For lack of a report from Legal Services, on a procedural motion by Councillor El-Chantiri consideration of the Chiarelli-Cullen Motion regarding Policy on Seeking Cost Awards was deferred to the next meeting of Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee, on February 3.
20 January 2009
The motion by Councillors Chiarelli and Cullen was expected to be considered at the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee meeting of January 6. This meeting has been cancelled. The Committee next meets on January 20. Mark your calendar! Call your Councillor!
24 December 2008
Ecojustice at uOttawa for the Greenspace Alliance, on 22 January 2009, filed documents in support of Leave to Appeal the costs awards endorsed by Ontario Divisional Court last October. The awards arose as a result of an unsuccessful attempt to have a Decision by the Ontario Municipal Board reviewed. The appeal is to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The 11-page Factum was prepared by Graham Mayeda, Assistant Professor at the Common Law Section in the Faculty of Law, uOttawa, under a pro bono arrangement with the Environmental Law Clinic. Along with it came a 123-page Motion Record and a 248-page Case Book. The Factum is subject to strict rules of length, format, type of argument etc.
Building on the Notice of Motion filed in December, the Factum demonstrates that the Greenspace Alliance is indeed a public interest litigant and it proposes detailed arguments culled from case law that apply. A solid portrait emerges of the Alliance’s work in the public interest over the last ten years, and for the preservation of Leitrim Wetland in particular. Perhaps its most novel argument is that we represent a disadvantaged group, namely "the interests of the environment and protecting plant and animal life." All deep ecologists amongst us will rejoice in seeing their views put forward! As public interest litigants, we would not be awarded costs in this case, despite having lost at Divisional Court in October.
By way of demonstrating that our litigation was in the public interest, the Factum also shows how wrong the mootness decision of the Divisional Court was that led to the costs award. This would mean, it states, that “a municipality could avoid appeals of its by-laws simply by repealing them from time to time and then re-enacting identical by-laws.” Nonetheless, this appeal is not of the mootness decision but only of the costs award.
The Factum concludes:
“Divisional Court erred in law in awarding costs against Greenspace Alliance. The Alliance is a public interest environmental group litigating an issue of public interest, namely, the protection of environmentally-sensitive wetlands. It raised legal issues before Divisional Court that are not frivolous and which are of public importance. Its members do not have a personal or financial interest in the preservation of the Leitrim wetland.
Moreover, Divisional Court erred in its interpretation of the law regarding costs awards in cases of public interest litigation. It misinterpreted the factors to consider in making such awards set out in Incredible Electronics and St. James, and misapplied them in exercising its discretion to award costs. Furthermore, the case law is still uncertain in Ontario in regard to the proper interpretation of the factors to be considered in awarding costs in public interest cases.For these reasons, the Greenspace Alliance submits that the Court of Appeal ought to exercise its discretion to grant leave to the Alliance to appeal the decision of Divisional Court on the issue of costs.”
Our appreciation for this work -- which could be legal history in the making -- goes out once again to Linda McCaffrey and her team at the Clinic, joined by Professor Mayeda and in no small measure accomplished with the assistance of Linda's law students.
30 January 2009
On November 28, 2008, Councillor Rick Chiarelli, supported by Councillor Alex Cullen, introduced a Motion at Council to clarify the City's policy with regard to requiring community groups or individuals to pay the City's litigation costs. The Motion was referred to Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee and is expected to be considered at its meeting of 6 January 2009.
Read the Motion here.
Councillor Chiarelli issued a media release.
Meanwhile, on December 10, the Divisional Court issued its Decision on the demand for cost awards. Finding that the Greenspace Alliance is not a public interest litigant, it agreed with the City's but reduced the award to the developers to $25,000 "in recognition of the [Alliance's] limited means." The Alliance is seeking leave to appeal this cost award decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
17 December 2008
The rich live longer than the poor but the gap narrows substantially in cities where there are plentiful parks, woods and playing fields, according to a study that appears in Saturday's issue of The Lancet. Researchers looked at mortality records and income data for 366,000 people in England who were below retirement age in the first half of this decade, and matched these figures to location. In the least "green" areas, the difference in the death rate between rich and poor was nearly twice that of places where recreational space was abundant.
