Issues and Decisions
The McCauley League had our AGM in October to great fanfare and poor weather. Returning members are: Rob Stack (President), Wendy Aasen (Past President/Member at Large (ML), Nicholas Hermansen (Vice President), Jody Johnson (Memberships), Fr. Jim Holland (Recreation), Les Fraser (Zoning ML), Wolf Giesler (ML), and Eric Aasen (ML). Our fabulous new board members are Meredith Porter taking on the role of Secretary, Georgina Fiddler becoming Treasurer, and Michael Van Boom as Member at Large. Mike is very energized about getting our Block Organization strategy implemented. With a few more hands on deck and new members like Mike, Georgina, and Meredith who are very keen about organizing events, we are all excited to have the people power and skills to implement the communication and neighbourhood organization strategies we’ve aspired to for so long .
Our ongoing legal appeals involving Grand Manor and Ambrose Place are moving forward. In October our Judicial Review for Ambrose Place on 106 Avenue (between 96 and 97 Street) went to court. Unfortunately, the judge decided that our application was premature and that we had to exhaust the Court of Queens Appeal process first. This is unfortunate in that it extends the time frame to a final decision but is positive in that a decision at the appeal level will be a powerful legal precedent.
In November, our Leave for Appeal application on Ambrose Place was heard. The judge heard both sides’ arguments and decided that our case has legitimate legal merit, is of sufficient importance to warrant legal action, and has a reasonable chance of success. We were granted Leave for all issues we raised without exception. Of interest is that the ongoing construction at the Ambrose Place site has been allowed by a novel argument put forth by the City. We do not have a court date yet.
Going forward, a huge issue that we need to collectively act on is the re-envisioning of the 97 Street entrance to the neighbourhood from downtown.
Our appeal of the SDAB decision regarding Excel Society’s Grand Manor expansion on 107A Avenue and 97 Street will be going to the court in February. As expected, the lands north of the LRT land on 96 Street were rezoned to Urban Services for the stated intent of Postal Distribution Center (see the October Issue). We presented against this at council and questions from Councillor Batty to administration showed that no consideration of alternate locations was made and that no higher purpose examinations of this land, or of the large amount of City owned land surrounding it, was made prior to moving forward with this rezoning/real estate transaction. This is a significant loss of the major redevelopment opportunity that the city yards surrounding the LRT line present. Only Councillor Batty voted against this rezoning.
Going forward, a huge issue that we need to collectively act on is the re-envisioning of the 97 Street entrance to the neighbourhood from downtown. With the RAM now funded, the Remand Centre closing, and the Arena project becoming real there is a powerful but time limited opportunity to energize and activate this currently unpleasant gateway.
Happy Holidays, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Pancha Ganapati, Koleda, Yalda, Yuletide, Dies Natalis Solis Invictics, or whatever else you celebrate to all McCauleyites.