Dear Mr. McCrank,
On several occasions, you have made public statements to the media and to the Coalition Against the Danford Megadump that the MRC would not impose a decision on the population of Alleyn-and-Cawood for an engineered landfill site in that municipality (see Schedule 1). This public statement was corroborated by statements made by other mayors in the Pontiac at MRC monthly meetings. We were further assured that should the council of Alleyn-and-Cawood wish to pursue an engineered landfill site, they would be required to change their planning and zoning by-laws; sufficient opposition to the zoning change would trigger the process leading to a referendum. In fact, you stated at the June MRC meeting that a majority opposed to the zoning change would ensure that the project would "die right there".
At the September 25th meeting of the MRC, Mr. André Carrière, President of the Coalition asked: "…we want a clear statement, tonight, about what the resolution that Mayor Squitti is tabling is all about, and we want to know if it represents a change in direction from the MRC in terms of what you have been telling us. Are we staying the course that the decision remains largely with Alleyn-and-Cawood or is that decision coming from the MRC?"
Your answer was : "...to answer and not to deviate from what we have said in the public sessions...we said at that time that we would modify our by-law and then the municipality of Alleyn-and-Cawood would have to come into concordance by changing its zoning bylaw and, in that process of changing the zoning bylaw, there is a notice of motion...process, and there is a registry created for people who...disagree to the process, and if there is a certain percentage of the people registered in the process, then there is a referendum".
The resolution passed at the September 25, 2006 meeting of the MRC, which designates the project as being of regional interest, and the notice of motion to introduce a draft bylaw that would change the MRC’s Schéma d’aménagement to allow for the project to proceed appears to be totally contrary to the assurances you have given. You publicly acknowledged that, for the past 15 years, an agreement exists among mayors which triggered the support for Mayor Squitti's resolution. You stated that, 15 years ago, the Regional Council of the Pontiac “had a standing order or an understanding that if a municipality made a request for or against something, the council would support it”. We fail to see how the best interests of the people are being served under this agreement. The realization by the population that this is how the MRC conducts its business has caused widespread dismay. We request that, at the next MRC meeting, you direct all mayors to vote independently on this and all other issues so as to ensure decisions are taken consistent with the best interests of the population and of future generations.
We would also request a written response to Mr. Carrière’s specific question referred to in the second paragraph of this letter.
We are also asking you to confirm in writing that the MRC will not unilaterally impose a decision on the population of Alleyn-and-Cawood and that the ratepayers of Alleyn-and-Cawood will have the opportunity to vote on any change to their planning and zoning by-laws regarding the proposed engineered landfill.