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Letter & Event: Democracy Caledon Hosting Emergency Citizens Forum

Democracy signpost
Submitted to Just Sayin' Caledon

The following letter and notice of an upcoming citizens’ forum was submitted to JSC for publication by Democracy Caledon, a local volunteer group with concerns about Caledon’s future.

Caledon Under Threat ~ An Emergency Citizens’ Forum

Caledon is at a pivotal crossroads, and we firmly believe its residents are on the precipice of losing any say in how the town is planned and governed.

Now is the time to take action and that is the purpose of a citizens’ forum which will be held on Wednesday, April 17th at the St. James Anglican Church Hall, 6025 Old Church Rd, Caledon East, at 6 pm.

Democracy Caledon, a volunteer group comprised of concerned individuals with a long record of civic engagement, is organizing and hosting the event.

The critical issue to be discussed is the disturbing news of Mayor Annette Groves’ recent ‘advancement’ of 12 development applications to expedite almost 35,000 housing units, which will radically alter the character of Caledon.

A March 26th news release issued by the Town describes that action as a “bold and unprecedented direction.”

The so-called advancement is actually an affront to the democratic process and good planning.

Using the strong mayor powers granted to her by the Ford government, Mayor Groves can ram through these developments with just one-third support of council members.

And the March 26th news release from the Town leaves no room for doubt the applications will be passed. It reads “A public meeting for the applications is expected to be held on April 25. This will be followed by a Council meeting on April 30 for the approval of the zoning by-laws.”

What that means is that there will be just one public meeting on the fast-tracking approvals of 35,000 homes.

There are also a number of unsettling questions that require answers: How is the cost of this going to be financed? By taxpayers? How will that affect the delivery of health care facilities, school, recreation complexes, and other facilities?

At stake here, is not just that these developments will proceed with little citizen input, but that Mayor Groves is willing to use these strong mayor powers in the first place.

To quote former Mayor Carol Seglins in a letter which appeared in justsayincaledon.com a few months ago, “How do elected councils know what their ‘strong mayors’ are doing when the councils are not part of the decision makers’ consideration?”

The April 17th forum is intended to create awareness of this issue, move people to action, and present some options which might be available to influence Council’s decision. There will be several speakers including Caledon environmentalist Debbe Crandall. A question-and-answer period will follow.

This is a critical issue of concern to all residents, no matter what part of Caledon they live in. If strong mayor powers can be used to push through development in one area, those same powers can be used in other areas.

Is this the Caledon you want? If not, please attend the forum.

For more information on the meeting contact: debbeday33@gmail.com or nikkiross1212@gmail.com

 

Map below: Town of Caledon/Region of Peel, as provided in Town of Caledon March 26th press release.

Map of rezoning locations

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Just Sayin' Caledon

Just Sayin’ Caledon brings you stories about Caledon people, places and events.

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