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Van Bynen v Prentice

Chris Simon works for the Era newspaper. He is a good reporter. I like him and I trust what he writes.

He penned a story about Monday’s Committee of the Whole concerning the Clock Tower – a hugely controversial planning application that would blow, clean out of the water, any notion that the Town is trying to protect and preserve its priceless heritage conservation district. Read the Era report and then read the transcript below.

What did I take from the meeting in which I suddenly appeared to be a central figure?

  • Councillor Dave Kerwin idolizes the developer, Bob Forrest. For Kerwin, Forrest walks on water. The way he talks, Forrest could be a blood brother.
  • Regional Councillor John Taylor (the Mayor and others) set up a straw man – talking at length about how important it is to meet residents, developers and those who bring business to the Town. I have never, ever suggested that councillors should not meet whoever they want to meet with. It is just that, when they do, the rest of us should know about it. That’s why there is such a thing as a lobbyist register (though not one in Newmarket yet). I explained all this at length to Regional Councillor Taylor earlier. He is fully aware of my position.
  • Councillors Jane Twinney and Broome-Plumley met the developer. This is good to know because these two councillors chose not reply to my standard letter to all members of the council.
  • Joe Sponga is all over the place. We shall learn more.
  • The Mayor, Tony Van Bynen, protests too much. He says he wants absolute transparency. If so, he should co-operate with people like me, not shout them down. I am his ally on transparency and openness.

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Transcript of the exchanges between Prentice and Mayor Van Bynen and between Prentice and other councillors at the Committee of the Whole on 18 April 2016.

After reading my script into the record the following exchanges occurred:

Mayor Van Bynen: Thank you. First of all. Seriously? Seriously? I have hundreds of phone calls in the course of a week and it is not possible to track them all. Secondly, there may have been one or two conversations but they’ve been general in nature. They were about the project overview, the planning process and community issues. But, make no mistake, I have never made commitments regarding any projects to anyone including Mr Forrest, Mr Bobyk and the Clock Tower.

A little further on this. On April 14, last Thursday, you were at a community meeting in Trinity United Church regarding the Clock Tower project. When I arrived you were speaking and you turned round to me as you did today and pointed to me saying something to the effect that Bob Forrest would not pay three million pounds for a property…

Prentice: I meant dollars

Mayor Van Bynen: Sorry. 3 million pounds - this is what you said - without having an agreement or an understanding or a nudge, nudge or wink, wink from the Mayor. And my question to you is by making that statement what are you inferring? Are you suggesting there is improper conduct by the Mayor or members of Council?

Prentice: I am saying that we need to know…

Mayor Van Bynen: The answer is very simple. Yes or no! It is very simple. It is not a complex question. Yes or no! Are you inferring there is improper conduct by either the Mayor or members of the Council?

Prentice: It may well be. It may well be…

Mayor Van Bynen: Is that a yes or a no?

Prentice: If you would stop badgering me…

Mayor Van Bynen: No. All I want is a yes or a no.

Prentice: You are going to get an answer that is qualified. I am not going to give the answer that you are demanding.

Mayor Van Bynen: Do you have any evidence…

Prentice: I am saying…

Mayor Van Bynen: …of inappropriate behaviour? So why have you not gone to the integrity commissioner?

Prentice: Mr Mayor, this must not become a sparring match between the two of us. Please do not interrupt me when…

Mayor Van Bynen: I am so sorry but you pointed to me Sir. You pointed to me. You attributed all your comments to me. You, Sir, started this.

Prentice: I discovered something a few moments ago I didn’t know at the start of the meeting. That you have had phone conversations with the developer, Bob Forrest, who is sitting behind me. You did not put that in your response to the letter which I circulated in the same terms to all members of the Council.

(Interruption)

Prentice: Please do not interrupt me. Mr Mayor you asked me the question. So the position is this, that I have invited all councillors to tell me if they have had one-to-one private meetings with the developer, Bob Forrest, sitting behind me. I copied my letter to Bob Shelton and to the Town Clerk. We can make a judgment after we have that information.

If no councillor, if not a single councillor had got back to me and said “We didn’t have any meetings with Bob Forrest on a one-to-one basis” then that would be the answer. But I have in this folder here – I am not going to refer to it today – but there have been individual private meetings between councillors and Bob Forrest and/or Chris Bobyk.

