Over half polled oppose Arrowdale sale

Over half the Brantford residents polled in a recent survey oppose the controversial sale of Arrowdale Golf Course.

The Friends of Arrowdale, a citizen’s group that banded together to fight city council’s sale of the property, delivered a petition to Brantford City Hall last week, which they say represents about 55 per cent of city residents saying no to the sale.

Others argue the sale cannot move forward because it sits on unceded Six Nations land and that both Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation were not properly notified of the impending sale according to the stipulations of the Grand River Notification Agreement (GRNA).

Eric Gillespie, a lawyer for the citizen’s group “Know Your City”, argued at a virtual hearing in December 2020 that Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation were not notified of the sale in a timely manner.

They were notified after the sale was complete, contrary to the GRNA,  he said.

The GRNA is a voluntary agreement between Six Nations, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the City of Brantford, Brant County, Haldimand County, and the Grand River Conservation Authority.

The agreement asks that each party notify each other on matters of common interest on the lands in each county/territory.

Brantford resident Elisabeth Chernichenko told the Two Row Times the petition, “refute(s) the opinions of Brantford city councillors to the effect of ‘no one caring’ or the amount not being significant enough to not sell. The statistics tell a very different story.”

Over 8,000 people were contacted during a door-to-door campaign last year, and the results were analyzed by a statistician at Simon Fraser University. Out of those, 7,871 did not want the sale to proceed.

The results translate to about 55,000 residents of the city, or 55 percent, opposing the sale, according to Friends of Arrowdale.

“We are hoping that these irrefutable figures show council exactly how many are opposed to this decision,” said Kailee Poisson, president of Friends of Arrowdale. “It is in contention of being the largest opposition movement city council has ever seen. We would like to see a motion to reconsider put forward by the council and a re-vote on the decision and represent the wishes of the majority of the city or a referendum held on the decision when it is safe to participate in a physical manner.”

The City of Brantford has said it wants to sell the former golf course to make room for more housing.

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