Friends of the Cawthra Bush
Greater Mississauga Area
Pages of Special Interest;
Other Table of Contents;
A FEDERALLY THREATENED SPECIES
MERCILESS CITY OF MISSISSAUGA.
- A Work In Progress - Web-Page Under Construction - A Work In Progress - Web-Page Under Construction - A Work In Progress - Web-Page Under Construction -
IN SHORT - a short overview;
PHOTO PAGE - the photographic
proof that the City was violating the Ministry of
CONTENT PAGES - Events and Documents in Chronological Order.
I am not a writer and trying very hard to do the best I can to present this material in a form that will aid people in understanding the issues as well as see how government and politicians work. Wording will change over time as I work to get it right and make it more understandable. Note about wording, it was written at the time it relates to. So later on some people may act differently, such as in the case of the members of UFMAC.
I am expressing
my opinions, questions, observations and fair comments, (backed up with
a library of documents), that a Canadian with a basic understanding of
how government works would make. I am presenting the point of view
of an average Canadian who expects a reasonable amount of justice and moral
conduct from a Canadian government, its (so-called) civil servants or bureaucrats
and politicians. I expect the City of Mississauga will bridge the
gap between what they are only required to do by law with what is considered
morally right and not expect Mississaugans to only communicate to the City
or its politicians wholly through lawyers. That Mississaugans
expect to be treated with respect and reasonable results for time spent
reasoning with their municipal government. I don't, like most people,
have a lawyer review all I say or do as a fair and just Canadian government
should not require that. As the City loves to take the legal hard
line to shut out/go after those who rightfully opposed their actions and
as they are willing to go beyond what is legal for that same end, remember
this. The wisdom of the ages is not to trust government, to question
authority and stand up for your rights - today - or tomorrow you will have
far fewer. If I show anything, it is that the City of Mississauga
and its political masters are not worthy of the benefit of the doubt.
Believe in the underdog, they only have the truth and strength that comes
from knowing they are in the right. It is the underdogs that created
democracy and changed history for the betterment of the majority, while
governments fall in the same rut over and over again.
I do hold some cards back as I have good reason not to trust the City and it is their stated goal to harm me, either through legal or illegal means. Wording is strong as I suffered too much abuse from them and am under a lot of stress from the City. In many ways, I am expressing the years of frustrations at being the victim of City attacks and abuse. It is hoped that this piece will in some way help to protect me, maybe some Canadians who read this will try and offer help and the City will back off.
This item is presented in 3 parts, in short, in long and Point Form lists/Photo pages on the major issues that have notes/comments that may not have been noted in the longer written versions. This is one of the most complete reviews of the City of Mississauga and its political modus operandi regarding the elimination of taxpayers and residents from meaningful participation in community decision making as well as undertaking the slow end (death by a thousand cuts), of the Cawthra Bush. It is still only one of many similar events that have transpired over the years. Even though it is just one event it still requires a fair amount of reading and reference to other related events, to understand that the events were not simple over sights or honest mistakes occurring only once. They are part of a pattern repeated over and over. That both City staff and Mississauga's politicians were made aware of the errors before they were made and still they bullied arrogantly forward with its anti-democratic and anti-environment political agenda. That the lie of omission and the BIG LIE are business as usually for the City of Mississauga.
Please remember first and foremost, the City has chosen to disregard, ignore, mock and lie to defame those in the community who stand up for the Cawthra Bush. Those who have in the past stopped the City's ill-conceived plans, on many occasions and especially Don Barber (me). I have become the most knowledgeable person in the community regarding the Cawthra Bush and have been elected by the community to represent the communities interests. The City can spare no effort to shut me out of the process, harass me, discredit and defame me. As I don't make myself useful to Mississauga's politicians. Even the Mayor publicly calls me a spreader of misinformation (at the very same time she is suppressing the facts, that show her to be speaking with a forked tongue), but then she is a politician and we all know what they are.
The events speak for themselves as to who is on the side of the angels. So if you find my wording on the strong side, do remember I am hoping to impress the public with the facts enough they will take action, as my safety and life (as well as FCB supporters), is being threatened by City actions. If enough concerned citizens tell the City to back off, they will and then we can all deal with the issues and not politics.
The following events have happened because the City is carrying out its political agenda to exclude those who don't agree with the City (as it is harmful to the community). Those who know a better more democratic way then the City does and those who are not trying to get on Hazel's team (at the expense of the community). City staff are not above writing false reports about those they wish to remove from the process and even work towards promoting public hatred towards them. Mississauga is an extreme if not third world political zone.
