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Press Release: Friends of Arrowdale & Grand Back Welcome Repeal of By-law 14-2021

Press Release: Friends of Arrowdale & Grand Back Welcome Repeal of By-law 14-2021

For Immediate Release May 24, 2021 – (Tsi kanatáhere/Brantford, ON) Friends of Arrowdale (FOA) and Grand Back welcome the repeal of By-law 14-2021, which was introduced and passed by City Council on January 26, 2021 to “authorize Arrowdale Community Park Development Project”. The repeal of By-law 14-2021 is scheduled to happen at the next City

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2021 – (Tsi kanatáhere/Brantford, ON) Friends of Arrowdale (FOA) and Grand Back welcome the repeal of By-law 14-2021, which was introduced and passed by City Council on January 26, 2021 to “authorize Arrowdale Community Park Development Project”. The repeal of By-law 14-2021 is scheduled to happen at the next City Council meeting on May 25, 2021.

FOA is a large community of grassroots individuals from Brantford and the surrounding area who oppose the sale of the Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course lands and wish to see the property preserved as it was prior to December 17, 2019. A survey halted by the COVID-19 pandemic indicated that 7871 people supported the preservation of Arrowdale.

As of today, 31.97 acres of the Arrowdale property remains listed for sale for $15 million via CBRE. By-law 14-2021 was passed to approve debenture financing for the development of the remaining 17 acres into Arrowdale Community Park (“the Park”). It also approved the development in general. On May 25, By-law 128-2021 will repeal By-law 14-2021 in its entirety.

The Arrowdale lands are located within the historic Haldimand Tract and a moratorium on all development across the Haldimand Tract was issued by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) on April 20, 2021; eight days before the Ontario Court of Appeal issued its decision refusing leave to appeal to Know Your City Inc. in Know Your City Inc. v The Corp. of the City of Brantford.

FOA and Grand Back are supportive of the repeal and demand the City quash its plans to develop the Park, honour the HCCC moratorium, cancel the sale of the Arrowdale lands and its land purchase agreement with Elite M.D. Developments, and restore the historic Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course. Additionally, Friends of Arrowdale urges the City to instead prioritize and invest the gas tax funding into affordable housing project initiatives.

MEDIA STATEMENTS

“The Friends of Arrowdale non-profit organization and the FOA community is in full support of the repeal. Thousands of community members oppose the decision to develop this park on Arrowdale lands while neighbouring parklands sit forgotten and neglected. We need diversity and accessibility in our public amenities that cater to all demographics and interests. There are 116 parks within Brantford; there is only one Arrowdale. The grandiose amount of funding allotted to the Arrowdale Park project is better spent on higher priority initiatives. 7871 people have voiced their desire to save Arrowdale as it is, compared to the mere few hundred Let’s Talk – Arrowdale Park survey respondents. It is crystal clear what the community’s wishes are. The repeal of By-law 14-2021 presents Council with an opportunity to finally listen to those voices.“ – Kailee Poisson, Friends of Arrowdale

“Grand Back emerged to resist the almost total devastation of the Haldimand Tract heartlands. Greater education and care for historical values of the treaty lands must be top priority before more developmental use of treaty lands is designated by municipal bodies, if treaty lands are desired for use, which is a federal nation to nation issue. Then, municipalities and others as third-party to these ancient covenants must observe them as they have been confirmed. Repealing bold and rushed by-laws is a great show of compassion and understanding when time and patience is of the essence.” – X, Grand Back, Grand River United Front

“Premature assumption of Jurisdiction and Occupation of the Grand River has endangered the lands and covenants that manifest on these ancient territories, the people developing and residing on these lands may be in the dark about the underlying interest; whether it is by ignorance or by design, this abuse must end. The moratorium on the Haldimand asks for time to build a common understanding of the underlying interest, including land title, this desired time for understanding is integral to this process.“ – Benjamin Doolittle UE

“Municipalities within the Haldimand Tract must observe and respect the moratorium. The City of Brantford has been given the opportunity to do the right thing by Arrowdale and stop the sale! Arrowdale is a green space of historical significance for the people of Brantford, the Mohawks, and the Six Nations people. It must be protected and preserved for the benefit of future generations.“ – Veronica Martisius, Mohawk, Grand River Territory

“While the City appears to be in great spirits in response to receiving the gas tax funding, would not applying these funds to the crisis called Affordable Housing be in the best interests of Brantford? I feel that using 4 million dollars to create an unwanted community park seems counterproductive in a time where spending needs to be curbed and things that really need to be done get done!” – Ronald Heaslip, Brantford resident

It appears Brantford’s Mayor & Council have backed themselves into a corner regarding their attempted sale of Arrowdale Golf Course lands. While our Provincial government is opening golf courses throughout the province, Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course, home to 20,000 rounds of golf annually, remains encumbered by community opposition groups, rezoning challenges, the Haldimand Tract Moratorium, and it appears, an uncertain buyer who may not be willing to risk $14 million dollars to develop a property that thousands of people continue to fight for. It’s time for the Mayor and Council to listen to the people – it’s your job!” – Mark Dremak, Brantford resident

MEDIA CONTACTS

Kailee Poisson, kailee.foa@gmail.com 
Grand Back, info@grandback.org
 Benjamin Doolittle UE, media@mohawkuniversity.org Veronica Martisius, veronica.martisius@gmail.com

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