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Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter raises awareness about Harper Park at the Garden Show

Chapter activist Kathryn Langley

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter took their campaign to protect Harper Park to the Peterborough Garden Show this past weekend.

Harper Park is a 150-acre park in the southwest corner of the city that has just been designated a provincially significant wetland by the Ontario government.

And as noted on the Peterborough Garden Show’s website, “We host over 100 vendors and exhibitors who are landscapers, gardeners, growers, teachers and designers along with many not-for-profit organizations; we have garden displays and demonstrations and speakers; an ambitious interactive children’s garden; the latest in garden tools, and so much more…” It’s now in its seventeenth year.

The chapter is campaigning to defend the park from a Great Canadian Gaming Corp. casino development that would be built near the park.

The Peterborough Examiner has reported, “Ken Hetherington, the city’s planning manager, says [the new provincial designation for the park] means no development can happen within 120 metres of the park. But he says that won’t change much regarding the new casino that’s planned for Crawford Dr. and The Parkway, since the site is more than 120 metres away. [But Kim Zippel, a member of the Peterborough Field Naturalists], pointed out that construction of the casino will involve excavation – which could potentially disrupt the watersheds that connect to the wetland.”

City councillors are expected to consider the site plan application and this new provincial designation this spring.

In December 2016, the Peterborough Examiner reported, “76 per cent of city residents don’t want a casino, according to a new poll [while] 74 per cent believed a full environmental assessment should [happen].”