The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) will deliver a livestream of the ClubLink – 7000 Campeau Drive hearing on the Ontario Land Tribunals – YouTube. The hearing begins Monday January 17th at 10 am.
Welcome to 2022. We’re in the thick of it!
In more ways than one!
This is certainly a second strange start to a New Year. Each wave of Covid-19 seems to bring its own set of complications, restrictions, policies and challenges. The only thing that is consistent is the tedium and sadness of it all. We hope you and your loved ones are coping with it admirably and that you soon get some uncontrived and unrestricted time with all of your family and friends. Impromptu gatherings. Perhaps no masks. Imagine that! Until then, let’s all stay safe and follow the rules. Relax and rejuvenate in the freedom of our greenspace.
We also want to thank the many of you who wrote to us over the holidays, extending thanks and thoughts for 2022. It seems we all have one wish in common…the protection of our greenspace and the green heart of our Kanata North neighbourhoods from an oh so disrespectful development proposal by ClubLink/Minto/Richcraft.
Perhaps there is no more special way to recognize what all that truly means than with this stunning original painting from Julie of JL Designs, a Kanata Lakes homeowner. She sent it as a card to the Coalition at the Holidays with a note. “This painting is of my husband and our granddaughter sledding on the golf course hill near us, with me doling out cookies to Felix.” and kindly gave us permission to share it with our supporters! Thanks again Julie. And, by the way, this student artist is terribly impressed!
This beautiful card did give us another idea. We suspect there are other talented artists and creators amongst our supporters. If you have a painting or drawing that celebrates our greenspace in full beauty or in great use, we would love to include your work in an upcoming e-news and our KGPC Facebook and Instagram pages. You can forward them to us at email@example.com. We can’t wait!
Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) Hearing, Monday, January 17, 2022 – Update
The OLT will deliver a livestream of the ClubLink – 7000 Campeau Drive hearing on the Ontario Land Tribunals – YouTube. Click on this link to open it automatically in your browser. The hearing begins Monday at 10 am.
During the hearing, experts and lawyers from all parties will be referring to a series of six document books consisting of more than 125 documents from all three parties, three photo books among other online files. These total thousands of pages. We have been in contact with the OLT and have confirmed that they are unable to post these documents on their website for public use because of the huge file sizes. The KGPC has investigated loading the files on our website for your access and we have, unfortunately, met with the same limitations. For the record, we have written the OLT to request they improve transparency by investing in the technology to share access to tribunal documentation. Unfortunately, it will not help us next week.
What to expect. To start, we’re hoping it will end soon after it begins. Here’s why.
City engineering staff were busy over the holiday period. After assessing the impact of ClubLink’s December withdrawal of the Etobicoke Exfiltration System (EES), a key low impact development (LID) contributor to the proposed SWM system, they finally agreed with the position the KGPC has been promoting since July – without agreements between the developer and the City on the complete design of an acceptable SWM system, a development application is premature and the OLT hearing should not be going forward.
As a result, City legal filed a Notice of Motion on December 29 to adjourn the OLT along with the Affidavit of a senior City water resources engineer. On January 4, in agreement and support of the City position, the KGPC filed a Notice of Response to Motion along with the Affidavit of Doug Nuttall, SWM expert for the KGPC.
ClubLink opposed the two motions to adjourn. Their letter response was to suggest that the hearing instead be split into two parts – the SWM discussion be delayed in one phase and all other aspects and issues be grouped and addressed next week as originally planned. They suggested that delaying the SWM portion until April 2022 would allow for agreement to develop across the SWM expert table in the intervening three months. We would note that they have been unable to find agreement with the City on three different SWM submissions over the past almost three years and so, our team is somewhat mystified that a solution requiring the identification and analysis of complex SWM infrastructure and design, previously unthought of, should suddenly materialize. It seems hard to believe. Further, ClubLink wants the OLT hearing to proceed next week to address the balance of the issues which includes all of the planning matters – essentially suggesting that the subdivision and zoning applications including lotting, street layout and other design aspects can be still be decided even before the SWM system and its infrastructure components and other prerequisites (e.g.: elevation changes, flow and volume analysis and LID requirements etc.) are determined. It is quite like the old “cart before the horse” adage. Our team, along with the City, continues to disagree and will bring the necessary arguments in opposition.
