Open Letter to Canada Lands

Canada Lands Company, the federal crown corporation that is selling the Upton Farmlands for subdivisions, has the decision-making power to allow the people of Canada to keep this publicly-owned land as greenspace. One of our supporters wrote the letter you see below to Mr. Robert Howald, president, and Mr. Gordon McIvor, vice-president,  of Canada Lands. Would you consider sending the same type of letter to these powerful decision-makers in Toronto?

Mr. Robert Howald, President
Mr. Gordon McIvor, Vice President
Canada Lands Corporation
1 University Avenue
Suite 1200
Toronto ON
M5J 2P1

email: rhowald@clc.ca

Dear Mr. Howald and Mr. McIvor,

On Monday, Feb. 26, 2007, I attended a town hall meeting to address people’s concerns and questions with regard to the planned development of the Upton Farm Lands on Prince Edward Island. There were well over 75 people in attendance and a show of hands just before the end of the meeting indicated that not one person there was in favour of the development. Many expressed concerns of the recent decision by City Council to go ahead with approval for this development when there are still many questions to be addressed.

Some of the concerns expressed at the meeting included:

*no report back to the public about the traffic study and no opportunity for public input in response to the traffic study;

*no environmental impact studies have been done;

*it has been a year since the last public meeting and many feel that they have not been kept informed of what is going on with this development nor have they had an opportunity for further input;

*many people who live in the area expressed concern for the increased volume of traffic that will be generated by this development.

I often go to the Upton Farm to walk with my dog as it is one of the few remaining areas close to Charlottetown where one can walk one’s dog off lead. I would like this parcel of land to remain a green space, open to the public. It is very important that as cities grow, adequate green spaces are left available to the public for their enjoyment, health and recreation. Why does another beautiful piece of land have to be developed? Already there are many areas around the edge of Charlottetown slotted for development, in fact, presently there are some 273 lots available for residential buildings. For a city the size of Charlottetown do we really need to add another 350 to this as the planned development of Upton Farms indicates. There is so little crown land on Prince Edward Island and so much is privately owned it is essential that as much land is kept as public green space for present and future generations of Islanders to enjoy and treasure.

There is now a group of concerned people working to prevent this development and a petition with over 1000 signatures is been sent to various officials. Perhaps you have already received this petition. I hope you will give serious consideration to these concerns and support the group in its bid to preserve this beautiful piece of land as a public green space by putting a stop to this development. The more urban sprawl dominates our city landscapes the more the government of Canada should be working with all levels of government and its citizens to ensure plenty of green spaces in and around cities and towns are preserved and maintained. Please visit the group’s website at https://uptonfarm.wordpress.com to read more about the concerns and issues raised by the Upton Farm Land Preservation Group.

The Upton Farm Lands Preservation Group says: “Our group believes that since this land was bought and paid for once by the taxpayers of Canada it should be left for the people of Canada. It should be remain as greenspace for social and environmental reasons. The recreational value is immeasureable, as are the benefits from an urban forest to aid with air purification.” I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment.

The support for the preservation of this land is growing and we are working to prevent this development from going ahead.

Sincerely,

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