Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries (MPGC) was established as a public trust by the Ontario Legislature in the 1800s and operated with public participation for over 150 years until the 1980s. The trust was funded 100% by the Ontario public, who continue to subsidize it through the forgiveness of all taxation.
In the mid 2000's, the MPGC board began without reason to claim that it was their "commercial, privately owned cemetery" and that there was no public trust. The board declared it was accountable to no one, despite the public's investment that had grown to a ~$3 billion dollar asset encompassing 1,222 acres in the Greater Toronto Area and enjoying ongoing public subsidy.
In order to protect the Trust, and due to a vacuum in Provincial leadership and oversight, the Friends of Toronto Public Cemeteries applied to the Courts to interpret and enforce the Province’s own legislation. Although ‘Friends’ won the case in Superior Court, the Court of Appeal reversed the judge’s decision and unbelievably, delivered the cemetery assets in private hands.
Mount Pleasant can now lock the gates and restrict access to the cemetery, as we've seen recently, or do something worse - such as sell cemetery land to a foreign-owned multinational cemetery corporation.
The Court of Appeal however confirmed that the Trust was created by the provincial Legislature which can re-legislate as it sees fit.
The Government of Ontario must act to update the legislation to protect our Public Trust. Or lose it forever!
Join our Petition to Premier Ford!
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