So that is why, in addition to what you said in the newspaper, the Era newspaper, on Tuesday when you sang the praises of this particular development, that is why I am inviting you to consider your position. I think it would be very difficult indeed for you to chair a public meeting on the Clock Tower application…

Mayor Van Bynen: Thank you. Thank you.

Prentice: … and very difficult indeed to vote on the issue as well.

Mayor Van Bynen: I have given full consideration to that and I don’t think that our community is so naïve as to think that, by making general statements about a concept and a principle, is evidence of having a predetermined position and if you wish to challenge that, Sir, there’s an integrity commissioner and there is a process that I would encourage you to pursue.

And, incidentally, I did take the opportunity to speak to the integrity commissioner and the integrity commissioner here in an earlier ruling says:

“Councillors meeting socially with developers is a common complaint I receive in many of my client municipalities. My answer is always that it is the responsibility of all members of Council to meet with developers, to make them understand and to make informed decisions.”

That is a ruling by the integrity commissioner.

Prentice: Can I…

Mayor Van Bynen: So anyone who wants to infer there is improper behavior should either take some evidence to the Integrity Commissioner but stop speculating and stop postulating about what may or may not be happening.

Prentice:  Can I comment on that?  I have never, ever, at any stage suggested that elected officials should not meet developers.  I have never said that and you cannot (interruption)

Mayor Van Bynen:  So long as we’ve got the record straight.

Prentice:   And you cannot point to any evidence that I have done so.  What I have said and…

Mayor Van Bynen:  Nor can you point to any evidence.

Prentice:   … and this is getting to the nub of it.  I would like to see all elected members put into the public domain any conversations, any emails, any one-to-one private meetings when town staff were not present pertaining to the Clock Tower application.  And I do not think that is an unreasonable request.  And I am quite sure that there are a lot of people sitting behind me who would agree with that.

Mayor Van Bynen:  That’s fine.  Thank you.  Any further questions or clarification. Council Twinney.

Councillor Jane Twinney:  Mr. Prentice, I wanted to … the email to everyone, not respond to you because I knew you were coming here today to ask and I thought I would just answer you, maybe here, in the public and answer your questions here in the Council Chambers. 

So, yes, I did.  I met, myself, personally (and) did meet with Mr. Bobyk and I have never met with Mr. Forrest but I have met Mr. Bobyk twice - one time actually I had to cancel.  But on two occasions, one was probably in the last 6 weeks or so. I don’t have the exact date and one was between 18 months and 2 years, right near the beginning.  And on both those occasions I did meet with him at the Tim Horton’s just the two of us.  And it was to get information about the projects and I certainly got some drawings and things of that nature that I actually took to my Ward meeting and showed my residents at my Ward meeting. 

I did just attend the meeting on Thursday night which I found very informative as well.  So my intentions at any meetings is to gather information so that I can have, I guess, a more knowledgeable decision because I am not an expert in architecture and heritage.  That was the reason behind why I found the meeting on Thursday night very interesting and that was the reason behind my intentions and I will continue to do so as in the past.    There are other developers as well. 

Prentice:   Can I respond to that, Mr. Mayor? 

Mayor Van Bynen:  Yes

Prentice:   Councillor Twinney, I don’t have any problems with that.  As I said to the Mayor a few moments ago, I don’t have any problems with Councillors meeting developers.  But I think those meetings should be put in the public domain and that is my position. 

Mayor Van Bynen:  Thank you.

Councillor Sponga:  Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Oops, sorry:  Councilor Twinney:

Councillor Jane Twinney:  I have no issue with that at all.  It’s not an unfair request.  I mean that is not an issue. I just wanted to answer your question.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Thank you.  Councillor Sponga.

Councillor Sponga:  Thank you, Mr. Mayor.  I told you that I would reply back, that I needed some time to research my records.  Now, being the Ward Councillor and being that this is an application that’s been in front of myself. Not an application, sorry. That the discussion around a proposed development since, I can tell you, my first point of contact was, I believe, January 11, 2011.  And I just briefly want to summarize how my point of contact and the discussions that I have had, honestly with you.

Prentice:   We are finding it difficult to hear.  Can you kindly speak up?

Councillor Sponga:  Sure.  I’ll just check the mic… (inaudible)   So I would like to outline and summarize quickly what the nature of my meetings have been with the developer, one-on-one, private without staff.  And not just one-on-one but without staff to discuss the development, prior and post-application process.  And I would like you to tell me if you feel that there is any improprieties in the role that I am going to describe and summarize my actions to you.

