Air Park owner builds landfill hills – creates a valley around the home of an Appleby Line resident. It’s apparently legal.

My name is Teri Jaklin; I am a resident of Rural Ward 6. We have not yet met, which in itself may be telling given the note I am embarking on now.

Blair, I have been following the new activity that is percolating, once again between the air park and the rural community in your ward.  And I respectfully suggest that you have some serious work to do when it comes to effectively representing your constituents (in rural Ward 6) in a fair and balanced fashion.

Ward 6 is full of people who have made their homes and lifestyles here for the very treasures it holds. Greenbelt, an internationally renowned Biosphere, the beauty of the escarpment and the promise to protect these for generations to come.  These are people who are willing to fight harder than the politicians, it would seem, to protect same. And for the fourth time in less than eight years these very people were gathered in a private home, once again, discussing how to protect themselves from this area’s greatest threat, Vince Rossi and the Burlington Airport.

You can speak to any of the people on this distribution list, or anyone living in this area to learn how the noise and air pollution caused by years of fill activity has compromised safety and quality of life – you can speak to neighbours who have been hit head on by the very trucks carrying the fill, not to mention the countless near misses on Appleby Line, those whose properties have been used by rogue truckers as “alternate” dump sites when the airpark gates have been closed, those who have sustained direct property damage as a result of the sheer volume of truck traffic, and you can – and should – speak to one of our neighbours whose beautiful country home has literally been turned into a sink hole – with no regard or respect to her what so ever. Certainly there are personalities at play but wouldn’t you be upset Blair if mountains of fill surrounded your home, covered with weeds, with no landscaping or concern for your quality of life – and no reasonable response from the City?

For years and years this activity has gone on under the veil of “federal jurisdiction” and has been broadly supported by the City’s love affair with the prestige of having an airport in Burlington.  But who is talking to the people that live in Rural Ward 6? Who is managing the balanced and sustainable development of the airport? Yes, an airport is “federally regulated” but it is your job Blair to understand exactly what that means in every way and strictly manage this development so that it is consistent with Provincial and Regional environmental mandates in Burlington as well as the City’s commitment to the conservation of these unique and spectacular lands.

The City’s own words on their environmental commitment are “where people, nature and business thrive” – not where one thrives at the expense of the other.  Over the many years that the residents of your ward have been struggling to be heard, we have spoken with every level of government and the common answer has been that ultimately the buck stops with the City, yet when we have engaged the City on the subject, we get a “deer in the headlights” look and no authoritative response. Does the City even care about life north of the 407? Imagine how frustrated we are.

Blair, your job is no insignificant role. You represent rapidly expanding urban growth and the commercial interests therein as well as the uniqueness of environmentally sensitive lands, a rural community and a growing Airpark. This is a huge responsibility for a new councillor. It also begs the following questions:

What is your understanding of and experience in aviation? What aviation expert has the City of Burlington engaged to support you in airport matters and when will that individual sit at the table with the City, environmental agencies and other stakeholders?

Does the City truly understand the rights and responsibilities of the airpark to the City, or is it just taking Mr. Rossi’s word for it?

What are the 1, 3, and 5-year plans for the City with regard to the development of the Airpark and Rural north Burlington?

When is the City going to engage the passionate people of Rural North Burlington as allies in these plans?

There is more in them thar hills than an enthusiastic airport developer Blair.

Nobody here is opposed to the airport, it was here before many of us moved in, and mostly we maintain a civil relationship with Vince and his managers. But what is going on with the airport borders on negligent with respect to the greater picture, and specifically with regard to the environment and the lives of your constituents.

You are largely viewed as having partnered with the airport to the exclusion of any other stakeholders – and by that I mean the people whose lives are directly impacted by airport activity. What is your position and what are you doing for the residents of Rural North Burlington? When are you going to talk to us? How long can we expect our quality of life to be compromised – or is that your plan for our future?

Poor communication leaves a door wide open to speculation, gossip and frustration. We have come to the Ward 6 Councillor in the past and expressed a desire to work collectively, from a positive perspective, with the City and the airpark – to the point where we had several meetings together. Then came an election, and, well, here we are,  I guess we have to start all over again.

If I have missed information that would shed light on any of my concerns then I stand humbly corrected and welcome the new input. If not, then I look forward to hearing from you, as I am sure may of my friends and neighbours do. Please advise when that will be at your earliest convenience.

 I look forward to your response,


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1 comment to Air Park owner builds landfill hills – creates a valley around the home of an Appleby Line resident. It’s apparently legal.

  • M. Dennis

    The Airpark land is NOT under Federal regulation – only the aeronautics part is, which applies to the safe operation of aircraft.

    Even if the dumping was legal, nobody or any business has the moral right to infringe on the rights of surrounding citizens.

    The damage already existing on the Airpark site must eventually be reversed & corrected, otherwise our City will turn into a free for all, with anyone doing whatever they please.

    North Burlington is a dump site of massive proportions – not a nice reputation to have?

    Editors note:
    Note that Mr Dennis is referring to the land, that is the ground the aircraft travel along. He maintains that is not under the jurisdiction of the federal department of transport. They, the federal government. have jurisdiction over anything aeronautical that happens on that land. Good point – will the city spend some of its money defending the interests of the residents who are getting the daylights kicked out of them by the person earning money dumping landfill.