The success of a project is often dependent on more than just superior engineering, procurement and construction. Recognition of the various stakeholders, their issues or concerns and how to address and/or mitigate those challenges is critical. Consultation with stakeholders is more than an obligation for regulatory approval. It is a collective opportunity to minimize loss, maximize benefit and achieve outcomes greater than the sum of their parts. Our Stakeholder Engagement Team has over 20 years experience of working in public policy and government relations. Our experience is bonding all of the relationships together so that projects run smoothly and on time. Federal, provincial, regional and municipal governments, including First Nations and environmental organizations, international corporations and local farms are engaged professionally to achieve and exceed the desired goals. Ridge National is committed to providing the expertise necessary for sustaining mutual interests amongst all stakeholders. With this leadership, Ridge National provides the engagement of the tools required for sustainable mutual interests among clients, the public, the government and First Nations.
We at Ridge National recognize the importance of stakeholder issues to the success of your project and offer an experienced team to identify and manage those issues to ensure that your project can be constructed profitably and responsibly.
The following is a list of some of our services:
During the height of Wind Farm development in Southern Ontario, Ridge National’s strategic approach to conflict resolution assisted with overcoming daily bureaucratic barriers within the Niagara Escarpment. A protected UNESCO World Biosphere, the Niagara Escarpment is home to Ontario's Niagara Peninsula. This is the site of the largest wine-producing Region in Canada. Varieties such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc are among varieties produced across 33,606 acres. Within the bench lands of the Niagara Escarpment is the Twenty Mile Bench and the Beamsville Bench which became a case study by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. As word of the Niagara Region Wind Farm became public, many of the land and business owners within this corridor became concerned about the development, created was the Mountainview Niagara Escarpment Commission Association (MNECA), a group of business owners, residents, legal council and Construction Staff. This group was formed to help with the development of the 8 kms of Underground 115kV Transmission Line running though Wine Country as a part of 56 kms of Transmission Line running North and South from Beamsville to Dunnville Ontario. Project Management worked very closely with MNECA, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the EPC Contractor to mitigate potential issues and work through barriers stopping project progression. During the Winter of 2015 -2016, a strong presence was felt on the site by the Provincial Officer designated to the protection of the escarpment. As tensions rose in the community, the face of the Commission was very public and caused moments of pressure, felt for the most part, by the on-site staff. Mitigating the tension and strain on the project was a milestone moment as we worked with Project Managers, Environmental Monitors, Construction & Safety staff to appease the Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Municipal & Regional Council and local resident demands. It was clear that the community, the residents and business owners were at the forefront of concern for Ridge National. Ridge National’s team worked tirelessly to continue the project in a safe and organized fashion, proving that community engagement and stakeholder relations was an integral component in the progression of the project.
A pivotal case of Ridge National's successful approach is evidenced by “The Pelee Island Story,” which became a case study by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. In this example, the Pelee Island community battled with the MNR regarding endangered species regulations and their application by the MNR, which inflamed and polarized the community.
Over 500 anti-MNR signs (on an island of only 287 dwellings) were produced and sold by the municipality for $5 each, in what the Deputy Mayor referred to as “a virtual war zone of anger and suspicion between environmentalists and islanders,” with teams of armed officers conducting search and seizures and laying criminal charges.
In just two years of Ridge National’s involvement through the municipality, the island went from a dangerously polarized and confrontational crisis to one specifically mentioned in the new Endangered Species Act 2007 (Transition 58.1), granting the Minister special authority to ensure the Pelee file was responsibly addressed.
Over the next two years, Ridge National worked with Ministry officials in developing some of the new ESA 2007 regulations, which led to the first permit issued under the new legislation going to Ridge National’s Erie Sand & Gravel.
Ridge National developed a comprehensive conservation plan, creating 28 “habitat features,” such as egg- laying sites, so that habitat and quarry operations could co-exist as they continue to do today.
The Pelee file continues to exemplify an important Ridge National Inc. principle that, when motivated people come together with the right science, what nature did by accident, we can often do by collaborative design.