In my efforts to ensure full transparency as I work to oppose the ClubLink development applications, I am sharing with our community details of a meeting I had yesterday with Minto and Richcraft.
I received an email last week from the lobbyist working on behalf of the applicant, stating that he along with Kevin Yemm of Richcraft and Brent Strachan of Minto would like to meet with me. I accepted this request and I met with them yesterday.
I took the opportunity in that meeting to:
- Ask Minto and Richcraft why they would attach themselves and their brands to such a contentious application? I hope the community has the opportunity to ask this question directly and hear their response firsthand. It is obvious that I have a very different viewpoint than them on this issue.
- They were not interested in speaking about the legal proceedings that are underway and the existence of the 40% agreement.
- I asked them to put a hold on their Planning Applications until the legal issue was resolved. They indicated that ClubLink is the applicant and that they are not willing to do this. They will continue to push this as fast as they can.
- I asked them to not appeal a non-decision at their earliest opportunity given the complexity of the application and the reality that even much simpler applications very rarely are completed in the 90- and 120-day provisions in the Planning Act. Kevin Yemm from Richcraft indicated he believed the staff had the ability to complete their review within the timelines.
- I shared the communities’ frustrations regarding:
- The lack of answers at the November 25th statutory meeting
- The lack of public presence at that meeting from Executive of ClubLink, Richcraft and Minto
- The quality of the materials presented at that meeting
- I asked that the Executives from ClubLink, Minto and Richcraft be present at the next Statutory Meeting on January 20th to answer questions and to have their experts ready to answer technical questions.
- I shared that the goal of the January 20th meeting is for the community to be able to ask questions and get real answers. The format of the next meeting should be one large room such that the community can hear everyone’s questions and the answers. I shared that I do not believe another video is needed as it wasn’t helpful the first time.
- They indicated that they’d like to work with the City Planning team to answer the questions submitted at the last meeting as well as questions submitted ahead of the next meeting so that they can get a sense of themes of what the community would like more information about. The City planning team is going through the over 500 questions and is working to get answers prepared.
I have met with the City Planning team to discuss the format for the next meeting and to share the feedback and frustrations of our community. They have heard your concerns and I hope that they are able to produce a second meeting that is more productive, however the developers need to do their part as well.
How can you help?
I also wanted to share that I have been working with a small group of volunteers from our community who are organizing research groups to further evaluate and provide written technical comments on four key aspects of the application. As such, I am eager to identify community members with technical skills and interest or expertise in:
- Traffic engineering
- Storm water management and drainage expertise
- Environmental and tree conservation expertise
- Planning policy
If you have technical expertise in any of these areas and are interested in working with the research group, please reach out at Jenna.Sudds@ottawa.ca. Your community thanks you!
Please know that I will continue to work to oppose this development, and I will continue to share updates as I have them. Never hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.