George Orwell knew a few things about fascism.

July 1, 2017

Corporate fascism hiding in plain sight as a cancer on municipal government – Springwater and Simce County.

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Wikipedia

Image: Give a Shit About Nature

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.


Canada’s Largest First Nations newspaper and the Midhurst sprawl plan’s “junk science”.

June 19, 2017

Ontario continues to encourage Simcoe County as the “wild west of development/sprawl”.

Free download here.

First Nations Drum
April 1, 2017

 

Ontario Planner Struggles to Save Huron-Wyandot Homeland

By Dr. John Bacher (PhD) & Danny Beaton (Mohawk, Turtle Clan)

Opinion

The Turtle Island region of Huronia – otherwise known by its archaic colonial name of Simcoe County – is under environmental assault by urban sprawl. A blockade to stop Dump Site 41, the occupation of Springwater Provincial Park, and sacred water walks along the shores of Lake Simcoe are tactics being used to rescue the traditional territories of the Huron-Wyandot.

Victor Doyle is a senior planner with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, (OMMAH) and is inspired by the earth-respecting spiritual actions of various Ojibway communities and their many Mohawks allies. Doyle has been with OMMAH for three decades and is at the epicenter of ongoing battles to protect this sacred land with his fighting for provincially-directed land use planning to rescue wildlife, farms, forests and water from human greed.

Doyle’s most avid opponents are twofold – corporations, and the powerful minions of developers who run Simcoe County (politicians). Doyle’s determination to stand up against their pressure has earned him their enmity. One such politician is former Mayor Doug White of West Gwillimbury, who as far back as 2010 dismissed Doyle’s defense of Ontario’s land use policies as the mere rantings of “one unelected provincial bureaucrat.”


Waawaasaegaaming (Lake Simcoe) Water Walk 2015, The Narrows, Orillia, ON. Photo by Les Stewart

Chief Planner of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat, has made Doyle the public voice on the issue, commanding media attention on the research of agronomists, foresters, conservation biologists, land use planners, hydrologists and municipally-controlled conservation authorities. Though no official title accompanies Doyle’s point-man position, his stature and prominence should be effective in forestalling or preventing further encroachment.

Two brave conservationists, Wayne Wilson and Patti Young, are no longer with the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority due to their opposition to urban sprawl from the booming City of Barrie spilling over into its watershed and into the community of Midhurst in Springwater Township. In 2014, both Wilson and Young departed under the guise of an NVCA “efficiency audit.” Young vacated her position first with Wilson following suit.

While such relatively obscure figures cannot get the media’s attention, Doyle’s warnings about violations of provincial land use policy ravaging Huronia have been published in two of Canada’s leading newspapers, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. Doyle’s first warnings about Huronia appeared in the December 12, 2009 edition of the Toronto Star. The newspaper characterized his warnings as “a damming memo from Ontario’s senior planner” that paints “a stark picture of unsustainable sprawl, congestion and skyrocketing infrastructure costs if the province proceeds with a controversial strategy to urbanize large swaths of Simcoe County north of the Greenbelt.”


Waawaasaegaaming (Lake Simcoe) Water Walk 2015, Tudhope Park, Orillia, ON. Photo by Les Stewart

When penning his 2009 warnings, Doyle worried about schemes promoted by corporations to turn the small hamlet of Bond Head, a village of 500 people served by septic tanks, into a city of 114,000 persons. This threat still endures, although now in a more modest scale of a 30,000 hectare proposal. A new danger emerging is the construction of 10,000 housing units in Midhurst. The biggest problem posed by this development is the polluted runoff spilling into Willow Creek, which is a major source of water flowing into the Minesing Wetlands. The wetlands are an important refuge for rare, endangered and ecologically significant wildlife including the endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly, Sturgeon, Bald Eagle, Trumpeter Swan, Sandhill Crane, Blue Winged Warbler, and various turtles.

As Doyle took to writing his second citizen report this spring, Ontario’s land use planning system’s “Co-ordinated Review” appeared to be on the brink of collapse. A freeze on urban boundary expansions – a key principle of both the Greenbelt and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan – was under attack by media, developers and municipalities.

The Toronto Globe and Mail provided a link to Doyle’s full 27 page report titled “The Growth Plan and the Greenbelt Plan: Settling the Record Straight” where he vigorously defends urban boundaries. This led to a modest expansion of the Greenbelt on urban river valleys and on grape and fruit tree growing lands in Grimsby. While “Setting the Record Straight” saved the Greenbelt, it has not yet rescued Huronia. The warnings in the report do show why Midhurst, Bond Head and all of its remaining rural land need the protection of the Greenbelt.

Nonsense used to justify the urbanization of Willow Creek, such as the claim urbanization does not harm streams, is junk science, and has been refuted by Doyle using data from the watershed report cards assembled by conservation authorities. Using a study by the Credit River Conservation Authority, Doyle demonstrates how surface water in urbanized areas is always rated, “Very Poor” or “Poor” and explains that damaged watersheds are without any native fish, turtles or frogs.