In the past, beginning in 1994, the Friends of the Cawthra Bush have acted to save a community treasure by stopping the City's plans to log and tree farm not only the Cawthra Bush but all wooded areas in Mississauga, the City owns. We have also stopped the City's effort to deforest the whole east side of the Cawthra Bush. It has been our efforts that found and documented the rare and threatened species in the Cawthra Bush. Also it was our effort to push for a wetlands evaluation, that the City and the committee it created to try and push us out of the decision making process, the Urban Forest Management Advisory Committee (UFMAC), who said it was unnecessary. In 2000 the Cawthra Bush was declared a Provincially Significant Wetland Complex. In 2001 we worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources to enforce its directions for not endangering the habitat of "the nationally threatened Jefferson Salamander".
A Federally threatened species is under attack by the City of Mississauga, confirming, by its actions the City's real commitment is to eliminate the Cawthra Bush's only protection from development its environmental and historical significance. The City may promise Mississaugans, it will even put it in writing that it's going to preserve the forest but if you read the fine print it is like a deal with the devil, in which taxpayers who have misplaced their trust with the City and its politicians, have been burned. Again, the City's proves that words have different meanings when the City uses them. Hazel's team of anti-democratic and anti-eco-mercenaries have been hard at work the last few months carrying out the political agenda of turning the Cawthra Bush into a non significant area suitable for their stated goal, a recreation area. The community's effort to stop the City in its efforts has been very successful, a number of times in the past but the City's weapon of choice, the use of the police and law against me has been greatly escalated. No good deed will go unpunished by the City.
Mississauga's only English style kitchen Walled Garden has had its last wall demolished to a fraction of its original height to serve fictitious safety claims. Not only was this plan hidden from public, in spite of many public (political) promises, to inform and involve Mississaugans taxpayers, this plan also endangered the habitat of Mississauga's newest Federally THREATENED species, the Jefferson Salamander. I am well known by the City as the person in the community who represents the community regarding the Cawthra Bush and I was not informed about this project, how hard is one phone call?
The City knows its planned demolish of the Walled Garden would be opposed by the public and that is the reason the public were cut out of the information loop. The Friends of the Cawthra Bush (FCB), discovered the City plans buried in a City agenda and attended the Dec. 13/2000 Council, to publicly announce that the Jefferson Salamander had just been declared a Federally threatened species. In spite of the fact questions were raised as to if the City plans were legal or not, both our politicians and City staff went out of their way to and showed no interest in the Jefferson being declared a Federally threatened species. It was if they were reading from a script, they had their story and they were sticking to it! In fact, in an act of Big Brother/Sister censorship the City deleted all reference of the Jefferson Salamander from the minutes of that Council meeting!!!
The City's plan is to destroy the habitat of the Jefferson Salamander', thereby causing them moral losses, depended on the City's plan (and the unwritten plan), being approved unchanged, the official record stating that City staff and politicians didn't know the facts. The unwritten plan called for those who would try to stop the City's dirty deeds, be out of the picture. Which meant banned from the property. The ends justified the means, the Machiavellian way.
None the less, we did make the City change its plans, instead of smashing the wall down to 2 feet, it was knocked down to 4 feet. My announcement that the Jefferson Salamander was now a Federally THREATENED species prompted City staff, for the first time to commit to contacting outside bodies for advice on how to undertake its plans. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), advised the City it shared the FCB's concerns that the bricks that had fallen on the ground over the years, were now wildlife habitat, which should not be removed.
Regrettably our group was not able to respond to this attack on both our beloved Cawthra Bush but also to our cultural heritage, in time to motive the City into properly altering its plans. This began just before Christmas and the City knows people are too preoccupied by the holiday season to get involved and hiding it from us didn't help. BUT WAIT! This tale of deceit and political manipulation gets worse! In fact a legal order was issued, banning me from the Cawthra Estate for 30 days. Why? I caught the City, in the act of undertaking the very destruction of wildlife habitat that the City promised the MNR it would not do. Also the City sets it up so the issue of the brick remaining in the Cawthra Bush, remain to serve as wildlife habitat is not presented to the Urban Forest Management Advisory Committee, as it should have. Talk about loading the dice.
While hard at work with our 2001 membership drive, a call comes in that the City is over at the Walled Garden with a front end loader. I am over there with cameras in hand to investigate. City staff are right on the phone, their written instructions about what to do if I showed up, clutched tightly in their hands. So without any warning, the City's good friends the Peel police, show up to threaten me improperly with arrest!
