Blueberry Pancake Festival in support of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s Hearts and Minds campaign

July 25, 2015

At Barrie Hill Farms, this Sunday from 8 to 3 pm,


Six-year-old Abigail Smith digs into her blueberry pancakes as her brother Ezra, 2, stares down the photographer during the Knights of Columbus annual Blueberry pancake breakfast at Barrie Hill Farms. In support of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s Hearts and Minds campaign, this is the 12th year for the fundraiser. J.T. McVeigh Photo

The Barrie Examiner, Barrie Knights of Columbus blueberry pancake festival helping mental health at RVH:

The Barrie Knights of Columbus and the folks at Barrie Hill Farms are hosting the Knights’ 12th annual Blueberry Pancake Festival.

The festival ran Saturday and will run Sunday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Barrie Hill Farms. Proceeds from the event will help fund the expansion of Cardiology and the Youth Mental Health Facilities at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Barrie Hill Farms is located at 2935 Barrie Hill Rd.

The cost is $7.50 per adult and $5 for kids 10 and under. The meal includes blueberry pancakes, sausages, coffee or juice.


Knights of Columbus’ Robert Clark, right, flips while Les Stewart waits to refill the pan during the group’s annual fundraiser for Royal Victoria Hospital’s Hearts and Minds campaign at Barrie Hill Farms, Saturday. J.T. McVeigh Photo

CTV Barrie reports: New five-year agreement for Springwater Provincial Park

July 10, 2015

Exciting news for this unique partnership between Ontario and Beausoleil First Nation.

BFN Roly

Click here for video.

Heather Butts reports:

Springwater Provincial Park will reopen after a five-year deal was agreed to between the Beausoleil First Nation and the Province of Ontario.

The gates will reopen thanks to the unique deal between the two sides.

“It’s our treaty territory, Treaty 16, so for us to be able to do something beyond our First Nation. Ontario has given us the opportunity to prosper and it’s time for us to showcase ourselves, not only ourselves but also as Ontarians that we can be successful at economic opportunities just like they can,” says Beausoleil First Nation Chief Roland Monague.

Springwater Provincial Park was deemed non-operational in September 2012. The province said there weren’t enough visitors and it was losing money. Les Stewart fought to keep the park open and helped push for the new partnership.

“It’s really important that people be able to drive in and use the facilities and see the ponds and the pavilions. This is a very important area in our community, has a history back to 1922,” says Stewart.

Beausoleil First Nation will be responsible for the maintenance and general operation of the park. The park will be staffed by a member of the First Nations community and someone from Ontario Parks.

The park has always been for day use only and it will remain that way for at least the next three years, but Monague says there is a possibility overnight camping could be allowed in the years to come.

“We got a lot of planning to do to make it there, what we want to do is add a cultural component to this park which includes bringing in crafts people, vendors, Pow Wows,” adds Monague.

Attractions that might help keep the park going for a long time.

“We don’t have a lot of parks around Barrie and it’s such a large, open space, I’m hoping people will realize the jewel we do have and actually start frequenting it a lot more than they had maybe for the last few years,” says Springwater Mayor Bill French.

An official opening ceremony is scheduled for July 31.

Posted on

Whether he’s just mean or wilfully dense

June 13, 2015

“From life nothing; to death nothing”

The Hard Canadian, The Big Bounce, Gord Downie

He don’t have much to say
But he hurts your feelings
Almost every single day
Takes a puff-a-nothing
Picks something from his tongue
He’s the hard Canadian

The hard Canadian
Doesn’t care what you do
The hard Canadian
Don’t give a damn about you
What’s a windswept face
The elusive presence of the sun
To the hard Canadian?

The hard Canadian
Is all darkness in his heart
But for the glow of her nightgown
Through the dark
Yeah, but then he blurs the image
Drags his brush through the wet pigment
‘Cause he’s the hard Canadian

His berating heart, grown thorny with sin
And oh the silences, he don’t listen to them
Whether he’s just mean or wilfully dense
He says, “From life nothing; to death nothing”

The hard Canadian
Is what he throws away
And he hurt her feelings
Almost every single day
Now he takes a shot of nothing
Stares off remembering someone
That’s the hard Canadian
That’s the hard Canadian
He’s the hard Canadian

Barrie Native Friendship Centre Pow Wow: this Sat and Sunday at Springwater Park

June 12, 2015

Come on out and enjoy the activities.


The water and electricity and restrooms and parking lots are all on in the park, too!

Waters on

Such beautiful sculptures in granite.

