Friends of the Cawthra Bush
Greater Mississauga Area
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Page - 2 - The Mississauga News Sunday, January 24,1999
The City of Mississauga has been told to strengthen its policies protecting the Cawthra Woods in a new plan for the Lakeview district.
In a report to council Peel Planning Commissioner Peter Allen recommended that & Cawthra Woods be excluded, for the moment, from the approval of Official Plan Amendment number 11, which provides new policies for the Lakeview planning area. Peel has been working with the City's community services department, "to provide greater clarity with respect to the intended uses and redevelopment potential of the Cawthra-Elliott Estate and to provide more protection for the Cawthra Woods."
There is concern by the City, the Region and the Ministry of Natural Resources that the wording, as proposed in the City document, implied that the forest could be affected by redevelopment. Peel is concerned about phrases such as "Most of the forest will be retained in a natural condition" and, "shared parking arrangements should be considered in order to minimize removal of forest cover." That would seem to indicate that more of the woodlot could be removed.
Don Barber, of Friends of Cawthra Bush, says the: designation of the woodlot should be deferred until a wetlands evaluation and a hydrological study has been completed. The City has prepared a woodlot. management plan for the Cawthra Woods, located at the Southeast comer of the Queen Elizabeth way and Cawthra Rd., but it has not been adopted by City council.
Barber said the plan is "based on the old logging and tree farming basis" the City had used in the past. It was the removal of several hundred trees from the woodlot that prompted the formation of the Friends of Cawthra Bush to, monitor the environmentally significant area.
The Lakeview resident said the public "has already rejected" the City's forest management plan.
The woodlot, which is home some 292 plants, 76 animals and 43 birds including the provincially rare Jefferson, salamander, should be preserved as a wildlife sanctuary, suggested Barber. "It's primary use should be educational, not recreational."
His group is concerned that some of the City's plans for the property may be too intensive and could negatively impact the existing water table and natural environment. A trunk sewer installed on the land has already had a negatively effect, he said.
William who heads the newly formed Cawthra Ratepayers' and Residents' Association, told council In December that Cawthra Woods is an old-growth ecosystem in the midst of a major city. "That makes it even more valuable."
The City's plan which allows additional buildings, paved pathways and more parking could have a detrimental effect on the vulnerable site, he suggested.
Mellor pointed out that Cawthra Woods is one of only about 10 Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest designated in the Greater Toronto Area.
Any firm plans should await the Ministry of Natural resources' wetland evaluation expected to take place next .year, the Atwater Ave. resident said. "We need to preserve the rare and valuable asset of the woods," Mellor said.
On a motion by Ward I Councillor Carmen Corbasson, who represents the area, Peel has agreed to defer the section of the Lakeview plan dealing with Cawthra Woods.
Photo titled - BARBER - of myself, the one supplied to the Mississauga News when I ran in the 1994 election.
[COMMENTS BY DON B. - This unaccredited article is very misleading (maybe why no one signed their name to it),. First of all it claims a "project will keep Cawthra woodlot safe", there is no project and nothing to date will keep the Cawthra Bush safe. But it does create a false impression in the mind of the readers who just glance over it article. This is just one small victory, just one of many steps in the long battle with the City for justice, for the Cawthra Bush and local residents.
This article goes on to say "There is concern by the City, the Region and the Ministry of Natural Resources that the wording", a person could read this and think the City of Mississauga is concerned about its own policies!? Not true, the City is responsible for the wording which is rejected by both Peel and the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is note worthy that the Credit valley Conservation has not commented on Cawthra, it is listed as one of their Environmentally Significant Areas! Back in August/98 I stood before the Councillors of Mississauga and expressed the same concerns as I did in Peel Council, Ward 1 Councillor Carmen Corbasson, as did the others, remained silent. The minutes of that meeting were written so my concerns were deleted from the official record. A true measure of how little our Councillors care. At the end of the article it says " Carmen Corbasson, who represents the area, Peel has agreed to defer the section of the Lakeview plan dealing with Cawthra Woods." Miss reported, the decision had already been made by the planning commissioner and Peel Council was just receiving the report. Some nice face saving reporting for the Ward 1 Councillor but if she really cared then she would had spoke up, when I stood in City of Mississauga Council chambers.
In the same edition of the Mississauga News, there was a bigger article about the City buying the Creditview Bog (an 11 year fight). This is mostly old news rewritten (and credited to a reporter). So in one paper, an article that is negative about the City and then a bigger one saying how great the City is. But it is clear to the knowledgeable readers, if you want the City to save a piece of the environment from developers, be ready to fight for years and years!
This is a clear example that the City of Mississauga wants to continue damaging the Cawthra Bush any way it can and that it is the tireless efforts of residents that save Cawthra from the City's plans. My efforts, working with other more environmentally responsible levels of government, to inform them of the facts has bore fruit. The Ministry of Natural Resources wrote two letters of support and the case for a wetlands evaluation moves Cawthra well up the list. ]
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