The difference was even bigger when it came to deaths from circulatory disease. The authors, led by Richard Mitchell of the University of Glasgow, say these findings should be borne in mind by urban planners. "Environments that promote good health might be crucial in the fight to reduce health inequalities," they write.
Look here for the final schedule of dates of meetings and opportunities to comment (November 2008 to March 2009) , expected to lead to Council approval of the revised Plan in April 2009.
In English et en français.
9 November 2008
The long-awaited Judicial Review of earlier decisions affecting Leitrim Wetland came to an early end on October 2. In a Kafkaesque decision, the three-judge panel accepted a Motion by the City declaring our review application moot, that is, no longer relevant. Once again, we have been deprived of the opportunity to be heard on the substance of our case.
Incredibly, the City's argument was that the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law will come into force later this month and that the zoning provisions for the subject lands were not appealed. Our counter was that there was nothing new in these provisions and that an appeal would therefore be superfluous since an appeal process (namely this Judicial Review application) was ongoing.
In short, we lost on a technicality. Here are the panel's (unanimous) written reasons for the decision. City and Tartan have indicated that they will ask for costs.
This is by no means the end of the battle. Developing in and adjacent to a wetland requires extensive dewatering over long periods. Any taking of water (whether through pumping or across the surface) over 50,000 litres per day is subject to a Permit from the Ontario Ministry of Environment. We were already before the Environmental Review Tribunal for an appeal of a Permit To Take Water (PTTW) and won the first round. We have now commented on the pending so-called “Future Stages Permit” and will see if this 10-year Permit will be issued. Even without full disclosure, we have considerable evidence that, even today, the wetland is suffering degradation because of water table lowering. Further dewatering, we believe, will accelerate the damage.
19 October 2008
On October 14, 2008, it was decided to abandon our appeal of the latest, and supposedly last, short-term permit to pump water at Leitrim Wetland.
The Permit was valid until September 30 and the Ministry has given strong indication that no extension or further short-term permit will be issued.
Another short-term Permit, which came to light only recently, is for surface water diversion (up to 32.4 million liters/day) and remains in effect until November 30, 2008.
It is recognized and acknowledged that, should the Ministry issue a 10-year Permit (which would cover both pumping and surface water diversion), the Greenspace Alliance and the Sierra Club are likely to seek leave to appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal.
While this was now the prudent decision to take, it should be noted that the developer has succeeded in delaying our application for Leave to Appeal by raising questions about the admissability of the appeal and the qualification of one of our experts and also alleging that there had been trespass. As the comment below notes, these were all unsuccessfull. The latest motion was then for declaring the application moot. Neither the Ministry nor the developer had yet filed papers with the Tribunal in reply to our Application for Leave to Appeal.
19 October 2008
We now have a firm court date for the Judicial Review of the OMB's dismissal of our appeal of two zoning by-law amendments that would permit construction of Phase 2 of the Findlay Creek Village subdivision at Leitrim Wetland.
The hearing will be held on October 2 and 3, 2008 at the Provincial Courthouse on Elgin Street, starting at 10 a.m. (court room not assigned at this time). The case will be heard by a panel of three judges, Associate Chief Justice J.D. Cunningham, the Honourable Mr. Justice L.K. Ferrier, and the Honourable Madam Justice D.E. Bellamy.
The public is invited!
(Posted to the GA List - received from the City of Ottawa)
August 28, 2008
The City of Ottawa is in the final stages of updating the 2003 Transportation Master Plan (TMP), which identifies and addresses the transportation needs of our growing population and employment to the year 2031.
