Douglas Cardinal and appellants in court again October 26

October 11, 2016

Supporters of Douglas Cardinal will stand with him and other appellants as they spend another day in court fighting the rezoning of islands in the Ottawa River by the City of Ottawa, which supports Windmill Development Group’s bid to build condos on this Algonquin sacred site.

On October 26, a panel of Divisional Court judges will be hearing Windmill’s motion to refuse the appellants their right to appeal Justice Hackland’s decision of May 26, 2016. The appellants’ lawyer(s) will also be making their case in favour of the appeal at this hearing.

Mr. Cardinal is a renowned Anishinaabe architect whose opposition to the Windmill condo project at the Chaudière Falls and islands has spanned almost two years. The legal challenge has effectively stalled construction of condos on Chaudière and Albert islands in Ontario by the consortium Dream Windmill (Dream Unlimited Corporation and Windmill Development Group).

Details of the October 26 hearing are:

WHERE: Ontario Divisional Court, Motions Court. 161 Elgin Street. Room not yet assigned. Ask at the information desk on day of hearing. Case is called Cardinal vs. Windmill.

WHEN: Meet outside the court house around 9:15 a.m. for a circle of support. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. All spectators must show identification and pass through a security check to enter the building.

History of the legal challenges to rezoning of the islands

When the City of Ottawa rezoned Chaudière and Albert from parkland to commercial/residential in the fall of 2014, Douglas Cardinal and four others (Romola Thumbadoo, Richard Jackman, Lindsay Lambert, and Larry McDermott) appealed the rezoning to the Ontario Municipal Board.

In February 2015, a pre-hearing in front of a single OMB chair lasted 2 days. Additional evidence for the OMB pre-hearing was collected in private sessions after the original 2 days, and a new date was set for the pre-hearing to continue.

In August 2015, the pre-hearing resumed and lasted 3 days.

In November 2015, the OMB chair, Richard Makuch, ruled that he would not hear constitutional arguments related to Indigenous rights put forward by the appellants. He ruled in favour of the City of Ottawa and Windmill Development Group’s motion to dismiss the appeals.

In March 2016, Mr. Cardinal and four appellants took the case to Ontario Divisional court where they sought leave to appeal the OMB ruling of the previous fall.

In May 2016, Justice Charles Hackland ruled that the OMB case from the previous year had made no errors in law, which is generally cited as the only reason to overturn or question OMB decisions.

Next week’s hearing revolves around Windmill’s motion, which is asking the Divisional Court to dismiss Cardinal’s and the appellants’ request to appeal Justice Hackland’s May decision.

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