On what would be day 20 of the occupation, folks are slowly settling back into city life. We all had a lovely meal together in a park last night, and folks from away are slowly leaving town.
In so many ways the occupation lives on: in the friendships that we created with one another, the ties between different communities, networks between people in Guelph who all came together to oppose the HCBP (Another thanks to everybody who supported us and dropped off supplies, we never could have done it without you!). So let us take what now lives on, and move forward! Some folks are organizing events for August 29th, which will include a day of workshops and food from 11 – 4 at Goldi Mill park, (with childcare) followed by an evening of music starting at 7pm at Ed Video to raise money for legal fees. Please stay tuned for more information!
Also on the ‘moving forward’ front: there is lots of stuff in town that was donated to the HCBP occupation, or left there by people, that is waiting to be picked up. Please e mail us if you have something to claim! We will hang on to stuff for a week, and then we will have to find new homes for everything. Our e mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again to everybody for your continued support. I hope to see you at our events on the 29th! Also, lets all keep an eye on the site… and feel free to e mail us, we would love to maintain all of the connections that we made! Whether you are just saying hi, suggesting ideas on how to move forward, or are interested in helping organize events, we would love to hear from you. Our email again is: email@example.com
In terms of support: we are still asking people to contact the Minister of Natural Resources, as the decision now rests with her. Her contact is:
Minister of Natural Resources
6630 Whitney Block, 6th Floor
99 Wellesley Street West.
Toronto, ON M7A 1W3
Someone wrote a great letter that could serve as a basis to work from for your own. Check it out…
Continue reading for the sample letter…
Dear Donna Cansfield,
I am writing with respect to the current events of the proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP). It has come to my attention that the court has granted both the injunction of the city and of the occupants. In addition, the court leaves it up to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and specifically you, to decide whether a stop work order should be given under the endangered species act. Given the evidence, I encourage you to maintain the MNR’s position that a stop order should be enforced!
It is my understanding that in order for the construction of the HCBP to start, the presence or absence of the Jefferson Salamander was supposed to be confirmed. In late May, a hybrid Jefferson Salamander was found on HCBP lands. From this, it was concluded that a pure Jefferson Salamander sperm donor was present in the area. From what I have read, another Jefferson Salamander has not yet been found. However, I agree with the MNR when they wrote the following to the city:
Due to the fact that the location of Jefferson Salamander breeding pond(s) on the subject lands is currently unknown, the precautionary principle should be applied to avoid impacts to the species and/or habitat. In review of the proposed orientation of road A, and the proximity to the salamander occurrence and contiguous natural features of the site, the Ministry recommends that development of road A should not proceed until the site has been re-examined for potential Jefferson Salamander habitat and the implications of the ESA have been considered.
I think those remarks from the ministry sum up very nicely the importance of the precautionary principle in protecting the Jefferson Salamander – once the land is destroyed, we cannot get it back.
To me the evidence is quite clear; the land for the proposed HCBP is very valuable and should be protected. I urge you stand by what the Ministry of Natural Resources has been saying this entire time – the land at the proposed HCBP area should not be developed.
Thank you for your time, and may the sun’s rays brighten up your day.