Monday, 10 May: Regular Meeting of Council
Video recording available on the City’s YouTube channel.
Resolution: 151 UPPER PRINCE STREET
The application for this property involved three major variances: (1) Lot frontage reduced from 98 ft to 51 1/2 ft; (2) Flankage yard setback from nearly 20 ft to 10 ft; (3) Flankage yard setback for a balcony from nearly 16 ft to under 8 ft.
Planning staff recommended approval of the first two variances, and rejection of the balcony variance.
Flankage Yard means the Side Yard of a Corner Lot, and which Side Yard abuts a Street or proposed Street shown on an approved survey plan. Required Flankage Yard or minimum Flankage Yard means the minimum Side Yard required by this by-law where such Yard abuts a Street.
38:00 CAO Peter Kelly reads the 151 Upper Prince St. resolution involving three major variances.
41:40 Coun. Greg Rivard questions the rejection of the setback for the balcony, saying it has value by offering outdoor living space. Mayor Brown asks whether he wants to make a friendly amendment.
42:08 Coun. Terry MacLeod bring up past application by the same developer and says: “Weʼve talked about this before, now we keep letting developers off the hook [like Tim Banks, maybe?] and making changes after weʼve approved them, so…”
43:50 Alex Forbes: “They have to adhere to the Zoning Bylaw…”
Back and forth between Coun. MacLeodʼs complaint and Coun. Rivardʼs issue with the balcony variance rejection.
49:55 Friendly amendment to approve the balcony variance moved by Coun. Rivard.
The vote in favour of the friendly amendment and the amended resolution is 8–1 (Coun. MacLeod opposed).
51:15 End of that application. Total time devoted to a balcony issue for a three-unit apartment building: thirteen minutes.
Compare that to the time spent on the 199 Grafton Street application with seven variances for a 84-unit apartment/parking complex: under six minutes.
Sir John A statue
1:35:45 CAO Peter Kelly read the resolution about the John A statue. Coun. Duffy expressed extreme concern about being seen to vote against John A MacDonald remaining on Queen Street (1:44).
1:46:10 Mayor Brown, speaking from the Chair, explained to Coun. Duffy: “And remember we were asked, or Coun. McCabe was asked, to get the three organizations supporting the recommendations. And all three do support them.” Mayor Brown seemed to have forgotten that the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils made the recommendations.
1:57:00 Objections and resistance by Councillors Ramsay (with motorcycle noise in the background), MacLeod, Ramsay, and Duffy clearly reveal they have failed to educate themselves about the repercussions of colonialism and the need to recognize and redress past wrongs to Indigenous peoples.
Excerpts from the CBC article posted on May 12:
The Epekwitk Assembly of Councils said it had made five suggestions to the city to amend the art installation and “tell the true story of this individual and begin to address the trauma that its presence is continuing to perpetuate,” the statement said.
- Add another figure, such as an Indigenous child or elder.
- Fill in or seal off the empty space on the bench so it can’t be used for photo opportunities.
- Install signage so viewers understand “the devastating role that Sir John A. Macdonald played in the Indigenous history of Canada.”
- If the artist engaged is not Indigenous, a Mi’kmaw artist should be hired as a consultant.
- Complete the work as soon as reasonably possible.
Councillors raised several questions leading up to the vote, such as who will pay for the modifications, where the new signage and Indigenous statue will be placed and how the empty space on the bench will be filled in to discourage photo opportunities.
Some councillors asked whether the recommendations were negotiable. One suggestion raised during discussion was putting the new statue of the Indigenous figure in a different place.
Recommended reading for the Mayor and members of City Council: The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Reports, in particular The Survivors Speak and The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
Posted: 15 May 2021 at 8:24 am | Updated 15 May 2021 at 9:06 pm