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article imageMotion proceeds for Rob Ford parkland request at TRCA in Toronto

By KJ Mullins     May 4, 2012 in World
Toronto - Will Mayor Rob Ford get his 'sliver' of park land? The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) meeting this morning included one very high-profile request: Ford wants to purchase a parcel of land to build a better fence behind his backyard.
Mayor Rob Ford's representative told the TRCA executive committee that a bigger fence is needed because of past intrusions. The possible sale of parkland to the Mayor is the hottest story in Toronto right now.
The TRCA chair told members that they should refer to the Mayor as "the applicant" instead of his public title.
The staff at TRCA can't remember any time in the past that park land was sold other than to settle encroachment issues.
The TRCA is saying that there would have to be a public consultation first to sell the property to Rob Ford. Chairperson Maria Augimeri has said that she is in favor of handing the application to staff for an impartial review.
We are the owners of this land but it is managed by city parks system said Augimeri, "I don't want to be in the shoes of the person deciding that."
City councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker stated that he was opposed to the request, citing that approval would open up the floodgates to other homeowners trying to buy parkland.
"We shouldn't sell parkland to anybody unless there's a special circumstance like a hardship," Glenn De Baeremaeker said, "This applicant should know that."
Gerri Lynn O'Connor stated that she wants to go ahead with a staff report citing that during her time with the TRCA no applicant has been turned down without a report being done.
Member Vincent Crisanti, also a City Councillor who is an ally of Ford's, said that the request is 'reasonable' because of security concerns. He has urged for the board to proceed with the report.
At 11:00 a.m. the motion carried 11-1 for the application by Rob Ford to buy parkland. This means that the TRCA will now conduct a report on the proposal.
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