[Ontbirds] FW: Community Services decision (no facts needed)

Beverly Kingdon bev.ki at sympatico.ca
Wed Apr 20 10:45:09 EDT 2016

From: Liz Benneian [mailto:trumpeterswancoalition at gmail.com] 
Sent: April-20-16 9:50 AM
To: Liz Benneian
Subject: Community Services decision (no facts needed)
Dear Friends of the Trumpeter Swan Coalition:
As expected, the members of Burlington’s Community and Corporate Services Committee, which consists of Mayor Goldring and all Council members, voted to provide the Lasalle Park Marina Association with a letter of support to seek $12 million in taxpayer-funded loans and grants from the federal and provincial governments to build the 400 m permanent breakwall and the expanded 340-boat marina with permanent slips.
Council John Taylor gave it his “reluctant” support. The only dissenting vote was from Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who said that she didn’t believe Council had enough information to make such a decision and that the process was backward since the Council was supporting the proposal without ever having having an open public discussion on the merits of the permanent break wall and expanded permanent slips and having a Council vote on it. 
She was absolutely right. Council voted to give their support:
1.     Without knowing whether the LPMA is capable of paying back a $4 million dollar loan on top of the $250,000 loan (to be paid back over 10 years!) that Council also authorized on Monday, in a separate agenda item, so the marina could replace finger docks.
2.     Without knowing whether the LPMA could afford to fulfill all the other obligations, including further studies ordered by the Minister of the Environment and Climate change;
3.     Without knowing if the City would actually be the one that had to apply for a $4million loan from infrastructure Ontario.
4.     Without knowing whether the City would be on the hook to pay back a loan if the LPMA couldn’t — staff said they needed to talk to the city lawyers before answering that question.
5.     Without a detailed design study which is the only way the City, LPMA and citizens will have some idea of the real cost of the project that is now being estimated to be $16 — twice as high as first suggested in 2013.
6.     Without knowing if a letter of support binds the City to building the project and commits them to the loans and grants the LPMA is seeking — they got two completely different opinions on this from two different staff members.
7.     Without having a business case from the LPMA.
8.     Without ever giving a full public airing to the Marina Capacity Study.
9.     Without ever giving a full public airing to the options presented in the original design study which included floating break walls.
10.  Without completing a Master Plan for Lasalle Park.
11.  Without engaging park users, neighbours and other Burlington citizens in a meaningful way about the current uses and future plans for the park. 
We strongly urge you to watch the broadcast of the CCSC meeting here: http://hosting.captual.com/burlington/1/watch/578.aspx
The Trumpeter Swan Coalition delegation begins at 45:35 but we encourage you to watch it all if you can. Watch LPMA president John Birch dance around financial issues. Watch how the Mayor and Council members helpfully jump in to provide him with answers when he’s fumbling. Listen at 1:56, to hear the confusion and conflicting advice and how Councillor Meed Ward tries to cut through it. The whole thing is really quite a show and if you weren’t already unhappy with the majority of your Council and supportive of our efforts to protect the habitat at Lasalle Park, I think you will be after watching this meeting.
Around 2:04 you can hear the final comments of the committee members and their final vote.
At 2:12, you can hear Council Meed Ward’s very sound reasons for voting against giving the LPMA a letter of support.
The Trumpeter Swan Coalition wishes to thank BurlingtonGreen, Glenda Dodd, Ken Newcombe, Pat Zizian, Mike Jones, the Hamilton Naturalists (whose excellent letter is attached) and everyone else who wrote to their Councillor or to Council about this issue.
We will be in touch soon about our next steps.

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