Another good article from the Barrie Examiner.
In the article Country has growing pains: AWARE Simcoe holding news conference (Word pdf), Cheryl Browne of the Barrie Examiner highlights an important role of AWARE Simcoe:
However, Kate Harries [above], a former reporter turned activist, said that they want to see the approved plan as early as possible.
“We think the great unwashed public should be shown what’s in it, too,” Harries said.
Attending county council chambers Tuesday, Harries represents the grassroots group AWARE Simcoe, founded in 2010 after helping quash the Site 41 landfill. Its mandate has expanded to including demanding accountability in the county’s 16 municipalities, as well as Barrie and Orillia.
In 2011, AWARE Simcoe took part in the consultation process about Simcoe County’s growth plan and Amendment No. 1 with Chiarelli in January. Harries said Park’s recent announcement that the county’s growth could exceed the expected population of 667,000 by 2031 with an extra 20,000 bodies is difficult to come to terms with, especially in Springwater Township.
“We’re concerned about Midhurst and what it means to the county as a whole,” Harries said. “Once the land’s paved, it’s gone.”
Kim Hand speaks for another grassroots group, Friends of Midhurst (friendsofmidhurst.ca):
“It’s not that we’re opposed to development, we’re welcoming to all newcomers, but it’s got to be on a scale that’s manageable,” said Kim Hand, spokeswoman of the group.
She said of the 3,200 residents in Midhurst, 1,400 people signed a petition voicing their concerns about the planned expansion.
“We want to work in collaboration with the township, but we find them to be dismissive. They talk about stakeholders. Well, we’re the voters,” Hand quipped. “It’s like in order to create something beautiful for some people, you’re destroying what’s already beautiful now.”
Transparency, accountability and a respectful dialogue.