THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
Pages of Special Interest;
Other Table of Contents;
TO: A large number of people in government, at many levels & media.
RE: Unlawful methods being used by the City of Mississauga to endanger a
OMB File.# PL030312 - Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning Application.# OZ 02/023 W1.
Dear Sirs or Madam - it is hoped you can help in some way:Nov. 27, 2003
The Freedom of Information (FOI), Coordinator for the City of Mississauga has informed both the Planning Dept. and the Ward 1 Councillor, Carmen Corbasson to not respond to my written requests to talk to them in order to become involved in this Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning Application. One of my purposes being, getting the rest of the community involved. See enclosed. The FOI Coordinator's actions were instrumental in shutting me out of this application process and denying me the chance to become a participant at the OMB hearing to represent community and environmental concerns, which I have so often in the past. The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, is a law and as such, it can only be used to deal with issues directly covered by its legislation. Therefore, it is unlawful for the City's FOI Coordinator to claim an Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) Order can be used to blacklist me and deny me access to City services such as communicating with Planning staff and the elected official for my area.
This is not the first time the City's FOI Coordinator has directly interfered in the FCB's and CRRA's efforts to be involved in Planning matters. As a part of the Official Plan process, regarding the rezoning of the Cawthra Bush, I addressed the Planning and Development committee, Aug. 4/98. The minutes taken didn't factually represent the concerns I expressed at the meeting. The City's FOI Coordinator signs an oath that a copy of ALL written submissions are being passed on to the approving body, the Region of Peel. All but mine, she later confirmed this. We went directly to the Region of Peel, they listened to our concerns and Peel did not approve the City's proposed zoning regarding the Cawthra Bush, Site 1. See enclosed. One of our many examples of the City trying to keep the FCB and CRRA out of an official process and our victory over destructive City plans.
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Another example (one of many), to remove the public/us from being involved in City of Mississauga decision making regarding their community, the Leader of the Green Party of Ontario has tried to make an Official FOI request regarding the City's efforts to remove Jefferson Salamander habitat in the Cawthra Bush. The Ministry of Natural Resources told the City not to remove it and the City has denied access to these records, along with everyone else's FOI requests about the Cawthra Bush, that we know of. This denies the public the facts and the opportunity to be meaningful participant in the public process. For the record, the Mayor of Mississauga has promised we would not get City records and the City's FOI Coordinator has kept that promise by manipulating or misusing official processes, using false records to get IPC Orders against me to deny everyone, (the City cares to deny access to), records about the Cawthra Bush, an area impacted by the current OMB hearing. A review of City statements in one case by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), is summed up in this line, "We submit that this claim, on the part of the City, lacks credibility." This level of hostility has disheartened and drove many from the public process. The City should not be allowed to gain from how it is treating taxpayers and it stands to make significant financially gains, from aiding developers in the elimination of the exist stable community. The population increase around the Cawthra Bush will "pound it into the ground" so says City staff.
The City has refused to recognize our ratepayers group, the CRRA. The City's letter of rejection clearly notes that there is a chance the CRRA could oppose City plans for the Cawthra Bush as the first and main reason for the denial. The second is equally a bogus reason and misuse of the City's own polices. More of the City's pattern of behaviour aimed at shutting the public out of the process.
Other reasons for concern regarding the current OMB hearing process.
The so-called public process is being sped up, which will not allow the community to rally against this new development proposal - precedent. The plans for townhouses is bad enough but the OMB is allowing the process to be manipulated. The first developer presented plans for 30, 1 bedroom, one story townhouses which many objected to. The land was sold to another developer who now wants 3 bedrooms, two story townhouse. Tripling the population to over 100 in the space of 6 lots!
The OMB decided that this matter need not go back to the public for a full review. The public had only an informal meeting, Nov., 20, only 20 days, (which was shortened from 30 by way of decision.# 1539), before the start of hearing, Dec. 8. It will not need to go to City Council, as the second developer is "stepping into the shoes" of the first developer, even if the foot is three time bigger. The public gets one night before the Board to express itself and our Councillor say "it is very, very unusually that the Board, for a fairly small application like this", to do this.