Fountain 5

Such beautiful sculptures in granite.

Click for a map here.

Posted on

Are the words “cultural genocide” too strong for most Canadians?

June 1, 2015

For some perhaps. But others accept and serve truth (ie. reality) primarily and rather than economic power.

chief justice

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in Vancouver June 6, 2013. In a speech on May 28, 2015, she referred to Canada’s treatment of its aboriginal people as a “cultural genocide” that began in the colonial period. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

In the Globe and Mail, Chief Justice says Canada attempted ‘cultural genocide’ on aboriginals:

Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin says Canada attempted to commit “cultural genocide” against aboriginal peoples, in what she calls the worst stain on Canada’s human-rights record.

Genocide – an attempt to destroy a people, in whole or part – is a crime under international law. The United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted in 1948, does not use the phrase “cultural genocide,” but says genocide may include causing serious mental harm to a group.

Click here for a summary video or here for the full lecture.

Update: Ceremonial teepee at Springwater Park torched.

May 20, 2015
Beth Ian McInroy

Elizabeth Brass Elson, of Beausoleil First Nation, looks over the remains of a ceremonial teepee which was destroyed by vandals Saturday night at Springwater Provincial Park, located north of Barrie. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA


Wanzel tee pee

Mark Wanzel, Barrie Examiner

Reports of May 17, 2015 arson at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi:

Tipi up

This is what the donated teepee looked like when we put it up on August 4, 2013. I wrote about it. See: An Anishinaabe tipi now graces Springwater Park – Camp Nibi in Midhurst


A generous donation. Ten years in Debby’s family. Aboriginal Voices Radio.

Tipi Beth Sylvie

People of goodwill trying to add to the diversity of our community.



Les Marvin



The image that NOW magazine used in their September 5, 2013 article called John Bacher on Wild West sprawl wrecking Ontario parks.

NOW magazine

New information: The emergency service providers cut the chain to gain access to the park.

Images of what I discovered at the park on April 22, 2015.

Sign vandal

At the Anishnaabe teaching lodge which houses a sweat lodge.

20150422 Lodge 1

Originally posted on

Toronto Star: Brampton correct in calling in the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate development deal.

May 6, 2015

A $500-million development triggers a call for an independent investigation.

Andre Marin

Andre Marin to look into a controversial development deal.// TORONTO STAR

The province will have to agree but in today’s Toronto Star: Brampton city council is right to ask Ontario Ombudsman André Marin to investigate a controversial development

It was supposed to shine a light on Brampton’s murky business dealings, but a $269,000 report by a high-profile municipal lawyer has only generated more smoke.

Brampton residents, city council and Mayor Linda Jeffrey have every right to be outraged. Instead of supplying credible answers, lawyer George Rust-D’Eye’s report raised further questions about a controversial $500-million development deal, and about his own investigation.

Council was correct in unanimously voting to ask Ontario Ombudsman André Marin to launch an inquiry into the city’s procurements. Indeed, municipal leaders had little choice given what they were handed — a document repeatedly called a “whitewash” in Brampton’s council chambers on Monday.

As reported by the Star’s San Grewal, Rust-D’Eye exonerated city staff of any misconduct in a deal that had raised concern about how some developers were being treated. Council critics noted that he reached that finding through heavy reliance on claims made by the very staff he was investigating. That’s not good enough to maintain public confidence in the fairness of the process.

Concern was also expressed about Rust-D’Eye’s previous work for the law firm WeirFoulds, which was involved in the development deal’s initial stages. Rust-D’Eye said that connection did not pose a conflict of interest, since he hadn’t worked on this specific development file. But, according to WeirFoulds, he was head of the firm’s municipal law section at the time.

Even if Rust-D’Eye wasn’t technically in conflict, he should have known this connection might raise a troubling suspicion of potential bias — one that would likely undermine community trust in his findings. And that’s precisely what has happened.

Adding financial insult to the mix, the cost of his report was initially pegged at between $50,000 and $60,000. Rust-D’Eye said he worked as efficiently as he could and gave the public a break by charging less than his usual rate. Despite that, his analysis arrived with a bill to taxpayers of more than a quarter of a million dollars.

It’s a disappointing outcome on every level. But, to their credit, Brampton’s leaders aren’t abandoning their search for answers and have turned to Ontario’s ombudsman.

Mr. Marin, it’s your turn to shine the spotlight.

The Midhurst Secondary Plan has been estimated to be worth 80 times as much as the Brampton development.


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