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Protect Talisman Freedom of Information Request

Why did we file a Freedom of Information (FOI) request?

Because we believe that the process to sell the public Talisman lands has been far too secret. The municipality has not been transparent about the process for selling the land or choosing the successful bidder. 

  • Who did they meet with? 

  • Were all bidders treated fairly? 

  • Who was involved in the process? 

  • What was the role of ThinkCompass, a firm engaged by the municipality? 

  • Why did they choose Westway? 

  • What conditions did Westway put on the offer to purchase? 

  • What conditions did the municipality put on the offer to sell? 

  • Why did they enter into a joint venture with the owners of the private land only to sell the public land separately a few months later? 

  • What are the plans for the public land? 

  • What kind of development would the municipality consider putting there?

 

Many community members wrote the municipality with these and other questions and received no response or nothing of substance.

What did we learn from our FOI?

The municipality denied much of our request.  The municipality continues to state that they cannot share any details on the conditional sale, even non-monetary ones.  Apparently, they have no communications with Westway, the successful bidder, that they can share.

 

We did learn:

  • That many, many people wrote to the municipality and did not receive a response;

  • That a report was promised to address community concerns but has not been shared;

  • That some potential bidders felt that it was difficult to get information from ThinkCompass and wondered if they were being treated fairly.

What’s next?

  • We’ve filed an appeal with the Information and Privacy Commissioner because we believe the municipality has withheld information that should be publicly available.

  • We are providing all of the released documents to you. Let us know what you think or if you notice anything missing – we need your help!

Whatever your thoughts on the Municipality of Grey Highlands’s sale of public land for development at the former Talisman site, we can all agree on the need for a transparent public process for public lands.

Click the button below to read the FOI documents.

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