A beach can be many things: a place you teach loved-ones to swim, where you watch sunrises and sunsets, your favourite spot to paddleboard, or a place you gather with friends. Beaches are your gateway to your local waters.
And Port Hope’s West Beach is a gateway to Lake Ontario.
The Municipality of Port Hope is currently completing a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, which could change how West Beach connects you to Lake Ontario in coming seasons.
In 2014, the municipality signed an agreement with Cameco to build a ‘ring road’ around Cameco’s nearby uranium conversion facility. Now it’s gathering public comment on the proposed road extension.
The Proposed Choate Street Extension, or ‘ring road’, could encroach on West Beach and impact how you use this beach. This prompted Port Hope residents to voice concerns through the Restore the Port Hope West Beach citizen group.
“It would be a shame to see a road put on that beach. It’s a beautiful beach, a nice wide open space,” said Restore the Port Hope West Beach member Doug Smith in a recent media interview.
In 2016, Cameco went through a relicensing hearing in front of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Waterkeeper and Restore the Port Hope West Beach both intervened in this hearing.
While the CNSC decided it could not rule on the ‘ring road’, it did discuss the issue.
Watch the CNSC Hearing video here. The Restore the Port Hope West Beach presentation begins about 57 minutes into the hearing.
As CNSC President Michael Binder states in the hearing, “Why is the Municipality interested in a Ring Road to a beautiful-looking beach?”
This is the key question.
As gateways to your local waters, public beaches are important to protect and preserve whenever we can. As part of the environmental assessment process, the public comment period for this proposal is now open. The anticipated deadline for submitting comments is November 1, 2018.
To learn more about how to submit your comments in person or online, click here.
For details on attending a Public Information Centre for this proposal, click here.