Councillor Lancaster tosses credit for aerodrome information to Halton MP. Might have counted if it was a game of horseshoes.

By Pepper Parr

February 5, 2014


It is odd how some politicians see themselves and the impact they have on their community.

Recently an observant reader sent us a note drawing our attention to a document released by Transport Canada on the way different issues relating to local municipal bylaws and provincial regulations were to be interpreted as they related to aerodromes.   We did a short piece on the document and brought it to the attention of a senior staff member who trotted it along to the city’s legal department who then ensured that the details in the document were made a part of the city documents package that will get sent along to the Appeal Court in Toronto.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster thinking through the answer to a question. Tends to be cautious.

Sometime in the near future that Court will set a date and high-priced legal talent will don their robes and argue on our behalf.

The document was an Advisory Circular, something every government department puts out giving their staff directions on how certain issues are to be handled.  In this situation the Advisory related to “Land Use and Jurisdictional issues at Aerodromes” which was of particular interest to Burlington given that we are in a long hard battle with the Burlington Executive Airpark Inc., over whether or not they have to comply with the city’s bylaws – they do by the way according to the lower Court Judge Mr. Justice Murray.  It is his decision which is being appealed.

The Advisory states “that the Aeronautics Act does not grant immunity to an aerodrome operator/developer from complains with all other valid provincial legislation or municipal bylaws.”

Right on said the city’s legal department and that document got tucked into what they call a Factum and shared with the lawyers on the other side.

During the early days of the airpark kerfuffle the city of Burlington had some difficulty getting any air time with the Minster of Transportation who happens to be none other that the Hon Lisa Raitt, member for Halton just to the north of us.  Ms Raitt seemed quite busy and wasn’t all that quick to return the Mayor’s urgent calls.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster at a community event at the Burlington Executive Air Park. She didn’t take it up.

There was eventually some communication between the Minister and the Mayor – we gather that Councillor Lancaster was in there somewhere.

During the discussion on the Airpark update – #9 if you’re counting – Councillor Lancaster said she wanted to thank Minister Raitt for all she had done for Burlington on this matter, leaving the impression that the Minister might have even ordered that the Advisory Circular be written and released.

It doesn’t work that way Councillor Lancaster.  The Minister might have been vaguely aware of the document.  She has had her hands full of oil train derailments which are much “sexier” issues.

Back in 2009 when Raitt was Minister of Natural Resources her press secretary at the time left a tape recording machine at a media event.  The device carried a conversation Raitt and her press secretary had about the crisis then over the supply of medical isotopes used in the treatment of cancer.

Hon. Lissa Raitt, second from the right at an Air Park event with owner Vince Rossi, second from the left.

Minister Lisa Raitt called the medical isotopes crisis a “sexy” problem and wanted credit for fixing it, according to the audio.  Isotopes were described as a confusing subject by the press secretary to which Raitt replied: “But it’s sexy,” Radioactive leaks. Cancer.”

Unfortunately for Burlington there was nothing all that sexy about a small runway in a rural area – and besides Raitt was palsy with the owner of the airport.

Nice try though Councillor Lancaster.

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4 comments to Councillor Lancaster tosses credit for aerodrome information to Halton MP. Might have counted if it was a game of horseshoes.

  • Mike Rempel

    Blaming the MP. We are certainly making lots of new friends these days huh Blair?

  • David Monte

    Lets call it what it is – Lancaster is a lacklustre politician who will have a hard time winning re-election. I find it amazing how the day after an election MOST politicians feel a sense of invulnerability. I would personally count Lancaster amongst that lot … feeling the election is a lock for her despite what is clearly a very dissatisfied electorate.

  • marie

    The editor treads politely….
    Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster thinking through the answer to a question. Tends to be cautious

  • Monte

    Just reveals to what extent decisions are attempted to be made to satisfy political gains at the expense of the residents, the environment and in fact our future.
    This is why politicians become painted with the same brush by cynical voters.
    Are all politicians there only for their own gain?
    We won’t really know until they prove themselves. So far the track record on the Airpark is not good.
    Forget about “spin” and do what is right and only then will there be outstanding politicians.