The city is seeking input on different implementation scenarios for its road and transit networks, as well as costs, benefits and associated risks.
During the month of September there will be a variety of ways to get involved and provide input.
OttawaTALKS online conversation: Starting September 11, 2008
Consultation Sessions (6 to 8:30 p.m.):
Visit ottawa.ca/tmp on August 29 for full details.
Bill Royds posted the following to the GA List on August 18, 2008:
<I was interviewed by Ottawa XPress after Erwin could not. Here is the
>> August 7th, 2008
>> Community Garden
>> Greenspace Alliance vs. Auditor-General's Bill
>> Sara Falconer
>> It's not exactly an exciting title: The Office of the Auditor-
>> General 2007 Annual Report. Indeed, it was released with barely a
>> blip on the public radar. But for those who took the time to read
>> it, it painted a detailed picture of a city with processes that are
>> deeply flawed - a city, says Bill Royds, "with no consistent vision
>> of the future."
>> "We tend to support the auditor-general because one of the things
>> he keeps on pointing out is the disarray in the city government
>> processes," says Royds, director of the Greenspace Alliance.
>> Alain Lalonde has been Ottawa's auditor-general since 2004. It's
>> great to have an outside watchdog, Royds points out, but only if
>> people are listening.
>> "It's not a soundbite," he explains. "Part of the problem is that
>> city politics, like national politics, is not something that you
>> can take 50 words and summarize. It's nuanced." The main report is
>> a staggering 304 pages long, with subreports on different areas
>> adding hundreds more. The city officially published the report but
>> did little to promote it - unsurprisingly, as it's extremely
>> critical of the status quo.
>> The Greenspace Alliance submitted a response to the report,
>> particularly pertaining to the Audit of the Development Review
>> "We were the organization, along with a couple of others, that said
>> to review it in the first place," he explains. The group has also
>> actively campaigned against the unchecked development of Kanata
>> West along the Carp River.
>> "Under various policies we're supposed to have commitments for
>> retaining green space and trees, but there are no actual policies
>> in place... all development is done piecemeal," he says. "We're
>> trying to preserve green spaces and the city is trying to make it
>> easier to develop green spaces than brown spaces like rail yards
>> and parking lots. Of course, fields are cheaper to build on because
>> they don't have to rehabilitate the land."
>> Developers in green fields should be paying more for development
>> costs to build infrastructure like sewers, he argues. Lalonde's
>> report revealed that by not doing so, Ottawa taxpayers are
>> subsidizing developers to the tune of $4.3-million. The city
>> charges less for these development fees than other Ontario
>> "Saving the environment would actually save us money," Royds says.
>> Moving forward, city managers will be hampered by a major problem
>> with the 20/20 Growth Management Strategy - inflated population
>> growth estimates that were calculated in 2003, which the Greenspace
>> Alliance objected to at the time.
>> "They took the fastest growth period that Ottawa ever had, and
>> assumed that the population would grow at that rate for the next 20
>> years. That's just silly."
>> The 2007 review offers numbers that are more realistic, Royds says.
>> "But that basically throws all of their plans for 2020 out of
>> whack, so they have to start all over again.">
23 August 2008
On July 21, 2008, the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal dismissed a motion by Findlay Creek Properties Ltd. The motion sought to dismiss an application for Leave to Appeal a permit issued by the Ministry of the Environment to pump water out of Leitrim Wetland. The appeal is spearheaded by the Greenspace Alliance and the Sierra Club of Canada on behalf of the Friends of Leitrim Wetland.
The Permit To Take Water (PTTW) would permit construction of further phases of Tartan and Tamarack Homes’s Findlay Creek Village development south of Leitrim Road, between Bank and Albion. The Friends contend that part of this new phase is in fact within the Provincially Significant Wetland; and that drainage will damage the Wetland that is supposed to be protected.
The appellants were represented by Linda McCaffrey and her team in the Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa.
