Sale Of Midland Waterfront IS An Election Issue

Power Is In Your Hands
Midland Bay Landing Development

I have some good news for those among you who, like me, support a “pause” or “re-think” of the sale and development of our waterfront in accordance with the decade old master plan. I won’t author a multi-page summary of all that has transpired since Midland first acquired the former Unimin industrial property along our waterfront (now called Midland Bay Landing) because I imagine that most of you reading this already know the history and the struggles to revisit the current plan that sees only 25% of this property preserved for public access and use.

There are some compelling reasons to sell off the land to the first qualified developer who expresses an interest, namely the recovery of our initial investment to buy the land a decade ago, and the lure of taxes from the luxury homes that are being proposed for phase one of the waterfront (east side, where the parking lot and fishing access is). However, the addition of these luxury homes will do nothing to help solve our lack of affordable or attainable homes in Midland and it should be noted that we have hundreds of other homes, condos and apartment buildings in the pipeline already slotted for development in our community.

Rebranding Midland as a premium waterfront destination community for all four seasons is made more difficult when all of the waterfront is sold off privately and residents are left with nothing but a narrow promenade. To be fair, there are some compelling features of the current master plan that really only take shape in phase two (decades away from being built) – mixed used commercial, residential and public access features.

As your mayor, and with the support of the next Council, I commit to a re-think of this plan – not to shred it and start over from scratch. I want to re-involve the community, just as was done a decade ago when this was originally formed, to review the plan, consider changes that more align with the current needs of our community and then have a clear mandate to implement that plan. That will delay the sale of the land and may involve some amendments to our master plan. This is what council has been hearing from the community for the past four years with petitions, letters, emails and countless articles in our local media. This council has refused to be influenced by this feedback and my attempts to slow the process and involve you fail at each attempt. I have even been the subject of a serious complaint by our CAO and the Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation Board Chair to the integrity commissioner about my attempts to do so and have been unequivocally exonerated and found to be simply doing my job as your voice in the process.

Now, to the good news! I have learned that despite this council’s rush to push the RFP process ahead a few months ago, then the awarding of the RFP and the Letter Of Intent, that the actual sale of the land cannot happen this term. This means that the sale of the land and the implementation of the current development plans are in the hands of the next council – exactly where it should be this late in our term.

This means that you, the Midland residents, get to make this an election issue with the candidates vying for your votes starting on Oct 11th up to Oct 24th. If re-thinking this plan to sell and develop the waterfront is important to you, then talk to the candidates and get their commitment to do so.

If I am elected as your mayor, I will support the re-think and then support the outcome of that collaboration with the community – even if the outcome is that the current plan actually turns out to be the best use of the land. I will continue to put our Community First in all things. This is the referendum on Midland Bay Landing that many of you wanted. This election is in your hands.

On a side note, did you know that voting is entirely online this time? No paper ballots. You use any internet connected device or telephone to vote. Here is a demo and more info.

Can I count on your support? Would you like to show that support with a lawn sign?

1 Comment

  1. Amen!!! So no last minute lame duck decisions to whoever’s benefit. We as voters stand a chance of being listened to!! Midlanders I beg you to get out and vote and NOT for the majority of council that is currently in there ramming this down our throats. Waterfront for future generations!!! Yes!!! Please get out there and VOTE. Bill Gordon is promising a relook and open ears to taxpayers!!! PLEASE GIVE HIM Likeminded Councillors TO WORK WITH!!!!

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