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Nearly six-year battle over Pointe aux Pins subdivision headed to Supreme Court

Case expected to be heard in early 2020
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The company that wants to develop the Pointe Estates subdivision in the Sault’s west end has been allowed to appeal a Court of Appeal judgement in connection to an alleged breach of contract against the Pointes Protection Association.

The Pointes Protection Association (PPA) is a group of area residents and supporters who formed a non-profit corporation to formally oppose the development, due to concerns the development would damage the wetland area.

The Pointe Estates development, proposed by Jeff and Dr. Patricia Avery, envisions a 91-lot waterfront subdivision to be built on 102 hectares (252 acres) of property in the Pointe aux Pins area, between Point Aux Pins Drive, Dalgleish Road and Alagash Drive and Pointe Louise Drive.

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) board voted December 13, 2012, in a 3-2 recorded vote, in favour of forwarding the Pointe Estates development to City Council for further consideration.

City Council, in a 7-4 recorded vote, chose not to approve the proposed Pointe Estates subdivision development in July 2013.

That decision was taken before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), which upheld council’s decision in March 2015.

From there, the Avery group, in Oct. 2018, challenged an Ontario Court of Appeal decision in favour of the PPA, the Supreme Court of Canada now having granted an appeal from the developers.

Sault lawyer Orlando Rosa, who represents the Averys and their Ontario numbered company, anticipates the appeal to the Supreme Court will be heard in early 2020.

The Avery group is taking the PPA to the Supreme Court over an alleged breach of contract, stating the PPA broke a promise that in any proceeding before the OMB, or in any other subsequent legal proceeding, the PPA would not advance the position that the Conservation Authority’s resolutions were illegal, invalid, or contrary to the relevant environmental legislation.

Rosa, in a statement issued Thursday, wrote “obtaining leave to appeal a case to the Supreme Court of Canada is extremely difficult and the granting of leave is indicative that the Supreme Court wants to hear legal arguments on whether the Courts should adopt a draconian approach in dismissing claims under the guise that the action is meant to inhibit public debate.”

Rosa and Paul Cassan, of Wishart Law Firm, will be presenting the developers' case before the Supreme Court.

Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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