The developer had applied for a PTTW and amended it twice, arguing that in the end it was not an application that was subject to appeal rights because the final application was for less than one year.
The Tribunal, in a Decision written by Vice-Chair Dirk VanderBent, firmly dismissed these arguments, asserting instead that the Ministry “has the authority and, indeed, the obligation to determine the nature and extent of a proposed water taking, independent of the time period stipulated in the application”. The Ministry must determine “through realistic assessment of the undertaking” whether the proposal ‘would authorize the taking of water over a period of one year or more’ – the legal criterion for an application to be appealable.
Here is the Decision (26 pages, 484 KB).
30 July 2008
Erwin reported to the Coalition and the GA Board on June 25:
I attended Planning and Environment Committee yesterday from 9:30 till past 4:00. The bulk of the time (from 11 to 4) was taken up by the matter of Terms of Reference (ToR) for the so-called Third Party Independent Review of the Carp River/Kanata West fiasco.
Before the item came on, file manager Rob MacKay distributed a revised ToR, with many changes from the version that was in the report for this meeting. Track changes were shown so one could see what was changed and what the source was: MOE's letter of June 13 (which had come in too late to be incorporated in staff's recommendations but was included in the staff report), "Public" or "other" -- the latter a reference (masked apparently at the request of the AG) to comments received from the Auditor General. The team had worked the previous evening to do this; they had also received letters from MTO and MNR; we were given to understand that the MTO letter asked for confirmation of the flood levels at the 417 bridges and otherwise expected the City to adhere to the requirements set out by MOE; and that the MNR letter said that Mississippi Valley Conservation was the agency with responsibility for flood plain policy and that MNR had no comment on the draft ToR. There was no explanation of why the changes sourced to "Public" were made only now, nor did anyone challenge staff on this. (The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority also sent a snarky letter to MOE, protesting about the inclusion of a requirement on flood plain policy.)
Naturally no-one had had an opportunity to review these amended terms. The AG (who did summarize the nature of his comments, dated June 18) refused to confirm on the spot that all had been incorporated. One significant change was that an Advisory Committee would assist the Third Party Reviewers; the Committee would consist of city staff, staff from four provincial agencies and "academic." Whatever other changes were made, staff held firm on not including some key points in the Terms: a policy review; investigating the implications if the Carp is confirmed to be a Municipal Drain; and an implementation plan that would guide "interim" development. Five firms have been pre-qualified and will have three weeks to prepare a bid. The work would start mid-August and be completed late November or early December. Cost: $300,000 (money taken out of a reserve fund).
All Committee members were in attendance, though Councillor Bellemare didn't return after the lunch break until just after the votes were taken. In addition, Councillors Legendre, Cullen, Wilkinson and El-Chantiri attended most or all of the time. (The Committee is chaired by Councillor Hume; its other members are Councilors Feltmate, Bellemare, Desroches, Doucet, Harder, Holmes, Hunter, Monette and Qadri. Non-members have no vote at Committee.)
After the staff presentation, Darlene Conway spoke her piece; six Councillors asked questions. Three Councillors asked questions after my 5 minutes. (One was Councillor Harder, who said she wouldn't take it any more to hear staff criticized -- she had full confidence in Nancy Schepers [sitting next to chair Hume]). Five spoke up after Ted Cooper's input. Finally, Mike Green (project manager for KWOG) and John Riddell (working for the Fernbank developers) spoke briefly. Mike Green scored a new low by quoting one sentence out of the AG's Audit report, making it appear that the project was in conformity with provincial policy; Councillor Cullen reprimanded him by furnishing all the other quotes where the AG had expressed severe criticism. Throwing logic to the wind, Riddell said doing the Fernbank analysis was their job, it shouldn't be given to someone else.
