August 10th, 2018 - 7:21pm
Border Issues, Community, Economic Development, Environment, Great Lakes, Ojibway Shores, Public Assets, Tourism
Re-Offers Path to Secure Environmental Protection for Environmentally Significant Property
Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West) took to facebook live recently to talk about a recently proposed land swap deal between the City of Windsor and the Windsor Port Authority (WPA). The deal would essentially see the City acquire Ojibway Shores – located immediately west of the Gordie Howe Bridge Canadian customs plaza. The WPA according to reports would gain some form of access or use to a currently privately owned parcel of land located on the waterfront at 75 Mill St (referred to by many as “The Dorian Property”).
Masse released wrote to the Mayor and Councillors reminding them that a land swap deal involving an expropriation could have complication and that there is another way forward that the City and the WPA could consider: “The value of Ojibway Shores is well understood by everyone in this community. The fundamental question that remains is the process whereby we achieve its permanent preservation. The land swap proposal between the City and the WPA involves a public investment that ultimately would be used to acquire property that is already owned by the public. I don’t think tax payers in this community should be asked to pay for land they already own. “
Masse also raised the issue of the acquisition of the Dorian Property and the potential for it to be used for some yet to be determined purpose that would involve the WPA. “I have consistently supported the City acquiring waterfront property even going back to my days on Windsor City Council. This has always been a key component of our Waterfront plan. Acquiring the Dorian property and making it available for public use is a wonderful idea. However, turning over control of some or all of that property once acquired to the WPA without specific conditions could be extremely problematic as the City could lose any authority to appropriately zone or control land use permanently since the WPA is governed only through federal legislation.”
Masse has been advocating that Ojibway Shores be removed from under the stewardship of the WPA and transferred to an appropriate body with resources and a mandate to preserve and protect environmentally significant land as well as the flora and fauna within its boundaries.
Masse talked about the importance of protecting Ojibway Shores: “Our community can be proud of the work we have done collectively to preserve and protect the entire Ojibway Prairie Complex. Ojibway Shores is a major component that needs an appropriate steward. There is a very simple solution to this issue; the WPA Board of Directors could direct the WPA to initiate a transfer of Ojibway Shores to another federal department or to the City. The Minister has confirmed that the WPA is free to manage its own affairs. There is no specific requirement for the public to purchase property or to trade for another asset, it can simply be transferred from one public entity to another.”
Here is a link to the facebook live video Brian did talking about the proposed Ojibway Shores / Dorian Property land swap:
Additionally the link below contains the recent correspondence history between Brian Masse M.P., The City of Windsor and the Windsor Port Authority: