Our region in Hants County surrounding the Avon River is facing a decision that will have effects reaching into the next 100 years.
The aboiteau on the river between Windsor/Falmouth is nearing breakdown; twinning of the 101 presents an opportunity to address the lack of free fish passage as is now federally required. When the highway was built, decision-makers were not aware of the ramifications of blocking waterways. Now we know better, we must do better.
The disagreement on how to accomplish this has been sadly ongoing for about 20 years. The point of contention is the man-made body of water that has become Windsor’s waterfront.
Some want continued control over the level of that water and openly oppose opening the flow of the Avon River, even in some small way. They only support “status quo” which does not include letting the fish move as they need, only as allowed.
Even Windsor Mayor Anna Allen and Hants West MLA Chuck Porter do not support the river, they support non-evidenced fear of a tidal waterfront.
I live in Kempt where we enjoy the tides of the river — kayaking and tubing are favourites.
How can it be that we still put “want” instead of “need” for the Avon River in 2018?
Option C has been presented by CBCL Limited — www.cbcl.ca — as one option the community is considering and Option C seems to be the best compromise that can be found. It allows for some control of the water level for special events such as the popular pumpkin regatta. Most importantly for me is the intent of Option C to allow the river to remain free-flowing the rest of the time. This river needs to be unblocked; for many reasons it needs to flow.
There is much information on this issue. Ask CBCL for the online presentation of Oct. 10 at the RCL #9 in Windsor. Talk to the business owners that have “Save Our Lake” signs to hear their fears so you can see how they’re addressed by Option C as designed by CBCL. Contact Darren Porter and Sonja Wood on Facebook. They have decades of knowledge of the Avon River and passion for all facets of this region including the river, business, farms, fish, and the people.
My hope for this community is for all stakeholders and decision-makers to support Option C. I encourage Mayor Allen and MLA Porter to change their minds and support Option C. Lead us forward together with a renewed spirit of cooperation and care for the river and each other. I love our region and I can't wait to see what we accomplish once this is settled!