It was only today that I received from the City lawyer word of the exact date and time that residents would be allowed to speak. Only 11 days notice to a person wanting to be involved. I am informed that if I were to find an expert witness to address environmental issues they would in all likelihood not be allowed to speak. Also, I am informed that there could be further restrictions placed on representations that will not be made known till later.
The public process should be started over again due to: The significant changes in the application, specifically the increase in proposed populations densities; That the public was mislead by the first developer as to what was going to be built; To give residents a real chance to get properly organized to deal with this assault on their community and the Cawthra Bush; They should even be allowed the chance to change the zoning for area, not to allow townhouses.
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Much of this comes from the City of Mississauga's own Natural Areas Survey (2000) - Natural Areas Fact Sheet, which has not been enclosed with the City's submission to the OMB. Just as many of the specific concerns of residents regarding how the population increases from this and the developments to follow, would destroy the Cawthra Bush. The Cawthra Bush is classified as a "Significant Natural Site" and there has been a significant increase in the Cawthra Bush's environmental significance between the 1996 & 2000, Natural Areas Survey, by way of species found and nature features. This is clear evidence that the Cawthra Bush has not been fully studied, its full environmental significance has not been documented and as a result that the City Management Plan for the Cawthra Bush is inadequate. "This site is currently in good condition." & "MANAGEMENT NEEDS - Access to the site should be controlled." The Cawthra Bush should not listed a just as a park by the City.
The Cawthra Bush has , "A high perched water table", the City and consultants have often referred to the Cawthra Bush as "imperfectly drained", in an effort to devalue the Cawthra Bush. In fact, it provides habitat for not only the amphibians that greatly increase the Cawthra Bush's environmental significance but also has Vernal ponds for Fairy Shrimp and Chimney Building Crayfish. In the U.S.A., Vernal ponds are recognized for their great benefit to ecosystems and are protected. Fairy Shrimp are considered an indicator species of clean water, just as amphibians like the Jefferson Salamander are considered an indicator species of forest health. The Cawthra Bush has two distinct geologies and water sheds. "In the northern portion of the site the soil is Berrien sandy loam which has developed within the Iroquois sand plain. The southern portion has Chinguacousy clay loam soil which has developed within the Halton till plain. Both of these soil types are imperfectly drained. Soil moisture is wet-mesic to wet throughout the site. This site is located primarily within the Cooksville Creek subwatershed, however, the northernmost portion is within the Serson Creek subwatershed." The Ministry of Natural Resources also states the Cawthra Bush is "noteworthy for its broadleaf swamps." Cawthra is a remnant of an ecosystem which has virtually disappeared from the municipality and has high aesthetic value.
Dr. Paul F. Maycock of the University of Toronto, Erindale, has studied mesic old-growth deciduous forest all over the world and has found that the Cawthra Bush is an "Old-growth ecosystem" & "old growth natural forest". The Cawthra Bush is a rare Urban Old-Growth Forest. That it stood 50th in a total of 60 stands (internationally) in flora biodiversity, "the species richness found at Cawthra Bush is striking, not only in terms of numbers, but also in variety." It has also been noted that the Cawthra is influenced by a colder than normal microclimate. The species at Cawthra are not very representative of the Carolinian zone and are more likely to be found either to the north or south, "Cawthra has the best of both forest worlds in Ontario - north and south.". This makes the Cawthra Bush even more unusual. Dr. P. F. Maycock also suggests, "Such an old growth ecosystem has invaluable worth for forest ecological research, a benchmark for natural successional change and to monitor global climatic change, as a natural museum of wonder for children and adults alike, as a repository of genetic diversity, and just as a thing of joy and beauty."
* Habitat of the Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum),
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* The Cawthra Bush is identified as a Provincially Significant Wetland
* There are 67 birds, 7 mammals, and 5 herptiles documented so far at
* Diversity of plant species - there are 331 floral species and 79 faunal
Please call to say you received this letter and if you can help in any way.
I am willing to discuss my letter with you, in case the wording seems a little ambiguous or you want a request explained. My phone number is ... & e-mail email@example.com.
Please find enclosed:
Sincerely yours, Donald Barber, President, FCB & Chair, CRRA.
[ COMMENTS BY DON B. - ]
Your Financial Donations are Greatly Appreciated