Do not be alarmed by simplification, complexity is often a device for claiming sophistication, or for evading simple truths.
― John Kenneth Galbraith
- Chinatown (1974 film)
So we’re supposed to rest easy with the OMB-approved county Official Plan on the way? Right??
An interesting Barrie Advance article by Sara Carson called Groups ask province to expand Ontario’s Greenbelt (curiously not online but available in pdf)
When you drink tap water, take a shower and swim in a local lake, you want that water to be clean and safe.
This is why the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is asking the province to expand Ontario’s Greenbelt in our area.
“People get behind the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. This is just the next logical step,” said coalition co-chair-person Margaret Prophet.
Ontario’s Greenbelt is a 1.8-million-acre parcel of protected farmland, wetland and forest stretching from the Greater Toronto Area north to Tobermory. In Simcoe County, the Greenbelt covers Holland Marsh crop areas in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil as well as portions of Adjala-Tosorontio and New Tecumseth.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson Conrad Spezowka said the province is committed to growing the Greenbelt. In the spring, the ministry completed a series of public consultations to review four provincial growth plans and to consider Greenbelt expansion.
“Municipal interest to date has been on adding urban river valleys within existing urban areas. This builds on the Greenbelt Plan amendment, which recognizes urban river valleys as important connections to the Great Lakes and will help municipalities in identifying possible areas for Greenbelt expansion,” Spezowska said
Proposed amendments will come forward in the winter of 2016, he added.
More than 100 community groups, including the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition and Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, have asked the province to nearly double the size of the Greenbelt to add 1.5 million acres of land containing vital water resources. In Simcoe County this includes almost 300,000 hectares of land covering the Lake Simcoe watershed, the Oro Moraine, the Nottawasaga River Wetlands, which supply and purify clean drinking water for most resident of the county, Prophet said.
“We’re hoping at the lest the vulnerable water areas of Simcoe County would be protected,” she added. “Only a portion of the Lake Simcoe watershed is protected.”
Cheryl Shindruk, a member of the Midhurst Landowners Group, declined comment on the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition’s plan to grow the greenbelt. The landowners group is made up of five development companies.
“When the Crombie report is made public, we will consider its recommendations and make comment if necessary, but we will not be commenting on any individual submissions from any group to the Crombie panel,” Shindruk said.
David Crombie chairs the six-member provincial growth plan review panel.
The Barrie Advance requested an interview with a County of Simcoe representative regarding the greenbelt expansion. In a prepared statement, Warden Gerry Marshall said the county does not comment on matters between the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition and the province. He provided a stateme4nt about the county’s planning policies.
Marshall said the county’s updated official plan, under review at the Ontario Municipal Board, would expand the amount of protected green lands, significantly increase protection of wetland areas and protect farmland.
“The county is setting density targets with fixed boundaries for all settlement areas,” he added.
“Once approved, Simcoe County would have some of the most stringent land use protection policies and designations in the province. These are very strong planning policies that provide a responsible balance to protect our lands and resources, while fostering growth by creating new regional transportation options, supporting economic prosperity and encouraging healthy, vibrant communities,” Marshall said.
During the next 26 years, the county’s population will expand by 164,703 residents and the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition questions what this means for our water supply. Prophet said greenbelt protection would ensure the water remains healthy throughout development.
“If we really want Simcoe County to grow in a sensible way, to make sure what we have now is preserved for future generations or even healthier than what we have, then now is the time to stand behind our water because once it’s compromised it’s compromised,” she said.
It said they would “not be able to handle much more effluent without he water quality being compromised and that was back nine years ago,” she said.
And we already see evidence the county’s water quality and supply is declining with summer water restrictions and beach closures, she added.
“Those things have started to impact our daily life and those are indicators that the water isn’t plentiful, or necessarily healthy in our area.”
Water restrictions have been commonplace in Barrie, Springwater and Orillia. This past summer, Thornton issued a water ban when water supply reached critical levels, Prophet noted.
