Archive for the ‘Support from Local Politicians’ Category

Mayor Lee: “…this area to remain green space.”

April 20, 2008

PRESS RELEASE
MAYOR ISSUES CLARIFICATION

April 15, 2008

Charlottetown City Hall

Mayor Clifford Lee today issued the following press release to clarify any misunderstanding that may have been created in regards to the Upton Farm Property.

Mayor Lee would like to assure the Upton Farm Preservation Network and Canada Lands that the position of the City of Charlottetown remains that we would like this area to remain an Open Green Space. It may have been interpreted in the Guardian on April 15, 2008 that a major subdivision or a permanent concert site was under serious consideration. This is clearly not the case.

The City of Charlottetown is currently working with representatives of the Upton Farm Preservation Network and Canada Lands in an effort to create a concept plan that is acceptable to all interested parties.
When an acceptable concept plan is developed public input would be sought through the public meeting process.

It is extremely important to City Council that the current discussions between Canada Lands, the Upton Farm Preservation Network and the City of Charlottetown continue until an acceptable concept is developed. The issues of expanding the water and sewer system in this area and the possibility of a concert taking place in this area should not negatively impact these important discussions.

The City of Charlottetown sought approval from Canada Lands to have a concert take place on this property in 2008 as a one time only event. Canada Lands graciously gave its approval only after meetings with representatives of the Upton Farm Preservation Network and the City of Charlottetown.

Mayor Lee would like to clearly state that the water and sewer extension is to service the area known as Poplar Island and has no bearing on the Canada Lands properties. He also wants to assure area residents that the City of Charlottetown has approved one concert for this location and should any further consideration be given for future concerts that discussions will take place with all interested parties.

Mayor Clifford Lee
902-566-5548

 

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Moratorium on Development? Maybe.

December 18, 2007

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December 13, 2007

Ms. Kirsten Connor
Upton Farm Preservation Network
59 Queen Elizabeth Drive
Charlottetown, PE CIA 3A8

Dear Ms. Connor:

Thank you for your recent letter and your ongoing concern for the future of Upton Farm property. I understand that you have been in contact with officials from my office on this matter on different occasions.

Over the last number of months, we have made presentations to officials in the Canada Lands Company to convey the concerns expressed by many around the potential loss of green space at Upton Farm to proposed residential development.

Based upon input from a number of groups, Canada Lands Company has agreed, as you know, to a moratorium on the development of the property while a broader stakeholder consultation process is undertaken. We have been assured by officials from Canada Lands Company that these consultations will include, among other groups, the Province, Upton Farm Preservation Network, and the City of Charlottetown. The Province will be represented by Tracey Cutcliffe, my Deputy Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour.

It is my hope that this process produces an outcome that all stakeholders can benefit from as efforts are made to secure green space opportunities for Islanders.

[Signed]

Robert Ghiz

Premier of Prince Edward Island

c.c. Tracey Cutcliffe, Communities Cultural Affairs and Labour

c.c. Robert Rowland, Canada Lands Company

******************************************************

As you can see from the above letter from PEI Premier Robert Ghiz, Canada Lands has declared a moratorium on development of the Upton Farmlands  pending discussions with stakeholder groups.

This may possibly be good news, but PLEASE DO NOT relax your efforts to save this property as green space.

This is simply a moratorium, not a donation of the taxpayer-purchased property back to the residents of PEI, to whom it rightly belongs.

Premier Ghiz and his government appear to be in support of the efforts of the Upton Farm Preservation Network and its supporters, but IT IS VITAL to let people know that Canada Lands has neither wiithdrawn its application to develop the south side of this property into a mega housing subdivision nor has it said it will maintain the Upton Farmlands as green space.

Please continue your support of the effort to save the Upton Farmlands as green space!

“I want to reiterate our government’s commitment to preserving Upton Farm as Green Space,” Premier Robert Ghiz

November 5, 2007

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 August 21, 2007

 Ms. Kirsten Connor
Upton Farm Preservation Network

Dear Mrs. Connor:

Thank you for your correspondence in which you outline the Upton Farm Preservation Network’s desire for our new government to address the issue of the future of the Upton Farm property. I want to reiterate our government’s commitment to preserving Upton Farmlands as Green Space.

