Are Springwater Township Council members & staff competently managing their own developer-originated, litigation-derived contingent liabilities?

March 18, 2014

Every corporation must disclose and protect against material risks and executives must manage and disclose something called contingent liability.


From their initial response, this does not appear to be happening by the Corporation of the Township of Springwater

Request for Information
from: Les Stewart

to: Mayor Linda Collins <>
cc: Deputy Mayor Dan McLean <>,
Jack Hanna <>,
Perry Ritchie <>,
Dan Clement <>,
Sandy McConkey <>,
John Daly <>
date: 18 March 2014 09:10
subject: Contingent Liability provision: Litigation risk to Corporatino involving in the Midhurst Secondary Plan

Without Prejudice but Not Confidential

Mayor Linda Collins
Corporation of the Township of Springwater
Minesing, Ontario

Mayor Collins,

This is a follow-up from my verbal question at the March 17, 2014 general council meeting.

From their response, it is my conclusion that your senior staff will not be booking any financial liability whatsoever on their 2013 or 2014 audited financial statements having to do with this controversial, unprecedented activity by corporations that are on the public record as being extremely litigation-prone to those that do not yield unconditionally to their will.

Q1: Will you be instructing your senior staff to investigate and report back to Council in open session the range of potential financial loss(es) that may accrue to the Corporation of the Township of Springwater having to do with the initial cost of defence and potential final claim (trial and appeal) of a lawsuit(s) by a single or multiple parties?

A yes or no answer would be be appreciated, please. Other questions may arise from your answer or non-answer.

It is my understanding, that you, Council members, and senior staff have a professional and personal fiduciary duty to protect the Corporation from harm by acting in a commercially reasonably, fiscally prudent manner to protect future taxpayers’ interests.

I reserve distribution and publication rights to this document and unreservedly offer the same to the Corporation and individual members of Council. Clerk Daly; please formally record this correspondence and acknowledge such to me.


Mr. Les Stewart MBA
1201 Bayfield Street North
Midhurst ON L0L 1X1
705 737-4635 Tel
705 627-2242 Cell

SLAPPs and the Big Bay Point controversy

April 10, 2012

Removing inefficiencies or destroying democracy?

Justice at the Supreme Court of Canada

You decide.

In the Februrary 26, 2008 Toronto Star article (Democracy suffers under barrage of strategic lawsuits), Rick Smith and Devon Page talk about SLAPPs:

This type of litigation could be characterized as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”) as the phenomenon has been recognized by some legislators and judges in the United States and British Columbia. An action which effectively silences any and all criticism.

According to the SLAPP Resource Centre at the University of Colorado, a “SLAPP” is a civil complaint or counterclaim filed against individuals or organizations arising from their communications to government or speech on an issue of public interest or concern.

SLAPPs often are brought by corporations, real estate developers, government officials and others against individuals and community groups who oppose them on issues of public concern. SLAPP filers frequently use lawsuits based on ordinary civil claims as a means of transforming public debate into lawsuits.

And further…

While most SLAPPs lose in court, they succeed in the public arena. This is because defending a SLAPP, even when the legal defence is strong, requires a substantial investment of money, time and resources. The resulting effect is a “chill” on public participation in, and open debate on, important public issues. This chilling effect is not limited to the SLAPP target(s): fearful of being the target of future litigation, others refrain from speaking on, or participating in, issues of public concern.

In this case, the focus of interest seems to be the Innisfil District Association.

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