The Toronto Star
NEWS, Wednesday, April 26, 2000
appeals for moraine hearing role
Toronto wants to address OMB
YORK REGION BUREAU
appealing an Ontario Municipal Board decision rejecting the city's
bid to be included in a hearing on development on the Oak Ridges
authorized us to take all necessary steps to achieve party status,
so we are going ahead with this appeal because we think the board
made several serious errors in law," city lawyer Brendan
O'Callaghan said yesterday.
month, OMB chair James Mills denied Toronto's request to be included
in a board hearing into housing on the moraine, saying "the
addition of the city would not add anything to the hearing."
his case, O'Callaghan argued that Toronto should be allowed to
participate because moraine development could affect drinking
water quality and other environmental concerns bearing on the
well-being of Toronto's 2.5 million residents.
hearing into five development applications on the Richmond Hill
portion of the moraine, the headwaters of more than 20 rivers
and streams, is to begin May 23.
which involve 10,000 housing units, are opposed by environmental
groups and the city of Richmond Hill, among others.
bid to re-enter the discussion came the same day as results of
a poll showing that an overwhelming number of people living on
the moraine want laws protecting the environmentally sensitive
In a telephone
survey conducted by Oraclepoll Research Ltd. and commissioned
by the environment group Earthroots, some 89 per cent of the 400
residents of Richmond Hill, Uxbridge and Bolton surveyed said
they favour protection of natural areas and farms on the moraine.
Just 5 per cent favoured development, while 6 per cent had no
A sample of
this size is considered accurate within 4.9 percentage points,
19 times out of 20.
clear there is overwhelming support for an environmental protection
plan from the people who live on the moraine," Earthroots
executive director Lea Ann Mallett said yesterday.
has captured wide attention. Only 7 per cent of respondents were
unfamiliar with the debate over building houses on the moraine,
a ridge of sand and gravel created during the last ice age. The
moraine stretches from the Niagara Escarpment across the northern
suburbs of Greater Toronto to the southern shore of Rice Lake.
taken between April 16 and 18, shows moraine protection was a
strong opinion even among supporters of the Progressive Conservative
notice of motion seeking leave to appeal the OMB ruling was filed
to the Superior Court of Justice yesterday. The appeal could be
heard as early as May 19.
an uphill battle," O'Callaghan said, "because statistically,
it's a rare occurrence that leave is granted, but we think we
have a very good case in the law."