OPAF Update — January 7, 2014

January 8, 2014 Borys Holowacz Latest Posts

OPAF Update

By Cheryl Anderson January 7, 2014

Happy New Year!  As we move into January the OPAF group is working feverishly to get ready for the Divisional Court Hearing.

The Divisional Court Hearing will be held in Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. W. Room 3.  Osgoode Hall is accessible from the Osgoode subway station on the University line.  There is parking nearby at the Toronto City Hall Parking Garage.  The hearing is set to start on Tuesday January 21 at 10 am.  Members of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and other interested people will be in attendance at the hearing.  This is a precedent setting occasion.  Never has a development been overturned on environmental grounds.  Never have government agencies appealed a decision based on their own regulations.  We do expect media attention and have been pulling out the stops to alert the media throughout Ontario.

Scales of Justice copy

Leading up to the hearing we have a big event planned on Monday January 13.  Cinefest has dedicated the screening of the award winning film Watermark to the Ostrander Point Appeal Fund.  The film will be introduced on Skype by producer Jennifer Baichwal.  Suzanne Pasternak will perform her hauntingly beautiful song Midnight Migration.  Our hope is to fill the Regent – weather permitting! Very special thanks to Borys Holowacz who has coordinated and organized this event.

Groups from the South Shore Coalition have been particularly supportive.  The SSC (in this case C stands for Coalition not Conservancy!) composed of Point to Point, Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust, Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and South Shore Conservancy is dedicated to having the South Shore designated as an area of important natural habitat in the County’s official plan.

On Tuesday January 14, the OPAF group will make a short presentation to PEC Municipal Council.  Our goal is to bring Council up to speed on the Divisional Court hearing details.  We are grateful for Council’s support and although some individual councillors get these updates, as you can imagine, not all Councillors hear from us on a regular basis.  It is important that all citizens know about the Divisional Court hearing and its precedence.  We are putting Prince Edward County on the map – again – not for wine this time, but for our dedication to saving important natural habitat.

Fund raising continues. We are at a total of $120,000 raised so far, but with the hearing coming up the legal costs will continue to rise.  It seems like a daunting task to find the funds to protect Ostrander Point; however, we are confident that the generousity of citizens throughout Canada will continue, and help us to pay off our obligations.  In order to try to take care of some of the expense, as part of our arguments to the Divisional Court, we have asked for costs from the MOE and Gilead.

We hope to see you at the Regent and, if possible, at Osgoode Hall.

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