Sunday, February 10, 2008

Haldimand "What is Your say on the Recovery Package"

You may agree or disagree with Jason Clark and Haldimand County, and I certainly don’t believe that any of us want to look a "gift horse" in the mouth, but once again the "process" in my opinion was wrong. I don’t understand why Haldimand County decided to do all of this "behind closed doors". It seems that this process should have been done in the open for all to see, maybe even via a "public meeting". What did the County use as a reason for doing this business behind closed doors? This document is very similar to the process of the County Budget, yet this is done in the open.

The following information is a short breakdown of the Recovery Package that Haldimand County has sent off to both upper levels of government in December of 2007. As you can see, this document is still marked Private and Confidential. You can view the complete document here;

I have also attached an e-mail from Jason Clark of Caledonia that he wanted distributed to as many residents in Haldimand County as possible.

The contact e-mail addresses are at the bottom, so if you want to "voice" your opinion you now have a choice.

Haldimand County
Private and Confidential
Report CAO-09-2007
Haldimand County Recovery Projects Plan

Objective; To seek Council approval of the Haldimand County Recovery Projects Plan related to the impacts of Land Claims Issues, which will be forwarded to the Federal and Provincial governments, soliciting financial assistance in undertaking these initiatives.

Nanticoke Area Infrastructure Upgrades; $20 million dollars

Community Servicing Capacity Initiatives; $29.1 million dollars
The above dollar amount includes the following areas, Hagersville, Dunnville, Cayuga and Caledonia.

Lafortune Park Educational Interpretive and Research Centre and Retreat; Unknown dollar amount at this time.

Downtown Improvements;
Dunnville decorative lighting; $250,000.00 dollars
Queen Lock channelization Project; $635,000.00 dollars
Talbot Street (Cayuga) roads and watermains; $1.4 million dollars
Main St. West Dunnville, roads; $600,000.00 dollars
Completing the resurfacing of Lakeshore Rd; $900,000.00 dollars

The above is a short breakdown, please read the whole report it is quite interesting.

From: Jason Clark
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 5:03 PM
Subject: Fw: County Recovery Plan Projects.pdf

Hello Everyone, as many of you know, I am a member of the Caledonia Citizens Alliance along with a group of about ten others. Basically, what we do at this point is (other than yell at each other out of pure frustration) to stay close to the situation by keeping the various levels of government aware that any decisions made relative to the DCE property need to be in the best interest of Caledonia. As you may have read in the local papers recently, the County created a "Request for Assistance" months ago and submitted it to the Province.

Unfortunately, the County felt it necessary to conduct all of their meetings pertaining to this request behind closed doors. Fortunately, the Province realized this and forced the County to make the documents public citing that it would make no sense for them to reward us with financial assistance without proper disclosure to the public.

Essentially, the Province wanted to make sure that the residents of Haldimand County were in agreement with the request. I have attached the official County Recovery Plan document, as you will see, there is very little for Caledonia in the request.

Unfortunately, the Councillors from outside our community saw an opportunity to make gains in their respective backyards on the "back" of our problems. Obviously Caledonia hasn't been the only community impacted from the events of the past two years but it certainly has been impacted the most. The Province has made us aware that what they're waiting for is a response from the public now that the request is out in the open. If they don't hear anything, they will assume people agree with it.

At the bottom of this message I am adding the email addresses of the pertinent people from the Provincial Government. This is a rare opportunity to send a letter to the Provincial Government knowing that it will likely be read.

I'm sure that most of you will agree with me that a $250,000 request for decorative lighting in Dunnville has very little to do with the events of the past two years. If I'm not mistaken, we raised all or part of the money for the decorative lighting we have in Caledonia.

Feel free to forward this message on to anyone who would be interested in sending an email to the individuals below.

Murray Coolican,
Michael Bryant,
Chris Maher,
David Crombie,


  1. If the Province wants to know what the residents of Haldimand think about the package they should ask the residents of Haldimand County because the Council no longer speaks for the residents of Haldimand County but rather they speak for themselves.

    There was no public consultation on this recovery package and the package was passed by Council in what I believe was an illegal closed door process.

    The major issues facing Haldimand County as a result of the last two years is that development in this County is devastated as a result of the ongoing issues of land use as a result of the ongoing Land Claims problem. This has resulted in a lost tax base that needs to be restored.

    The town of Caledonia was the hub town of the County prior to the occupation of Douglas Creek Estates two years ago. Caledonia was the fastest growing town in the general area with a great future. The town of Caledonia is now dying as a result of the last two years.

    Many of the projects listed by Council as the basis for the funds are projects that were already on the books. I consider the actions of our Council as opportunist to seek money for these projects.

    Jason Clark is correct when he speaks about the lighting in downtown Dunnville. The Dunnville BIA has already raised half of the money needed for this project and Caledonia BIA paid for their own similar lighting.

    Naticoke is privately owned land and yet Council is looking for $20 Million to be poured into this area using justifications that are simply not forthcoming.

    We need money to restart our development activity, to rebuild our retail businesses in Caledonia, to ensure that infrastructure is in place to facilitate growth.

    We don't need boondoggles at a time when this County needs its economy restarted.

    Lisa Parent

  2. This sounds like a new game show.

    Shouting for Dollars.

    Shame on Council for once again doing things behind closed doors. Thanks to the Province for a change, for making this document public.