A Fight over Governance of Public Cemeteries

You may recall the Friends of Toronto Cemeteries (FTC) court win against the Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries (MPGC) (Leaside Life, issue #81, February 2019). Well, no surprise, the MPG appealed, and in a recent Court of Appeal Decision, the Court found that (in the absence of legislative clarity) there was no longer any barrier to stop the MPGC board from using this public asset for private purposes. The effect of the judgment is that the eight private individuals on the MPGC board have control of a substantial public asset. However, the decision does make clear that the provincial Legislature has the power to update MPGC’s 150 year old charter – and return it to the people of Ontario.

So that is what the FTC is doing – asking the Ontario Legislature to update this historic charter, and return ownership, accountability and transparency of “Upper Canada’s First Public Ownership Trust” back to the people of Ontario.

About Geoff Kettel 135 Articles
Geoff Kettel is a community connector and advocate for “making places better”. He is currently Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, Co-Chair of the Federation of North Toronto Residents‘ Associations (FoNTRA), member of the Toronto Preservation Board and Past Chair of the North York Community Preservation Panel. He writes a monthly column on heritage and planning in Leaside Life.