I want to register my disgust with the handling of the Peel planning process. I will not argue the details of types of protection for the various areas as that quickly gets bogged down with the vagaries of interpretation. What I will comment on is the complete lack of respect shown to the Peel planning commission and all the citizens that in good faith participated in the process, from all sides of the issue.
It was bad enough that the commission was sent back to the drawing board and forced to make major concessions in a revised plan, but to then reject even that effort suggests to me that the government never intended to take the planning commission’s document seriously.
I suspect that public participation and confidence in future land-use planning will be seriously eroded and irrevocably damaged if the Peel planning commission’s efforts are tossed aside. These public planning efforts are not just to appease a public who rightly feel that they want a say in major land-use decisions, decisions which can lead to irrevocable change to the public’s land.
These processes are legally mandated and there must be some expectation that the outcomes will be taken seriously and for the most part implemented. I completely agree with the opinion that ultimately the courts will decide at huge cost to taxpayers on all sides of the issue.
Given the overwhelming outcome of these types of cases in recent years, a decision will not likely be on the side of a government that rides roughshod over public planning processes and intent of First Nation agreements. Do the right thing and accept the Peel planning commission’s final report.