In 2015, is there a welcome for a L’Arche community within Simcoe County?

December 19, 2015

Is hope nurtured when we invite the other to our table?

20151219 Vanier

Jean Vanier visits the residents in one of the L’Arche homes in Trosly, France.

Today’s Globe and Mail and Ian Brown bring to light, Jean Vanier’s comfort and joy: ‘What we have to do is find the places of hope’:

There’s a beautiful text of Jesus, where he says, when you give a meal, don’t invite the members of your family, don’t invite your rich neighbours. When you give a really good meal, invite the poor, the lame, the disabled and the blind. And you will be blessed.

Building a community…

At L’Arche [started in 1964], by fairly stunning contrast, people with intellectual disabilities (the residents) live and work side by side with the nondisabled (their assistants) as peers, in what L’Arche likes to call “mutually transformative relationships.” Because the disabled have an equal hand in setting the tone (often hilarious) and pace (unpredictable) of the homes they live in, they can fairly call these communities their own. They’re the residents, the co-bosses, not the guests. We, the able-bodied, are the ones who have to be integrated into their world, not the other way around. They are honoured as people in their own right, with a contribution to make, no matter how subtle that contribution may be.

“Vanier discovered,” the Templeton Prize citation declares, “that those people who society typically considers the weakest enable the strong to recognize and welcome their own vulnerability.”

L’Arche Canada locations

Simcoe Sojourners


The Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association receives a prestigious Ontario-wide honour this fall: the Margaret and Nicholas Cultural Heritage Landscape Award

December 16, 2015

The Architectural Conservancy Ontario acknowledges the great work the MRA has done to fight for the preservation of the natural and built landscape.

ACO logo1. Congratulations to our 2015 Award Winners

…Margaret and Nicholas Hill Cultural Heritage Landscape Award
Save Midhurst Village

Sandy Buxton, David Strachan, and Margaret Prophet (Midhurst Ratepayer’s Association)
Source

2. From the Barrie Advance Midhurst Ratepayers group wins award:

According to the architectural conservancy, the ratepayers’ group continues to work to preserve the agricultural heritage as development through ongoing community awareness, as well as a June 2014 event featuring novelist Margaret Atwood and the change.org petition, which garnered more than 45,000 signatures.

3. Award Details

Margaret and Nicholas Hill Cultural Heritage Landscape Award:
Named for Margaret and Nicholas Hill, this award recognizes an individual, group, or project that has heightened awareness and appreciation of Ontario’s significant landscapes, or endeavoured to preserve a noteworthy example of the product of human interaction.

Nicholas and Margaret Hill contributed extensively to the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, from the early 1970s until Nick’s untimely death in 2001 and Margaret’s recent retirement as provincial secretary. The couple were among the second generation of those who shaped and helped expand the organization. Nick was ACO’s President from 1986 to 1987, and initiated the Huron County Branch, which was active in Goderich for two decades. Both he and Margaret were later involved with the Cambridge branch, and Margaret continues to serve as secretary of the Guelph and Wellington Branch.

Nick received a degree in Architecture from the University of Leicester in Britain, another in Urban Planning from the University of Toronto, and later, yet a third, in Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. He is the only person known to have simultaneously held professional licences in Ontario in all three disciplines. As a planner and subsequently a partner in Hill & Borgal Architects, Goderich, he was a pioneer in heritage conservation district planning, and the author of the second and third such plans written for Bayfield and Goderich.

In 1983, he moved to London to work in private practice until being hired as heritage planner for the City of St. John, New Brunswick. The illustrated guides he produced there are still in use and continue to be cherished. A superb pen-and-ink renderer of heritage buildings and neighbourhoods, his drawings are unexcelled in representing the character of communities and landscapes. He was the author of several books illustrating the heritage and character of his beloved Huron County.

Ultimately, he returned to Guelph, where he became renowned for his work on a variety of sites and heritage districts. After 1985, he and Margaret worked together on numerous heritage district studies and plans. Those most concerned with cultural landscapes include the Village of Blair in Cambridge, and the Village of Doon and the Victoria Park Neighbourhood, both in Kitchener. All were illustrated with Nick’s superb drawings, creating some of the most complete and artistic documents representing the character of communities and landscapes. Source

 


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.


The latest in a series of Ontario developer messages which support the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

January 2, 2015

“Don’t let politicians supported by lies get into office.”

Geranium 29 Dec1Advertising Excerpt (Springwater News, Dec 31, 2014):

Wishing you joy this holiday season.

As we gather with our families and friends to celebrate the hope and joy of the season, we extend best wishes to the residents of Springwater.

The Midhurst Landowners Group is proud of the coming new development in Midhurst. We look forward to working with the new Council to build an exceptional community, based on the cornerstones of excellence in environmental protection, community design and architecture.

The future of Springwater is bright and we are proud to be part of it.

The Midhurst Landowners Group
http://www.midhurstfirst.ca

To compare and contrast:

  • Happy New Year! (see Jan 2014),
  • Families are Forever (see Feb 14, 2014),
  • A Vision for the Future (see Mar 2014),
  • Reaching Out – Community Update (see Mar 2014),
  • Letter to Midhurst Ratepayers Association president’s home (see July 17, 2014),
  • Approvals Advancing on Master Planned Community (see Sept 2014),
  • Another Step Forward (Sept 25, 2014)
  • Protecting the Environment (see Oct 9, 2014),
  • Tell the Truth: Lies Create Fear. And that’s not good for democracy. (mail flyer, Oct 2014, see below)
  • Building a Better Tomorrow (Oct 23, 2014),
  • Be AWARE of Lies. Demand the Truth (see Oct 23, 2014), and
  • Springwater Township election results (see Oct 27, 2014).

It appears that these corporations (Geranium Homes, The Rose Corporation, Alliance Homes,  Sundance Homes) had not advertised their presence before January 2014.

20141016 Geranium flyer


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.


The Dissident: The only lost cause is one we give up on before we enter the struggle.

September 22, 2014

Vaclav_Havel

The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin — and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.

You do not become a “dissident” just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.

Václav Havel 1936-2011


Four of 7 at Springwater Township council are pro anything-the-mega-developers want.

August 15, 2014

They vote in lock-step, as if they’re being disciplined or “whipped by some force.

Springwater township council 4 1

(l. to r.) Mayor Linda Collins, D Mayor Dan McLean, Councillors Dan Clement and Rick Webster

Needing/wanting to be have their “party” re-elected, the knives are coming out in articles in the Springwater News.

I suggest reading the last three of their articles to determine how sincere and trustworthy they are based on their choice of words.

  • Elmvale – from a 3rd Generation Resident, Councillor Dan Clement, August 14, 2014. pdf
  • CORRECT INFORMATION OR UNSUBSTATIATED OPINION, Deputy Mayor Dan McLean, July 31, 2014. pdf
  • My Position on the Midhurst Secondary Plan, Councillor Rick Webster, April 10, 2014. pdf

Will the community send them packing, just as they did to their mentors at Dump Site 41?


%d bloggers like this: