Based on what Mayor Hughes disclosed, the majority of Simoce County councillors seem to share that view.
An article on AWARE News Network called Simcoe County wants $5,000 from AWARE Simcoe:
Simcoe County Council voted overwhelmingly today to recover $5,000 in court costs from AWARE Simcoe.
The case involved an application by the citizens’ group for a judicial review of a County decision to allow a developer to clearcut a portion of Beeton Woods. A judge awarded the costs after refusing to grant an injunction to prevent the cutting until the judicial review was heard. AWARE Simcoe then withdrew from the judicial review.
New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne told council that developer Tecumseth Estates is not planning to pursue the $27,000 in costs it was awarded against AWARE. The group has no money, he said. “Are we going to spend staff time and legal costs? I think we should just write it off.”
Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes disagreed. “AWARE’s integrity is at stake,” he said. “We should not be letting them off the hook.”
Upon receipt, the county plans to donate the funds to the South Simcoe Streams Network for the planting of trees.
AWARE Simcoe spokesperson Sandy Agnew said members are disappointed in the county’s decision.
“AWARE Simcoe is working hard to protect the environment and natural heritage in Simcoe County and the value of that work seems to be lost on most of county council,” he said.
“AWARE Simcoe members spend their own personal money on our work, while the county spends our tax dollars fighting AWARE Simcoe, instead of getting the process right – as pointed out by the judge.”
Allowing the cutting of the Beeton Woods under the false pretence of agriculture was an abdication of political responsibility by county councillors, Agnew said.
“AWARE Simcoe’s cause was just, but we were out-gunned in court by high paid lawyers who bamboozled the judge. The idea of replacing a mature stand of trees with seedlings planted elsewhere is ludicrous.”
Agnew said AWARE Simcoe’s Vision is for a Healthy Environment, Agricultural Prosperity, Development that is a Net Benefit to the Community, Complete Communities, Reliable Sustainable Energy, Awareness of the Need for Sustainability, and Healthy Lifestyles.
“AWARE Simcoe will continue to fight for our Vision,” he said.
Disclosure: My family has been in Midhurst since 1960, been a member of AWARE Simcoe for 4 years and my son currently serves on their board. In my opinion, saving Springwater Park would have been impossible without their active involvement while Mayor Hughes was indifferent at best.
My family or I are NOT involved in any potential or actual legal action with AWARE Simcoe or any of their Board members.
Is it material if Mayor Hughes failed to disclose any past or present litigation he has personally against AWARE Simcoe of their members to his fellow Simcoe County councillors, before they voted?
Was Mayor Hughes in a conflict of interest?
Set aside a morning on April 23rd to hear some facts.
I will be providing some perspective on the reforestation years.
The fruits of these visionaries’ brilliance is borne out in our county forests and Springwater Provincial Park.
Posted also on SpringwaterParkcc.org.
If Midhurst residents are at war over their community’s future, is it likely that their adversary is using change agents to undermine their defences?February 19, 2016
Every military campaign relies on intrigue. What is concealed, what is revealed
A commercial plan like the Midhurst Secondary Plan, MSP which is worth $40-billion, is no different. Very charming, highly-accomplished, -motivated, and -educated individuals are recruited, moved in, provide back intelligence and sabotage their master’s adversaries’ defences.
In my opinion these are the two most likely individuals:
David Strachan, current AWARE Simcoe board member for Springwater Township, chaired and organized the meeting on November 28, 2011 meeting at the Midhurst Community Centre which broke the MSP news publicly, new to Midhurst in 2009.
Don Allen, current Springwater Township Deputy Mayor and franchisor executive, new to Midhurst in March 2015.
IMHO, a legal liability (failure of duty, conflict of interest) compromises, both personally the returning and the new members, and the Corporation of Springwater Township. Maybe that’s why Barnet Kussner and WeirFoulds LLP is still on the township payroll in 2016?
Jack Hanna is the most motivated because of a large variance between his personal net worth versus his competence to independently re-create it.