Note: The public record shows the connections between the Midhurst Secondary Plan, Midhurst Landowners’ Group, Geranium Corporation and Ms. Shindruk. There are some related articles here about these relationships.
Originally published on DemocracyWatchSimcoe.ca.
No 10,000 sprawl homes plunked down on Class 1 and 2 agricultural land.
No threat to Minesing Wetlands–Nottawasaga River–Wasaga Beach (Nottawasaga Valley version) or Lake Simcoe (Lake Simcoe watershed alternative).
The real money was always in buying Barrie’s waste water and water supply (privatizing a public asset).
Public (non-native and native) revulsion to that plan changes the internal rate of return on this utility bill (NOT housing) project.
They’ll walk away using one of +100 environmental pretenses to save face.
A very good way to celebrate our magnificent county forestry heritage
What: First Memorial Zavitz-Drury bike ride
When: Sunday October 5 at 10:30 am (weather permitting)
Where: meet at Spence Ave and Hwy 27 (ball diamond parking lot, Midhurst) and ride to Finlay Mill Rd, across Wattie Rd, down St. Vincent, left onto Pooles Rd, right onto Old 2nd S, left onto Partridge Rd. then down Penetanguishene Road to the plaque that marks the original Drury farm in Crown Hill. More info 705-424-7589
September 22, 2014
Perfect season to bike through Simcoe County forests
Letter to the Editor
Anne Learn Sharpe
LETTER – The season is turning, leaves are showing hints of brilliance against the backdrop of dark pines — and it’s the perfect time for a bike ride. The story of the pine forests of Simcoe County begins with a very long bike ride.
In October of 1905, Edmund Zavitz, who was teaching forestry at the agricultural college in Guelph, set out on his bicycle and rode to Crown Hill north of Barrie to meet E. C. Drury, farmer and fellow conservationist. Their collaboration over the following decades led to the reforestation of Ontario.
In his book Two Billion Trees and Counting, John Bacher describes what the cutting and burning of trees had done to Ontario in the early 20th century: farmland had turned to blowsand and was drifting away, water sources had dried up and serious floods were becoming more common. Edmund Zavitz started planting trees. During E. C. Drury’s term as premier, 1919 to 1923, along with a team of colleagues, the two men created policies and projects to involve farmers and land owners in planting hardy red and white pines as pioneer species. These trees gradually held the soil in place and stored water to nourish further growth and prevent floods.
This is history we don’t hear enough about. What better way to commemorate it than with a bike ride? This October before you put away your bike for the season, plan a ride to one of the many places in Simcoe County where Zavitz and Drury left their mark. Any of the county forests would be a fine destination. Springwater Park was once the Midhurst Reforestation Station. Here in Angus, we have the Ontario Tree Seed Plant, and across the road Angus Community Park, once a part of the plant. In Crown Hill on the Penetanguishene Road, a plaque marks the site of the original Drury farm.
Zavitz and Drury left us a legacy of natural spaces that sustain our lives in countless ways. And they left us a strategy: don’t cut too many trees and be sure to plant many more than you cut—in other words, conservation. Their gift was meant to be enjoyed and passed on to next generations—it’s up to us to see that it is. Like Edmund Zavitz, we could start with a bike ride.
Anne Learn Sharpe,
Posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are the monopoly seller of all crown and park land in Ontario. Through a wholly-owned subsidiary (Ontario Parks) and their crown holdings, they control 33.9% of the forests in south Springwater Township
Simcoe County administrators and politicians can sell 926.6 hectares of forests or 50% of the total 1,854.6 ha.
Who you elect as Mayor and Deputy Mayor this October 27th will automatically get appointed to sit on county council. This is especially crucial for the Springwater Township electorate.
The big money real estate action is in in destroying the forests for a 2nd time.
Let’s not forget that the county forests are called: The Lungs of the GTA.
An important warning about the destruction of Wasaga Beach and Georgian Bay.
175 views at 5 pm. 20140820
Come out to Barrie Hill Farm: Pick Healthy Homegrown Food.
The Barrie Examiner: Barrie Knights of Columbus festival benefits local cancer care.