Archive for the ‘Letters of Support’ Category

Protecting Upton Farm – Letter to the Editor

February 28, 2009

upton-farm-50-per-centProtecting Upton Farm
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published in The Guardian 12 Feb. 2009

Editor:

Re: Feb. 3 ‘N.S. concert promotor awaits P.E.I. plans’. We can feel secure now that Upton Farm is not going to become the site for a noisy major summer concert this year for which we are deeply grateful. In the midst of this long, cold, snowy and blustery winter, this news is like a breath of pure spring air as the news was presented in The Guardian by Gordon McIvor, vice-president of Canada Lands.

However, we are apprehensive about the direction that may be taken about the future status and use of the Upton Farm property, which we understand is to be imminently presented.

Upton Farm is one of the unique and valued treasures of this extraordinary Island, and we must take every positive step to ensure that it will always remain for the present and future generations. The need to protect its natural green space reflecting its flora and fauna and all that lives in it should be recognized for all generations. And in realizing its natural capacities, we should augment it with visually attractive landscaping designs, already initiated by the students in the planting of hundreds of bulbs in the fall of 2008 for our colourful spring enjoyment. An endless potential is inherent in enhancing the rich natural capacity of Upton Farm as well as to deeply respect our many citizens who want to preserve it.

Many of us are acutely aware of the constant struggle on the part of thousands of citizens in Ontario to preserve and conserve the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine.

We can and must do no less than to apply the same rigorous vigil to protect the Upton Farm.

Claude Bell,

Charlottetown

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“This area could provide a green belt for Charlottetown,” Island Nature Trust

December 5, 2007

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November 23, 2007 
To:
The Upton Farm Preservation Network
c/o Kirsten Connor
59 Queen Elizabeth Drive
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 3A8

Island Nature Trust is a land trust which has been protecting Prince Edward Island natural areas since the 1980s. Our vision is to create a network of representative protected areas, connected by corridors of natural vegetation across PEI. A part of this network will be open, undeveloped areas around cities and towns. This network can only be achieved through cooperative efforts by a number of organizations and government agencies, not by one organization.

Charlottetown is a city with too few green spaces. Green, open spaces in urban environments are essential elements of well being for residents. Losing green space in any city is a serious and permanent loss, a loss that negatively affects human health, human cultures and the environment.

The federally-owned land formerly used by the Agricultural Research Station in Charlottetown, at Upton Road – which has been declared surplus, is one such space that has been threatened with sale and residential development. This area could, if protected as such, provide the foundation for a green belt for Charlottetown, and be important parkland for the health and well-being of all Islanders and visitors.

Prince Edward Island has very little provincial or federally owned lands and currently has the least protected green space in the whole country. Upton Farm is best suited as parkland or restored in part to forest, not as yet another residential subdivision.

Island Nature Trust supports the efforts of the Friends of Upton Farm to protect and preserve the property as open space, and encourage all individuals, groups and governments to work to maintain the farm as part of a green belt for the City of Charlottetown.

Thank you for your consideration,

(sgd)

Ben Hoteling
Chair, Board of Directors, Island Nature Trust

 

“Value of this pristine piece of property is immeasurable,” PEI Women’s Institute

October 24, 2007

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The Federated Women’s Institute of PEI is a highly-esteemed provincial educational organization focusing on the family, personal growth and community action.The Institute recently sent this e-mail to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Robert Ghiz, Mayor Clifford Lee and several others. We thank the Women’s Institute for its support and hope our provincial and federal leaders heed the wise words included in its e-mail:

Re: Preservation of Upton Farm, the former research land by the North River on the Trans Canada Highway in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island  

This email is in support of preserving Upton Farm as a green belt, free of urban development. This area of land is located on both sides of the Trans Canada Highway between the North River Causeway and the traffic light by Upton Road and was originally part of the Federal Agricultural Research Farm.The Federated Women’s Institute of Prince Edward Island strongly supports keeping this piece of land as a green space for all Islanders and visitors to enjoy for years to come. The value of this pristine piece of property is immeasurable and it is paramount that it is preserved for future generations.

Your support is appreciated as we strive to preserve a part of our heritage and a legacy for our children.

