KED appeals process begins
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:04PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, November 6, 2018 6:45PM EST
Opponents to the proposed Kingsway Entertainment District in Greater Sudbury are voicing their concerns Tuesday.
The province's Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) is hearing a series of appeals filed earlier this year against the arena-casino project.
Expert adjudicators will hear from a range of people opposed to the development, with each party allowed 75 minutes to make its case.
During a 90 minute recess Tuesday afternoon, CTV Northern Ontario’s Callam Rodya provided an update on how the process is going.
He says you get the feeling that everyone in the room is kind of making it up as they go along. And in a lot of ways, they are.
This is really only the second time that the LPAT process has been used, and there is a case in Toronto right now that is still going through the motions. The LPAT was created to replace the Ontario Municipal Board.
So far in Sudbury, there is a lot of haggling over language, jurisdiction, and the issues between the parties involved.
"Just an abysmal piece of legislation introduced by the Wynne government. It's full of errors and problems. And it needs to be resolved by the new government, frankly." said Gordon Petch, lawyer for the Downtown/Casino-Free Sudbury group.
The conference taking place Tuesday is not the actual hearing; it is only a case management conference. It is where all the parties come together, lay out evidence, and identify witnesses to establish the ground rules for the eventual hearing.
Coming up with the ground rules, however, hit a lot of road blocks.
The question of jurisdiction kept coming up, because the LPAT has a narrow focus and can only look at issues relating to planning law or official plans.
Casino opposition is submitting a motion arguing the city's entire process around the Kingsway decision was biased and that it is in fact within the scope of the LPAT.
However, like most of the process, that argument is uncharted territory.
"The city says the tribunal has no jurisdiction in that issue. You have to go to court." said Petch.
He says the law is very clear and that you can do both.
A hearing date wasn't set yet because there is a case before divisional court related to the Toronto case that is going to impact the one in Sudbury. So, until a decision is made in that case, a hearing date can’t be set for the Sudbury appeals.
For now, all the rigid timelines LPAT would normally impose on its proceedings are out for now.
The earliest it will resume will likely be the middle of December, but possibly not until the New Year and the actual hearing could be further off still.
A final decision is not expected until next June.