Goulbourn wetland boundaries should be amended, rural affairs committee says

By Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen, February 6, 2020

What is and what is not a wetland — and what makes it wet — has been the subject of intense and long-running debate for those who live around the Goulbourn wetland complex.

The complex, which straddles Flewellyn Road west of Stittsville, was designated as significant by the Ministry of Natural Resources in 2004. Over the years, drainage issues have pitted environmentalists against those who argued that if drains and ditches were managed better, there would be less wetland. On top of this, landowners have feared that their land values would plummet if it was designated wetland.

On Thursday, the city’s rural and agricultural affairs committee approved official plan and zoning amendments to revise the boundaries of the wetland complex. The city needs to take this step in order to be compliant with the province, which requires municipalities to protect provincially significant wetlands. These wetlands can’t be altered or used for development — although existing uses, such as agriculture, are permitted.


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