Clifford Bernard, President of the PEI Shellfish Association, strongly supports keeping Upton Farm as greenspace because of the potential effects that developing the property as a mega-subdivision would have on the shell fishery in the North River. He received this reply from CLC to his letter of concern to Transportation Minister Lawrence Cannon. It is the same boilerplate memo many of you have received in response to your letters, despite the fact that Mr. Bernard represents legitimate concerns about the continuing livelihood of his membership.
June 12, 2007
Mr. Clifford Bernard
President PEI Shellfish Association
PO Box 82
Ellerslie PE COB 1JO
Dear Mr. Bernard:
I am writing to respond to your letter of May 20, 2007, which was sent to the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, and then referred to me. Your letter was on the future of the Upton Farm project in Prince Edward Island. In it, you urged the Government of Canada to support efforts to preserve the Upton Farm lands as an urban forest/green space.
As you may be aware, 60 acres of the approximately 250-acre site have received municipal approval for development. Canada Lands Company is, however, aware of the concerns raised by several stakeholders and is currently assessing its plans regarding the site.
Thank you for your interest in this project and Canada Lands Company.
Acting President and CEO
CANADA LANDS COMPANY CLC LIMITED
Mr. Bernard then received this letter from Lisa Berthier, a staff member representing the Atlantic Region in Minister Cannon’s office:
Dear Mr. Bernard:
Thank you for your correspondence of May 20,2007, regarding Canada Lands Company CLC Limited’s (CLC’s) development of the former agricultural research lands in Charlottetown. Minister Cannon has asked me to reply on his behalf.
As you may know, CLC is a self-financing, non-agent Crown corporation that operates at arm’s length from the federal government. CLC’s mandate is to ensure the commercially oriented and orderly disposition of selected surplus federal real properties, while providing optimal value to Canadians. CLC is subject to all municipal and provincial/territorial planning processes.
As Minister responsible for CLC, Minister Cannon’s role is to determine the broad policy direction of the corporation, while respecting its operational autonomy. Therefore, discussions and business opportunities related to the development of the Upton Farm lands are the responsibility of CLC.
I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to Mr. Robert Howald, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of CLC, for his consideration.
I have been informed that, in order to formulate the Development Concept Plan submitted to and approved by the City of Charlottetown in 2006, CLC consulted extensively with members of the planning industry and the public. The plan is based on principles such as the protection and enhancement of the unique aspects of the site; stewardship of the ecosystem, and a livable and interconnected community.
As you may be aware, before making a decision on the future of the property, CLC has agreed to hold off on developing the site pending confirmation of the City’s concerns with respect to the proposed development.
The Minister appreciates your taking the time to share your concerns with respect to the development of the Upton Farm lands. Again, thank you for writing.
Special Assistant – Atlantic
Copies to : Office of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P. : Office of the Honourable Loyola Hearn, P.C., M.P. ; Office of the Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., M.P.; Office of the Honourable Pat G. Binns, M.L.A.; Office of the Honourable Robert Ghiz, M.L.A.; Office of Mr. Robert Howald