Doyle said the main threat posed to Minesing Wetlands wildlife refuge from urban sprawl is “the major issue of habitat loss, which, in turn, is the key loss of bio-diversity.” Doyle warns refusal to extend the Greenbelt into Simcoe County is causing a mass sale of farms purchased by land speculators. His report states, “development interests continue to be speculatively buying or securing huge land assemblies tens of thousands of acres beyond the green belt.” The speculation in Simcoe County has led to farmland to commonly sell for $54,000 dollars an acre. In contrast, in the better regulated Waterloo region, farmland cost $14,000 an acre.

Doyle’s report illustrates the necessity of the struggle to protect Huronia inside the Greenbelt – a struggle made more difficult by the hostility we received while walking around Lake Simcoe with Ojibway environmental leaders in the “Walk for the Water.” My experience includes a driver of an animal control vehicle angrily scowling at us for taking a rest near a bicycle trail.

Those in Huronia that care for the earth should not be treated with contempt, but with the honor given to one standing-up for the sake of the entire community and the life web supporting it. The province must rescue Huronia by extending the Greenbelt.

The province must rescue Huronia by extending the Greenbelt.

 


Geranium Homes/Midhurst Secondary Plan cuts a big cheque for Elmvale minor hockey: Anonymous association executive calls it a “charitable donation”.

April 9, 2017

It is hard to imagine that the Elmvale Minor Hockey Association, EMHA has EVER received any bigger, single cheque than $10,000 from a sponsor in their history.

Curiously, the news lies buried on page 23 of the Springwater News: no photograph with donater/donatee, no photograph with local politicians, and no attribution for who wrote the article on behalf of the EMHA.

I’ve added an image from a 2008 Barrie Advance article.

Donation to TIFT honours Browns Geranium Corporation President Earl Rumm, right, holds at $20,000 donation from Talk is Free Theatre sponsors. Rumm also presented TiFT’s Arkady Spivak with a $10,000 cheque from Geranium. The company then gave an additional contribution to the sustaining fund, made in support of Barrie philanthropists Arch and Helen Brown. Sharon Bamford photo

 

Springwater News article:

Springwater News
April 6, 2017

Geranium Homes generously donates $10,000

This past month, Elmvale Minor Hockey Association received a very generous donation from Geranium Homes of $10,000 Geranium Homes is a developer who has projects coming up in Springwater Township. They have presented us these funds to help assist with local player development and are committed to helping grow an active community.

This charitable donation will be put to good use by helping with the ongoing financial constraints the organization has. The majority of the money will be put towards updating and purchasing new equipment as well as help finance some of the various skill development clinics that are offered to the members of EMHA. Both of these initiatives are very valuable to the organization and will help assist in the progress of the organization and more importantly the players of the Elmvale Minor Hockey.

Organizations like the EMHA rely heavily on the generosity of the businesses that operate in the surrounding community. Without these contributions we would not be able to provide the opportunity we do for the close to 300 young players that are currently enrolled here. EMHA would like to thank all team sponsors on top of Geranium Homes for their support as they are helping keep kids active and enjoy the sport they love to play.

I can hardly wait to find out how much the next donation will influence the demolition of the Midhurst Community Hall.

See:

If there aren’t any “strings attached” why aren’t Springwater Township Mayor Bill French, Deputy Mayor Don Allen, and Councillors Katy Austin and Perry Ritchie, MP Alex Nuttall and MPP Jim Wilson in this picture, taking credit for a “job well done”?

With a municipal election coming up soon and Elmvale being a crucial vote-heavy area, you’d think this annoucement would be crawling with serving politicians. Assuming everything’s on the “up-and- up”, of course.

 


How frequently has SpringwaterParkcc.org been viewed since October 2012?

September 26, 2015

In total, 60,924 times, 1,647 monthly, or 54.9 views per day.

20150926 Traffic spcc

The 10 most viewed posts in 2015 are:

  1. Barrie Pow Wow at Springwater Park, June 13 and 14th
  2. The Fraud Triangle by Dr. David Cressey
  3. Mel Howell led by example.
  4. Cat’s-paw: a pawn or dupe
  5. Are the 31,000 acres of Simcoe County Forest really The Lungs of Barrie?
  6. My memories from the Waawaase’Aagaming (Lake Simcoe) Water Walk 2015
  7. Ontario parks have been severely underfunded for decades
  8. The Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp occupation of Awenda Provincial Park continues
  9. Grand re-opening of Springwater Park tomorrow!
  10. Corruption in local government: 5 Types

Originally published by Les Stewart on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Why does Simcoe County want to become the monopoly service provider for water supply and wastewater via a regional network of underground pipes?

October 22, 2014

Is it “For the Greater Good”: to maximize the value of natural monopoly services to the the current 446,063 current residents as is the case for solid waste, ambulance, forests, long term care?

Simcoe County logo

Or is it to set into place effective corporate control over the water and sewer revenue of one of the fastest growing areas in Canada?

