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NIMBYism alive and well YorkDurham prepare for heat
NIMBYism alive and well YorkDurham prepare for heat
Virtual reporting Endangered bill Hands out Revealing campaign contributors • 4 Protecting species at risk • 6 York wants growth cash •9 NovæResUrbis GREATER TORONTO AREA EDITION • No 14 VOL 10 WEDNESDAY • APRIL 4 • 2007 POTENTIAL INCINERATOR SITES APPROVED FIRST NATIONAL PLANNING SURVEY York/Durham prepare NIMBYism for heat alive and well By Anne Marie Aikins People hate casinos, landfills, power plants and big-box Now that York Region and Durham Region councillors stores, but welcome single-family homes, hospitals and have accepted the consultants’ short-list of five potential even office towers in their backyards, according to the sites—four in Clarington and one in East first national survey of Canadian attitudes toward real Gwillimbury—for an energy-from-waste facility, the estate developments. community heat is already beginning to boil. Although all The survey by Saint Consulting Group, which of the incinerator sites are expected to generate a NIMBY recently opened its first Canadian office in Toronto, also response from the public, the York site is smack dab in the found that contrary to recent polls claiming the public is greenbelt—a broken promise, environmentalists say, gaga over the environment these days, the biggest sources which may end up making it a deal breaker. A final deci- of opposition to these developments cited was the protec- sion on the site is not expected until September, but heat tion of community character and distrust in local politi- is bound to rise even more over the next 60 days. During cians, who are often viewed as too cozy with developers. that time councils must decide, NRU has learned, whether Opposition to development in general was so strong, 29 to continue down the full environmental assessment route per cent of respondents in the GTA claim they have or choose the province’s new speedy process. (See NRU actively opposed new development in their community. GTA March 28.) The “Saint Index” points to tough times ahead for “It is much too early to say which site may be the like- almost any type of real estate development in Canada. ly best candidate for an energy-from-waste facility as we The survey results found that 3 out of 4 respondents feel still must continue to do extensive public consultation,” their communities are just fine the way they are, or are York waste management director Andy Campbell told already overdeveloped. NRU. “Once a site is determined, much more detailed “That number increases to over 80 per cent in major studies must be done.” cities,” said Saint Consulting president Patrick Fox. “Councils have the next 60 days to decide if they want “Eighty per cent levels of opposition can spell expensive to go with the shorter EA process,” Campbell said. CONTINUED PAGE 4 The “greenbelt confusion” in the community, he said, has arisen because the property in East Gwillimbury received site specific zoning for employment lands, which pre-dated the greenbelt legislation. Find the legal solution. “Back in the ‘90s, the York site received planning For information about how our legal team can approvals so although the consultants promised no poten- help you, please contact us at (416) 869-5500. tial sites would be in the greenbelt, this site is an excep- Jim Harbell firstname.lastname@example.org tion,” Campbell said. He argues that the planning Calvin Lantz email@example.com approvals on the site make it eligible for consideration despite its location. York’s adoption of the East Gwillimbury greenbelt STIKEMAN ELLIOTT LLP www.stikeman.com CONTINUED PAGE 5 WEDNESDAY • APRIL 4 • 2007 NRU • GREATER TORONTO AREA EDITION • 4 Toronto launches virtual leaving many with big deficits. A case in point—Oakville mayor Rob Burton, who election financing reporting after several attempts finally outseated incumbent mayor Ann Mulvale, joined a long list of green candidates that rejected corporate contributions. Burton has filed interim In the City of Toronto, the public now has online access reports claiming only $6,130 in donations leaving him with to financial information for all candidates who ran in the over $77,000 in the hole. He has filed for a campaign exten- November 13 municipal election—the first municipality in sion. Canada to implement an electronic financial filing applica- The new mayor also had a deficit of nearly $82,000 tion for elections, said city clerk Ulli Watkiss. The move from his barely failed 2003 bid. At that time Burton lost to enhances transparency and improves public access to infor- Mulvale by only 15 votes and successfully won a recount, mation, she said. but not the election. Although other municipalities in the GTA do not have Interestingly, Mulvale raised nearly $62,000 in contribu- as sophisticated a method of handling financial reports, a tions with a good percentage coming from the develop- few have begun posting hand written reports online and it ment community. She was left with less than $1,000 in is expected more will follow in the coming weeks. All deficit. reports are available to the public through clerks’ offices. The financial reports also show a continued pattern of During the election, however, many municipal candi- candidates spending more money on fund-raising events, dates quickly reported contributions on their websites that often significantly more, than the event actually raises in made most of this old news by the deadline on Monday for contributions. filing candidate financial reports. In spite of repeated calls and promises of election But there is an interesting pattern developing as a result financing reforms, however, Queen’s Park has not gotten of the new found interest in rejecting developer and cor- around to introducing the recommended changes. NRU porate donations. It was clear that if you were not a big name, with a big constituency base, like Toronto Mayor To Advertise in NRU GTA Edition or City of Toronto Edition, David Miller, who did not accept corporate donations, it please go to www.nrupublishing.com or call 416.260.1304 was very difficult to raise cash without corporate backing Planning survey continued from page 1 The survey, which has been conducted in the U.S. and U.K. since 2006, found that most—86 per cent—of Ontarians believe they should be able to appeal local zon- delays or even cancellation for many types of develop- ing/planning decisions to the provincial government. ment.” As for the public’s support for alternative energy When asked about the big projects such as hospitals, sources—most (76 per cent) oppose nuclear energy; most landfills and nuclear power plants, the study found high support wind (79 per cent) and hydroelectric (62 per levels of distrust for local politicians and a perception that cent); and the numbers reflect an almost even split on their “often close relationship with developers makes the support for energy-from-waste technologies. NRU planning process unfair.” In fact, 60 per cent of respon- dents expressed concern that these perceived close rela- tionships can “compromise fairness.” The survey also revealed that 87 per cent of respondents believe that a political candidate’s position on community growth is an KIRCHER ♦ real estate strategy important issue to consider when casting their votes. Research Associates Ltd. ♦ consumer research “These findings should send a warning to both politi- ♦ market demand analysis cians and developers,” said Fox. ♦ impact assessment When asked about which developments they would Contact: most oppose in their communities, 80 per cent of the Hermann J. Kircher ♦ highest & best land use 416.867.3141 respondents placed casinos at the top of their list. Levels ♦ expert testimony of opposition fell below 25 per cent when asked about firstname.lastname@example.org ♦ 40+ years experience hospitals and single-family homes being built in their com- www.kircherresearch.com munities.
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