(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