For Immediate Release - January 4, 2021
Get Concerned Stratford’s lawyer sends Mayor Mathieson letter demanding disclosure before Council votes on matter
A lawyer for residents is accusing the City of Stratford of misleading the public by issuing contradictory statements regarding whether a contract has been signed between Xinyi and the City.
The City of Stratford posted the following statement to its website on December 31th, “The City did enter into a binding letter of intent with Xinyi Glass Canada Limited as it relates to the float glass manufacturing facility. Similar to all binding letters of intent entered into by the City, any obligations set out in that letter are conditional upon agreement by Stratford City Council”.
This is in contradiction to a post to the website on or about December 11, 2020 stating “In November 2018, the City entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Xinyi Canada Glass Limited to build the company’s first manufacturing facility in North America.”
A letter sent today to Mayor Mathieson by David Donnelly, environmental lawyer, on behalf of Get Concerned Stratford asks “Did the City sign two letters of intent, one binding, and one not binding? The “binding” letter of intent presumably contains contractual obligations that bind the City to certain obligations, being the definition of “binding”. If so, what are the binding obligations? “
Get Concerned Stratford through its lawyer asks that Stratford Council “disclose the non binding (or binding) agreement it signed with Xinyi”.
“The Mayor’s end of year statement to the Beacon Herald continues to muddy the waters about the status of the Xinyi deal” added Donnelly.
“The Mayor begins by saying council has ‘been provided lots of feedback, both negative and positive, and they have to make a decision on it’ and then later in the same interview says City will need to share information ‘so people can understand how we got to where we are and how we reached our decision’ Has Council reached a decision or not? Have they signed a binding letter of intent or not? I believe the only way to clear up the confusion is for the Mayor to disclose the contents of any letters of Intent that have been signed between Xinyi and the City”
Today’s letter to Council asks for answers to additional questions including the amount of greenhouse gas the factory will emit.
“The City’s response to the question about the amounts of greenhouse gas that will be emitted doesn’t answer the question – instead it amounts to cheerleading for the project and is being used as a promotional tool for Xinyi communications”
stated Melissa Verspeeten, spokesperson for Get Concerned Stratford.
“Either the City knows what the GHG emissions from the Xinyi Facility will be and should disclose them, or it should confess Xinyi has not disclosed the GHG emissions to it” added Verspeeten.
The letter to Mayor Mathieson concludes asking for “answers to the above-noted questions, at least fourteen days before Council puts the Xinyi Facility question to a vote.
Get Concerned Stratford
is a citizens group who oppose the Minister’s Zoning Order which has been issued by the Ontario provincial government to convert prime agricultural land into industrial land, and who oppose the installation of a 175 acre glass factory in ‘Festival City’.