“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.


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.


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.


I wear my heart on my cheek: contempt for the motivations of some that oppose the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

February 20, 2015

As individuals I like almost 100% of everyone I have met that currently resides in Midhurst.

iLoveMidhurstca traffic

The NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) and “gated-community” vibe is problematic for me.

Racial NIMBYism: my eyes narrow lots.

No individual or corporate interest has a right to kill the land, food, and water capacity of that which is not theirs. I write to the province based on first-hand family residency since 1960.

I leave others to defend their own “whys” of their behaviour.

The modern conservative [neo-con] is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbraith


Jack Hanna: This is not intended to be a commercial for Patrick Brown.

February 10, 2015

Mr. Patrick Brown is the sitting Barrie MP and an ON PC leader hopeful.

Mr. Jack Hanna, Ward Five councillor in Springwater Township is very impressed with Patrick.

An excerpt from Ward Five January Councillor Report in the Midhurst Community Newsletter:

PATRICK BROWN: As many will know Patrick is running for leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. I have gotten to know Patrick over the past five years and have been very impressed. This is not intended to be a commercial for Patrick Brown. I am alerting residents to the prospect of having a local person as leader of one of the major political parties and maybe the future Premier. Those who can envision the benefits of having a representative that knows the world north of 7 Hwy, may wish to put any party affiliations or alliances aside and support a local candidate. You can do this by signing up before the end of February at Patrick’s Campaign Office at the Kozlov Mall.

Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Oh, my my, oh, hell yes.
You got to put on that party dress


The Ontario Ombudsman can now investigate the role municipalities played within the Midhurst Secondary Plan fiasco.

December 10, 2014

Provincial law was exempted to green-light the Midhurst sprawl plan. “Who did what, when” is now open with a simple telephone complaint to Mr. Marin’s office.

Andre Marin3

With the passage of Bill 8 Tuesday, Ontario ombudsman André Marin’s sights are particularly set on municipal councils, which he described a year ago as being addicted to secrecy.

The Toronto Star reports in Ombudsman André Marin looks forward to his new powers:

“As of the implementation of this bill we’ll be overseeing 443 municipalities . . . as well as 83 school boards and 22 universities representing roughly $30 billion in provincial expenditures that up until now have been going under the radar,” he said…

Marin’s sights are particularly set on municipal councils, which he described a year ago as being addicted to secrecy.

It is no surprise that there are strong forces (direct and indirect) that resist this oversight of public money and policies.

“I think history has shown . . . that municipalities need all the help they can get. This is an area fraught with controversy, conflict of interest, low oversight, whether it’s Brampton, Mississauga, Toronto, Sudbury and London. The list goes on,” he said.

As recently as July, municipalities made it clear they didn’t want Marin to stick his nose in their business.

Notably, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) highlighted on its website that municipalities will be able to apply to a court to determine whether the Ontario Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate a complaint.

Opportunism in public or private enterprise relies on two things: self-interest and deceit.

Mr. Marin has a public reputation for sincerity and fearless truth-seeking.


John Ralston Saul’s new book is very good news for those wanting to understand the future of Springwater Park.

October 26, 2014

To explain Canada’s fundamental Métis  past, read Sauls’ A Fair Country.

Penguin JRS1

I suggest his The Comeback will go a long way to explaining our future and how Springwater Park fits within this important national dialogue.

Posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


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