Residents Rally Around Ojibway Advocates

Nancy-Pancheshan addresses the crowd at a rally to support saving Ojibway, on 13 September 2015.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Nancy-Pancheshan addresses the crowd at a rally to support saving Ojibway, on 13 September 2015.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

(WINDSOR, ON) – Two activists fighting to preserve the natural heritage of Ojibway Park and Prairie Complex in the face of a proposed big box development. The efforts of Nancy Pancheshan and Anna Lynn Meloche and group calling themselves Friends of Save Ojibway, with over 3,100 members on Facebook, secured an extra 10 acres for the park, but the issue remains of road kill of endangered species on Matchette Road.

Challenging the development at the Ontario Municipal Board over the last number of years resulted in the pair being sued in 2015 by the Coco Group, the proponent of the development, for a total of $875,000 in legal costs. Just recently, the OMB ruled that the two must pay $11,000, split $4,500 and $6,500 respectively.

The OMB inexplicably ordered the costs despite the abundance of case law against such a decision in public interest cases. Judges have been loathe to award costs lest it dissuade advocates from bringing forward issues for the greater good.

Elaine Weeks supports saving Ojibway from big box development.<br.Photo by Ian Shalapata

Elaine Weeks supports saving Ojibway from big box development. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

On July 18, a supporter of the group, Lisa Valente, commenced a Go Fund Me page to help raise $11,500 to cover the costs to Pancheshan and Meloche. The two women also have their own legal costs to cover in addition to the OMB ruling.

As of the time of publication, donations have been made to the tune of $9,410. While donations have been made to the Go Fund Me campaign by other members of Windsor Council, councilor Freddie Francis, in whose ward Ojibway Park and the development reside, has remained conspicuously silent on the matter.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.

1 Comment on "Residents Rally Around Ojibway Advocates"

  1. Anna Lynn Meloche |22 July 2017 at 11:21 |

    Thanks for the coverage… Windsor Square. I still feel that i let the wildlife down, when i drive by on Matchette. The Species of Ojibway , all of them should be able to move with relative safety through a Provincial Park/Area of Natural Interest and ESA Complex. They did not need the equivalent of a new highway (18000 to 24000 vehicles per day) added to their”protected” lands. The Ministry still has yet to prove an overall benefit to the species of Ojibway. Until i get some response that addresses this, even if it comes in terms of more land dedicated offsite, and traffic measures that make a real difference. I will pursue the cause of Ojibway. Thanks ever so much to all the lovers of Ojibway for their kindness in supporting Nancy and me. Sorry my website for the National Urban Park (ojibwaynationalurbanpark.ca) has recently been hacked and will need some time to be restored. .

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