“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.


The Midhurst Secondary Plan will never happen.

November 7, 2015

No 10,000 sprawl homes plunked down on Class 1 and 2 agricultural land.

barrie-wastewater

No threat to Minesing Wetlands–Nottawasaga River–Wasaga Beach (Nottawasaga Valley version) or Lake Simcoe (Lake Simcoe watershed alternative).

swtp

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.


Environmental groups want to protect the GTA’s water sources.

November 5, 2015

By extending the Greenbelt to include much of Simcoe County: Minesing Wetlands, Nottawasaga River, Oro Moraine, Lake Simcoe.

greenbelt expanded

An interesting article in today’s Toronto Star: Environmental groups hope to nearly double size of the Greenbelt

Greenbelt, meet “Bluebelt.”

That’s the vision of a collection of environmental groups that wants to almost double the size of the protected band of land around the Golden Horseshoe to include water systems such as the Oro Moraine and the Humber River headwaters.

What impact for Simcoe County?

That would mean expanding the protective zone past Kitchener-Waterloo to include the Paris-Galt, Waterloo and Orangeville Moraines of the Grand River Watershed, and north past Barrie to Collingwood to take up the Nottawasaga and Lake Simcoe watersheds. The proposal would then add Niagara Region’s Gibson Lake and the Oak Ridges Moraine to the east along the shore of Lake Ontario. Urban river valleys such as the Don, Humber and Rouge would also be added.

And who is opposing this politically?

At Queen’s Park this week, Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown [MPP Simcoe North] said that before the Greenbelt is further expanded, the government needs to look at soaring housing prices.

This reason is refuted by a 2013 Royal Bank of Canada-Pembina Institute report that concluded there is “no evidence” the Greenbelt has restricted GTA housing development and contributed to rising home prices.


In Anishinaabekwe culture, women have the responsibility to care for water.

February 25, 2015

Springwater Park is a major headwaters to the internationally-important Minesing Wetlands. In April 2013, they acted to save pure, uncompromised water (nibi in Annishinaabe).

josephine-smiling

From IndigenousRising.org, September 24, 2014: Meet Josephine Mandamin (Anishinaabekwe), The “Water Walker”

With a copper pail of water in one hand and a staff in the other, Josephine Mandamin, an Anishabaabewe grandmother took on a sacred walk, traversing over 10,900 miles around each of the Great Lakes. She is known as the “Water Walker.”

According to the Michigan Sea Grant, the Great Lakes shoreline is equal to almost 44% of the circumference of the earth. “When you see someone walking with a pail of water, you wonder, where is she going with that water.”

So the message is, water is very precious, and I will go to any lengths to and direction to carry the water to the people.”

“As women, we are carriers of the water. We carry life for the people. So when we carry that water, we are telling people that we will go any lengths for the water. We’ll probably even give our lives for the water if we have to. We may at some point have to die for the water, and we don’t want that,” said Mandamin.

Mandamin joined the team of indigenous representatives from the Indigenous Environmental Network at the People’s Climate March during the week of September 18th to the 24th. “Why I’m here is because I really feel for the water. And to give the message to people that Water is a human right.”

“Water has to live, it can hear, it can sense what we’re saying, it can really, really, speak to us. Some songs come to us through the water. We have to understand that water is very precious.”

In Anishinaabekwe culture, women are given the responsibility to take care of the water. “The water of Mother Earth, she carries life to us, and as women we carry life through our bodies. We as women are life-givers, protectors of the water, and that’s why we are very inclined to give mother earth the respect that she needs for the water,” said Mandamin.

That’s our responsibility, our role, and our duty, to pass on the knowledge and understanding of water, to all people, not just Anishinabe people, but people of all colors.”

In the wake of extreme extractive industries such fracking, oil, and coal, access to clean water is rapidly declining. “In our prophecies, in our Three Fires Midewiwin Society, we are taught that water is very precious. I was told by a grand chief that 30 years from now an ounce of water will cost as much as an ounce of gold if we continue with our negligence,” said Mandamin.

“If we discontinue our negligence, we can change things around. That’s why I am really embodying the prophecy. You’ve heard of ‘Walk The Talk,’ this is why I walk.”

Josephine and others are on the move this summer: Migration Water Walk 2015.

Waterwalkers

Posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Will we have to blindly trust that the Midhurst Secondary Plan’s environmental safeguards are strong enough to protect the Minesing Wetlands?

January 15, 2015

On January 7, 2015, there was a summary of the Environmental Assessment (EA) Update at the Springwater Township administration centre.

20150107 Ainley1

Mr. Joe Mullan of Ainley Group presented a slideshow and answered questions (download slideshow here).

The Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA wrote about their interpretation in Previous Promises of Environmental Protection Unfoundedpdf

For a long time, the previous administration and developers told us the environment and the Minesing Wetlands will be protected; that things are under control and there is no reason to worry. Ever since Phase 3 of the Environmental Assessment began in April 2013, the MRA and other concerned residents and organizations have been asking for the details, reports and studies that would show us that things are proceeding as promised. We never received those reports and studies. And there’s a good reason why – they’re not done. From what we can tell, those environmental assurances, given in an attempt to placate us, were completely unfounded.

Councillor Katy Austin mentioned in her Springwater News Ward One Councillor’s Report: pdf

Mr. Mullan assured the audience that the proposed wastewater treatment plant and various offsetting measures would “protect and even enhance” the watershed in question as far as phosphorous levels are concerned. Some members of the audience appeared somewhat skeptical about this statement.

I have recorded the MRA’s and councillor’s articles in the Springwater Township Growth wiki as well as in the Media Article page of SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Will the wastewater from the Midhurst Secondary Plan be taken by the City of Barrie?

October 15, 2014

The only large body of water that seems capable of taking the estimated 10.6 million litres daily is Lake Simcoe.

Barrie wastewater

Will the Minesing Wetlands — Nottawasaga River — Wasaga Beach (READ:  massive green algae plume on the world’s largest freshwater beach) be destroyed by the developer’s “Plan A”?

Or is “Plan B” a better solution: hooking up to the Barrie grid about 0.5 km away on the west side?

And which one was A or B to start with?


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.

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