It was surprising and upsetting to hear our mayor, during last night's council meeting, to refer to those citizens who may not agree with city projects and file legal objections to be "game playing."
He referred specifically to Second Avenue, a project that I brought to the attention of provincial authorities (MOECC) due to environmental concerns on behalf of a number of concerned residents in a public process prescribed by legislation.
We proposed a number of alternatives to the city reconstruction plans that would have made for a safer roadway, reduced salt entering Lake Ramsey and all at less cost. What we have now is a five-lane speedway, which in over just a kilometre turns into three lanes and then two. Three times the amount of salt now enters the environment from the unnecessarily expanded roadway.
We were not playing a game as the mayor suggested. We were using the proper recognized channels available to all citizens to address concerns. If the city had done proper planning according to established environmental rules and process there likely would have been no objection and no delays.
With respect to the Kingsway Entertainment District (KED), the LPAT (Local Planning Appeals Tribunal) has declared all 12 appeals to be "valid," so if this is a game, those involved are playing by the rules. It is not a matter of "winning." It is doing what ultimately is best for the community, and protecting our resources. The mayor should not disparage those individuals and groups who take the time, effort and money to do what they feel is in the interest of the greater good.