In 2011 Mr. Forrest approached me (and told me) that he purchased the Clock Tower and that he was proceeding with the development of Renessa, I believe on Gorham Street.   And that he had given me some rough estimates of dates.  I think it was April 2013, I might be wrong, in terms of relocation of the residents from the Clock Tower into the Renessa.  He intended eventually to repurpose the Clock Tower building and we had some discussions around whether there would be any opportunities for them to access additional parking because parking requirements really limit the uses of that building whether it be a boutique hotel, whether it be anything like the use that it had.  So we discussed potentially redevelopment. What would entail for it to be redeveloped.  As you know, I have been, since the mid 1990s a big advocate of conservation, heritage conservation.  I live in a home that is designated voluntarily by By-Law.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Can I ask you to wrap it up?

Councillor Sponga: I will. I’ll get to it Mr Mayor. I think that it is very important that we get the right frame of discussion going forward from this point.  And I also know very common having been involved since the same date, mid-1996, in the revitalisation and the commercial sustainability of the retail land and commercial operations of the Main Street. 

So I understand that there has to be a balance and also understood that this was not just something that was important in terms of heritage preservation and conservation but also it presented a great opportunity to increase the number of customers and the number of people that would visit the downtown.  Having done that, actually I expressed an opinion immediately, I believe, not to Mr. Forrest but I believe to Mr. Bobyk, subsequent to that discussion, and at a casual meeting actually down at the Riverwalk Commons, and I said to him “You know what?  You have to be cognizant for me is the sightlines and the vistas of Main Street which is so wonderful.” 

And I said, whatever goes there, whatever happens to be developed, it cannot supersede the vistas, it cannot be any taller than the Church.  I am not going to get into semantics of floors, of how many number of floors.  The first floor could be thirty feet for all I know.  So but that’s the vista I want to maintain and the vistas from Main Street have to be maintained.  There has to be a considerable set-back.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Councillor, I have you at about five minutes.

Councillor Sponga:  I’m going quickly.  If you want to have a vote to give me another two, but..

Mayor Van Bynen:  If you can wrap it up in two please.

Councillor Sponga:  Subsequent to that, I have asked and the application wasn’t even prepared at that point.   They were working towards some very rough concepts.  I asked the developer whether it would be, he would be amicable in appointing Mr. Bobyk who is a staff person to meet with the Chair of Heritage Newmarket and the Chair of the BIA at that point to start the discussion around developing a concept for the process, for the development that going to be eventually represented in the form of a formal application to the Town. 

Now we are both cognizant and respectful of our conservation and preservation efforts but also open to the needs of increasing, to a certain extent, densities in our urban centres including the downtown area.  That exercise took… was spanned over close to a year.  Athol Hart probably will tell you better than me how many meetings we have had.  Subsequent to that, and as I say, I noted to you in correspondence that…

Mayor Van Bynen:  I will ask…

Councillor Sponga:  I am wrapping up right now. The application unfortunately did not reflect the intent and the efforts that were put into discussions with developer and myself, of Heritage Newmarket and the BIA.  The application came as a nine storey proposal on the Park Avenue side.

Mayor Van Bynen:  I’ll call for a pause here.  I’ll ask members of Council to permit Councillor Sponga…

Councillor Sponga:  I’ll wrap it up

Mayor Van Bynen:  …to give (the) Councillor an additional two minutes. Can I have a motion to that effect, please? Councillor Kerwin.  Councillor Vegh.  All those in favour.  Thank you.

Councillor Sponga:  Thank you.  Subsequent to that I have received, I was at a presentation with Mr. Bobyk and asked at a public meeting, at the Annual General Meeting of the Business Improvement Association of South Main Street, that he had been in discussions with Town staff, with Councillors and the application was moving along and so forth.  Unbeknownst to myself at all, not unbeknownst that he was making the presentation, but I was not aware of any formal discussion or official business having taken place.  Subsequently, the morning after I phoned Mr. Forrest and I sought some clarification from them.  Mr. Bobyk informed me that the application was going to be submitted very soon and asked to meet with me.  I said that at that point I would not -  speaking of the present application. I would not meet one-on-one personally because I really wanted to move forward with the process and see the reports from the Planning Department. We are paying these experts a lot of money and I very much value their opinions.  Is there anything wrong with that? (Laughter from the audience)

Prentice:   That’s the first laugh of the afternoon.  Can I respond very, very briefly?

