The Hamilton Naturalists’ Club (HNC) has won a 2023 “Brownie Award” for its work at the Grimsby Wetlands aka The Biggar Lagoon. Awarded by the Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN) under the category of “Reinvest: Financing, Risk Management and Partnerships”, the CBN has recognized the turnaround of these once contaminated sewage treatment lands into an important ecological system within Grimsby and Niagara. This was the first time a “Brownie” award has been given to a volunteer group.Continue reading
With today being the last day for public comments to be sent to the Province about the reversal of the Greenbelt changes (submit your comments here) and Council’s willingness to see parts of it not be re-protected, it seemed timely to take a look at the history of the Fifty Point area and its natural importance.Continue reading
Following a resolution passed in October requesting the Town submit comments to the Province regarding the reversal of the Greenbelt changes, a Staff Report for the consideration of Council on Monday was published today. The report urges Council to request that the Province NOT to reverse the Greenbelt changes in Grimsby (502 Winston and Cline Road) and leave those parcels out for development.Continue reading
After the defeat of proposed amendments to permit hunting under Grimsby’s “Discharge of Firearms and Bows” at last Council in October, it appears after some “reconsideration” that at least one Councillor thought permitting hunting was suddenly a good idea.Continue reading
On Monday, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra announced at Queens Park that after reviewing previous decisions made by the Ministry, it would be introducing legislation to roll back Provincial changes made to Official Plans and Official Plan Amendments in 13 municipalities, including those made to the Region of Niagara’s OP (list of changes here).
For the most part, this applies to urban boundary changes. Calandra said this was part of “building a better relationship” with municipalities. That also includes the Minister “reviewing costs” of Grimsby and Pickering, reversing course on his statements last week that would have municipalities on the hook for incurred expenses.
The costs incurred by Pickering hover around $360K, while Grimsby’s costs have been pegged between $82K to $88K.
While the Province intends on making municipalities whole, officially no “person” will have any recourse under Bill 136 aka “The Greenbelt Statute Law Amendment Act, 2023” should it receive Royal Assent in its current version.
With provisions such as “Proceedings barred”, “No costs award”, “No remedy” and “Retrospective effect”, the Province has attempted to prevent litigation through legislation between anyone, be it the Province, developers, municipalities and other classes related to this whole affair.
While most of the posts here on the Greenbelt flip-flop and its relation to Grimsby have focused on the waterfront lands at 502 Winston Road, not much has been said about the former Greenbelt properties between Oakes Road North/Kelson North and Main Street West/CN rail tracks. That is until now.
Global News has taken a detailed look at some of the lands there. Parts of the lands in question are owned or controlled by an employee (executive assistant) of LiUNA, a large Ford-friendly construction union that has local offices on Hunter Road in Grimsby.Continue reading
Well, it’s been about 10 months since the last look at the waterfront Greenbelt land and future development of 502 Winston Road. Needless to say, quite a bit has transpired since. The conclusion in that December 2022 post was that an Auditor General’s report, IC investigation and/or more formal investigative process (RCMP) was needed over the whole Greenbelt process. That suggestion has now come to bear fruit.Continue reading
The Province listened to Ontarians and promised to return and reverse all the removals and re-designations they made to the Greenbelt. That includes two parcels at 502 Winston Road and lands at Cline Road in Grimsby. However for Council, it seems the money-carrot attached to these developments may be too much to resist.Continue reading
As was speculated in an earlier post, the RCMP have now officially gone from exploratory mode in the Greenbelt scandal, to a full-blown criminal investigation. The OPP handed the reins over the matter to the RCMP earlier due to “perceived conflicts” and it now looks like the RCMP findings and recent events has lead the Mounties to get invasive.
The RCMP stated they would be investigating “allegations associated to the (Greenbelt) decision” and will be handed by the “Sensitive and International Investigations Unit” of RCMP’s O Division (Ontario).
In response to the news, Premier Ford’s office released this statement, in part:
“We have zero tolerance for any wrongdoing and expect anyone involved in the decision-making about the Greenbelt lands to have followed the letter of the law,”
Given that statement, it should be interesting to see where the trail leads the RCMP. With some of the outlandish claims by the government, developers and lobbyists in either the Auditor General’s report, or that of the Integrity Commissioner, surely there will be some takedowns or people being squeezed to name names in return for reduced charges.
It is unknown how long the investigation will take, however given the gravity of the matter, the RCMP will be quite comprehensive in reviewing this matter and laying charges, as necessary.
A day late and a dollar short, Ford’s mea culpa moment of calling the Greenbelt swap a mistake with plans to reverse the changes clearly did not throw the Feds off the trail at all.
More to come.