The Communities Before Cars Coalition (CBCC) won round two in the fight to stop the NCC from building a third lane on the Champlain Bridge: our law suit forced the NCC to set aside its June 28 decision. Even though the NCC gave up immediately, and the commissioners' faith in the competence and/or integrity of NCC management may be shaken, our victory was bittersweet. While it bought us more time to persuade the commissioners that our position is the right one, we cannot recover our legal costs from the NCC through the courts.
Worse still, the CBCC believes the fight is far from over and that it will cost a lot more money before it is. To paraphrase US patriot John Paul Jones, we have just begun to fight! (Going to all those public meetings between January and May, filling out all those comments forms, even the lawn sign campaign, was not "fighting". It was co-operating, going along with the process, in spite of our doubts about it. And, we were right to do so. Moreover, the consultants agreed with us: a bigger bridge does not solve the problem, it only makes it worse.)
Editor's Note: The NCC voted 7-5 on Spetember 3 to reaffirm its support for widening the Champlain Bridge. Ottawa residents can make written submissions before October 15, at which time the NCC will meet to make a final decision.
What You Can Do Now
1. Immediately write the NCC commissioners.
Their names, addresses and FAX numbers are in the box, grouped acccording to how they voted on June 28. If you want help with your letter, use articles and editorials in the Ottawa Citizen, or call the CBCC.
Please thank those who voted against a third lane. (NCC Chairman Marcel Beaudry exempted himself from the vote because of a perceived conflict of interest. Presumably, he will do so again).
2. Donate money to the CBCC Legal Defence Fund.
The Legal Defence Fund was started in July with a BBQ at Dave Smith's house. While the CBCC is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization -- so that member community associations and their executives cannot be held personally liable for financial losses or penalties -- donations to the Legal Defence Fund are not tax deductible.
Make your cheque payable to "CBCC Legal Defence Fund" and either call 728-0427 to have it picked up or mail it to: CBCC Legal Defence Fund, 264 Churchill Avenue, K1Z 5B6.
Because the CBCC believes it will have to take the NCC back to court, a concerted fundraising campaign is being mounted this fall. (If the NCC again votes for a third lane, we will go back to court to fight the case that the environmental assessment was not conducted properly, in accordance with the Environmental Assessment and Review Process Guidelines Order.)
The centrepiece of the campaign is a three-evening blitz by every community association in the Coalition, Monday through Wednesday, October 7-9. Canvassers will go door-to-door asking their neighbours for donations.
Ideally, we would like to have one canvasser for every block in the area served by The Carlington Summit -- and several canvassers for each apartment and condominium complex. In addition to canvassers, we also need canvass coordinators and trainers, people to write receipts and keep records, and volunteers to organize a party afterwards. There is a job for everyone! We can use all the help we can get. This is no time to hang back or to think someone else can or will take your place.
This is our last chance to save our community from the cars a third lane would bring. Please call the CBCC Legal Defence Fund (728-0427) or your Community Association President to volunteer. Also, please attend your community association's next public meeting to learn the latest developments. Several associations in the Coalition have their Annual General Meeting in the Fall. If yours is one, don't miss it!
Voted on June 28 FOR a third lane (the minds to change)FAX Councillor Darlene Hincks (306) 777-6809 City Hall P.O. Box 1790 Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3C8 Mrs. Janet Robblee Crosby (902) 443-3538 85 Plateau Crescent Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 2V7 Mr. Alec Katz (204) 452-2318 Stechesen Katz Architects 100-6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0G5 M. Marc Letellier (418) 647-1758 110, 10e Rue Québec (Québec) G1H 7H1 Me Pierre Isabelle (819) 778-8860 301-200, rue Montcalm Hull (Québec) J8Y 3B5 M. André J.C. Dupont (819) 778-3805 949, boulevard St.-Joseph Hull (Québec) J8Z 1S8
Voted on June 28 AGAINST a third laneFAX Ms. Joan O'Neill (613) 739-4710 17 Fallow Court Ottawa, Ontario K1T 1W8 Mr. John Mlacak 6 Tiffany Crescent Kanata, Ontario K2K 1W2 Ms. Norma J. Lamont (613) 738-4818 c/o CHEO Foundation 415 Smyth Road Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8M8 Ms. Nancy Power (403) 424-4495 6018-111th Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T5W 0K9
Did NOT vote on June 28 (the keys to victory)Mr. Ed Drover (709) 739-0424 3rd Floor, Box 23040 St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 4J9 Mr. William H. Teed (506) 632-8809 1600 Brunswick Square Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 4H8 Chief Cece McCauley (403) 979-3596 P.O. Box 1188 Inuvik, Northwest Territories X0E 0T0