How Interim Is The Interim By-law
The City may try to deny the Bridge Co. the right to demolish the homes it owns on Indian Road, or at least that is the Administration recommendation. Will the Mayor and Council vote in favour to deny?
- the interim control bylaw was passed to maintain historically significant structures -- and there are plenty of them in the area -- while the community improvement plan is developed.
Jones said a committee spent the last 18 months developing recommendations for the Sandwich area. He said some properties are 200 years old and the area could be the site of underground tunnels used by slaves escaping the U.S.
I am not going to give a legal opinion in this BLOG, but I would think that the City's chances of being successful in stopping either are rather slim now that Bill C-3 has been proclaimed in law. I know, I know, I should ask what Brian Masse accomplished in Bill C-3 but you know the answer to that already.
Here are some excerpts from the Federal Government's Press Release that should explain why the City's position is shaky:
- OTTAWA — Canada’s New Government today announced that the International Bridges and Tunnels Act, formerly known as Bill C-3, received Royal Assent today. This legislation will provide the federal government with the legislative authority to ensure effective oversight of the existing 24 international vehicular bridges and tunnels and nine international railway bridges and tunnels, as well as any new international bridges or tunnels built in the future.
Jurisdiction for international bridges and tunnels was assigned to the federal government under the Constitution Act, 1867. Despite this, no clear authority existed to regulate matters concerning approvals for the construction of new, or the alteration of existing, bridges or tunnels; approvals for changes in ownership, operation or control; and issues concerning maintenance, operations, safety and security. In the past, most international bridges and tunnels were built only after a special act of Parliament was enacted.
“This legislation will ... also provide the federal government with the powers to grant approval to build new international bridges and tunnels, to alter existing bridges and tunnels and impose necessary terms and conditions to protect the public interest.”
INTERNATIONAL BRIDGES AND TUNNELS ACT
Construction of international bridges or tunnels:
As mentioned above, most of Canada’s international bridges or tunnels were created by way of a special act of Parliament...This new act replaces those special acts with a streamlined administrative process that will run in parallel with, or could be used to coordinate, the many permits that already have to be obtained. This new process should not delay any projects currently underway, but should help speed up the process.
Alterations to existing international bridges and tunnels:
In the past, any alterations to these international structures did not require governor-in-council approval. As part of this department’s mandate to protect the safety, security and efficiency of the transportation system, it is important that the federal government has the necessary oversight powers to ensure that any alterations to said structures do not in any way negatively affect or compromise the safety, security and efficiency of the system, including the flow of goods and services.
It should be clear on reading this that the Feds are absolutely adamant that they are in charge of the border. Even Ontario Minister Cansfield made a major concession in the Star:
- "She said that since the border is largely a federal issue, she is in regular contact with her federal counterpart Lawrence Cannon."
Given the reality, the "interim" is over already. Even the Mayor has backed off with his "heritage" talk as the main purpose. One wonders why one needed this bylaw given the initiative of the City re Heritage Desgnation for Sandwich. That's a question that Eddie should answer.
It is up to the Three Musketeers to get the rest of their colleagues on side, or at least three of them so that a new Council majority can be formed. And to do it with or without the Mayor. If not, thousands of taxpayer dollars are going to be spent again on useless legal fees to try to stall both parties... And it is a stall only, to buy time for whatever pressure that Eddie thinks he can impose. It is a dangerous game that can cause unexpected consequences.
If Eddie wants to be another Hurst in his last year as Mayor who could never win a vote, as even Mike admitted in his last CBC interview, so be it! We need investment here, we need jobs here and we need an end to the border matter! Eddie should get onside or get out of the way.
I already heard that some Councillors are very upset about the way the Tunnel deal and the Schwartz involvement is being handled by the Mayor since they are out of the loop. It will be very interesting to see if Council will use this Bridge Co. request to show their displeasure to the Mayor! It would be a good way to get his attention on a small matter to teach him a lesson. In other words, will the kids stand up finally to the School Bully?
There is a sneaky part to all of this by the way that the Mayor may have thought of. Just be warned. I am not going to tell you until after the vote. My Mata Hari tells me that Councillors do not know about it yet. Perhaps, again, they may hear about it in the last second so that Eddie thinks he can maintain his iron control over them! It is a way out for everyone.