Ojibway Shores a balancing act, Pupatello says
Monday, July 15, 2013
Source: CBC News
Economic development corporation CEO says business and environment must be 'married'
The head of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation says encouraging business and protecting the environment is a delicate balancing act.
Sandra Pupatello says she hopes that with the Ojibway Shores development proposal on hold, a new opportunity will emerge in the city.
The Windsor Port Authority wanted to clear cut the land it owns and raised the flood plain using infill from the Herb Gray Parkway.
The authority backed off after significant public opposition.
"You want to look at the bright side. We should have this challenge because we have so many environmentally sensitive areas here. And that’s a good thing," Pupatello said. "The very reason people want to live in Essex County and why people would be up in arms over that land and its potential is the very reason people want to be here."
"But they also need to have jobs, so you have to find a way to marry those two."
Last week, the Windsor Port Authority's board of directors officially put the proposed plan to develop Ojibway Shores on hold.
Port authority president David Cree said in a media release that the authority will work with local environmental groups, the City of Windsor and other governmental agencies "to identify possible alternatives to the development of Ojibway Shores."
The economic development corporation wasn't involved in the plan but Pupatello was watching developments closely.
"We want to make sure we maintain environmentally sensitive land," Pupatello said.
She said if the port authority land is not the ideal spot for a business opportunity and development, perhaps one exists elsewhere in Windsor.
"I don’t want to shut the door entirely on the opportunity because I think we have some key players who are keen to do something, so if the site has changed, it hasn’t shut the door on opportunity entirely," she said. "We’re hoping there’s another opportunity to do some creative thinking and sort out what you could do with all sorts of dirt.
"The last time there was a huge opportunity like this was when we ended up developing Malden Park."
The park was built using clay dumped on an old landfill.
Pupatello now calls it a "gem."