Re: “OLA Litigation Fund” – No GILMOR Court Decision Yet By Tom Black

Tom Black

This is to provide you with an update on where the Gilmor case presently stands. First of all, we would like to thank the OLA e-news readers who supported us in our fundraising efforts towards helping ensure that the Gilmor case had all the opportunity for a successful outcome. The Gilmors, discouraged with the fact that they won their case with 3 judges, were extremely disappointed to have to start the process all over again with the appeal. They chose to represent themselves without the assistance of a lawyer. For many of us, this case was a pivotal one as it revolved around the fact that the rulings stated that the Conservation Authorities had overstepped their mandate and did not have the authority to deny the Gilmors a building permit.

We were told that because this case had ramifications for a large group of landowners in the province, we could apply for intervenor status and give testimony to support the Gilmors. After retaining lawyer, Arkadi Bouchelev to represent the OLA, he applied for intervenor status. This was denied. A second group of citizens approached us and stated that they would be intervenors if we could help with funding it. We agreed. This was a large group of cottage owners very concerned with conservation authority issues. They too were denied. We felt strongly that by representing themselves alone in court, the Gilmor case could be lost. We searched for and found a third group of people and a third lawyer. It was a complete surprise to all of us, when this third attempt was also rejected but the judge at this time, perhaps because of the obvious outside interest in the case, stated that the court would appoint a legal aid lawyer to represent the Gilmors and this was done. This was a great boost to the case and meant that the Gilmors would not be standing alone in court.

We have heard that the lawyer, chosen for the Gilmors did an excellent job and worked very hard on their case. An appeal case cannot present new evidence and we believe that there was no new evidence that would change the decisions of the original judges even though Conservation Ontario and the Ministry of Natural Resources were all granted intervenor status for the Conservation Authorities. The positive note is that we did not have to fund the trial lawyer which we realize, would have been costly. However, although we had about 100 people donate to the fund, we have not raised enough money to pay all the lawyers for the work they did in preparing for intervenor status. We have paid our lawyer and a down payment to the other two but we need to raise about $12,000 more to finish our bill.

We will try to fundraise as well through the Landowner Magazine but we appreciate any help, big or small that you would be able to contribute towards settling our debt to these lawyers. We had expected to have a decision on the case before we asked for more money but the lawyers have waited almost five months so we would like to finish paying for their bill. Watch in the Landowner Magazine and this E-news for UPDATES.

Please make cheques payable to:

The OLA Litigation Fund
P.O. Box 346
Woodlawn, ON K0A 3M0.

Thank you again.
Sincerely, Tom Black