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Ward 11 candidate: KED shows appeals process gives too much power to one person

Entertainment district project will go ahead, says Kevin Lalonde, and he’ll smile every time he hears dynamite during construction
Kevin Lalonde, Ward 11-cropped
Kevin Lalonde is seeking the council seat in Ward 11. (Supplied)

A candidate for city council in Ward 11 said it’s regrettable that, under Ontario law, one person can use the system to delay a project most people support.

Kevin Lalonde also said in a news release issued this week that the Kingsway Entertainment District project won’t be stopped by a minority of opponents.

Suggesting the appeals of several aspects of the projects should have dismissed outright by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT), Lalonde said it appears the LPAT won’t function much differently from the Ontario Municipal Board, which it replaced.

“Still, we will have to see the long drawn out process to its end result, which will be issuance of building permits next spring,” he said. “Sometimes it's hard for the public to not be frustrated by what may seem to be a useless waste of time and money, but this is the reality of the power we … give to even one person.”

Lalonde compared the KED appeals to the fight over Second Avenue in Minnow Lake. The widening of a section of that road was delayed for three years because individuals and groups filed environmental objections to various aspects of the project.

One of the people who led the charge against the Second Avenue project was activist John Lindsay, who is also seeking the seat in Ward 11.

“One person was allowed to halt for three years the Second Avenue road project that ended up costing the taxpayers of this city three years and an extra $800,000,” Lalonde said, referring presumably to Lindsay. 

He applauded the efforts of city staff and city council for being “undaunted” in their effort to move the KED project forward.

In fact, once construction on the event centre, casino and hotel complex gets underway, Lalonde said, “When the rumble of dynamite rolls through Ward 11 … I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be smiling with every blast.”

Learn more about Lalonde on his campaign Facebook page.