Each mayor and deputy mayor in Simcoe County’s 16 municipalities automatically sits on county council when they’re elected.

Question: Is there an undisclosed, personal, pecuniary interest in everyone running for mayor or deputy mayor in the October 27th election because economic theory indicates profit-maximizing control of monopolies leads to avoidable, inefficient economic rents? These over-and-above market-justified cash flows can create a series of perceived and real conflicts of interest (ie. opportunistically increase the net present value of the lifetime earnings of new and former county politicians and county senior staff).

Pecuniary Interest Disclosure: Since January 2, 2014, I have been a registered candidate for Deputy Mayor of Springwater Township. My only pecuniary interest is part ownership of a residential property in Midhurst which has used well water and septic system for the last 54 years. The perceived forced, future hookup to water and sewers that would come with the Midhurst Secondary Plan, MSP has decreased the market value of this family asset. I restrict my business consulting to individual and groups of franchisees in the North American business format franchise industry.

As a candidate for deputy mayor, I would oppose the privatization of water management in Springwater Township and the county if elected.

There are three of us vying for this position: the incumbent is an uber-staunch MSP supporter and the other one became a Midhurst resident in 2014, appears to be using robo calls, and filed his papers two or three days before the September 12th election deadline. David Donnelly estimates the market value of an approved Midhurst Secondary Plan at $40-billion.


Has increased market concentration in publicly-paid for, sold-off assets sectors usually lead to higher or lower end prices to consumers in the past?

October 22, 2014

It is no secret that Ontario faces some financial challenges.

Hydroone

Currently, Midhurst is served by Hydro One for electrical distribution but it appears that could change soon.

An interesting article in yesterday’s Toronto Star called: Private utility firm eyeing Hydro One in potential bid:

Hydro One’s distribution assets aren’t even formally on the market, but one of Canada’s major private utility companies is already a potential bidder.

“Absolutely,” said Karl Smith, chief financial officer of Fortis Inc., when asked if at his company would consider a bid for Hydro One assets — or those of other local utilities in the province.

The Ontario government has commissioned a look into selling off public assets.

A panel headed by TD Bank’s Ed Clark has urged the province to spin off Hydro One’s distribution assets, the part of the company that delivers electricity directly to 1.3 million homers and businesses, many in rural areas.

The panel also said it’s an opportunity to consolidate Ontario’s 70-plus local utilities into fewer, larger units, perhaps numbering a dozen or fewer. The panel hasn’t delivered a formal report, but Clark outlined its thinking in a speech on Friday.

Fortis agrees with that thrust, Smith said.

Mr. Smith states further:

“We’re the only remaining private investor in distribution utilities currently in Ontario, so we’ve been advocating for consolidation of the remaining distribution utilities for quite a while,” he said.

“We’re here in the province already; we consider this part of our service territory. This is something we’ve been looking forward to for quite a while.”

Fortis

Another historical example of selling off public assets is what is known now as the Rogers Centre and 407 ETR.


So it’s blatant open season on rural Ontario communities then?: Annexation/destruction via Midhurst Secondary Plan.

May 1, 2014

Goodbye to an independent Township of Springwater, Elmvale and the old Vespra and Flos townships. Hello to the latest Barrie land annexation because it is open season on vulnerable Ontario agricultural communities.

Annexation map 2

It’s called the Midhurst Secondary Plan but its very name is a lie.

As all the other Ontario rural municipality staff and leaders know, it’s a precedent-setting, naked shift of power from rural to urban use that makes all provincial institutional stakeholders into lapdogs.

Problems are solved at the price of independence and a rural way of life if The Regional Municipality of Barrie is formed.

Background: The Harris government amalgamated two great agricultural townships to form Springwater: Vespra in the south (Barrie to Horseshoe Valley Road) and Flos (north of Vespra to include Elmvale). These were self-sustainig and prosperous communities.

County in 1954

 

Barrie was a little village in 1812 when the Penetanguishene Road was surveyed.

Penetanguishene Road

The last significant northern Barrie annexation required a bald-faced, shocking display of raw political power by the Davis government (Barrie-Vespra Annexation Act).

I was wrong in April 2012 when I suggested a war was been declared on Midhurst:

the spoils of this war are 100% of the former Vespra and Flos lands.

Growth is inevitable. We know that better than anyone. But really: listening to the soulless, BMW-heavy OMB and their pharisees you’d be tricked into thinking agriculture is  a coarse, less sophisticated, stupid 2nd rate industry. That the “city mice” have pulled a fast one.

Premier Kathleen Wynne: please, we’re all adults here. I ask you to exercise your authority, stop the behind-closed-door OMB deals,  and keep the dialogue in the public sphere where it belongs. With our First Nations friends, we’ve been at this agri-business and community work for several thousands of years. We’ve not only built a community of communities but in some tough conditions, attracted and nurtured winners in every field: agronomy, law, engineering, medicine, service, etc. Everyone deserves to be respected, to engage in a vigorous, open exchange of ideas about the future of our communities, to know that the fight isn’t fixed.

Wouldn’t you agree, premier?


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