The latest tack in the ongoing boundary squabble between Brantford and Brant was a decision of Brantford city council Wednesday to “go public” with its side of what led to the letter of intent agreed to on Oct. 24.
Recognizing it’s going to take a bureaucracy like the city’s time to get everything available in a public format, 24 hours after the decision, the city had posted the first pieces of its “go public” documentation on its website.
What did that include?
- The letter of intent, in HTML and PDF format.
- The appendix to the letter, which is the map of the proposed boundary changes and their phasing (a portion of which is seen above).
- The 2006 Growth Management Study completed during the last term of council.
Still pending, based on what was discussed Wednesday, is a Frequently Asked Questions brochure on the letter of intent that explains why the city believes it’s a good solution for managing growth responsibly in both Brantford and Brant.
The 2006 document’s growth projections are stale — these have been updated in the revised Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan. But the city relied on this document and other studies because it consolidates a lot of scientific and technical work done to identify where things are. That science hasn’t changed since 2006.
Meaning, the environmental mapping hasn’t changed— it’s been somewhat updated in the County of Brant’s own official plan. The ranking of which areas outside the city border contain the best developable land also hasn’t changed in eight years.
So inform yourselves. Read the study provided to date. Read the letter of intent. Read the FAQ once it’s released.
Then, hold them to account. If you live in the affected area, come to one of the city’s meetings and ask all the questions you can think of about how it’s going to impact you. If you live in Brantford, come and ask why the city believes it needs these lands to handle the growth it’s being asked to accommodate.
For those obsessed with the way negotiations were conducted, come to the meetings and ask those questions too.
The promise is the city will discuss anything related to these negotiations and this letter of intent. Collectively, we need to hold them to that.