on the clean-up of the Great Lakes was still not de-listed as a Area of Concern (AOC) with regard to poor water quality . The findings of the progress report documented how many of the AOC”S in both Canada and the US had either been delisted entirely or made significant progress in lake water quality with the exception of the Quinte region AOC for which none of the poor water quality criteria identified in the 70’s had been improved sufficiently to be delisted by the time of the review in 2015..

I write to you today to re-iterate my concluding remarks from 2 years ago, that Municipal governments must take action and be diligent in ensuring that we do not allow any economic activity in the Quinte area to have a negative impact on the waters of our region. It is your collective responsibility to not only to continue to work with the various organizations addressing the current water quality concerns in our county but to also ensure that the waters of Lake Ontario in the Picton area are never again callously and maliciously subjected to known point sources of pollution such as that which has been documented by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and which will be presented to you today.

Gary Whitfield


Wednesday July 24th

It was with dismay and concern that I discovered I could not live stream the meeting where Victor Lind and Brian Etherington were making deputations to council last night (July 23rd) on behalf of Save Picton Bay.

I was depending on the live streaming service to follow the SPB deputations and stay up to date on their positive work on behalf of all County residents. Not being able to see it live streamed keeps it out of the ‘main stream’ which is a huge disservice to everyone concerned.

Though you were unable to live stream the deputation last night, I am counting on viewing it on your normal videoing of meetings which will no doubt be posted online as always.

Picton Terminals complete lack of respect in adhering to local bylaws or remediating infractions at the facility, should be a great concern and closely monitored by our local government. Their apparent lack of adherence to ministry guidelines at all levels is a travesty.

Local government’s apparent inaction and lack of enforcement at Picton Terminals leaves me, and others in the community, wondering what is really going on.

I am counting on our municipal elected representatives to step up and do what is needed to monitor and deal with the many issues at Picton Terminals.

Veronica Cluett

Dave Sutherland

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