After a half hour lunch break, there were more questions to staff (MacKay, the AG and Al Perks of R.V. Anderson who has been helping staff post-Audit). Clearly, even chair Hume struggled with the matter of some of MOE's requirements not being met (2-zone flood plain policy; phasing plan), given that, because of the outstanding Part II Order Requests, MOE is the final arbiter of the projects' acceptability. "Statements" by nine Councillors followed. Councillors Holmes and Doucet pointed to the increasing severity of storms. Holmes affirmed again that MOE has lost confidence in the ability of the City to manage its own affairs. Councillor Hunter again opposed the Third Party Review, saying that the real Third Party is MOE and that this Review will only cause further delay. Councillor Harder asserted that "some of the finest developers in the country are in this city" and that she didn't need to spend $300,000 to feel good. Councillor Hume heaped praise on MacKay for doing "an exceptionally good job."
It then came to voting on motions. Councillor Feltmate moved that 1) minor adjustments to the Terms following further consultation with MOE/MNR and the AG be delegated to the City Manager; and 2) letters be sent to MOE/MNR asking for clarification on the 2-zone flood plain policy. They were carried, with Councillor Holmes dissenting on 2).
Councillor Doucet had a 5-part motion to add elements to the Terms; these were voted on one by one. 1: whether the flood plain policy was properly applied -- voted down with only Councillors Doucet, Holmes and Feltmate in favour. 2: that the Third Party reviewer consult with the Auditor General and the Part II Order Requesters -- MacKay said they'd support it and it was carried, with Councillor Hunter dissenting. 3: to add an interim development plan -- voted down with only Doucet and Holmes in favour. 4: to add Fernbank urbanization in the post-development analysis -- voted down with only Doucet, Holmes and Feltmate in favour. 5: that the City's 2-zone policy would be reviewed as per the AG's report -- carried with only Desroches, Harder and Hunter dissenting. (It's not clear to me how this part relates to the ToR.) The main motion then carried, with Councillors Doucet, Holmes and Hunter dissenting.
To me, the major disappointment was that one of the Coalition's key points -- that you can't put the fox in charge of the henhouse -- was not heeded or even debated. Au contraire, Councillors Harder and Hume went out of their way to express confidence in staff. It would appear that Councillors, even our most sympathetic ones, are afraid to think on their own, without staff holding their hand.
Here is the Disposition by Council, the following day.
Prepared comments by Conway, the Coalition and Cooper (all slightly different from actual delivery in light of developments during the meeting):
5 July 2008
20 June 2008
Staff's report (including all of the comments received) and recommended Terms were posted to the City's web site earlier this week:
Also in the report is a letter from the Ministry of Environment which sets out the questions this independent review should cover. Having been received on June 13, staff said the letter had come in too late and they'll come back with amendments if need be!
Similarly, Darlene Conway's alternative Terms (which were submitted on time...) "will be reviewed in the context of the recently received ministry comments. A recommendation will be made on the appropriateness of further modifications to the Terms of reference at that point."
Other comments did not fare any better. In fact, the recommended Terms differ from the original ones by the addition of ... six (non-essential) words!
Left to their own devices, what do you think is the chance that further modifications will be deemed necessary?
The Carp River Coalition has sent an "open letter" to Council, with copies to the media, hoping that, on Tuesday, 24 June, at Planning and Environment Committee, consideration of this item will be deferred "with recommendations." We keep trying to have sanity return to this file.
Here are some of the comments that were sent to staff today for their consideration:
- Especially remarkable is the input from Darlene Conway, water resources engineer at the City, who, on her own time, produced an excellent alternative Terms of Reference. She also has a cover note which highlights some of the main differences with the draft found on the City's web site. (For Darlene's witness statement at a February OMB hearing, look here.)
- Comments from Ted Cooper.
- Comments from John Almstedt.
- Comments from Erwin Dreessen
This matter is expected to be considered by Planning and Environment Committee on June 24. A few days before we'll find out what staff did with these and other comments. You then have five minutes to tell Committee what you think.
