APAW Newsletter

Happy spring to our APAW members! We hope you are enjoying the feeling of the warmth of the sun finally drying out the earth, leading the trout lilies to start poking through the brown leaves of the forest.

As discussed at our Annual General Meeting last month, there is some news on the Angell Woods front. We are now awaiting the judgment of Madame Justice Johanne Mainville in a case which was heard over two very long weeks in March. One of the few remaining Angell Woods “non-conservation” landowners, Yale Properties, sued the City of Beaconsfield, alleging that the City acted in bad faith. Yale’s lawyers claimed that the City went out of its way to block a development plan hastily submitted by the landowner around the time that the City passed its Angell Woods interim control by-law, back in 2010.

APAW intervened in the case in support of the City. APAW’s attorney assisted the City’s lawyers in their arguments that Beaconsfield has been following all required urban planning rules in simply attempting to carry out the wishes of its elected officials, its citizens and the regional authorities to which it reports, regarding the land use of Angell Woods.

Yale Properties then actually turned their attention against APAW, asking the judge to issue an injunctive order specifically against APAW, its members, officers and directors, prohibiting all access to Yale’s privately-owned part of the Woods. This request would be above and beyond any normal rights to generally keep people off their private property.
It is not at all clear how such an order would work in practice, particularly because it now seems like the majority of people walking in Angell Woods are not even APAW members. It may be that we will be required to formally advise our members that Yale Property’s lands are private. For the record, APAW has of course always acknowledged that portions of Angell Woods are private property.

The judge has taken the whole matter under advisement and will presumably issue her judgment in the coming months. We will keep you posted.

In other news, APAW had filed a formal complaint with the Conseil de la Presse over an article which appeared in the Suburban in 2016, alleging that it was grossly inaccurate regarding certain facts about Angell Woods and that it was highly unbalanced in its reporting of the issue.

After both sides submitted written arguments, the Conseil de la Presse issued its judgment at the beginning of April. APAW’s position was upheld across the board. A link to the judgment is on our website.

In terms of next steps, we are still waiting for the City of Beaconsfield to finalize its zoning of Angell Woods, in compliance with the conservation requirements of the regional authorities, being the Montreal Metropolitan Community and the Agglomeration of Montreal. We will be watching closely.

In the meantime, enjoy the trout lilies!

Your APAW Executive

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