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Newsletter #9

Important and Urgent Community Updates on 175 Cummer Modular Housing Proposal
There have been major developments in this case today! Please take the time to read thoroughly and register for a last minute community meeting that we’ve just become aware that the city is hastily planning for THIS THURSDAY AUGUST 12th at 6:30pm. 
Hello Neighbours,
We hope everyone is enjoying summer and getting back to a little bit of normalcy with the COVID-restrictions lifted. We know that our updates have been limited over the last two months, but lots has been brewing in the background!! Today in particular represented a major milestone in support of the community’s objections to this development on 175 Cummer. 

GOOD NEWS IN THE COMMUNITY’S FAVOUR

FILION WILDLY ATTACKS MPP Stan Cho  and Local Residents - 
Tonight Willowdale Councillor John Filion has sent out a secret private email message to his friends. You can read a  copy below. Filion's note  reveals that the Province of Ontario has REFUSED to allow the City to simply ignore the community and destroy the seniors' parklands at Willowdale Manor/ Cummer Lodge (175 Cummer Avenue). These parklands are protected by a 1998 OMB decision which ruled the land is an amenity for hundreds of  seniors care home residents. 

Thanks to MPP Stan Cho, Ontario has heard your voices and told the City it has failed to properly consult the community on the selection of this site. On this basis, the Minister has DEFERRED a decision for the MZO specific to 175 Cummer. It should be noted that the MZO for 3 other sites were approved, but not for 175 Cummer. This is good news as Stan Cho and the provincial government has indeed heard the community’s voices that a democratic process has not been followed and that there are serious concerns at play for this site, which are not being addressed by the city. In fact, in a community wide poll taken by Bayview Cummer Neighbourhood Association (BCNA), nearly 9 out of 10 respondents opposed the City proposal. 

But Mr. Filion is still determined to defeat you and the 2,000 plus local residents who have protested the taking of these valuable green parklands from the most vulnerable seniors in our community. 

Mr Filion's email tonight  has now ATTACKED YOU, the voices of this Willowdale community. He claims you are a small group of liars and do not represent the majority of the Newtonbrook East neighbourhood !!!

Also on another ethically concerning point, in his note below Mr Filion has vowed to run  Provincial MPP Stan Cho out of office in the next election!! Again his autocratic ways are very concerning. 

REGISTER TO SPEAK UP AT 3RD CITY COMMUNITY MEETING - THIS THURSDAY AUGUST 12 AT 6:30PM
 

Mr. Filion and the City of Toronto have now scrambled to call an emergency "community engagement session".

Don’t be shocked if you didn’t hear anything about this last minute meeting only two days away….the public has not yet been notified, neither through those who registered on the city’s website to be notified re: 175 cummer, nor to Filion’s full mailing list. But we are sharing them here based on obtaining a copy of the email that Filion sent out tonight to those he considers his select friends. 
The meeting will take place virtually Thursday August 12th at 6:30pm and details as well as how to register will  be posted here:   https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/housing-shelter/affordable-housing-development/map-of-affordable-housing-locations/175-cummer/ 

LURA CONSULTING - the firm paid over $300,000 to push this project on the community - staged the first community meeting months ago to create a distorted story that the community actually supports Filion's wild attempt to steal parklands from a vulnerable group of seniors and not follow any rules in doing so. 

PLEASE MAKE SURE MR. FILION AND THE CITY DO NOT SILENCE YOUR VOICES. ATTEND THE MEETING and SHARE YOUR OPINIONS!

READ BELOW - A COPY OF THE EMAIL COUNCILLOR FILION SENT TONIGHT TO A SELECT NUMBER OF HIS ‘FRIENDS’  

From: Councillor Filion [mailto:councillor_filion@toronto.ca
Sent: August 9, 2021 4:49 PM
To: Catherine LeBlanc-Miller
Cc: Catherine LeBlanc-Miller
Subject: Important Meeting About Supportive Housing This Thursday

Hi Folks, 

I am sending you this email to update you on the supportive housing file at 175 Cummer because you have expressed support for the project, which may now be in some jeopardy. 

Background:

Earlier this year, City Council asked the Minister of Municipal Affairs to issue an MZO (Ministerial Zoning Order) to fast track planning approval for four supportive housing projects, one of which is 175 Cummer.  I am not normally a fan of MZOs but supported it in this instance because, otherwise, any objection to the project, regardless of merit, could delay it for a year or two, thereby jeopardizing federal funding. Amid the very loud opposition to the project, I listened carefully for valid concerns which might have altered my views on this. I did not hear any - just a lot of extreme distortion of facts. 

Last week, the Minister issued an MZO for the other three Toronto sites but postponed a decision on 175 Cummer and asked for more community consultation. This would appear to be in response to a letter from Willowdale MPP Stan Cho claiming that there had not been adequate community consultation. 

 

New Consultation Meeting This Week

As a result, the City is holding yet another formal consultation meeting this week. 

Date: Thursday, August 12, 2021

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This is in addition to the two previous ones, deputations at Planning Committee, and several informal meetings I have held. 

These meetings tend to be dominated by a relatively small group and some others who have been stirred up, mostly by deliberate misinformation. Some of your more thoughtful voices were present at the first City consultation meeting but have tended to be quieter since. Unfortunately, this creates the risk that those who yell the loudest create the (false, I believe) impression that the Willowdale community is opposed to this project. 

That's why I'm letting you know about this meeting, in case you wish to take part and, hopefully, to speak.  I am myself unable to attend - not necessarily a bad thing since my tolerance for the group spreading misinformation has been exhausted. 

I'd like to add that, as a politician, it disturbs me greatly that our current MPP has pandered to a small group of voters and that a Conservative federal candidate is using this as a wedge issue. I take no issue with those whose viewpoint is sincerely different from mine but do think that those who choose to be willfully ignorant should have political consequences for that.  As we approach federal and provincial elections, you may be hearing further from me on that point, via my personal email rather than my City one. 

 

Best wishes, 

John

HOW ELSE CAN I HELP?
Please take time to CONTINUE SENDING LETTERS TO THE POLITICIANS.

Use the easy-write letter feature on our website (it takes 30 seconds, click here) or draft your own letter and address to the emails on the website; if you’re writing your own letter please cc:  info@voicesofwillowdale.ca so we can keep track of how many letters have been sent.

Other ways that you can help:
  • Request a  lawn sign
  • Sign the online petition
  • Share the newsletters
  • Make a donation
  • Share media articles including what’s happening at other modular housing sites
  • and most importantly speak to your neighbours and make sure they know what’s happening in their community so they too can do the above steps. 
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