Who should be taking credit for the plan to establish a Midhurst Sports & Wellness Centre by demolishing the Midhurst Community Centre by September 2016?February 16, 2016
Based on a Springwater News letter to the editor (Feb 11, 2016) by Ann Spence:
- Executive: Barb Kutcher, Chair, Roy Monk, Vice-Chair, Doreen Britt, Secretary, Carol Fleming, Booking Agent
- Members at Large: Lori Hanna, Ann Spence, Matt Kelman, Nadia DeAmicis, Jack Hanna
- Supporters (individuals): Connie Spek, Nancy Spence, Margaret Prophet
- Supporters (groups): Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, AWARE Simcoe (support of plan pending)
Letter to the Editor
February 11, 2016
Midhurst Community Hall Communications Report
By: Ann Spence
Barb Kutcher was elected Chair, Doreen Britt continued as Secretary, Roy Monk was elected Vice Chair and Carol Fleming (705-722-8714) will remain Booking Agent. Members at large are Lori Hanna, Ann Spence, Matt Kelman, Nadia DeAmicis, and Jack Hanna.
The 2015 Autumnfest, under the guidance of Lori, Nadia and Barb was successful and raised approximately $5,000.000 which has been ear marked for our future pavilion.
The interior of the Midhurst Community Hall looks great with its new coat of paint on the front foyer, hallways, bathrooms and upstairs main room. Special thanks to the following volunteers who donated their time to give the hall a fresh look: Barb, Lori, Connie, Nancy and Margaret.
Events for 2016 will start off at the Midhurst Community Hall with a Pancake breakfast on Family Day Monday February 15th at 9 am until 11:30 am. The Midhurst Snowman Building Contest, winners to be announced at the Pancake Breakfast with prizes handed out by the MRA (Midhurst Rate Payers Association). Let’s hope the weather co-operates for the Snowmen Building Contest.
A new portable sign to advertise community events has been purchased and is available for rent $20.00/week for Families of Charities and $40.00/week for businesses. Wish your family and friends a happy birthday or anniversary, etc. To post your message, call or text Lori Hanna 705-795-5042.
Midhurst is off to a good start for 2016!
Posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.
cui bono: Latin for “who benefits?”.
For whose greater good is the County of Simcoe serving when the try to “SLAPP” AWARE Simcoe into silence?October 10, 2015
The citizens of the county or other interests?
An original article from Dr. John Bacher pdf
A New “White Savagery” Assault on Ontario’s Restored Forests: SLAPP lawsuits and “Award of Costs”
Dr. John Bacher
Dr. Bacher addresses the Simcoe County council in support of Stop Work Order, Beeton Woods clear cut.
In 19th century Ontario when forests were reduced to ashes to make cheap soap creating as a result deserts that threatened to bury the province in sand, forest burners used fairly crude tactics against their opponents. The one figure who attempted to stand up to these assaults, the Mohawk Iroquois Confederacy Chief George Johnson, had three assassination attempts on his life for enforcing the Six Nation’s forest protection laws.
Johnson was beaten and left to dead by his assailants, one time surviving only because a bullet intended to kill him, got stuck in a heavy waist coat for a patrol on a chilly autumn night. A friend, the anthropologist Horatio Hale, called this evil assault “white savagery.”
Johnson certainly knew how to use what his fellow Confederacy elders called “the good mind” against his opponents. Helped by the literary and musical talents of his family, which included his English born wife, Emily and performance daughter artist Pauline, he lured the intellectual elite of Ontario to his home Chiefswood.
At Chiefswood helped by the magnificence of the towering trees protected by the Mohawks, Johnson explained to his guests that forests were too valuable to be burnt up for play. Eventually public opinion changed resulting in the tripling of forest cover in Ontario under the direction of its Chief Forester, Edmund Zavitz.
What is astonishing today is that we see a new assault on the restored forest Johnson conceived and Zavitz planted. This is a new form of what Hale termed. “white savagery”. It involves more refined and subtle methods than the past gunfire and beatings.
Rather than attempt as in the corrupt Gilded Age to silence conservationists through crude shootings, the preferred method of intimidation today has become the “cost award” and “SLAPP” suit (Strategic lawsuit against public participation). What is sought however, is the same: to try to intimidate people who love forests to get out of the way of their destruction.
Within the week we have seen two attempts by environmentalists to rescue forests restored through Zavitz’s forest conservation efforts from development corporations be the targets of a renewed savagery against their defenders. Both of these forests were created as a result of Zavitz’s forest conservation efforts.
The David Dunlap Forest planted between 1938 and 1980 helped rescue Toronto from flooding on the Don River and the march of sand from the once treeless Oak Ridges Moraine. Forests in the Simcoe County Township of New Tecumseh in the village of Beeton were created for their role in protecting drinking water. The Premier of Ontario, E. C. Drury, who bolstered Zavitz’s conservation efforts, praised Beeton for increasing its “water supply by judicious reforestation.”
