The Motion to Consolidate was Denied December 11, 2007January 1, 2008
The Motion for an Order to consolidate the appeals by the Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay (CCMB) has been denied through a Decision of the Board on December 11, 2007.
The basis for the request is that CCMB believes that there are common issues and facts in the appeals that apply to all of the lands of the Superior Aggregates Company (SAC). A consolidated hearing would ensure consistency and avoid conflicting conclusions. It would reduce the financial costs of multiple hearings and a more efficient use of time. There was a concern that if Official Plan Amendment 4 (OPA4) was considered by the Board before Official Plan Amendment 6 (OPA6), then CCMB may be precluded from bringing forward broader policy considerations for the rest of the SAC lands. CCMB was also concerned that OPA4 meant SAC (and the Municipality) were taking an incremental approach to development.
The decision to deny the request was based on 2 factors. OPA4 and OPA6, although they involve common land, do not involve common facts or issues. It was also decided that both the Municipality and SAC would be significantly prejudiced by a consolidation order. These 2 factors outweigh the request to reduce the financial burden on a party.
CCMB disagrees with the decision.
There were several significant factual errors in the decision and summary:
1. In the decision, the subject lands of the first phase (OPA4) were identified as an industrial area. In fact less than one third of the OPA4 lands has a record of industrial activity and this record does not include any mining or quarrying.
Our position, which was clearly argued by our lawyer and documented in our planner's affidavit, is that this record of industrial activity on 3% of the entire SAC lands (OPA6) does not undermine commonality between the OPA4 lands and the 0PA6 lands.
2. SAC and the Township claimed that Michipicoten First Nations supported the project. This was written in the Board's summary. We have been informed in writing that MFN has no official position in regards to the SAC proposal.
CCMB will be discussing next options with its team of experts.