Archive for the ‘Update’ Category

an e mail that we just received:
Guelph Mayors house scheduled for development by protesters!
On Tuesday June 8th 2010, Friends Of Hanlon Creek went to Mayor Karen Farbridge’s house and delivered the following note:


We have come here today to inform you that this land is scheduled for immediate development. Our Scientific survey shows that there are no endangered Karen Farbridges within this habitat.Our survey was conducted during prime human migratory hours 9am-3pm. As such, we will continue as scheduled immediately

D-rexler construction company.



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An Open Letter:

Why the Jefferson Salamander isn’t the end all to the issue of the proposed HCBP:

We recently found out that the city’s monitoring of the Jefferson did not find any confirmation that the Jefferson Salamander lives at the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex. (Other than the hybrid found about a year ago). But we also know that, had the Jefferson been found, the City was attempting to apply for an exemption to the Endangered Species Act anyway, to be allowed to kill some in order to continue development. So it seems that we have come to the end of the road in terms of how the Jefferson Salamander can stop this development. But, there is one thing I want to make clear: This does not, in anyway, mean that this is a ‘green’ and ecologically sound development. All of the major environmental issues remain the same: causing destruction to the Paris-Galt Moraine, harming tributary A of the Hanlon Creek, (here-forth known as ‘Freedom Tributary’), killing thousands of animals, destroying their habitat, completely disregarding international treaties with Six Nations,  and causing great harm to this beautiful old diverse forest, one of the last of its kind in Southern Ontario.


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The City  recently put up a tender for a new development contract. You can visit this tender at: http://www.guelph.ca/business.cfm and click on “bids and tendors”

This contract includes creating storm water management ponds, as well as creating roads and a culvert, on the land bordering Downey road, including where the occupation was last summer.

Bidding for the contact ended on April 30th, and we now have Unofficial Bid Results!

Capital Paving Inc.



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What we know: an update

Hey Folks. So here is a quick update regarding what we know, and what is happening right now on the Hanlon Creek Lands.

City applies to loopholes in MNR policy to be able to do development this winter, get granted two of their requests:

from the City’s website:

“the City has received a letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources, indicating the City can proceed with two additional construction projects at the business park site in 2010. Construction in the north western part of the business park along Downey Road will begin in January 2010 and includes the extension of existing water and sanitary services, on-site grading, and the expansion of the existing stormwater management pond. This work will cost approximately $2.5 million and will allow the City to market two serviced employment blocks in the business park.

The second project includes construction of a 300 metre section of road north of Laird Road and related site work to the blocks of land east of this road. These lands are owned by Belmont Equity Partners Inc. and this project is expected to begin later in 2010.”

from http://www.guelph.ca/business.cfm?subCatID=2159&smocid=2732

Silt fencing went up in the fall along the lands owned by Belmont Equity. (See the end of the update for some information about Belmont Equity, which is owned by BCC group of companies)

we have noticed no change along Downey Rd, aside from tire marks in the snow…

Contract granted to XTerra for watermain construction:

In October (a mere month after the City announced that it was putting off construction of the HCBP until spring 2010) the City announced a contract for Hanlon Expressway Watermain and Utility Duct Crossing, to create infrastructure pointing directly at lands proposed for the HCBP. To see information about this contract please visit:


This construction/destruction is currently going on as I write this, and as you read this.
See “Key Players” for information about XTerra.

City pushes the lawsuit forward:

Not only has the city decided to plow ahead on a lawsuit against protestors, but they have ‘upped’ it to 5 million dollars. In the words of Scott Tracy:

“Remember that scene in one of the Austin Powers movies when the mad genius Dr. Evil asks for a ransom of $100 billion?

The president laughs at the ridiculous request, suggesting it would be as likely as “saying I want a kajillion, bajillion dollars.”

I thought of that scene Wednesday afternoon while considering a media release from the city.

It seems the city and Belmont Equity have renewed their $5-million statement of claim against a group of about 30 protesters who occupied the Hanlon Creek Business Park site for 17 days last summer

[….] Seriously, who at City Hall thought this was a good idea?

I’m sure this announcement has come forth right now in an attempt to head off protesting at the site this summer. But does anyone honestly believe the threat of a financial penalty will dissuade protesters from picking up where they left off a year ago, when even the threat of being arrested was met with a community get-together on the occupied lands?