As part of this commitment, we will look to establish a committee with representatives from all three levels of government and the Upton Farm Preservation Network with the goal of preserving the Upton Farm Lands for future generations..

I have written the Canada Lands Corporation and the City of Charlottetown seeking their agreement to a moratorium on any development and their active participation in setting up the above noted committee process.

Please be assured that the Upton Farm Preservation Network will be involved in this process as it unfolds.

Sincerely

signed

Robert Ghiz
Premier of Prince Edward Island

 Premier Robert Ghiz gave his personal assurance in August that his government is committed to saving Upton Farm as Green Space. Why does the Canada Lands Company continue its quest to put a housing development that is clearly neither needed nor wanted by the community on this property when the province is clearly committed to keeping this land green and city of Charlottetown has asked the CLC to rescind its request to develop this property? One of CLC’s mandates is to “produce the best possible benefit for…local communities…” from the lands it manages for the Government of Canada. When will it live up to this mandate for the province of PEI? 

PEI Legislature Reconvenes Tuesday

October 14, 2007

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The PEI Legislature reconvenes on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The Upton Farm Preservation Network looks forward to continuing the important work of saving Upton Farm for the use and enjoyment of future generations of Islanders with our new government, led by Premier Robert Ghiz.

Members of the Preservation Network personally welcomed Premier Ghiz to office  with this letter:

June 19, 2007

Premier Robert Ghiz
P. O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PEI

Dear Premier Ghiz:

Please accept our congratulations on your very decisive election victory.

We very much appreciated your pledge of support for keeping all of the Upton Farm Lands green and public during the election campaign.

We know that you have an abundance of important issues to deal with as you take office, however, time is unfortunately of essence on this file. We are therefore asking for your early consideration in appointing a Minister or Official with whom we can begin to work.

We are delighted with your commitment to this and forward all good wishes to your Government and to you as you start your first tenure as Premier of Prince Edward Island.
Yours truly,

Kirsten Connor,
on behalf of the Upton Farm Preservation Network

 

CLC Replies to MP Shawn Murphy

July 16, 2007

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Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy received a reply from the Canada Lands Corporation (the Crown Corporation which presently owns the Upton Farmlands) in response to his letter requesting an 18-month moratorium on development of the lands. As you can see, CLC is making no promises to anyone, and we must keep up the hard work.

We are sincerely grateful to MP Murphy for his efforts in Ottawa to save this land for the good of the environment and for the health of his constituents on the Island.

June 11, 2007

The Honourable Shawn Murphy, P.C., M.P.

House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A OA6

Dear Mr. Murphy:

I am writing to respond to your letter of April 11, 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 requested an 18-month moratorium on development at Upton Farm and the creation of a task force with federal, provincial and municipal representatives to discuss future development on the property.

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.

Sincerely,

Robert Howald

Acting President and CEO

CANADA LANDS COMPANY CLC LIMITED

c.c. The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, P.C., M.P.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Thanks for Your Vision!

May 31, 2007

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(L – R: Former MLAs Wes MacAleer & Wayne Collins, former Premier Pat Binns, former MLA Jamie Ballem)

While support was received from some MLAs who will form the new provincial government, at this time the Upton Farm Preservation Network would like to express a formal, profound and heartfelt thank you to Messrs. Jamie Ballem, Wes MacAleer, Wayne Collins and Pat Binns.

Were it not for their vision and help, the bulldozers would be roaring up and down Beach Grove and Maypoint Roads this summer and Canada Lands would have begun to “pave paradise to put up a parking lot.”*

Mr. Ballem was the first person in politics who supported the idea of keeping the land green. He certainly lived up to his title of Minister of the Environment, and helped diligently along the way as ‘the Network’ formed and grew.

Mr. MacAleer, as the conscientious representative of the people of his riding that he was, accepted an invitation to a ‘Network’ meeting. He, in turn, organized and invited people to a Town Hall Meeting hosted by himself and Wayne Collins, where people could express their concerns, which indeed they did. Both men continued to work with us and others, attending meetings and bringing awareness to the issue.    

We owe these three men a tremendous debt of gratitude. Without them, ‘the Network’ would not be where it is today.

We also want to thank Premier Pat Binns who was quietly supportive and who worked diligently with the federal government to advance the idea of a large park on the Upton Farmlands.

No doubt they will all continue to have an interest in this and we hope we will have the benefit of their thoughts and help in the future.    

