“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.


Will Springwater township voters miss Geranium’s marketing efforts after the Midhurst Secondary Plan crashes and burns?

October 9, 2014

Time will tell.

20141009 Geranium Springwater news1

I doubt I will miss corporate reassurance of governments’ environmental oversight.

seth

Eighteen more days to the most important election in the +170 year history of the village of Elmvale and former townships of Vespra and Flos.

“Heretics are engaged, passionate, and more powerful and happier than everyone else. And they have a tribe that they support (and that supports them in return.)” Tribe: We Need you to Lead Us, Seth Godin

 


Margaret Atwood talks about the “life-wrecking” Midhurst Secondary sprawl plan.

July 22, 2014

A question and answer video with Margaret Atwood in support of the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Published on 21 Jul 2014
Margaret Atwood speaks frankly about why supporting Midhurst is not just about ‘development’ but about taking a stand for farmland, shared water resources and keeping government accountable and transparent. “This is a life-wrecking event”.

Transcript to follow…

Source: Save Midhurst Village

How to contact Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Land speculation: there is risk in everything we do but but some games are fixed.

May 3, 2014

The key to all confidence situations is that the those being taken (the “innocents”) believe that there are independent actors at work.

The game is not building houses: the play is flipping title on newly-rezoned land. And buying Barrie’s waste- and supply-water systems.

Stakeholder Analysis

Three Card Monte

  1. Dealer (perceived as the only one who benefits/loses, 1 to 3 are “grifters“),
  2. two “gamblers” (“stupid” players:  really in cahoots),
  3. two look outs: (used to rope in innocents, repel “wise guys”, “Cool out the Mark“, and scan for the police),
  4. you the mark (the only non-accomplice).

Land speculation

  1. landowners/developers (direct and indirect) 1 to 6 versus 7 relies on information asymmetry and credence good service provision, repeat players),
  2. Bay Street lawyer for municipality (legal duty only to Corporation not to individual politicians , The Price of Law: How the Market for Lawyers Distorts the Justice System, Gillian K. Hadfield),
  3. senior administration (has no legal duty to answer questions of public honestly),
  4. township politicians: mayor and majority (1) refuses to get 2nd opinion on #2 advice, (2) refuses to fund separate lawyers to provide independent legal advice for any councillor who wants it and (3) each individual is too cheap/naive/deferential to authority to get their own independent legal advice about the outrageously false threats made by the “bogey man”#1,
  5. Province of Ontario (shifts political heat of breaching their own laws to a non-elected, quasi-judicial body),
  6. Ontario Municipal Board which provides the appearance of access to justice, and
  7. community represented by the monopoly advocacy of an extremely hard working, diligent and well-meaning group of volunteers  many of whom are first-time players.

List of Confidence Tricks


Is the perceived destruction of the Minesing Wetlands by the Midhurst Secondary Plan’s wastewater treatment plant a “red herring”?

May 3, 2014

What if the City of Barrie supplies and receives 100% of the water that the “mythical” 10,000 new homes need?

RedHerring1f

Avoiding a $100 to 150-million capital expenditure can oil a few squeaky financial doors for the sprawl-induced budget crisis Barrie finds itself in.

Of course loading Lake Simcoe with 25% more treated water (phosphorus, pharmaceuticals, nitrates, etc.) might be a problem for the tree-huggers but annexation will solve that.

The Real Plan?: So the developers can run the pipes up either side of the village and build precisely one house on each corner of their bloodlessly named “Neighbourhood 1” and “Neighbourhood 2”. And then they can sit on the zombie agricultural land for decades or building precisely 20 homes per year if they want because there is no signed agreement with Springwater Township.  Or they can just like they’ve built a total of zero homes in Hillsdale after 6 years. Sweet deal for everyone, except our most important industry: agri-business.

Red herring definition:

The idiom “red herring” is used to refer to something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion. A red herring might be intentionally used, such as in mystery fiction or as part of a rhetorical strategy (e.g. in politics), or it could be inadvertently used during argumentation as a result of poor logic.

The smell now is only a fraction of what it will be in the future.


“If I had a $100-million”, I’d buy Springwater Township to save the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly & Friends.

April 23, 2014

How much is  the destruction of the natural heritage of a several thousand year old rural “community of communities” worth?

I’d buy you a Minesing Wetlands.

Hines entertain3

 

Click here for the complete, sublime deputation presentation Mr. Chris Evans made by to Springwater Township on April 22, 2014.

Posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org and voteLesStewart.ca.


The Margaret Atwood anti-sprawl Midhurst petition challenge is shattered!!

March 30, 2014

It will be a pleasure to welcome Ms. Atwood and perhaps some of her friends to our just-right sized, 3,500 population, nearly 200 year old community.

MCC SPCC sign 1

Midhurst Community Centre, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, Annual Meeting, January 26, 2014.

The cancer-like urban sprawl plan threatens farmland, the Minesing Wetlands,  Springwater Park, forced hook-ups for sewer and water for all Midhurst and out-of-sight tax bills for all Springwater Township residents for decades into the future.

As reported by AWARE Simcoe on March 26th, Yes! Midhurst petiton tops 5.000:

Final push joined by Atwood in Twitter feed
Today, the 5,000th person signed the petition to save the village of Midhurst (population 3,500), preserve the 756 hectares of surrounding farmland and stop the proposed effluent discharge into the Willow Creek and the internationally treasured Minesing Wetlands.

And the count of those opposed to the Midhurst Secondary Plan, which would expand the Midhurst population to 28,000, continues to rise.

The final Twitter push from Save Midhurst Now proclaiming that only 13 signatures were needed was re-tweeted in the early hours today by author Margaret Atwood, who has pledged to visit Midhurst and do a workshop at a nearby high school if 5,000 people sign the petition.

The Midhurst residents’ group has unveiled a new video and song in support of the cause. Click here to view it.

Sign the petition

Congratulations to everyone, especially to Ms. Sandy Buxton and Margaret Prophet and all their talented members at the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Midhurst Community Centre iLoveMidhurst.ca 2

Posted also on FranchiseFool.com and SpringwaterParkcc.org.


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