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To: Caroline Mulroney, The Attorney General of Ontario

Don't shut down the support centre for local planning appeals

Reverse the Ford government's decision to shut down the Centre by June.

Why is this important?

URGENT:  Citizen rights are being abused and the Legislature is being bypassed as Ontario’s Attorney General decides to abruptly close the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre.
 
Add your support to three citizen and community advocacy groups based in Ottawa that are determined to hold the Attorney General accountable to the Legislature, which passed the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre Act in 2017.
 
On Feb. 21, barely nine months after the Support Centre began offering professional advice to citizens and citizen groups, the Attorney General has acted in a unilateral and possibly illegal way to shut down its operations.
 
Paul Johanis, chair of the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital, called the Attorney General’s move “outrageous” because of the impact the decision will have on citizens' groups fighting municipal planning decisions, because of how the decision was handed down to staff of the Centre, and because the announcement has bypassed elected representatives in the Ontario Legislature. Ecology Ottawa and the Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa are also demanding accountability from the Attorney General.
 
“What we as citizen advocates know is that on Feb. 21 somebody from the Attorney-General’s office told Mary Lee, executive director of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Support Centre, that she and her staff were no longer needed,” said Johanis. “This action dealt a blow to citizens across the province who may not be able to exercise their rights effectively without the advice Lee and her team of professionals were set up to provide.”

According to Johanis, creation of the LPASC was one of the bright spots of the previous government's land use planning reforms. “After only nine months in operation, the government cannot rationally justify a move to close this centre.  As far as we can tell, the Act that created the Centre has not been repealed, which makes us wonder if the closure is even legal.”

Send the Attorney General a clear message by signing our prepared message or by writing one of your own.

Updates

2019-03-09 14:12:14 -0500

Read more here:

Media coverage to date:

Fatima Syed in the National Observer of February 22, 2019:

Mike Crawley (Queen’s Park reporter) in CBC.ca/news on February 23, 2019:

Interview of Mindy Sichel by Alan Neal on Ottawa CBC Radio 1’s All in a Day, March 6, 2019: (11 min)

2019-03-05 23:53:32 -0500

100 signatures reached

2019-03-05 10:37:43 -0500

50 signatures reached

2019-03-05 03:23:36 -0500

25 signatures reached

2019-03-04 21:27:51 -0500

10 signatures reached