Urgent – Bad News for Citizens Fighting To Save Thundering Waters, Waverly Woods and other Natural Riches in Niagara from Urban Sprawl

Niagara At Large Will Have More on the Following Notice Later, and  on What it May Mean for Protecting Niagara’s Natural Heritage

Posted March 3rd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The Following  Notice is now being circulated – 

To the past and current clients of LPASC,

The citizens battle is still on to save this great green place in Niagara Falls from urban development

I am writing to let you know that the Government of Ontario has made a decision to close the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC), effective June 30, 2019.

As LPASC winds down its operation, we will continue to serve, to the best of our ability, clients who have previously retained our services.  We are now limited in the range of professional legal and planning services we are able to provide.  

Citizens in the Fort Erie area are fighting to save what they can of Waverly Woods from the developers’ axe

However, during this period, we will continue to do our best to answer any general questions you may have concerning the planning appeals process.  Our website contains a number of information resources which we encourage you to use fully.  The website will be available until the Centre closes in June.

Thank you for using the services of the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre.

Yours truly,, Mary Lee, Executive Director, Local Planning Appeal Support Centre

700 Bay St. 12th floor, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z6

Phone: 1-800-993-8410

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

One response to “Urgent – Bad News for Citizens Fighting To Save Thundering Waters, Waverly Woods and other Natural Riches in Niagara from Urban Sprawl

  1. This decision is INSANE.
    We just had our Appeal dismissed by the LPAT because
    1. The Appeal Application form instructions specifically said a lawyer was not required. (This is VERY incorrect!)
    2. No one told us the LPASC (a government sponsored lawyer assist) was available.
    3. We had only 20 days from the inappropriate ByLaw amendments to appeal.
    4. We incorrectly filled out the appeal application form, checking wrong boxes and not providing the SPECIFIC information that the LPAT required.
    5. The LPAT subsequently dismissed our appeal based on the paperwork errors… NOT on the merits of the appeal.

    The LPAT is a ‘new’ oversight organization, replacing the OMB… Supposedly to allow the public to have a government assisted voice in case Municipalities mess up.

    The ‘new’ rules make that intention / opportunity virtually IMPOSSIBLE.

    There is no possible way for a reasonably intelligent person to learn enough in the 20 day limit to fill out the LPAT Appeal Application ‘correctly’.

    We did (too late) get legal advise (and it took us months to find a willing and capable MUNICIPAL lawyer). We’ve spent over $10,000 (just to start, looks like it could cost over $100,000 before we are done) and almost a YEAR to now know exactly what we SHOULD have put on the form.

    A lawyer is MANDITORY! Don’t even think of appealing without one (even to the LPAT). AND you need to pay EXPERTS to attest on the merits of your appeal, because our ‘legal system’ is now based on ‘battle of experts’. The LPAT gives more WEIGHT to expert opinion over common sense.

    ‘They’ (the authorities, starting with the city council) will only listen to Experts.

    There is no way the ‘pubic’ can afford the time or money to learn what they need to know:
    1. To ‘see’ (understand) how any particular development might be conflicting with Federal, Provincial, Regional and/or Municipal laws.

    We’ve learned MOST people don’t even know the bylaws they are living under… They do not know what rights they have. Even if they do know they have a voice, they don’t know how to legally and appropriately USE that voice… And I think the governments WANT the public to be ignorant.

    We’ve also learned that our elected ‘representatives’, whom we trust to represent us… Often DON’T actually read and fully understand the laws they are voting to put in place. They are just trusting that the ‘experts’ that they’ve hired are doing their jobs properly.

    2. To buy the experts time, to independently review laws to see that they are ‘lawful’.

    3. To then fill out paperwork correctly and follow through with the legal process to (hopefully) correct laws that were ‘unlawfully’ or inappropriately approved.

    I UNDERSTAND that the OMB was having a lot of trouble with public ignorance and spending time (sometimes months) sorting out the actual issues.
    I UNDERSTAND that the process needed to be streamlined and that was why the LPAT organization and its new rules were put in place.

    So in conclusion…
    They shouldn’t be eliminating the LPASC, they should be EXPANDING it.

    They should make it MANDITORY that the public put their appeal in through an organization like the LPASC.

    The LPAT should ALLOW a submitted appeal to be amended or changed to be compliant with the rules (instead of simply dismissing it).

    The present LPAT system / rules is going to have the OPPOSITE effect for what it’s intended to do. It will ELIMINATE the public voice.

    And deleting the LPASC (government lawyer assistance for the public) is just going to make it WORSE.

    I state the above from personal experience, having spent hundreds of hours in research and learning AND thousands of dollars hiring experts to verify my findings.
    – From George Wiseman


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