The City knows it is undertaking work that it wants no witness to or to be observed by those who could interfere with the true nature of the operation. Yes, as any good criminal will tell you, make sure there are no witnesses. I stood up for my civil rights and to the police's harassment. In the end, it was a City security guard who issued the banning order but it is too late to help the City of Mississauga in carrying out its plan and employ tradition political trickery. You know, sooo sorry for what happened, we never planned to do as much work as was carried out, unsupervised staff just got carried away. After all it is easier to ask for forgiveness, then it is to ask for permission.
IMMEDIATELY - I am on the phone to the MNR. They inform me the City has assured them they would only be carrying out the work the MNR has, in writing, recommended. The first words out of my mouth were that the City has lied to you and I have pictures to back it up. The MNR agrees to call the City up and again discuss the matter.
Back out to get another Mississaugan to go on site to take pictures and witness the operation. As the City of Mississauga and local politicians have a habit of going after people, includes using the police (as they have against me), I will not be using their names out of a genuine fear for their safety and retaliation by the City. After all City staff were acting very amused at my presence and it was clear to me they knew of the City pre-meditated entrapment of a community representative. As members of Hazel's team they appeared to enjoy the prospect of some harm coming to a person who was defying the authority they prostrate themselves to.
The result of my call to the MNR is that the work was stopped !!!!! So who does it sound like was in the wrong here? Under those circumstances, the City stopping its works proves, the City knew it was in the wrong. John Lohuis, Director of Recreation and Parks, informs the MNR that the City will "error on the side of caution" and stop the work. At this point the City has completed the approved work and was totally in error, just a face saving comment.
The City is more then willing to break its promises to the public, MNR to destroy the environment and our cultural heritage behind our backs but when caught red-handed, in the act of openly defying the MNR directions (with no Hazel to hide behind), they suddenly see things our way. They never explained why they were removing the bricks they said they would not. They never apologized either. They used the BIG LIE and said it didn't happen. Oh yes Hazel was back in town by then.
My intervention was both justified and necessary to stop the City of Mississauga carrying out its true intentions regarding the Jefferson Salamanders, to see them, eventuality, all dead.
In following up to these events I appealed to City Council Apr. 11, and asked for the banning order to be lifted and the order be struck from the record. Proof of the facts, that the City was undertaking work it should not be, was presented at that meeting. Paul A. Mitcham, Commissioner of Community Services, later wrote a memo about his so-called investigation. First off he saw no need to review the all facts, especially those that showed the City was in the wrong and those that the victim of City actions had. It was all very medieval in nature.
The Mayor likes to say how democratic Mississauga is, well how democratic is it to hold a trial without allowing the accused to defend themselves? And of course, the City came out smelling like a rose. The City has restored to tradition political methods, admit nothing, deny everything and make counter accusations and finally the use of the amoral BIG LIE as its method of government.
News has stated in regards to my efforts to save the Cawthra Bush from
its attacks by politicians "environmentalist Donald Barber is likely to
go to his grave trying." Those who run the Mississauga News are very
well connected with the City's politicians and the police, it is likely
this is a warning to me. I see no indication of human conscience,
remorse or caring about the harm inflicted to either the Cawthra Bush,
myself or the community in general, in the actions of those on Hazel's
To best start we have to go back to Nov. 29/99. From 1994 till then the City had been fighting with the residents about what the fate of the Cawthra Bush would be. The Nov. meeting was the one at which the City approved its Management plan for the Cawthra Bush, not the requested Master Plan. The City will often misuse proper process to gain its ends. In this case the Management plan should not have come before the Master Plan and the Urban Forest Management Advisory Committee (UFMAC), that the City created and controls who sits on it (I was turned down), was allowed to vote on this plan and taxpayers were not. In spite of the fact we have asked for years to be able to do so.
This meeting also had a rare event take place. About 30 people from the audience had to get up and surround the Mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion because she would not let the community leader, representing the interests regarding the Cawthra Bush, Don Barber, finish his deputation. This is a standard method, for shutting people out of the process till the very last minute, then say you have 5 minutes to make your point, no more and ignore what is said. The City and its politicians did all they could to refuse/ignore calls or requests for meetings before hand, which were a part of the community's reasonable effort at trying to deal with this issue before the public meeting. The City was at the public meeting quite prepared to do very much the same again, giving a person inadequate time to make a case. For all intents and purposes their attitude is ignore what was said, vote on it and refuse the public the opportunity to vote as it is the elected officials and those they select that will vote, not the public. Then Hazel's team will parade around claiming what a great democracy they enforce on taxpayers as they actually let people address politicians in public under very controlled conditions. After all, can't have democracy get out of hand, it could slow up the over development of Mississauga.