Marie Kenny, President

Federated Women’s Institute of PEI

October Morning at Upton Farm

October 18, 2007

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(Photo Credit: Kathy Kennedy) 

Looking at this photo, one is reminded of the words of Joni Mitchell in her song, “Big Yellow Taxi:”

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone

IF you recognize what we have at Upton Farm please send a letter to any of the following people (or ALL of them) who are responsible for the fate of the Farmlands. Remind them that they can demonstrate their leadership and concern for our environment by saving these lands as greenspace. Please tell them that it’s not right for the federal government to build a mega housing development on the coastline of PEI, endangering an adjacent fishing ground and competing with Island home developers in the area. Bring to their attention that there are already 279 serviced lots in the West Royalty area surrounding Upton Farm, and 110 new lots now being prepared across the North River in Cornwall. Clearly, this island does not need more houses, but it does need public access to our coastline. If we do not plan ahead now, it will be gone.

Please tell the following people your concerns:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper: pm@pm.gc.ca
Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon:
"Lawrence Cannon, P.C., M.P." <mintc@tc.gc.ca>
Minister responsible for ACOA and the Atlantic Provinces,
Peter MacKay:mackay.p@parl.gc.ca
PEI Premier Robert Ghiz: rwjghiz@gov.pe.ca
Minister of Development Richard Brown: rebrown@gov.pe.ca
Speaker of the House Kathleen Casey:  kmcasey@gov.pe.ca
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee: Mayor@city.charlottetown.pe.ca
Charlottetown City Councillor Cecil Villard: cfvillard@gov.pe.ca

PEI Trails “Fully Supports” Preservation of Farm

July 11, 2007

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The PEI Island Trails Inc. sent the following letter to the Minister Responsible for Canada Lands. We thank this organization for its support and look forward to posting the response it receives from Lawrence Cannon.

Hon. Lawrence Cannon
Minister Responsible for Canada Lands Act
Parliament Hill
Ottawa, Ontario
July 9, 2007
Dear Minister Cannon:
Prince Edward Island Trails Inc. wishes to inform you that our organization fully supports the aims and objectives of the Upton Farm Preservation Network.
Island Trails Inc. was incorporated in 1990 with the stated aim, inter alia, to provide leadership in encouraging the designation and development of a network of recreational trails throughout Prince Edward Island. Although not specifically stated, the preservation and development of unique land spaces, especially those having a significant historical aspect, is part and parcel of the mandate of Island Trails.
The lands in question, beyond a doubt, meet the criteria for preservation as green space for present and future generations of Islanders. The argument for development fails the test in many respects. There is no demonstrated shortage of developmental land within the boundaries of Charlottetown. There are presently 200-plus serviced lots available for building in the immediate area of the Upton Farm property. Again, shortage of development opportunities is not a legitimate argument for allowing development on this magnificent acreage.
As the Upton Farm property is publicly owned, a marvelous opportunity exists to protect and enhance this property as an enivironmentally friendly example for all to see and enjoy.
Mr. Minister, we respectfully request and urge you to preserve and protect this resource as an urban forest green space in step with your government’s emphasis on environmental enhancement wherever possible and practical. We submit that the Upton Farm property meets this test.
Thank you for your anticipated favourable attention to this submission.
Yours truly,
Denis Dunne
President
PEI Trails Inc.
c.c.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Robert Ghiz, Premier, PEI
Hon. Pat Binns, Leader of the Opposition, PEI
Hon. Kathleen Casey, MLA, District 14
Clifford Lee, Mayor, Charlottetown

 

“It is important that as little development as possible occurs along the North River,” says PEI Shellfishers Association

June 15, 2007

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The Upton Farm Preservation Network sincerely thanks the PEI Shellfishers Association for the following letter sent to the Hon. Lawrence Cannon, Minister responsible for Canada Lands. We want to assure the shellfishers that we will continue our fight to keep Upton Farm green in order to preserve both the health of the North River and the livelihood of the shellfishers of PEI. 

PEI SHELLFISH ASSOCIATION PO BOX 82

ELLERSLIE, PE C0B 1J0
(902) 831-3374

peishellfish@pei.aibn.com

Hon. Lawrence Cannon

Minister Responsible for Canada Lands

Parliament Hill

Ottawa, Ont.

