View Full Version : Region to negotiate sale of land to gun club

05-25-2012, 06:37 AM
ST. CATHARINES - A venerable Thorold gun club is back on course to take ownership of the land it sits on.

Niagara Region council agreed Thursday to negotiate selling the land to the Niagara Regional Police Revolver Club. The motion came after a fiery debate before a packed house of club members, who watched as councillors flouted Regional Chair Gary Burroughs’ procedural ruling and sparred over what some councillors said was a motion stomping on their wishes.

A council committee had recommended declaring the club lands surplus despite council originally sending it off to talk to the club. Burroughs and regional clerk Kevin Bain ruled that the two motions jibed, but councillors overturned his ruling 16-10 and went on to support a sale in a 20-6 vote.

“We’ve heard this five times. It’s taken up entire meetings,” said Fort Erie Coun. John Teal.

“It should be over. Get this over with.”

The decision doesn’t immediately sell off the Cataract Rd. club, and St. Catharines Coun. Bruce Timms noted the club would have to meet conditions before a purchase was finalized.

Club president Steve Scriven said that would entail addressing residents’ concerns about the club’s hours, the types of guns they use and the noise they create.

He said the club has already asked the Canadian Border Services Agency to train elsewhere. The noise from the CBSA’s training has been a prime point of contention for neighbours.

“We’re very pleased that we are going to have the opportunity to negotiate a sale of the land that will address the concerns of our neighbours,” he said.

“The property’s not going to be sold out from under us. We’re going to be allowed to negotiate in fair terms.”

Lincoln Mayor Bill Hodgson said council needs to take Scriven’s promises of noise-reduction measures at face value.

“I’m sure they were heartfelt. I’m sure that’s a clear direction the club wants to follow in the future,” he said.

“We need to make a little bit of a leap of faith here.”

The vote comes after council’s corporate services committee backed declaring part of the land surplus. That in turn was a course reversal from a vote earlier this year to sell to the gun club.

But that was another flip in council’s position, too. They voted last fall to yank the club’s dollar-a-year lease on the Region-owned land.

Thursday’s vote came after councillors faced seven speakers on the issue.

“Living in the area is not the tragedy it’s made out to be,” said Paul Justus, a long-time club member who lives in the area.

“There’s no more noise on the range than there is traffic on the road.”

He said the gunfire doesn’t emerge from the club nonstop.

“The anti-gun lobbyists are salivating at the thought of getting the range shut down,” he said.

But neighbour Preston Zuliani complained about the noise.

“I don’t think you should abandon protocol in order to give (preference to) a small group of private citizens,” he said.

“This was not the way things were when we moved in. There has been a massive change.”


05-25-2012, 07:16 AM
I had an exam, or I would have been there last night.

Sounds like things went well though.

Just a couple a*#holes trying to ruin it for everyone else, and it appears they have been told where to go.

05-25-2012, 05:03 PM
Glad to hear that reason and cool heads are setting a ground rule base for the club and local concerns are going to be addressed. Its sad when so few can cause so much trouble for so many.

05-25-2012, 07:18 PM
Glad to hear that reason and cool heads are setting a ground rule base for the club and local concerns are going to be addressed. Its sad when so few can cause so much trouble for so many.

Tiss the way of the liberal world, always has been always will be unless people finaly start to pay attention and shut these f...ers up