Also at the Nov. 29/99 meeting there were other things worthy of note. A notice was circulated to the community below the Cawthra Bush saying they should attend this meeting as there could be an unseen threat to their property. At the meeting both City staff and Councillor Corbasson stood to inform those present that nothing in the flyer was going to be discussed at that meeting. They did so without any effort to discover what the threat was or who put the flyer out; in other words, they didn't have a clue what they were talking about but hoped to deceive trusting Canadians into not pursing the truth. I stood, stated I had put out the flyers and that I had a video tape of tens of thousands of gallons of water being drained from the Cawthra Bush in the trench that a very large watermain sits in, right toward their new community. UFMAC, City staff and politicians made sure that video was not shown, Hazel personally stepped in to keep Mississaugans ignorant of the facts. Repeated efforts were made to show the video and our politicians, who publicly claim to care about Mississaugan taxpayers, made sure the video that does show a likely threat to their home and property, was not shown during the meeting, in spite of the fact it was a key part of my presentation. The facts were knowingly suppressed by Hazel's team, this is called the LIE OF OMISSION. You have to wonder what kind of people are they?
Popular politicians can get away with murder and Hazel is a good example. She and Councillor Corbasson are not sitting members of UFMAC and were there only to help push the Management plan past the public opposition. A purely political move as they were not interested in the public's concerns, only covering then up. This time it back fired on them in a major way. Another point most people would have missed, is that when the 30 some Mississaugans demanded more time and got it, it was done by the Mayor over ruling the Chair of UFMAC. Hazel imposing her will on the committee. At other points she told staff to answer questions, just like she was in City Council, in control of the meeting. Clearly there was no independent thought or minds on this committee, they just did as they were told by their political masters.
John Lohuis, the Director of Recreation and Parks, went on the record with some very revealing comments. He stated "The whole plan (Management Plan), is designed to be very open to the public", he goes public. He went on to say "We are not hiding anything, we are going to be fully open...". How so? The wording of this Management Plan can allow for just about anything the City wants and block what Mississaugans are asking for. Example, in both the Implementation and Management Plans for the Cawthra Bush it states "The walled garden ruin is to be made safe. The brick walled garden, a designated heritage structure, is in deteriorating and hazardous condition due to vandalism." In fact it is due to City neglect, that the City knows will lead to the destruction of the Walled Garden. It's important to point out that J. Lohuis is saying what people want to hear so they will feel they have what they want and not oppose City plans, when in fact it is the opposite to the truth. If the plan was open then it would state the word safe means to DEMOLISH.
When you make a deal with the devil the real meanings of the words used is all important and this is a perfect example. Most people who read the Management Plan would say "a designated heritage structure", means it is important structure so the City will make it safe by stopping the vandalism and they would be wrong, as they are only guessing at the City's intentions. J. Lohuis has misled the public into thinking the City's intentions are clearly stated, if they were then it would say the City plans to DEMOLISH and eventuality eliminate the Walled Garden, as the City's ultimate goal. In a Corporate report dated Dec. 9/91, regarding the Cawthra Elliot Estate (a draft Master Plan that did go to a public meeting, so there is public support for it), it clearly states, "The Cawthra Elliot Estate was purchased by the City in 1975 to satisfy three goals; 2) preservation of the historic resource" and "The Walled Garden will be stabilized as a ruin". At that time most of the Walled Garden was still standing, including the beautiful arched door ways. It should also be noted that the Walled Garden item is an Master Plan issue, not a forest management issue so it should not have even been in the Management Plan. After all the Walled Garden was originally presented to the public in a Master Plan, then without explanation it suddenly it jumps to a Forest Management Plan. There we are unable to properly address it and all the other forest management issues. Sneaky, yes?
Oh by the way, the City's plans for the paths in the Cawthra Bush are to make them safe as well and if you have walked along some of them you can see how the City is destroying whole concept of a natural forest by cutting the trees (it calls unsafe), up into 3 or 4 foot sections (against our protests). To encourage the idea that the forest must be management by chain saw and make it easy for people to drive their pickups in for free firewood. City staff have also noted they don't cut up trees this way in all other forests in Mississauga, Cawthra gets special and degrading treatment.
