“Mum’s the word” from the Mega developers, OMB and County of Simcoe about expanding Greenbelt environmental protection.

November 20, 2015

So we’re supposed to rest easy with the OMB-approved county Official Plan on the way? Right??

greenbelt-expanded

The Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership and the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance have proposed Ontario’s Greenbelt expand to include almost 300,000 hectares in Simcoe County. The proposed area is shown in dark green and includes Lake Simcoe, the Oro Moraine, the Nottawasaga River Watershed and the Minesing Wetlands. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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.

20151119 Margaret Prophet

Margaret Prophet, co-chair of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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.


Margaret Atwood talks about these “sinister” Ontario and local politicians?

August 18, 2014

An important warning about the destruction of Wasaga Beach and Georgian Bay.

Atwood admonishment oh boy

Click here for video  or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUDUKDVN27g.

175 views at 5 pm. 20140820

To Do:

  • Click here for information so you can write a hand-written letter to Premier Wynne complaining about this type of unfair propaganda.
  • And here to find out who are the other +44,600 fools who agree with these types of people.

How many more home addresses will Geranium Corporation publish to defend their development interests in the Midhurst Secondary Plan?

July 23, 2014

The Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA opposes sprawl and has been talking to Premier Kathleen Wynne about it since before the provincial election.

On July 17th, Geranium has the MRA president’s home address  printed in 17,100 hard copies and digitally at the Springwater News newspaper. I covered it up with a post-it note (see below) when I photographed it.

20140704 Geranium MRA letter cropped

Maybe Mr. Marc Denhez of the Ontario Muncipal Board? Or Ms. Cheryl Shindruk VP, Geranium? Or Mr. Earl Rumm president of Geranium?

20140717 Springwater News front

I understand that Mr. Earl Rumm is the president of Geranium Corporation (see Ontario looks to smack down SLAPPs).

20140717 Springwater News bifold

Text of the letter: pdf

At least, two previously-published articles note that Ms. Buxton and the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association continue talking directly to Premier Kathleen Wynne:

1. Midhurst ratepayers not giving up fight after OMB defeat, The Barrie Advance, July 9, 2014, and

Buxton said her group met with Premier Kathleen Wynne during the election campaign and has met with other senior government officials since then.

“(Wynne) promised us she’d order a review and she’d involve us in high-level talks so we could flesh out our concerns and be involved. She’s keeping her word,” Buxton said.

2. Approval for Midhurst housing plan takes one step closer, The Barrie Examiner, July 11, 2014.

Buxton said the association “has the ear” of Premier Kathleen Wynne and that she has spoken with the premier about the Midhurst development.

“She was very receptive and very concerned and she promised the whole thing would be reviewed. I know she is committed to reviewing how this all came about,” Buxton said. “We have already had a meeting with very senior people attached to the premier’s office.”


Should Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne empower an independent, public investigation into the secretive Midhurst Secondary Plan?

July 9, 2014

The intense sprawl pressure in south Simcoe County will not end even when the legal “loophole” is reversed.

Kathleen Wynne2

Mark Wanzel/Barrie Examiner

Premier Wynne continues to talk to the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA.

Barrie Advance, Midhurst ratepayers not giving up fight after OMB defeat:

Buxton [MRA president] said her group met with Premier Kathleen Wynne during the election campaign and has met with other senior government officials since then.

“(Wynne) promised us she’d order a review and she’d involve us in high-level talks so we could flesh out our concerns and be involved. She’s keeping her word,” Buxton said.

Atwood bear crop

Time: 1:51 to 2:15

This is not the prototypical tree-hugger against the capitalist.

This is the prototypical ratepayer against some people who did some pretty secretive things to them behind their backs.

And it’s no longer the era of “we can do things under the table, in small places and no one will notice”. We live in the age of the internet, so things become public pretty quickly.

Margaret Atwood

Link to full video.


What legal duty of care does Springwater Township CAO Robert Brindley have to the citizens of Springwater Township?

July 6, 2014

Virtually none.

Robert Brindley Springwater Township CAO

His job as Chief Administrative Officer is to implement the will corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mayor Linda Collins.