9 June 2008
On 29 May, the draft Terms of Reference for a 3rd-party review of the studies supporting development in Kanata West (including building on the flood plain) became available on the City's web site, at http://ottawa.ca/carpriver, along with a number of FAQs .
Staff wants your comments by June 9 and the Terms will go to Planning Committee on June 24. You can e-mail your comments to staff to carpriver (at) ottawa.ca.
May 20, 2008 -- City planning staff have developed preliminary proposals for managing growth in the rural areas based on the 2007 Rural Discussion papers and input from rural residents.
You are invited to find out more about the recommendations and their impact on the City’s Official Plan by attending a workshop on May 31.
The recommendations are contained in the report “Review of the Official Plan and Infrastructure Master Plan – Preliminary Proposals” tabled at Planning and Environment Committee on April 22, 2008.
For more information, or a copy of the report, please contact:
City of Ottawa
Planning, Transit and the Environment Department
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 21850
E-mail: bruce.finlay (at) ottawa.ca
On May 7, the City of Ottawa announced three opportunities to discuss the issue of intensification in the context of the review of the Official Plan:
Intensification Discussion with Dimitri Roussopoulos, founder and CEO of Urban Ecology. How do we reconcile community aspirations for intensification with the principles of the Official Plan? Hosted by Councillor Clive Doucet
May 27, 2008
7 to 9 p.m.
Council Chambers – City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West
Panel Discussion: The Economics of Intensification
May 29, 2008
7 to 9 p.m.
Ben Franklin Place – Former Council Chambers
101 Centrepointe Drive
Panel Discussion: Intensification That Fits --
Supporting Intensification Through Good Design and Collaboration
June 3, 2008
7 to 9 p.m.
Ben Franklin Pace – Former Council Chambers
101 Centrepointe Drive
All three sessions are open to the general public. The panel discussions will include four subject-matter experts speaking on a variety of opinions and viewpoints on the subject at hand, followed by a moderated question and answer period.
Become informed about changes to the Official Plan and the Infrastructure Master Plan by reading the preliminary proposals and draft policies tabled at Planning and the Environment Committee on April 22, 2008. This information is found under the “Supporting Documents” section of this report.
More information about the Forum will follow in the coming weeks. Mark your calendars now for these important events!
The Rural Affiars office reports on April 25, 2008:
Rural Summit II update
Approximately 200 residents, City staff and rural councilors participated in Rural Summit II to discuss rural issues and find solutions to improve services to Ottawa’s rural communities.
Prior to the Summit, community consultations were held in each rural ward resulting in over 700 documented issues and suggestions. The Rural Summit Steering Committee, a community-led working group, undertook the task of reviewing the consultation feedback and putting the information into four main categories that would form the agenda for Rural Summit II. Comments related to planning and development, including water and wastewater infrastructure, were forwarded to the Rural Settlement Strategy team. A parallel undertaking to Rural Summit II, this strategy will reflect the contributions of Ottawa’s rural community and will recommend changes to the City’s Official Plan.
Governance: Including localized decision making; localized access to community facilities; and communications
Rural Services: Such as Para Transpo; fire services; social services; and libraries
Infrastructure: Such as roads; ditches; telecommunications; and energy infrastructure
Bylaws, Permits and Processes: Including burn permits; forestry practices; and building permits.
Working Groups, composed of residents who had volunteered their services during the community consultations, were then formed for each of the four categories. These groups reviewed the comments from the community consultations and put forward "Options for Solutions" to address the concerns of rural residents.
During the Summit, participants could attend three facilitated sessions. At these sessions, they reviewed the Options for Solutions developed by their fellow residents in the Working Groups and individually voted on their priorities for action. The solutions and comments provided will allow the Rural Affairs Office to determine the most pressing issues affecting residents of rural Ottawa.
