As agreed by all parties — the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association (SLNA), the City, and the Province — the hearing has been adjourned (postponed) to give all parties more time to come to some kind of resolution. If they can’t reach a resolution, another court date will be set and the hearing will proceed.
This is great news (for now) because the parties have also agreed that the Interim Order will remain in effect. In other words, the province can’t continue with the demolition while we are discussing resolution.
In the meantime, the Province initiated a one-way “consultation” process which continues until March 4, with the province asking for community input. Using their “consultation” link write to the province today, letting them know this isn’t good enough. A regular two-way dialogue with the community must take place, something we have asked for since October. The process calls for submitting a letter in PDF or Word format – we have prepared a template that you can use as the base for your letter.
FUN has submitted a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, voicing our support for a halt to the demolition and a full and open consultation. We urge you to submit letters from your own neighbourhood organizations as well.
We must remember, the Province owns the land, and the Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) allows them to bypass nearly all planning requirements set by the City. The Court ordered them to continue the pause on demolition because there is compelling evidence that they have not met their own standards under the Ontario Heritage Act and had breached heritage-related commitments in a subdivision agreement.The Province is attempting to fulfill those requirements now. Once they are finished, there is a risk we will no longer be able to stop them through the courts. So a mutually-agreed adjournment right now is a good outcome.
What power do we have? Same as before: public pressure. Here’s why we can’t let up:
- Friends of the Foundry have the support of politicians at all three levels of government, representing all major opposition parties in the Ontario Legislature (NDP, Liberal, and Green).
- Friends of the Foundry have over 23,000 signatures on their petition. (please sign if you haven’t already)
- Friends of the Foundry has written thousands of letters to Premier Ford and to Ministers Clark, MacLeod, and Scott; to all the Conservative MPPs in the 416 region, and to many others in the Legislature.
- All major media outlets have covered the story multiple times. Most of the stories are critical of the Province.
- Online discussion of the issue is not going away.
- Crucially, citizens of Ontario are starting to connect the dots between the MZO affecting the Foundry site and other MZOs across the province, along with other coercive manoeuvres the Province has used to fast-track development without full and fair public consultation with those directly affected. Check out these stories about Stratford and Orillia.
As always, thank you for staying engaged, and continuing to pressure the provincial government by writing emails, and/or directly challenging them online via social media. Don’t forget to write to the province today – both as individuals and as organizations. The fight is long from over so long as the MZO stays in place.
Respect Local Planning