Mission council fails to stand behind their one and only Environmental Protection Bylaw.

On Aug 24/09, Mission council voted unanimously to support a developer to enter into negotiations with DFO to bury two streams and flatten the surrounding ravine ecosystem in order to enlarge the footprint of a strip mall on the Lougheed Highway, near Wren Street.   This habitat destruction requires a variance from Mission’s one and only environmental protection bylaw called Streamside Protection Regulations (SPR) which would have protected the area.  Council’s chose to support the developer’s request despite a large turnout of concerned local residents who presented passionate pleas to preserve this environmentally sensitive area which is home to abundant wildlife and functions as a neighbourhood park for their children.  Residents also alerted council to slope stability concerns and submitted a petition of 110 names opposed to the variance. Instead of standing behind their SPR bylaw, Council is deferring the decision to DFO, knowing full well that fisheries values are likely not high enough in the 2 streams for DFO to object. It was very discouraging to witness the lack of care or compassion by council towards these residents- reminiscent of the contempt demonstrated towards concerned residents of Silverdale during the 8 day long genstar public hearing.  Sadly, this council seems to have adopted a stance of enduring public hearings, rather than listening to Mission residents, and has become well rehearsed in disregarding the public interest in order to facilitate development at any cost. CAUSS asks “Why hold public hearings if council is not willing to be guided by what the public says? Why have a environmental protection bylaw if council doesn’t stand behind it?”

Hillcrest entrance