Mayor Van Bynen:  Indeed

Prentice:   I have said all along and the Mayor cannot point to anything that says any different, that Councillors/elected officials can meet developers.  That the rest of us should know about it.  You also said in relation to the Main Street there has to be a balance.  You were part of the steering group which brought forward the 2011 Heritage Conservation District Policy which was then enacted in 2013.  You know as well as I do that that Policy and the By-Law specifies a cap of three storeys.  As I said in my earlier remarks to the Mayor, if you think three storeys is too… is not going to work, then repeal the By-law and bring in another By-law.  That’s what to do.

Councillor Sponga:  Sorry. And I would like to clarify something though…it’s the heritage by-law restriction and you can appreciate the fact that at least since the mid-90s I have been very involved in moving forward the heritage conservation whether it be, whether it was an elected official or not.  The point, the technical point that we have to, must understand, is that right now the heritage conservation district is approved by by-law in isolation.  Or, you could turn it around and put it the other way, that the actual lands that the Clock Tower lands are exempt from the by-law under the OMB decision and the OMB minutes.  So the heritage conservation by-law and I looked at planning department commissioner and director to clarify that.  For all intent and purpose 194 or, sorry, the Clock Tower properties, have now been isolated by the OMB and in this application from the heritage conservation district.

Prentice:    That is true, Councillor Sponga.  But you’re not telling us anything…

Mayor Van Bynen:  Thank you.

Prentice:   … you’re not telling us anything that we don’t already know.  Mr. Forrest put in an application to the OMB to safeguard his position.  He subsequently said he was in favour of the heritage conservation district so long as it did not apply to his own lands, the lands that he owns.  But the OMB has not considered that yet.  It is sleeping at the OMB pending a resolution by this Council of the Forrest application.  And that is the position.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Thank you. Now if we can come back to first principles, the first principles are the recommendations that we are going be debating - Councillor Kerwin just a second.   That is we are going to be taking this project to a public meeting.  And I would ask that we have our discussion, our debates towards the recommendation which is to have a public meeting.  It serves no purpose to have two or three public meetings.  And the purpose in having the public meeting is to have all members of the community available and that all views can be presented.   So if we could restrict our conversation and our dialogue to that principle I would appreciate that. Councillor Broome-Plumley.

Councillor Broome-Plumley:  Thank you, Mr. Prentice for your deputation.  I really appreciate the passion in the room today. 

Prentice:   I cannot hear you.

Councillor Broome-Plumley:  I appreciate the passion in the room today.  Thank you for your presentation.  Councillor Sponga is always a tough act to follow so I’ll be brief.  Back in 2015 I met in May.  I had several questions as a new member of Council and again in June and I had many of those questions answered. 

Prentice:   Thank you.  The meeting on the 13th May. Was that the one with the Mayor present?

Councillor Bloome-Plumley:  One of them was.

Prentice:  So the Mayor was present at the meeting with Mr. Forrest or Mr. Bobyk and you on the 13th May 2015.

Mayor Van Bynen:  That’s covered in the e-mail, I believe, Mr. Prentice.

Prentice:   You did not mention the Councillor’s name.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Well, it’s not my obligation to disclose the Councillor’s name.

Prentice:  As I said, you did not answer my letter fully and we have already covered that ground.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Councillor Kerwin.

Councillor Kerwin:  Thank you, Mr. Mayor.  Do I have as long as Joe Sponga? (Laughter)

Mayor Van Bynen:  Or if you wish to test the patience of the audience.  (Laughter)

Councillor Kerwin:  Order in some dinner, okay?

Prentice:   Oh my!

Councillor Kerwin:  I have always believed… (Cllr Sponga interjected. Inaudible) Not a thing Joe.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Focus on the issue.

Councillor Kerwin:  I have always believed, there is a French expression, “qui accuse s’accuse”.  Whoever excuses themselves, accuses themselves.  So I am not here to excuse myself. Not at all.  I have known Bob Forrest for a very long time, probably over 20 years; two decades.  He is an absolute, consummate gentleman and he is a visionary.  I dealt with him on five projects within Ward 2 and all these projects have been unbelievably successful.  So this is factual information. 

I got involved with him on a project called Strawberry Hill which is off College Manor I believe.  And, please correct me if I am wrong Mr. Forrest as I go through this and that was about the early 1990s and the people who bought those places and are living there enjoy living there.  He created accommodation for a lot of people. 