The Tribunal should also hear a ClubLink Motion Record filed December 29 to dismiss portions of the expert witness statement of our Doug Nuttall, suggesting that the references in his OLT witness statement to the restrictive covenants applicable to this property are inappropriate, requiring legal interpretation beyond his expertise and the planning scope limitations of the OLT itself among other things. At that time, they also asked for the tribunal to hear the motion ahead of the hearing which the OLT refused citing an absence of calendar availability. The KGPC responded on January 7 with a Notice of Response to Motion and a supporting Affidavit from Doug Nuttall. ClubLink then filed their Reply Motion Record January 12.
The OLT panel should address all of this on Monday. We are hopeful that the City and your KGPC will prevail and the hearing will be dismissed. Take your time with these readings but don’t miss Day 1 at 10am!
The 40PA – Update
The City is still considering its option to seek leave to appeal the November 40PA decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). As we mentioned in December, they have until the end of January to make that decision and file appropriately.
Some of you wrote to ask why, given the ONCA decision and the obvious opposing views of the two main parties, the 40PA is not automatically being returned by the parties to Justice Labrosse for decision. The right to appeal a decision taken by a superior court takes precedence. Should the City choose to pursue the path of an SCC appeal, it must be allowed to run its course. That includes the entire process of seeking leave to appeal, potentially receiving that permission and then preparing and presenting the matter at the SCC and finally, waiting for the decision. That entire process is expected to take well beyond a year to complete. Should the City’s appeal ultimately be upheld at the SCC, the 40PA is then returned to its whole and we expect, fully enforceable. This is why the KGPC has committed to supporting the City in this effort.
Were the City to be unsuccessful at the SCC, the parties could then return to the Labrosse court for further decisions on the enforceability of the remaining agreement and clauses. You might not be surprised to learn that ClubLink has already indicated that it interprets the ONCA ruling differently than the City and that it will again object to the KPGC assuming status in the matter in Justice Labrosse’s court. Some things in life are truly predictable!
Finances Always Matter
We are just closing the books on our 2021 year and will get a more complete update out to you in a few weeks. What we can tell you today is that the past two months have been particularly costly as we readied our three experts and our legal team for the OLT. These costs exceeded $50,000 over November and December including the time and meetings spent analyzing an SWM plan that was ultimately withdrawn as well as the many legal activities identified above that were needed to push back against ClubLink. Should we be unsuccessful in securing an adjournment of the OLT hearing on Monday, we can expect an equal expense over those four hearing weeks in January and February.
We constantly reassess our financial situation. For certainty, right now, we must refocus on fundraising to ensure we keep all of our options open so that a weak financial situation does not stand in our way… pandemic or not!
APERITIVO, our friend at Kanata Centrum, has already stepped up to help support us again!
We’re putting the final touches on a delicious dine-at-home dinner package.
When: Monday, February 7
Where: At Your House
We’ll be out next week with the menu and all of the yummy details! There will be only 50 dinners for 2…so mark your calendar and watch for our ticket link next week.
We truly hope as your read these e-news, you can see the value in the work we are doing. The Coalition is proud to be able to say that we have brought some of the very best experts and lawyers to this fight. They have been and continue to be both impressive and effective. And yes, it can be expensive on a file as large and complex as this one. ClubLink/Minto/Richcraft count on that. And so, we need and value your feedback and support on our fundraising activities…. and your donations should you prefer.
We’ll be back to you next week with an update on the start of the OLT … and more! We wish everyone safe days and weeks as January and Omicron unfold. Vaccinations and good quality masks are everyone’s friend. Keep good watch over neighbours and those we know who may need extra help and a few extra check-ins and check-ups. Consider feeding our birds who are waiting for spring to return to the glorious trees and open spaces across Kanata North.
We’re in the thick of this together! Thank you for all or your support.
Take good care,
Chair, Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition
T – 613-725-6595
E – firstname.lastname@example.org