Mary Lou Jorgensen Bacher at Mohawk Chief George Johnson’s home, “Chiefswood”
The Richmond Hill Naturalists attempted to save about half (43 acres) of the David Dunlap Forest from proposed residential development. After losing a re-zoning decision at the OMB, which subsequently caused close to fifty acres of forests to be clear cut, it was hit by the granting of a $100,000 award of costs requested by the developer, Metrus. AWARE Simcoe is now struggling to protect 30 acres of a Beeton forest from a development company that is pretending to be an agricultural operation. Although the forest is still intact, Simcoe County granted a “Special Permit”, which exempts the forest from provisions against tree cutting in its tree by-law. It is seeking court injunction to revoke the “Special Permit” and for this reason has been hit by a request for up to +$63,000 in court costs.
What is most bizarre about this new round of “white savagery” against forest defenders is a common attempt by developers and their minions to deny that environmental protection groups represent the public interest. Lawyer for Simcoe County Marshall Green articulated this view in his court submission against AWARE Simcoe. He takes the view that it is nothing than a “corporate lobby group.” In this regards Green echoes the OMB’s condemnation of the Richmond Hill Naturalists, which also challenged their status as public interest defenders. This was expressed in a ruling before the cost award granted by OMB hearing officer, Joseph Sniezek in a preliminary procedure before the merits of the re-zoning of the Dunlap Forest was considered. This was based on a previous OMB decision, Zellers versus Leamington. The OMB ruled that efforts to save 43 acres of forests from residential development by a long established environmental group, had the same corporate self-interested status as a discount chain store struggling to delay the establishment of a new shopping mall.
In condemning the Richmond Hill Naturalists, hearing officer Sniezek claimed that they had no substantive evidence. This is based on his belief that in the zoning decision he adjudicated he was bound to not depart from an earlier official plan amendment heard by OMB Vice-Chair, Karlene J. Hussey.
In her decision however, Hussey clearly indicated that she believed that efforts to protect forests were a legitimate matter for the subsequent zoning hearing. In response to an effort by the Mississaugas of the New Credit to obtain a delay in the official plan hearing, she ruled that they should “participate in the public process associated with the zoning by-law amendment necessary to implement the development.” In response to the Richmond Hill Naturalists concerns over the loss of “key hydrological features, including seepage areas and springs”, Hussey likewise directed them to the zoning process. Most significantly she ruled that the view of the Naturalists’ expert witness in Aboriculture, Jack Radecki that the threatened for should be kept in its “entirety” was a legitimate matter for the zoning process to consider.
At this time southern Ontario’s restored forests are facing numerous threats in addition to the savagery of the cost award and SLAPP suit. While swamps, wet forests are for now protected by provincial policy, it is undergoing a review. (Both the Dunlap and Beeton forests are dry and therefore vulnerable to development.) This strong protection for swamp forests could be weakened by proposals for what is termed bio-diversity offsetting.
Danny Beaton a Mohawk of the Turtle Clan spoke about the looming threats to our region’s forests at meeting in Newmarket. Here Beaton pleaded, “Without Mother Earth, we cannot survive. We all need fresh water, fresh food, fresh air. People have forgotten to think of the Earth as their mother. This is what life is based on. ..The Earth is losing because we aren’t working together. When these proposals come forward to destroy habitat with new development, we need to put our energy together to find solutions. We can mobilize scientists and bring teachers and doctors and elders and farmers together.”
John Bacher PhD is an environmental writer, researcher and consultant, JohnBacherPhD.ca. He works with the Sierra Club of Canada on Greenbelt issues. Danny Beaton is a Mohawk elder who protects Mother Earth, DannyBeaton.ca. Originally published on DemocracyWatchSimcoe.ca with photo by Dr. Bacher.
Simcoe County council will be discussing whether your politicians want to press for court awards against AWARE Simcoe on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at 9 am in Midhurst administration centre (agenda, Google map)
Originally posted on DemocracyWatchSimcoe.ca.
Help Wanted: Moderator for the Springwater Township all-candidates’ event on this Wednesday, 7 pm at the Midhurst United Church.October 11, 2014
Neil Craig and Rudy Chernicki have done a great job in Elmvale and at Snow Valley Ski Resort in the first 2 of 3 events.
Where can I pick up an application form to do all 3 for the 2018 stoning and scapegoating?
October 15th from 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Sponsored by: AWARE Simcoe