Airpark files an appeal on the Wednesday decision that found Burlington site bylaw to be valid. The saga continues.

November 15, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  The Burlington Executive Airpark has decided to appeal the decision that found the city of Burlington site modification bylaw to be valid.

One needs to look at the time line on this decision to appeal.  Justice Murray released his decision at just before 5:00 pm on Wednesday the 13th.   These things are often sent by fax and would have gone to the offices of the lawyer who argued the case.

That suggests that Vince Rossi and his legal team were up late Wednesday and then spent all of Thursday reviewing the decision and the applicable case law.

They then have to draft their documents and file them at the Court House in Milton and then have the documents served on the city, which they are reported to have done Friday afternoon.

An early photograph of the Airpark property. There are now two runways and a lot more landfill now than there was when this picture was taken. The lines indicate the extent of the holdings.

The news release announcing the decision to appeal did not come from the lawyers representing the Airpark but instead came from Tim Crawford who has been an advisor to Vince Rossi.

Vince Rossi at a community meeting held in a barn a couple of hundred yards from the end of one of the airport runways

The grounds for the appeal are twofold: arguing that Justice Murray erred in law and that there is a fundamental constitutional issue to be argued as well.  That pulls the Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General of Ontario into the case.  When you involve federal and provincial governments you move into a pace that is best described as glacial.  Someone is buying time.

There is a lot of Vince Rossi’s money at risk.  He owns the land, has a $4 million mortgage to service and will have to keep his development plans on hold until he has a decision.

Selling gas to small planes isn’t going to pay the bills.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, King Paving removed all their equipment from the site.  King was the company that hauled the bulk of the landfill onto the Airpark site. 

The relationship between King Paving, Tim Crawford and Vince Rossi is a complex one.  Both King Paving and Crawford have offices in the same building  in Burlington.  Crawford is in the aircraft insurance business and while he claims that he does not have a financial interest in the Airpark and does not earn fees from the company, many believe there is a benefit in there for him somewhere.

When the Airpark issue was heard at the Region, Crawford who expected to do a 10 minute delegation, was kept hopping with some close to hostile questions from the Regional Councillors. They kept him on his feet for close to an hour and gave him quite the grilling

Vince Rossi is a relationship builder.  He seeks out people with power and influence and manages to get them to do some of his bidding.  When he needed to send a fax to the Minister of Finance the document went from the offices of Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga.  When a fax from the Mayor of Mississauga arrives – attention is paid to it.

Lisa Raitt, second from the right, Tim Crawford centre behind the flowers and Vince Rossi in the red sweater. The flowers suggest a Christmas event.

Rossi has developed  a better than working relationship with Lisa Raitt, the MP for Halton – good business.  That relationship is such that Raitt shows up at some of the Airpark social events.

Rossi has done the same thing with Burlington`s Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster. She has held at least two ward corn roasts at the Airpark

Relationships are good to have but they will never beat a positive cash flow which many suspect is something the Burlington Executive Airpark does not have.

The saga continues.


Rossi meets with residents; his lawyer fails to browbeat city council.

Airpark landfill damage cannot be seen from Appleby Line.

City gets details on landfill damage – not a pretty picture.

City thinks about road access suspensions to airpark property.

It all came to the attention of city council back in may.

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3 comments to Airpark files an appeal on the Wednesday decision that found Burlington site bylaw to be valid. The saga continues.

  • Monte

    Airpark owners and supporters that insist that they can hide behind an Aeronautics Act that was created during the First World War should also be restricted to operating aircraft from the First World War.
    Sorry folks, leave your helicopters & jets on the drawing boards.

  • Roger Goulet

    Why do some people believe they can operate outside environmental regulations? The Federal Aeronautics Act has NO regulations controlling the landfilling of fill, none. We either need the Feds to enact fill regulations, or delegate the responsibility to Municipalities.
    3 hours ago · 2

  • Stephanie Cooper-Smyth

    Excellent analysis excellent.

    The appeal process could take at least 5 years as it moves from the lower Court where it starts, to the Supreme Court.

    In the meantime, what happens to the abutting homesteads you’ve reported on as already experiencing flooding and damages caused by Rossi’s ungoverned, toxic landfill dumping and site alterations?

    And what if the contaminants start leaching onto their properties and into their wells during this appeal process?

    What can those landowners do? More years of ongoing damages could make the destruction irreversible and render their homes unlivable?

    Mr. Rossi, I know you are lurking on this website. If you are a God-fearing man, for what you’ve done and continue to do to that community, you should be very afraid right now.