For the benefit of Niagara-on-the-Lake, let us all hope that the new council can be a bit smarter and a lot more effective than the current council.
Nobody wants NOTL to become the new “NOLT” experiment (Niagara Ontario Land Tribunal).
The first priority is getting the town’s draft official plan approved, period. We can’t wait another four years while the land use development and assorted planning appeals pile up with litigation costs eating up tax money that could be spent on other important issues.
Few understand the relevance of the official plan issue and just how vulnerable a local municipality is to the authority of the province.
I’m also hoping the NIMBYs and Bananas show more respect and an integrated recognition of the First Nations and Indigenous land rights that predate the current occupiers of NOTL.
Keeping First Nations and Indigenous land rights at the front of the discussions about what gets built where and in what form (without the chronic litigious fighting) may also help to support a more effective new council.
Vaughn Goettler’s pursuit of a UNESCO designation may be the only chance to truly preserve the future of NOTL. Let’s hope for a more joyous and simple future for this precious little town and naturally abundant region.