I then became involved with Mr. Forrest and Jack Winberg with regard to a project off of Mulock Drive, called On Bogart Circle.  And it was an extremely controversial decision that we made to allow buildings on that site.  But it went ahead as a low-rise townhouse and there are two condominium corporations in that On Bogart Circle that I work with constantly because now they are being challenged by a subdivision on the top by Falconcrest.  And as I say, at that time not all Councillors were on board to build in that area but they did and the people who live on Bogart Circle believe they live in an oasis – paradise, really.  They love it. 

So then we went to the second phase of that and that was On Bogart Pond which was, I believe, a five storey – again a condominium.  And it was controversial but it went ahead and now you can’t even buy a place in there unless you somehow privately find someone  who wants to sell.  An absolute success story.  And Bob Forrest and Jack Winberg, Rockport Group, delivered on all those three projects and I worked with them closely with staff all the way along that. 

Then we came to Amica on Gorham Street.  All in Ward 2.  And again it was controversial because this land was fragmented.  In fact, it ended up that there were three developments on there:  Amica, then called Renessa, and Highgate.  It was the most unbelievable, tricky planning situation that I have ever seen.  But we resolved it gradually.  It took us maybe twenty years to do so.  And Amica was built and I think it is five or six storeys and there isn’t a resident in there (it is a retirement residence) who doesn’t love to live there.  Okay? 

Then I had to work with Bob Forrest again with Highgate which is a condominium complex back of that because they have a common roadway and again Highgate was built by the Forrest Green Prestalios.  It was a complete success – sold out within 2 weeks.  And they have a joint shareway. 

And then we came to Renessa.  The joy of his life that he wanted to keep for his lifetime.  And we had all kinds of construction problems so I worked my way through with the staff and I can’t thank staff enough.  And in fact the overruns were about 6 million because we ran into a water problem where they had to build a containment around it and they had underground parking and Bob loved that project and we finally finished and I even had to give him an exemption to the zoning by-law which I debated at this Council which was controversial but we did it.  And throughout all of this I had one phone call of complaint.  I contacted Bob, Chris Bobyk in South Carolina or North Carolina what it was and we had it resolved by 2 a.m. in the morning. 

So I have had an intimate relationship in the development industry and the building industry and when Bob Forrest sold Renessa I went to his retirement party from that building and the residents were in tears because he and Colleen gave everything they had to the residents and the residents loved him and they still remember him because I go back there constantly. 

So this is just factual information that my dealing with Bob Forrest and I am dealing with him now. This is Ward 5.  So I recommend, you know, whatever contact I have had with Bob see your Ward Councillor first or staff first because my guardian angel, Mr. Prentice, is my wife.  Okay?

Mayor Van Bynen:  I will ask you to wrap up.

Councillor Kerwin:  Do you give me two?  Anyone?  Joe’s gonna give me two. Anyone for three?  Four? Five?…

Mayor Van Bynen:  We have got a lot of business to get through.

Councillor Kerwin:  I wanted to say this publicly.  My dealings with Bob have been on the highest professional basis that you could ever possibly imagine.  And when all the projects were finished in Ward 2, they have been outstanding and exemplary and he has delivered every single thing that he ever told me he would do and I look forward to working with him on what I would call the former Federal Post Office.  We now call it the Clock Tower.  But it was a Post Office run by the Federal Government.  So whatever happens in all of this, and through all of these projects, I would ... we were always flexible, we moved this way, we moved that way but in the end we resolved it.  And this is what I hope we can do with all the groups that are present here. 

I am going to give blood, sweat and tears, meeting with anyone I can and I attended Trinity and go to all the public meetings I can to work our way through this because I know that, in the end, I am working with a man I have known for 23 years who is absolutely transparent.  He’s a gentleman.  His word is his bond.  And he wants to make the World better and provide accommodation for people who need it.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Thank you.

Prentice:  Could I respond to that?

Mayor Van Bynen:  This is turning into a new debate.

Prentice:   Can I respond?  Could I please respond to that? I just want to say, Councillor Kerwin, that I really like you.  I like you.  You are a very diligent Councillor but all the examples you gave are off point because we are not talking about these other developments. We are talking about the Clock Tower.  And you said “factual information”.  Mr. Forrest was engaged in land assembly.  It is a fact that he evicted his business tenants.  It is a fact that these retail units have been boarded up for eighteen months.  These are facts and I think we should come back to the issue of the Clock Tower and not wander down, with respect to you, Councillor Kerwin, wander down Memory Lane about all the good things Mr. Forrest has done in the past.  It is off point.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Right. So, let’s get on with the deputation.  Are there any other questions or clarification?  Regional Councillor.

