On April 24th, the Region of Durham, led by Pickering’s mayor, voted to support an airport in Pickering. The motion was handed out at the meeting, with no advance notice to councillors or the public. Mayor Ryan said that the extraordinary (we say undemocratic!) move was necessary because it was an “emergency,” and he further declared (more than once) that the public had already “had its say,” implying majority public support for an airport. Land Over Landings says, “Untrue! The public has not been heard. But it will be!”
Recognizing that the “emergency” excuse was used to avoid a pre-emptive public outcry, Land Over Landings will be combining its Annual General Meeting, on June 2nd in Claremont, with a call to action for all those opposed to an airport on the prime farmland of north Pickering.
Citizen action in the face of government inaction will be the theme of our main speaker, Dr Dianne Saxe, former Environmental Commissioner for Ontario – until the office was closed by the Ford Government this spring. Special guest Steve Parish, long-time Mayor of Ajax and Greenbelt champion, will talk about Pickering's "aerotropolis" event (held in Toronto on April 9th) and discuss advocacy and environmentalism in the current political climate.
With Durham Regional Council and Ajax Council both recently passing motions to support Pickering's push for an airport, it's clear development forces are launching an all-out assault on the Federal Lands. Land Over Landings’ Chair, Mary Delaney, decried the municipalities’ willingness to ignore today’s realities as governments around the world are declaring climate emergencies. "It's like we're in an alternative reality here, where alternative facts are the norm," said Delaney, adding, "How dare Pickering’s mayor speak for us and not let us speak for ourselves?" Citizen action and politicians of vision stopped the airport in the Seventies. Now, more than ever, citizens and politicians of vision need to stand together and declare “no pickering airport!”.
Land Over Landings' Annual General Meeting will be held immediately after guest-speaker Q & A’s on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Dr. Nelson F. Tomlinson Community Centre, 4941 Old Brock Road, Claremont. Refreshments will follow.
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