Refer to the vote results as identified by Rural Summit II participants:
Rural Services: http://ottawa.ca/residents/rural_connections/rural_summit_02/event/services_en.html
Bylaws, Permits and Processes: http://ottawa.ca/residents/rural_connections/rural_summit_02/event/bylaws_en.html
"Parking Lot" issues:
Parking Lot issues are additional issues and comments from participants attending the Rural Summit II.
During the Rural Summit, the “Parking Lot” process was used to ensure that these important off-topic issues were captured and that the facilitated discussion groups remained focused on the issues and solutions brought forward by the rural residents who volunteered on the pre-summit working groups.
Feedback form results - comments for Rural Summit II.
See also: (You need an OPLibrary card number to access this article)
"City is better, councillors tell summit - Rural representatives say wards have benfitted and talk of de-amalgamation 'almost dead'", by Patrick Dare, Ottawa Citizen, April 6, 2008, page A3.
7 May 2008
March 11 - The Rural Affairs Office advises:
Rural residents are getting down to work discussing the issues raised at recent Rural Summit II meetings held recently in rural parts of the City.
All four rural Ward consultation meetings have been completed in preparation for the Rural Summit II and working groups are will be meeting throughout the month of March. In total, there were several hundred ideas put forward by the people that volunteered an evening of their time to let the City know where we should be making improvements.
Some very important issues were discussed at the community meetings. These covered a wide range of topics including: ParaTranspo services, the process to obtain a burn permit, ways to improve local involvement in decision making and the condition of the City’s road and drainage network. Among these and other issues mentioned, the City also received a few compliments on our accomplishments since the first Summit held in 2005. For more information about what was talked about at the community meetings visit the Rural Connections website - http://ottawa.ca/rural - and read the complete discussion notes that have now been posted.
The Rural Summit Steering Committee, which is made up of representatives from a variety of rural groups and communities, met recently to pour through the issues and figure out the best way to lump them together in themes that can be assigned to working groups. The consensus was to build the issues into four main themes that working groups would follow. These themes are: Governance; By-laws, Permits and Processes; Infrastructure; and Services. More information and progress reports will also be posted on the Rural Connections website.
Register now for Rural Summit II
As the working groups flesh out the issues, they will be looking for solutions that will work for rural residents, businesses and farmers. These solutions will be presented at Rural Summit II on April 5 at Confederation High School (1645 Woodroffe Avenue). Since lunch will be provided we are asking that people register in advance, either by completing the registration form at http://ottawa.ca/rural, calling 3-1-1 or by visiting any Client Service Centre. Registration for Rural Summit II runs from March 3 to March 31.
On March 10, Amy Kempster wrote to Bruce Finlay on behalf of the Alliance:
... I wanted you to know that the Greenspace Alliance has approved the following comments on the paper about Agriculture. On the whole we were pleased with that paper. ...
The Greenspace Alliance would like to express its approval of the main land use recommendations of the Agricultural Paper. We believe they will work to ensure protection of Agricultural operations.
In Section 1, Impact of Land Use Decisions, we fully approve recommendations re Issues A (Erosion of land base), B (Minimum Separation Distance) and C (Restrictions on farm expansion).
We are not familiar with changes made to parcels in West Carleton just prior to amalgamation (Issue D) but the recommendations seem reasonable if the situation is as noted.
With regard to other issues we agree generally with the recommendations re improving economic viability (Issues E, F, G and H) and fully support the recommendation re farmers' markets being confined to sell only locally grown farm products (but a definition of local may be necessary - perhaps 100 miles or 100 kilometers) and for the continuation of the farmers market in Lansdowne Park.
We are not supportive however of the recommendations in the Section Links to Other Working Groups as we note that these were not supported by all members of the Working Group.
(Conveyed by Erwin Dreessen)
The new date for a court hearing on the Judicial Review is now June 9, 2008.
February 21, 2008 / Le 21 février 2008
An Ontario Municipal Board hearing on Ted Cooper's appeal of rezoning for the Trinity lands near the Carp River starts on February 20, 2008.
Here is Ted's Witness Statement..