In the spring, County Council voted to declare a climate emergency and to re-establish the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC).
In doing so, they joined hundreds of other municipalities across Canada in recognizing that the climate changes we are already experiencing constitute a true environmental emergency for our planet.
I, for one, was pleased that this motion was passed. Then, in the Sept. 26th issue of the Picton Gazette (Council approves site plan for Foodland on Loyalist Parkway), I read that our same Council members have now approved a site plan for a new Foodland store to be built by Sobeys in Picton on Loyalist Parkway across the road from the existing No Frills store.
If Sobeys needs a larger store than their present one in Picton, why don’t they close the existing location and build another Sobeys in this new location?
Should the new, larger Foodland store cause the financial failure of the smaller Foodland store in Wellington, this will force everyone in Wellington and west of town to drive all the way to Picton to shop all the time.
This will disadvantage many people who do not have transportation to Picton and presently count on shopping for all their groceries at the Wellington Foodland.
What will they do then?
Even those of us who shop there as a convenience when we need only a few items will be forced to drive to Picton unnecessarily, resulting in more carbon emissions. Furthermore, the Wellington Foodland lies in the heart of Wellington as one of our major anchor stores.
I am perplexed and disappointed in Council’s decision to approve this site plan in its present form.
In addition to the Foodland issue, the site plan includes a Dollarama store and at least one drive-through restaurant. Councillor Brad Nieman expressed concern that vehicles waiting at the new controlled intersection at the exit from the new plaza onto Loyalist Parkway would contribute increased emissions into our climate.
Frankly, vehicles patronizing a drive-through restaurant should be of much greater concern.
We should be phasing out the drive-through option at these restaurants, not adding more of them, given the emissions put out by all those cars and trucks idling while they await service.
Council’s 12-2 vote to approve this plan flies in the face of their earlier commitment to address our planet’s climate emergency.
How disappointing! I had hoped for much better from this new Council after its election last year.