There is little that can be said about the frustration everyone feels as we continue to wait in anticipation of the 40PA decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal. With no decision to report, there are some interesting items ongoing in our calendar and we wanted to make sure they are on yours.
An update while we wait, and wait…
…. and wait! There is little that can be said about the frustration everyone feels as we continue to wring our hands and/or bite our nails in anticipation of the 40PA decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal. With no decision to report, there are some interesting items ongoing in our calendar and we wanted to make sure they are on yours should they interest you.
Mayor Watson … it’s time to get help from Queen’s Park
That Oakville Glen Abbey decision by the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs Steve Clark in July opened a serious opportunity for our residents, the City and the KGPC. Unfortunately, as we said in our August e-News, no one seems prepared to talk let alone act before the Court of Appeal decision on the 40PA comes down. Yes, a decision that goes our way could be definitive and make all other activities moot but …what if it doesn’t? We are staring down the throat of an expensive Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) hearing that neither the City or the KGPC wants. Remember, the OLT is ClubLink’s doing. As we said last month… what’s good for Oakville is good for Kanata and we would like to know that Mayor Watson is reaching out to Minister Clarke now to begin discussions that could spare our City and its taxpayers and our KGPC supporters these horrendous expenses. We’ve given everyone all the details to show that the development of the Kanata Golf Club lands is a far greater and permanent risk to the residents, the environment and the municipal infrastructure than Glen Abbey ever was.
Unfortunately, a critical deadline is also fast approaching. On October 29, all parties to the Ontario OLT hearing scheduled to start in January 2022 must file their witness statements. This means that the KGPC, the City and ClubLink must begin paying their experts to develop and write their formal opinions which will support their testimony at the six week hearing. Given that these experts have other clients and obligations, their work must begin very soon and we expect their invoices to follow shortly afterwards. Between November and the hearing start, the various parties will continue to develop supporting materials for their expert witness presentations as well as materials for cross examination of opposing witnesses. The legal, planning and other expert invoicing will continue to pile. This huge expenditure for all parties could go well into the six figures for a six week hearing.
Councillor Jenna Sudds told the KPGC that she talked about an MZO with the Mayor. This is nice to know, however, she has not provided any update on his actions to date. MPP Merrilee Fullerton is in full agreement that discussions should be ongoing between the Mayor and the Minister if Queen’s Park is to help on this issue. Mr. Mayor, can we do something other than wait (and pray) for the decision we hope to get from the Court of Appeal?
Elections have Consequences
Election season is upon us in Canada and it will likely have a trickledown effect on policy at all levels of government particularly on our two popular issues at the KGPC – urban greenspace and environmental protection. There are two debates this week (Tuesday and Thursday) specifically for our federal candidates in Ward 4 – Kanata North. We leave the links here for your easy access.
Kanata Carleton All Candidates Debate, Tues 7 Sept at 7 PM (kanatabeaverbrook.ca)
This is debate is organized by the Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association on behalf of our area community associations. Thanks KBCA!
100 Debates on the Environment Thursday, Sept 9th, 6:45pm
This debate is organized by Ecology Ottawa and MD Moms for a Healthy Recovery and this link will connect you to the pre-registration required.
The election has already had a particular impact on the KGPC and our communication with the City of Ottawa given Councillor Jenna Sudds is on a leave of absence to campaign. This got our six community associations talking with our two area business associations as to the impact on the management of important municipal issues were we to be without an experienced sitting City Councillor after the September 20 federal election. With a whirlwind year of issues remaining before the next municipal election in October 2022, we had some good discussion.
Based on past practice the City of Ottawa would consider three possible options: call a by-election for Ward 4, conceivably in December or beyond; assign a fill-in councillor(s) from a neighbouring ward(s) or, allow City Council to nominate an un-elected replacement councillor for the balance of the term. The pros and cons of these options are reviewed in detail in our letter to the Mayor below. While an onerous thought to many and hardly a first choice to most, the KGPC and all of the associations concluded that the option of a nominated candidate is the best for Kanata North right now. Surprised? There is only one reason for it and her name is Marianne Wilkinson. Marianne has stated that she would be prepared to step in to finish this term only to ensure Kanata North has dedicated, experienced representation at City Hall until October 2022. The various groups agreed that this is the only financially prudent approach that assures all of Kanata North quality representation and access to City Hall.
So, we wrote the Mayor on all of these issues this weekend. We’ll update you on his response.
If you are interested in how the City’s future plans to manage greenspace or those of you who participated in the consultations around the new Parks and Recreation Master Plan, there is an important meeting in September.
And so, that is all that’s up and down where we are this week. We hope that you are having a wonderful time wrapping up your summer plans and getting ready for the fall. We hope too that you stay safe and alert given the nasty news around a rising fourth wave of Covid.
Take care of yourself and those around you.
Remember…. we’re better together!