Regional Councillor Taylor:  Yeah.  Mine, I apologise, is not a question but a quick statement for the benefit of everyone here. And I am not suggesting anyone disagrees with my statements.  What I do want to say is that, so what we have in front of us is a deputation about meetings.  So it is actually a deputation about meetings and not necessarily about the Clock Tower.  Coming up on the agenda.  So I’ll speak to the meetings very briefly.  What I want to say to people here and again I am not suggesting that anyone disagrees with this that myself and other members of Council and members of Council all over Ontario throughout North America and beyond meet with people who want to do business in town:  Developers, small business people, large business people, people who want to want to build a 10 storey apartment building. 

Sometimes they just want to know what the process is like if they don’t know too much.  Other times they want to let you know what they are proposing. I’ll be honest with you. Maybe it is my own limitations, but I typically need to be walked through a complex development two or three times before I really understand it.  Before I really, okay, got all the particulars.  So hearing it once and then hearing it again, as we will at the public meeting, is very helpful for me.  So I find these meetings very helpful.  You learn a lot. 

I go with a couple of basic principles:  one is that I cannot and I will not be swayed or talked into anything.  I know what I believe.  I know where I am coming from.  I know I want to hear from all the stakeholders before making decisions.  And I don’t make decisions in advance.  I don’t share those decisions.  So I don’t ever provide to someone, this is where I stand, you can count on it.  It’s not going to happen.   I am there to listen and there to ask some questions.  I’m there to learn and I think that is a valuable thing to do. So, it is a practice I will continue to do with anyone and with everyone who wants to engage in business here; and any resident who wants to meet with me will get that opportunity with very, very rare exceptions.  They would have to exceptions due to extremely poor behavior.

Prentice:   Can I ask…

Regional Councillor Taylor:  I’ll just finish.  I’m literally on my last sentence.  And the last thing I want to say is that, in terms of sharing when those kinds of meetings occur, I have no problem with that.  If somebody asks, I will tell them.  And furthermore, we do have on our work plan, addressing a lobbyist registery for the Town of Newmarket.  To be fair, most communities of our size or smaller have not gotten to that point.  And yet, but we have it on our work plan, to look at it to try to find the right solution.  I look forward to dealing with that, hopefully this term and I would support moving in that direction. 

I don’t think anyone here takes any different approach than I do.  We are there to learn, pick up information, ask clarifying questions and sometime to say, you know, I think I may have some concerns and tell people early in the process instead of at the very end and be surprised.  I might have some concerns here with how you are approaching this but I think it is really to gather information, be open, sending a signal to people that, yes, we do want to see business done in our town and then carrying on from there.  But so far as being transparent about it and taking steps in that direction, I think we are planning on going in that direction and I look forward to having that done so that we put this need to have these kinds of discussions behind us.  Thank you.

Prentice:   Councillor Taylor covered the point about the lobbyist register. That was what I was minded to ask him.

Mayor Van Bynen:  Thank you.  Before we wrap up I have here your petition that any Council member(s) or any town official(s) having privately or secretly entered into any deals regarding rezoning with the heritage land and the developer be rescinded.  So you are suggesting, or you’ve said earlier, Mr. Prentice, that you are not inferring that there were any improper actions on behalf of the town. Is that right?

Prentice:   I didn’t catch all that to be perfectly honest.

Mayor Van Bynen:  The petition is the petition that you circulated at the Trinity glen.  So have a look at that because that certainly does infer…

Prentice:   I am not responsible for any petition.  I invited Catherine Nasmith, Queen’s Jubilee Medal, President of the Architectural…

Mayor Van Bynen:  So that is not your document.

Prentice: …Conservancy of Ontario.  I am responsible for inviting her.  I am not responsible for all the petitions that may be…

Mayor Van Bynen:  OK. I am just saying that this petition seems to infer something that you are saying hasn’t happened.

Prentice:   You will have to take it up with the people who wrote the petition. 

Mayor Van Bynen:  Thank you. Motion to receive the deputation:  Councillor Kerwin, Councillor Twinney.  All those in favour.  That is carried.

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