May 20, 2007

Dear Minister Cannon;

The Shellfish Association of Prince Edward Island who represent 3500 fishers wish to inform you that we fully endorse the work and aim of the Upton Farm Preservation Network. As shell fishers our primary concern is the health of our rivers and waterways, so we can continue our environmentally benign livelihood.

The Upton Farm is bordering the North River extensively, and we believe that keeping those lands green and free of development will preserve the health of the river. Part of this river has been under stress due to the placement of an insufficient size drain under a causeway and has just, through much effort, begun to revive itself. As well, traditional access to the waterways are seriously being hampered due to growing private development along rivers and bays. We believe that it is important that as little development as possible occurs along The North River.

With the Upton Farm lands being publicly owned, there is an opportunity to protect and enhance the whole environment in this area, that would not be possible was the land privately owned. Intervention to protect this land as a natural area seems to fall in line with your Government’s emphasis on environmental enhancement, and we ask for your assistance in accomplishing this. We ask that you help us maintain a healthy environment by supporting the preservation of the Upton Farm lands as an urban forest/green space. This in turn will protect our historic livelihood. Thank you for your kind attention and look forward to your earliest reply.

Clifford Bernard

President PEI Shellfish Association

Cc. Prime Minister Harper

Cc. Hon. L. Hearn, Fed. Minister of Fisheries

Cc. Hon. P. MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Cc. Premier Binns

Cc. Leader of Opposition Ghiz

PHOTO CREDIT: virtualmuseum.ca

Letter from Alex: “This is the Best Solution”

May 2, 2007

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This letter from “Alex” was published on The Guardian website on April 27, 2007, in response to the news that the PEI Legislature supported a moratorium on the development of the Upton Farmlands.

This is the best solution – congrats to the Upton Farm Preservation Network for having the courage to do what so many in this community wish to see happen.

PEI has the lowest amount of public/Crown land in the country and every acre is precious. Upton Farm is a jewel at the western entrance to the city – the primary route to Ch’town since the opening of the fixed link. Do we want it developed, degenerating into an eyesore like East Grafton Street is at the eastern entrance to the city?

Too often, the small minority in PEI who are pro-development get too much press. The Guardian needs to maintain a balanced approach and do some investigative reporting instead of gravitating to the most vocal source.

The Upton Farm property is owned by the taxpayers of Canada – Agriculture Canada bought it for a song many decades ago and now Canada Lands Co. wants to make a bundle off it to pay down federal largesse. Ch’town residents have paid their taxes diligently to Canada for many years – we should be the primary beneficiaries of having this property become green space, not more urban sprawl.

And city council needs to start densifying the city itself instead of letting development travel all over the countryside. Build upwards and provide increased green space while providing a very clear city-countryside boundary just like you see in Denmark.

Message from Tom DeBlois

April 14, 2007

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Keep Upton Park Green

As I go door to door in your neighbourhood, I hear a lot of concern over plans to sell and develop the Upton Farm property and what that decision means for our community and our city.

We have a golden opportunity to preserve Upton Farm as important green space and that is the position I will support as your Member of Parliament.

Upton Farm belongs to the people of Canada and should be utilized in a manner that benefits as many people as possible. The previous federal government passed this land to the Canada Lands Company in 2001 as a way to avoid accountability for the decisions being made. Frankly, it is the responsibility of a Member of Parliament to involve the community in such important issues and take a stand.

Once green space is lost it cannot be recovered. While housing is important, such development should not be the only focus as we strive to build a city that will be of pride to our children.

As a business person, I know the value of development but I also know the value of maintaining important resources such as parks and viewscapes. Upton Farm is the area you first see when you enter the city. It encompasses over a mile of our coastline and there is a rich heritage associated with this property. There is tremendous potential to preserve it in a manner that benefits all of us.

I have been actively supporting this issue since last fall and have signed the online petition. I support efforts to preserve the land; I will proudly carry the petition to Ottawa and fight for preservation of Upton Farm.

