Yesterday, we learned that the Supreme Court of Canada would not hear our case on the conveyance of the golf course lands back to the City if the owner no longer wanted to operate a golf course. I understand that the Supreme Court of Canada gets approximately 100 appeal requests each year and only accepts about 7. Their refusal to hear ours does not mean that our request was not valid and important. They just know that they do not have the capacity to hear all appeals and have to make choices.
For us, this is not the end of the world, but it means a number of things:
- According to lawyers, the law that determines how long-term land agreement clauses should be dealt with is now still quite unclear. That complicates things for anyone who has a long-term land agreement or “in perpetuity” clause in their agreements. In addition, it makes it difficult for lawyers to know how to write clauses that deal with long-term land agreements into new legal documents.
- We are now headed back to Justice Labrosse for his ruling on whether taking the two clauses, 5(4) and 9, out of the golf course agreement impacts the rest of the agreement in any way.
- If the current owner of the golf course no longer wishes to operate a golf course, the land does not have to be conveyed back to the City.
- The legal costs associated with all of the above continue.
First, we go back to Justice Labrosse to hear his ruling on whether the Forty Percent Agreement (other than those two clauses) is still intact. Given that ClubLink had originally asked the Ontario Court of Appeal to look at the whole agreement and the Ontario Court of Appeal judge only took the two clauses out, the message to us by the Ontario Court of Appeal seemed to be quite clear that the rest of the agreement was fine. We just need Justice Labrosse to verify that.
The Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition is involved in an additional court case addressing the restrictive covenants and the contamination issues. Their excellent e-news document that gives much more information can be read here. Please read that.
If you have listened to any of the interviews I have given over the past few days, I have reiterated that the City was thankful to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) earlier this year for outlining the 192 conditions that would have to be met before any development could take place on the golf course. In conversations with City staff who highlight the necessary steps, the unreasonable requests that the City would have to sign off on, and the approvals of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and the NCC would have to give, it is unlikely that any development could be approved for decades, if ever, given how difficult it would be.
As you know, prior to the Provincial election, we asked MPP Fullerton to do these three things:
- have an environmental assessment done,
- have Minister Steven Clark (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing) to do the same for Ottawa that was done for Oakville (Glen Abbey Golf Club), and
- to hold a public community consultation.
She committed to me that she would work very hard with community leaders to fight development on the golf course. She has also requested that 10,000 emails be sent to show support. Stay tuned for the coordination, plan and timing of that as we are looking at the best way to get MPP Fullerton and her provincial colleagues those emails/messages.
I will continue to keep you updated on what is going on with this issue. And, please make sure you read and follow the messages that come from Barbara Ramsay and the Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition (KGPC). Your Kanata North City Council website and the KGPC are both great places to go to get a better understanding of the history here.
If you want to talk further about the issues, you can always reach me by phone at 613-580-2474, or email me at email@example.com.