Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Act is better than your Act: OMB appeal

The Examiner had a story on the nice little pissing match between the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic DSB and the City of Peterborough over a walkway linking St. Peter's Secondary School to the city's Monaghan Road throughfare.
In the first day of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing featured the lawyers for each arguing over the walkway's existence and noting either party could have used the provisions of their Act (Education Act or Municipal Act) to expropriate the property back from the other party.
“The (school) board has the intention of expropriating the land necessary to build this walkway,” (lawyer Bruce Fitzpatrick) said. “Ultimately, we will be the owner of that property.”
City council, earlier this month, asked its staff to acquire a one-foot wide strip of property between the apartment building property at 333 Hedonics Rd. and the school to block the creation of a walkway.
The school board could take the land using powers it has under the provincial Education Act, but the city could take it back using its own powers to take land for public use, said lawyer Gordon Petch, on behalf of the city.
“You can imagine how ridiculous this could become,” he said. “That power is so rarely used because municipalities, expropriating authorities, don’t do this.”
Well, I agree. It's ridiculous this has reached this stage. Two public bodies before a third quasi-judicial public body, all pissing away public dollars over a sidewalk. I disagree with Fitzpatrick's statemton on municipal expropriation-- it happens often enough that it's not "rare."