If a breach of duty exists, it rests on the CEO and the elected officials who passed the motion (see Bill French on AWARE Simcoe: A dark day for Springwater). Oddly if they are so sure of themselves, not one of the current elected officials has registered as a candidate in this fall’s municipal election. Mr. French does not overstate the imminent danger to our beautiful rural “community of communities”.

Not Within Mr. Brindley’s Job Description: sky-high future property taxes, continued bullying by developers, unprecedented use of debt financing which will be used to trigger a “useful crisis” (goal: Barrie annexation), and destruction of the Minesing Wetlands. He does the television interviews and makes very, very strong and breathtakingly broad statements because (presumably) he was told to do so the current council leadership.

My Promise (no Golden parachutes): If elected as deputy mayor in the fall, I would not interfere with any senior staff”s decision to leave for greener pastures. Of course if there are contracts in place which pay the exiting executives big $ for little or no value to the Corporation, I may have to write about that so as to assign more accurately everyone’s reputation for accountability, transparency, and “truthiness”.

I support the future provincial investigation (judicial enquiry, ON Ombudsman, etc.) into the events leading up to the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca.


Mr. Rick Webster, current Councillor Springwater Township, goes on the record about the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

April 11, 2014

Mr. Barnet Kussner of Bay Street firm WeirFouls LLP provided advice to Springwater Council last fall.

Rick Webster

In a Letter to the Editor in April 10th edition of the Springwater News, entitled My Position on the Midhurst Secondary Plan (link, page 17 or pdf) Mr. Webster suggests that it would cost +$100-million to stop the MSP:

To summarize my understanding of the final opinion of our legal counsel, should the results of rescinding the MSP turn out as above, the costs of such a lawsuit would be in the neighbourhood of $100,000,000 plus substantial legal fees, all of which would have to be paid by the taxpayers of Springwater Township. Based on this, in my view, and the view of other 5 out of 7 of the Councillors, a vote to stop the MSP would be too risky and irresponsible on my part, and definitely not in the best interest of all of the residents of Springwater. My feelings on spending this money have not changed since our recorded vote on this matter in September, when I voted to NOT stop the MSP for the reasons noted above.

Further, he believes it is impossible to influence the provincial government in reversing their exemption to their own planning laws.

Moreover, I see no possibility that any new Provincial Government will listen to any amount of public outcry and thus it will, and should be, Council’s objective to focus on the possibilities and not the problem. This will be the key to supporting new growth all over Springwater which is inevitable due to Provincial Policies.


Springwater Park draws thousands of winter visitors….and +$110,000 in private and public support!

April 10, 2014

The winter is an exceptionally busy time at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi: both inside and out.

P1000633

In the Barrie Advance, Group raises cash to help reopen Springwater Park:

A year of uncertainty about Springwater Park’s future has sown the seeds — and cash — for meaningful talks on a partnership to reopen the facility.

The Springwater Park Foundation has so far raised $103,000 and it’s putting its cash where its mouth is as it plans talks with the province’s Natural Resources Ministry.

Springwater resident Nancy Bigelow:

Now that the money’s set aside, Springwater Park Foundation chairperson Nancy Bigelow said she’s working to set a date to meet with the ministry. She can tell stories of people who have come to appreciate the park, which the ministry had said was experiencing a drop in visitors.

“You have to walk in, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. There are trails and plenty of people. On the weekends, it’s packed. All through the winter, there were snowshoers and cross-country skiers. It’s been impressive,” Bigelow said.

Snow clear 94

Our Anishinaabe friends continued their ceremonies all winter long:

“There won’t be so many overnight times. We’re not moving back in, but we’ll be doing ceremonies and teaching,” said the group’s Elizabeth Brass Elson. “We’re Camp Nibi and we plan on staying there forever. We haven’t finished our initiative.”

P1000829

And finally:

Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition founder Les Stewart said talks are still ongoing and Springwater Township has set aside $10,000 to help reopen the park if an agreement is reached.

Running for deputy mayor of Springwater, Stewart said he’s keeping a keen eye on the park and efforts to reopen it.

“The park is in great shape and people have been using it all winter. We’re looking forward to an announcement from the MNR,” he said.

 


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