The devastation is shocking and the anger and sadness of those that live here great. A swath of trees either side of the Sydenham St. Vincent townline leading to the Bayshore Escarpment Provincial Park, part of the Tom Thompson Trail, gone. This is a section of road that had a cathedral canopy until it was recklessly cut down by municipal crew. Neighbours came, tried to stop them, argued about the beauty, about the Bruce Trail entrance there, the effects on springs and water tables, but to no avail. They brought it up at the Monday Council meeting and arranged for a meeting with staff the next day, but even then the cutting continued, not even pausing for the meetings which is what should have happened, a pause during consultation. When it was pointed out that the Conservation Authority should have a say they were told it didn’t matter — as it was the road allowance it was “our land” and “we can do what we like”. Well “our” land means ours, all of ours, and should be treated that way. People should be listened to. If there is a need to remove some brush and a tree or two, which the locals remained unconvinced about, then you find a way to do it without causing huge damage and with proper consultation. You don’t spend two days essentially fighting with the people you are supposed to be serving and wrecking their neighbourhood.
I promise that the Council I lead will make sure that the concerns of citizens are respected. A Council made up of new members will put an end to what the current leadership has fostered which is an atmosphere of us against them, of citizens versus Council and Staff.
Time that we changed all this.