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Groundhog Day every day in Town of South Bruce Peninsula!

The history of the TSBP and the high paid legal team from Toronto has cost us tax payers dearly.

The loss of the Piping Plover trial and two appeals, cost about $1.5 million. The loss of the Judicial Review when the town tried to destroy the fragile dunes to install a concrete wall, “all in the name of safety”. Cost us about $500,000. Now this same legal team comes to our town with boxes and boxes and reasons why the land dispute needs to be appealed.

Justice Vella in her 139-page ruling of this 30-year court case determined exactly where the “disputed beach” was located. Now enters the legal team a few days after the April 3rd, 2023 ruling in closed door session. First the lawyers must create division and fear.

The next day a press release as well as interviews given by Mayor Michi clearly showed us the direction of the appeal.
Make use of the group known as “Sauble Beach Residential Property Owners” (SBPOA) and have the president create more uncertainly by repeating the claim that all properties east of Lakeshore are at risk.

They did that by claiming the judges ruling was not clear and wrote this in the appeal documents filed with the courts at great expense again to us taxpayers.
“(iii) the necessary effect of the Trial Judge’s findings is to relocate the Reserve’s entire east boundary inland by 1.5-2 chains (99 to 132 feet)—which captures approximately 144 acres of land east of Lakeshore Boulevard and south of Main Street (i.e., the road allowance between Lots 25/26)—as shown in the map at Appendix A.
This land includes the entirety of the municipality’s Lakeshore Boulevard, with its associated subsurface and surface infrastructure, as well as large amounts of land owned privately by non-parties to this action including homes, cottages, and businesses.”

This of course has accomplished what the legal team appear to have wanted, more division and fear. The lawyers have now added to the Judges ruling, all the property owners East of lakeshore.

I am one of those property owners with one of the largest properties east of Lakeshore within this new 144 acres as claimed by the lawyers. Now if we were to believe the town's lawyer this has put my multi million property at risk and my neighbours new 10-million-dollar hotel at risk and all the other multi million-dollar properties and million-dollar businesses at risk because of the way they interpret the ruling - but it is simply, wrong.

Based on the following statements made in the rulings. Justice Vella was exact in her location of the “disputed beach” for the following reasons she gave.
page 60 (324) “based on the evidence, I find:” (c) “He located the “spot upon the coast” within Lot 31 on September 4, 1855 and planted a post further inland (at about 30 -40 meters or 1.5 to 2,0 chains from the water’s edge of Lake Huron) to protect it from being removed by wave action.”
Page 73 (393)
Rankin located the “spot” 10.66 chains (214.4 meters) north of the road allowance between Lot 30 and Lot 31 as evidenced by his field notes, his draft map, and planting a post within Lot 31.
Page 110 (594)
“I acknowledge and accept that the Lemon and Twining families have deep sentimental attachments to their properties. However, those sentimental attachments were largely expressed in terms of family time at their respective cottage and these cottages are not at risk.”

I will also acknowledge these same type of tactics by the town's legal team and even used the SBPOA by suggesting during my filed judicial Review, the lawyers would make claims that I alone would be responsible if someone were to be injured along Lakeshore as I stopped the wall and did not allow the destruction of the fragile dunes.

I also have a history of being questioned by the head lawyer. I can only say that he was not prepared and got his facts all mixed up. This seems to be a pattern and even now our new Mayor and council has taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker.

Why is it “Ground-hog Day” again; another court case loss and another appeal, another appeal will be lost and maybe another appeal.

I would like to know exactly where in this 139-page ruling that the Judge even suggested that an additional 144 acres of land is at risk?

This fear that has been created out of thin air has accomplished exactly what the $900 to $1600 per hour legal team wanted. They won the ability to continue with hundreds of billable hours at our expense. When our roads and sidewalks are in disrepair, when our water treatment system fails, when the beach management plan has again been put on hold.

The federal government was responsible but now our council is responsible for any further funds being spent on nonsense.

Tom Laforme, Sauble Beach


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