[….]From my limited time at the site last summer, and similarly limited knowledge of some of the folks involved, I think it’s a fair assumption it would be quite difficult to collect $500 from them, let alone $5 million.

Maybe the city could revise its statement of claim and seek an upset limit of a kajillion, bajillion dollars instead. It’s just as likely that amount could find its way into city coffers.”

from http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/602518

City’s own water supply program manager speaks out against the HCBP:

On February 4, 2010, hydrogeologist and City of Guelph water supply program manager, Dave Belanger, admitted to the Lake Erie Source Protection Committee: “The Hanlon Creek Business Park may represent future potential significant threats [to water quality].”

from: http://royalcityrag.ca/2010/02/20/natural-heritage-strategy-why-what-happens-at-hanlon-creek-still-matters/

HCBP not in accordance with the Natural Heritage Strategy:

In the words of Bob Gordon:

“The Draft Natural Heritage Strategy recently workshopped to the public also raises concerns about developments in and around the Provincially Significant Wetlands in the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex.

Simply put, the draft Natural Heritage Strategy offer greater protection to Provincially Significant Wetlands than does the draft plan for the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex.

The city’s legalistic argument is that the draft plan of subdivision for the land in and around the Provincially Significant Wetlands in the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex has already been approved and that the proposed Natural Heritage Strategy is not applicable to it.

In a purely legal sense that claim is justified. It also entirely undermines the claim that the Hanlon Creek Business Plan is innovative or a model for other communities.

Implicitly, it is an argument that excuses the inadequacies of the protection for the land in and around the Provincially Significant Wetlands in the Hanlon Creek Wetland Complex. It is an argument predicated on the claim that the Hanlon Creek Business Park draft plan of subdivision is an old plan and cannot possibly be held to current standards.”

From: http://royalcityrag.ca/2010/02/20/natural-heritage-strategy-why-what-happens-at-hanlon-creek-still-matters

HCBP Buffers not in accordance with GRCA:

While the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) states that Stormwater management ponds and trenches should never be included in Buffers, the City is doing just that, with the proposed buffers not including much more. See: http://www.grandriver.ca/PolicyPlanningRegulations/EIS_Guidelines_August05.pdf for the GRCA guidlines.

Key Player’s information:

City of Guelph info:

Mayor Karen Farbridge

Peter Cartwright
General Manager of Economic Development and Tourism
519-837-5600 x2820


christine.billings@guelph.ca, karl.wettstein@guelph.ca,

bob.bell@guelph.ca, kathleen.farrelly@guelph.ca,

vicki.beard@guelph.ca, maggie.laidlaw@guelph.ca,

june.hofland@guelph.ca, ian.findlay@guelph.ca,

gloria.kovach@guelph.ca, lise.burcher@guelph.ca,

leanne.piper@guelph.ca, mike.salisbury@guelph.ca

934 Guelph Street
Kitchener, ON N2H 5Z6
(519) 569-8770

Cooper Construction LTD: www.coopercon.com

2381 Bristol Circle
Oakville, ON L6H 5S9
(905) 829-0444

BCC Group of Companies: http://www.bccgroup.ca/site.htm
(Belmont Equity is owned by BCC)

we found two addresses for them, not sure yet which one is correct:

1301 Fewster Drive.
Mississauga, Ontario
L4W 1A2

Phone: 905 602 4200
Fax: 905 602 4201
Email: info@bccgroup.ca

second address:

7895 Tranmere Dr #9
Mississauga ON, L5S 1V9

Phone #: 905-677-1253
Fax #: 905-677-6252

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Update on the City

* Notice of new HCBP construction *

When the City said they’d cancel work until Spring, they were lying…  Infrastructure work is set to begin any day, work that is just as integral to the HCBP project as this summer’s thwarted culvert attempt.  The newest contract is awarded to XTerra Construction of Kitchener-Waterloo.  It is to connect the HCBP site to the City’s water, electrical, and telecommunications infrastructure, by tunneling pipes below the Hanlon expressway.  The contract is for $1.7 million, and includes $621,294 in funding from the federal government.

See the City’s news release for more info, 4th paragraph down: www.guelph.ca/newsroom_display.cfm?itemID=78149

* City applies for loophole in Endangered Species Act*
On October 26, Guelph city council unanimously voted to apply for an exemption to responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act, regarding the threatened Jefferson Salamander on the site.  There are many exemptions written into these acts that make them rather toothless.  In the spirit of environmental protection, the city asked to be able to do pretty much whatever they want on the HCBP site, regardless of next Spring’s salamander search.  The MNR approved work on 2 of 4 of the sites the City was pushing for.  It’s pretty dirty.  Well-established environmental groups have come out against these exemptions as indicative of the failure of the political system to protect the land.

You can read about it here: http://ward2guelph.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/hcbp-mnrs-go-ahead-for-interim-work/

and from the council’s minutes, on page 463: http://www.guelph.ca/uploads/Council_and_Committees/Council/2006/council_agenda_102609.pdf


This allows the City to do more infrastructure work sooner than we thought.  In the same press release cited above, they say:

“Construction in the north western part of the business park along Downey Road will begin in January 2010 and includes the extension of existing water and sanitary services, on-site grading, and the expansion of the existing stormwater management pond. This work will cost approximately $2.5 million and will allow the City to market two serviced employment blocks in the business park.

“The second project includes construction of a 300 metre section of road north of Laird Road and related site work to the blocks of land east of this road. These lands are owned by Belmont Equity Partners Inc. and this project is expected to begin later in 2010.

“The MNR approved these projects to proceed, prior to the salamander monitoring work that will begin on the site in March, as the potential for the Jefferson Salamander to be present in these areas is not likely.”

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Hey Folks,

Here are some projects that people are working on:

We are making a zine!

If you are interested in helping out, please e mail hcbpoccupation@gmail.com

We are currently writing articles and collecting graphics – photos, artwork, etc.
Also, we will be interspersing personal stories and reflections about the occupation and the Old Growth Forest throughout the zine, in the form of prose, or poetry. So please feel welcome to contribute anything there!

The Creative Resistance Collaborative:
Creative resistance to the Hanlon Creek Business Park

So word has it some people are really into doing some fun actions to
help spread awareness about important issues! You might call it street
theatre, creative resistance, action oriented art, it has so many
forms.  All ages and abilities welcome. Sing, Dance, Clap,
Act, Chant, Play, Move, Inspire, Motivate, Create!

If you email hcbpoccupation@gmail.com we can put you in touch with the coordinator for this.


You may have already seen us out and about, we are very interested in tabling and talking about the old growth forest and wetlands at events. If you have an event that you would like to see us at, please email us and we will try our best to make it. (hcbpoccupation@gmail.com)  As well, if you are interested in helping out with this, please get in touch with us. You may also see us at the farmers market, as we try and have a somewhat regular presense there. Also, feel free to print off our new flyer, and you can pass it out as you like! You can access it by clicking  here or by going to the “pamphlets/ zines” section.

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People keep asking us, how can I help?

There is a lot going on.  Here is a list of some things we are working on, but we know there is potential for so much more to be happening.  Please get in touch with us via phone or email, and let us know if you’d like to be involved in any way.  Please don’t let our list of projects turn you off if you don’t see something that especially inspires you, we are open to more than what is listed.

* Outreach and communication strategies, like creating our own media, being present at the farmers market and events around town, going door to door, and so on.

* Working on an informative booklet/zine about the issues around the HCBP that led to the occupation, and the many ensuing issues that resulted.

* Organizing a Great Sakes area speaking and networking tour, intended to introduce people in towns and cities small and large to what’s been going on in Guelph, to talk with others about why actions like this are necessary, and how we can work together regionally to collectively stop sprawl.

* Strategizing around the larger issues of the HCBP, like Places to Grow and other ‘growth strategies,’ the economics of the business park, the Guelph’s fall-2010 municipal election, and more.

* Networking and allying with as many people and organizations as possible,  in Guelph and beyond.  Since there are so many issues that converge in the HCBP – urban sprawl, Old Growth forest, wetlands, drinking water, the aggregate industry, threatened species, climate change, the Hanlon  Expressway ‘upgrades,’ biotechnology, Native land claims, and more – there is much fertile ground for alliances, and building a stronger movement around this.

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