Frances Nunziata got her start in politics by being a whistleblower after some City of York politicians decided they would sell Fairbank Memorial Park, a public park to developers. At the time people were scratching their heads wondering how it was possible for a public park to be sold off to a developer.
Fast forward to today and people are once again scratching their heads. Ever since Hurricane Hazel the mantra has been, ‘Don’t build on floodplain land’. The Toronto Region Conservation Authority is ever vigilant to keep development away from floodplain land. It’s just common sense. Undeveloped floodplain land soaks up rain and releases it slowly into rivers and creeks.
There is an 8 acre section of flood plain land in Ward 5 (York South-Weston) that is about to be developed with the seeming approval of TRCA and Councillor Nunziata who has been quoted as calling the land a swamp and an eyesore. She was also quoted as being opposed to the sale but the damage has been done. The land was sold off as surplus by the City to St Helens Meat Packers. The fact that the TRCA decided it was ok to sell the land is astonishing. Not only that, the development will be a meat packing plant with the accompanying industrial noise, traffic and possibly smell. When he was campaigning last July, Jagmeet Singh toured the location and spoke to residents whose nearby homes are routinely flooded during big storms. Here is his message to residents at that time.
There is one last opportunity to stop the development and that is through what’s called a judicial review. A judicial review basically checks to make sure that everything is above board.
This process can take up to two years and sadly it costs money; the estimate is around $26,000. A Go Fund Me campaign has been started and contributions can be made here. The deadline for filing a review request is March 23. Donations will be returned if the goal of $26,250 isn’t met.
Read Megan Delaire’s excellent Toronto.com article here.