Clarifying the Facts
The Context Behind the Story
A recent communication from a Chester Tileman (purporting to represent an unnamed “group of concerned citizens”) that was published anonymously in Midland Today was allegedly crafted from Freedom of Information (FOI) material released in August of this year. It includes four pages of what was reported to be 1,200 pages, none of which have been seen or since released. The four pages show a set of emails heavily redacted to suggest that inappropriate communications took place between a member of Council or Tiny administration staff and the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations (FoTTSA).
The context is critically important. Note that these communications took place in March 2021. In January 2021 FoTTSA and Tiny Township both opposed the renewal of CRH’s Permit to Take Water for the washing of gravel in the Teedon Pit to the Ontario Land Tribunal. The OLT rejected these requests. Both Tiny and FoTTSA subsequently filed a Leave to Appeal by presenting further evidence as to why the Permit to Take Water should not have been renewed.
Acting for FoTTSA, the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) lawyers amassed data to support this Leave to Appeal and then filed FoTTSA’s Leave to Appeal well ahead of the deadline of Friday, January 29, 2021. On the day before the leave to appeal was due, Tiny Township contacted their lawyer who indicated that she couldn’t prepare the necessary documents in time. Multiple communications, both by phone and email, took place not just to/from Tony Mintoff, but AMONG MULTIPLE MEMBERS OF COUNCIL AND STAFF to see if there was any way for the Township make the deadline.
FoTTSA offered the help of our CELA lawyers and all of the data they had amassed, which the Township accepted, and thus was able to file its Leave to Appeal on time.
The Township later withdrew its Leave to Appeal. FoTTSA won the Leave and ultimately won a landmark decision requiring CRH to line a key pond in the Teedon Pit that will prevent seepage into the Alliston Aquifer below. Nothing like this had ever been achieved by anyone trying to protect groundwater against activities of the gravel industry in Ontario. The CELA lawyers then invited the Township to add its name to the settlement.
There was never anything secretive about then-Councilor Mintoff’s relationship to FoTTSA. Indeed, Mayor Cornell had appointed Mintoff to serve as liaison between Council and FoTTSA following the election of 2018 for all matters that were of concern to the citizens of Tiny.
In summary, as seen in the above account of what actually happened, it is clear that Tiny Township needed help with this critical environmental challenge. A factual review of the circumstances outlined above makes it clear that then-Councilor (and now mayoral candidate) Mintoff and FoTTSA were working together appropriately, within a Council approved liaison role for Mintoff, to assist Council and Township staff in an environmental protection matter of vital interest to the entire Tiny community and their children and their grandchildren for generations to come.
Board of Directors FoTTSA