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To: Town of South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Michi, Deputy Mayor Kirkland and Town Councillors Hull, Durst and Bell

In recent years, frequent losing court battles waged by town council have divided our own community, and undermined the town’s relations with our First Nations neighbours.

In the last municipal election, voters opted for a change in direction from the Town of South Bruce Peninsula town council.

The majority of the TSBP voters chose a new mayor who campaigned to curb spending on costly court cases, and to improve relations with local First Nations communities.

Voters in the last election gave council a mandate to cool the rhetoric concerning the beach, to refrain from expensive lawsuits, and to work with Saugeen First Nation towards a co-operative and mutually beneficial future for all of us at Sauble Beach.

Since the election, council members seemed to have adopted a more co-operative working style, and to have turned away from a reliance on expensive and highly divisive court battles.

Filing of an appeal on the Vella ruling seems to fly in the face of everything expected by those of us who voted for a change in direction from the Town of South Bruce Peninsula council.

Sadly, the window of opportunity created since the election can close very rapidly, and lead to a divisive and dangerous repetition of past events, with even graver consequences this time.

While some media reports suggest this appeal is merely to provide clarification on the boundaries set out in the Vella ruling, the actual wording of the town’s appeal seeks to overturn the court’s decision altogether, and failing that, to initiate an entire expensive re-trial (to be followed, no doubt, by another expensive appeal if the re-trial fails.)

In talking with people I know, there is now a widespread concern that in appealing the Vella decision, the Town is going down the very same road that our previous council took.

With all due respect, and at the very least, I feel council must reassure everyone that regaining “ownership” of this portion of the beach is NOT what is being sought in this appeal.

Thanks for your time,

Rob Rolfe



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