Another example of how City staff treat the Cawthra Bush as a joke, no doubt because politicians have told them to be confrontational with those who defend the Cawthra Bush, (especially Mr. Barber), is the face they carved into a stump along side a path. A Provincially Significant forest and they think it is appropriate to do chain saw carvings right where everyone will see it. Is this the lesson the City is hoping the public will learn by its example, show no respect for a community treasure, abuse it at will like a cheap toy? City staff by showing disrespect to the forest could very well be hoping to upset me by baiting me with this. I protested City staff's actions and it was removed but not before I got some pictures of what the wild and crazy guys that the City gives chain saw to, will do. The City is also going after trees 60 or 70 feet back from paths claiming they could fall on the path, slowly they are working their way deeper and deeper into the forest, with their chain saws. The City never calls on members of the community to help decide on what trees to cut in its safety cuttings or how, oh no, only City staff will make those decisions.
What we objected most to the City's 1994 plans was filling the forest with unsightly stumps and the City has decided to do the same thing again but call it for safety now. The City wants people to wrongly believe/learn that stumps means a well managed forest and that the City cares when really it is death by a thousand cuts and the road to development. Generally the City will continue to claim to be acting in the public interest but will only be out to destroy the Cawthra Bush.
Back to Nov./99. J. Lohuis then went on to make a very important point, that City plans will be open to those in the City's stewardship plan, "The stewardship plan will assess the time period by which we (the City), report back..." He did not say the general public, it was those in the City created stewardship who will the City will be open with. Just as the City created the UFMAC committee to shut the public out, the stewards will be used to destroy taxpayers rights. True to form the City removes those who disagree from the process then it will claim it is a democratic government.
The Mayor got her two cents in at this meeting. She hopes to impress those present by making some non-specific compliments about my "contribution" as a lead into taking an opportunity to make a few personal attacks on me. Publicly calling me a liar and then saying, "Let's get back to working together". If the Mayor of a real major City like Mel Lastman carried on like Hazel does, the press would rake her over the coals. Alas, Hazel has the media so far up her back side that she can even sit in City Council, on TV and talk about the COUP out to get her, without fear of being questioned about it or it being reported. She goes on to say the City made some mistakes in the past but not what they are, so we don't know if City repeating them.
She went on to note an example of success, the Rattray Marsh. "And by the way it is a very very special area of our City and by the way the citizens in that area have looked after with tender loving care, it has not been a responsibility of staff or co-ordinator as we suggested, but the citizens in the area..." Interesting is it not? Hazel heaps praises on a citizen effort that doesn't require City control of but the City will not even deal with the Friends of the Cawthra Bush! Talk about a double standard, I guess we just don't pay enough taxes to have earned our freedom from City control. Or could it be Hazel's team has no use for those who practice democracy and disagree with the City as they have done their homework and found a better way. Hazel compliments Ward 1 Councillor Carmen Corbasson, as she "Serviced the City so faithfully over the years", which by the way, has been as City staff and she just did what she was told.
Our Mayor also makes a very telling statement, "The greatest menace to our woodlots, of course, are people, of course. Not the dogs or cats, people." She says this at a time when the City's plan is being pushed forward to turn one of our most environmentally significant areas into a recreation area. One that makes no commitment to truly protecting any of its environmental features for future generations. This is called talking out of both sides of your mouth. She likes to carry on about and thanking people for their "input", a polite way of saying the City let you talk but your words have little meaning or effect as the City has no respect for the average Mississaugan opinion. Hazel is also quoted as saying "people standing up and criticizing, the Council and the Mayor for I don't know why", yes, she just doesn't get it or will not admit to even understanding Mississaugans' concerns. To her, public meetings are just a show with her as the star, in the centre spot light, a chance for her adoring fans to clap for her after going through the motions of a Town Hall meeting. She has even came out and said that people just want to be assured, like we are children she is tucking into bed. She just doesn't get it, we are adults demanding the facts, so we can make up our own minds!
WE JUMP AHEAD NOW TO NOV. 2000 AND THE WALLED GARDEN ISSUE.
Nov. 17 / 2000, Friday
- The Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada, (COSEWIC), determines the national status of wild Canadian species that are believed to be at risk, so that all levels of Canadian government can act appropriately. It put out a news release stating what species it will be reviewing and the Jefferson Salamander is on it.
Nov. 24 / 2000, Friday
This is a large section that needs to be proof read and so it will take some time to get all the details up. Much more to be added later on - some time.
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