For further information contact:

Tom DeBlois, Candidate for the

Conservative Party of Canada

(902) 628-2319

tomdeblois@telecom.com

UNANIMOUS! CLC Asked to Withdraw Application

April 10, 2007

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 During the April 10th council meeting, on a motion brought forward by Councillor Cecil Villard (right), Charlottetown City Council voted unanimously to ask Canada Lands Company to withdraw its application for the development of the Upton Farmlands. 

 Mayor Clifford Lee (left) said this action will be followed up by a letter to CLC, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Transportation & Infrastructure Minister Lawrence Cannon, who represents the Department responsible for CLC. 

Councillor Villard said the “best possible outcome” would be for CLC to deed the Upton Farmlands over to the City.

Last August, the majority of councillors voted to give CLC permission to develop Upton Farm. Tonight, they had the courage to say to CLC, “Let’s step back. Let’s look again. Is housing really the best use for this land?”

This, folks, is a significant step forward in our journey to save this land for greenspace. It is a time to take pride in all the hard work we have done to raise awareness and share the vision of a gateway to Charlottetown, a Victoria Park for the future, instead of just another housing development. It is a time to appreciate, again, all those who have signed the petition and written to their political representatives, for without the involvement of those many, many citizens this initiative would surely be dead in the water.

BUT 

 We have several more stairs to climb before this land is truly protected for future generations of Islanders. Please continue to give your support by writing letters to the newspaper, buying a license plate and talking to your friends and neighbours.

As well, please take a minute to e-mail every member of City Council and thank them for taking this step. 

Clifford J. Lee ( Mayor)
mayor@city.charlottetown.pe.ca

Kim Devine – Ward 1 (Queens Square)

stewart@isn.net

Daniel (Danny) J. Redmond – Ward 2 (Belvedere)
dannyred178@yahoo.com

Rob Lantz – Ward 3 (Brighton)
rob@ward3brighton.ca

Mitchell G. Tweel – Ward 4 (St. Avard’s)
councillor@city.charlottetown.pe.ca

Sterling MacFadyen (Deputy Mayor) – Ward 5 (Spring Park)
stuwardfive@yahoo.com

David MacDonald – Ward 6 (Mount Edward)
DavidW.MacDonald@vac-acc.gc.ca

Cecil F. Villard – Ward 7 (Beach Grove)
councillor@city.charlottetown.pe.ca

Peter F. McCloskey – Ward 8 (Highfield)petermccloskey@pei.sympatico.ca

Melissa Hilton – Ward 9 (Stonepark)
mjh7@hotmail.com

Terence H. Bernard – Ward 10 (Falconwood)
bernardst@eastlink.ca

Moratorium Needed: Collins & MacAleer

April 5, 2007

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MLA’s COLLINS AND MacALEER CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON UPTON LAND

Charlottetown-area MLA’s Wayne Collins (right) and Wes MacAleer (left)  have added their support to the growing public demand to preserve the Upton Farmlands as green space

Canada Lands Corporation plans to begin work this spring on what will eventually become a 350-unit housing development on a major portion of the land, once operated as a farm by Agriculture Canada.

The property is located in District 15 Winsloe-West Royalty, now represented by Collins.

When the next provincial election is called, the area to be developed will become part of District 14 Charlottetown – Lewis Point, which will be contested by the veteran PC MLA MacAleer.

In late February both MLA’s hosted a Town Hall meeting, where over 70 area residents voiced strong opposition to the development plans, saying they want the Upton Farmlands to remain a natural green space for the enjoyment of all Islanders.

Collins said he believes there is currently no pressing need for more housing development in the area.

He said “Already in Winsloe and West Royalty, there are over 270 approved privately-developed residential lots available to the public.”

MacAleer said a moratorium is needed.

“It would give us an opportunity to carefully assess what options are available that could eventually lead to the preservation of these lands,” said MacAleer.

Both MLA’s say a ‘time-out’ is needed. Collins and MacAleer are calling on Canada Lands and the federal government to immediately declare the moratorium on development of Upton Farmlands.

Collins said “This is a rare opportunity to bestow a gift that will be cherished by Islanders long into the future.”

For further details contact:

Wayne Collins, Winsloe- West Royalty MLA, or

Wes MacAleer, Charlottetown – Spring Park MLA

368-4360 Government Members’ Office