My wife Christine and I have resided in the condominium town home community situated at 4165 Fieldgate Dr. for the past 22 years. We both appreciate the well established, family-oriented, character of both our complex and the unique surrounding Rockwood neighborhood. Although I’ve long endeavored to give back to our community, including serving as a founding Director of the RHA, tonight I come before you as the current President of Peel Condominium Corp. 180. Many of our unit owners are highly apprehensive regarding what they believe will be negative ramifications of the application before you. Question as to this development were raised at our last three AGM’s. Though clearly out of order, they were allowed because it was adjudged wrong to see good neighbors understandably upset and not hear-out and consider their concerns.
Over the past three years, I’ve attended four local public meetings, all attended by hundreds of your fellow citizens, and heard the same fears City government will act in an arbitrary manner contrary to their interests and making a mockery of its Official Plan that they accepted at its face value. Even perceptions of injustice should rightly concern you since they serve to undermine the basis of our civil society: the reciprocal relationship between governed and governing where the former pay required levies and abide by the rule of law and the latter pledge to act justly, conscientiously and, overall, in the best interests of those governed.
This is Canada, where if you keep your end of this societal deal, you’re not to fear to the actions of the State.
How we’ve reached a point where this isn’t so falls into two general areas.
First, there’s the proposal for an untried and bizarre development experiment where existing rental properties and small condominium units - primarily one bedroom and thus alien to the surrounding family-oriented neighborhood, are to exist cheek-by-jowl, sharing amenities and presumably lying down together in peace and harmony like the proverbial lion and lamb. Suffice to say, residents in the impacted area have no wish to be de facto lab rats in an experiment as to the possible results of a mutant form of high density development on an established community.
Second, I doubt city staff have generally failed to act with integrity and professionalism. Rather, I believe they’ve been asked the wrong question and one that rightly falls to our elected representatives as opposed to members of the public service. Setting aside the disingenuousness of Council sending Staff to look for areas to increase density while still finalizing the details of an Official Plan the public was falsely led to believe was black letter law settling such questions for the foreseeable future, the Corporate Report before you is a wholly technical answer that ignores the morality, the right and wrong, of shoe-horning this development into our neighborhood. It’s your responsibility, not theirs, to adjudge the social impact of the proposal. All Staff has really told you is you have the collective vocal capacity to yell fire in a crowded theater. The wisdom and propriety of doing so is entirely Council’s to decide.
Skilled lawyers are said not to ask questions to which they don’t already know the answer. Here, it’s gone a step further and staff have effectively been asked a question where a righteous answer is impossible under their appropriate limitations. Throwing-up your hands crying `the bureaucrats have spoken’ abrogates due responsibility while offering the appearance of a Kangaroo Court’s manipulated pre-determined outcomes.
Councillor Fonseca has made it clear that she is adamant this is not the appropriate development for this neighborhood. Unless any among you truly believe your colleague to be other than an honest, perceptive and conscientious representative of our neighborhood, conscience should dictate you support her in this matter.
Reject this Application because to rule otherwise betrays our community’s demonstrated good citizenship. Reject this Application because to rule otherwise undermines Mississauga’s Official Plan as well as your own integrity. Reject it because it seeks to bend existing law to self-evidently offend social justice and because, as Dr. King wisely counseled, “I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all.”
As always, we welcome your comments, questions and any concerns you may wish to share. Please email to rha.executive@ gmail.com.