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Anti-SLAPP Legislation in Ontario!

Anti-SLAPP legislation – Bill 52, known as the Protection of Public Participation Act passed third reading 10/28/15 at Queen’s Park.   This is great news as it protects our democratic right of freedom of speech, and the right to be engaged in issues of public interest.  Until this bill was passed, there was opportunity for proponents with financial resources to intimidate persons wanting to oppose developments.  Specifically proponents could (and often did) launch a lawsuit (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) against community groups and citizens opposing changes to their community or environment.  The fear of such a law suit and the costs to defend against it intimidates people and they do not speak out.

It has taken along time to have this legislation.  I learned about the opportunities to protect those who are speaking out in 2008; and wrote letters encouraging the Government of the day to take action to re-apply anti -SLAPP legislation in Quebec.  In 2013 I put forward a motion which was seconded by Mayor Pellegrini and then passed by Council that we supported efforts of Premier and Attorney-General to enact legislation recommended by the Anti-SLAPP panel in 2010; the intent of the legislation was to prevent future misuse of our courts by those seeking to limit or silence public discussion on matters of public interest.    (For more background go to my e-page “my record” at top of home page; click on “motions” and then scroll to July 8, 2013)

Environmental Defence (ED)  has worked diligently on this file; here is ED write up about Bill 52.

 

 

OPA Application: new lot on Keele

There will be a public meeting at Council on September 28 to hear an application for an Official Plan Amendment to enable the creation of a new lot on the east side of Keele north of King Road (specifically south of East Humber Drive.  Here is the public notice. The Staff report will be publicly available the middle of the preceeding week

More Acres for Natural Heritage Conservation

On Council 9/28 there will be a public meeting to hear an application for zoning by-law amendment to facilitate a conveyance of a 21 hectare parcel of vacant land for natural heritage conservation. Here is the public notice. The Staff report will be publicly available the middle of the preceding week

OPA Application by Hickory Hills

There is a public meeting at Council on Aug. 24th regarding the Official Plan Amendment Application by Hickory Hills. (Here is formal notice of the meeting with some detail.) This application was initially presented in May 2011.  Given that much time has passed this public meeting is being held; for those following this effort to create 2 new lots, you will find that there have been some changes to lot sizes along with other things.  Here is the Staff report.

Valley King Subdivision Progress: park update

As anyone knows who lives in the subdivision being built south of King Rd/west of Keele there is going to be a neighbourhood park.  (For those who don’t live there, I say that that it is “known” as there is a large block of land with a sign indicating that it will be a park; but currently it is a pile of dirt.)  Council approved the budget in early July; goal is to have it almost completed before winter so that it is ready for 2016 play.  Typical features in a park this size include a playground structure, a shade structure, a passive play area and landscaping (sod, gardens, trees); in addition there is a sports feature such as a basketball court or a small soccer field. 

More on Magna Coming to King

As I posted earlier there is a public meeting Monday June 22 regarding the Magna application for a zoning amendment for their property at King/Jane St.  Here is the Staff report .  As indicated in the latter there is much information yet to be provided; for example, degree of grading of the land.  I was pleased to see plans for managing the increased traffic on King Road; specifically it is identified that there will be a full signalized intersection at the main entrance on King Road.  (I was particularly interested in this comment as I met with a group of residents several days ago who specifically asked me about this.)  This same group also asked me about the urbanization of King Road, namely sidewalks on the south side; again this issue us touched on in the report but as indicated it is far from resolved.  As a reminder, the Public Meeting process is one required by the Planning Act; to speak at the meeting, to voice support or concerns or to ask questions it is not necessary to register.

There is another opportunity to learn about Magna’s plans.  Concerned Citizens of King Township’s (CCKT) AGM features two speakers who will be making presentations on the topic: Mayor Pellegrini and  representatives from IBI Group, the Architectural Firm on the project.  The meeting is Tuesday 6/23 at 7PM in Kettleby.  Here are details of meeting.

Public Meeting for the Magna Site

Monday, June 22nd there is a public meeting regarding the application by Magna International to build headquarters at the south east corner of Jane/King Rd. Here are the details of the application.   As always a public meeting dealing with a rezoning of lands is an opportunity to learn details about the project and for the public to ask questions, to voice concerns and/or to voice support. I have posted brief comments on this application already and there has been significant media reports about it; having said all that, the application and the details of the plan needs to be assessed.