In years to come, as we all enjoy the beauty of this land kept green, their contributions will be recognized, and we hope they will come to feel and accept personal satisfaction in their hearts, as the fruits of their efforts become evident. 

We thank you all most sincerely for seeing what others did not, and for working towards completiton of a this beautiful vision.

With thanks and all good wishes.

The Members of the Upton Farm Preservation Network

*Lyrics by Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

We Asked, The Leaders Answered!

May 26, 2007

The Upton Farm Preservation Network wanted to find out where the Leaders of the four parties running for office in the provincial election stood on their commitment to support keeping Upton Farm as green space AFTER the election. It looks like there is an agreement in place for an 18-month moratorium on any development on the property NOW but what happens after that 18 months expires?

Here is our question and their answers:

“If elected, will you commit to preserving all the Upton Farm Lands and to establish a committee with representatives from all three levels of government and the Upton Farm Preservation Network to work on the next steps toward preserving all of the Upton Farm Lands as Green Space for future generations?”

REPLIES:

Robert Ghiz, Leader, Liberal Party:

“Yes, I agree to this commitment.”

Dean Constable, Leader, Island New Democrats:

“100 per cent, yes!”

Pat Binns, Leader, Conservative Party: (as written by Peter McQuaid of Mr. Binns’ office):

The Premier stands firm on his position, as reported by CBC on May 3, 2007. He is fully behind a freeze on any development by Canada Lands at Upton Farm. He has written to Minister (Lawrence) Cannon on this issue and expects an answer very soon. As for your question, the Premier is fully committed to preserving the Upton Farm as greenspace. If re-elected, he will work with all interested parties to resolve the issues surrounding this property.

Sharon Labchuk, Leader, Green Party of PEI

 Yes, the Green Party very much supports preserving the Upton Farm Lands.  PEI has committed to setting aside 7% of our island as protected areas (well below the 12% the other provinces committed to) but has failed to achieve this goal.

PC Candidate John Abbott Says….

May 26, 2007

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John Abbott is the PC Candidate in District 13, Charlottetown-Brighton. He distributed this letter to residents of his riding.

May 15, 2007

Residents of Charlottetown – Brighton:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with John Abbott and share your concerns about issues affecting Charlottetown – Brighton. We are listening.

Many of you have told John you are concerned about the proposed development of Upton Farm. We share your concern. We have a unique opportunity to protect this land as green space that may be enjoyed by everyone.

Last month, I wrote the federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities urging the federal government to freeze development of Upton Farm. That freeze is now in effect.

A PC Government will actively work to preserve Upton Farm as green space. Upton Farm is located at the gateway to Charlottetown and we believe that all Islanders should have the opportunity to share in its unique landscape. Residents in nearby neighbourhoods such as Brighton will particularly benefit from the preservation of Upton Farm’s natural beauty.

We welcome your input on this and other issues affecting Charlottetown – Brighton.

Yours truly

Pat Binns, Premier & 

John Abbott, PC Candidate District 13, Charlottetown-Brighton      

Authorized by the Official Agent, PC Party of PEI

CBC: Premier asks for delay at Upton Farm

May 3, 2007

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This news report was featured on CBC radio today:

 Premier Pat Binns is asking the federal government to step in to freeze development at Upton Farms, a large green space in the northern part of Charlottetown. 

 The Canada Lands Company, the real estate arm of the federal government, already has approval from the city to build a subdivision on part of the 100-hectare site. It had hoped to start construction this spring.

But the premier has sent a letter to federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Lawrence Cannon, asking him to halt any development, although he says the federal government may not have much say when it comes to decisions made by Canada Lands.

Cannon couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Binns said the province might willing to help buy the land if a suitable partner were to step forward.

“We’re potentially interested here. We’re prepared to look at that,” said Binns, although he doesn’t see one arm of government buying land from another arm of government as the best use of taxpayers’ money.

“We would prefer if the federal government, having the dollars in surplus capacity, would not look at this as a revenue need for themselves, that they would look at it and say a community need exists here, and we would rather put our money into the development of green space.”

In the face of protests, the Charlottetown city council asked the company a month ago to withdraw its development application.

Canada Lands says it won’t rush into any decision on the future of the land.

Letter from Premier Pat Binns

May 2, 2007

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