Canada’s Largest First Nations newspaper and the Midhurst sprawl plan’s “junk science”.

June 19, 2017

Ontario continues to encourage Simcoe County as the “wild west of development/sprawl”.

Free download here.

First Nations Drum
April 1, 2017

 

Ontario Planner Struggles to Save Huron-Wyandot Homeland

By Dr. John Bacher (PhD) & Danny Beaton (Mohawk, Turtle Clan)

Opinion

The Turtle Island region of Huronia – otherwise known by its archaic colonial name of Simcoe County – is under environmental assault by urban sprawl. A blockade to stop Dump Site 41, the occupation of Springwater Provincial Park, and sacred water walks along the shores of Lake Simcoe are tactics being used to rescue the traditional territories of the Huron-Wyandot.

Victor Doyle is a senior planner with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, (OMMAH) and is inspired by the earth-respecting spiritual actions of various Ojibway communities and their many Mohawks allies. Doyle has been with OMMAH for three decades and is at the epicenter of ongoing battles to protect this sacred land with his fighting for provincially-directed land use planning to rescue wildlife, farms, forests and water from human greed.

Doyle’s most avid opponents are twofold – corporations, and the powerful minions of developers who run Simcoe County (politicians). Doyle’s determination to stand up against their pressure has earned him their enmity. One such politician is former Mayor Doug White of West Gwillimbury, who as far back as 2010 dismissed Doyle’s defense of Ontario’s land use policies as the mere rantings of “one unelected provincial bureaucrat.”


Waawaasaegaaming (Lake Simcoe) Water Walk 2015, The Narrows, Orillia, ON. Photo by Les Stewart

Chief Planner of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat, has made Doyle the public voice on the issue, commanding media attention on the research of agronomists, foresters, conservation biologists, land use planners, hydrologists and municipally-controlled conservation authorities. Though no official title accompanies Doyle’s point-man position, his stature and prominence should be effective in forestalling or preventing further encroachment.

Two brave conservationists, Wayne Wilson and Patti Young, are no longer with the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority due to their opposition to urban sprawl from the booming City of Barrie spilling over into its watershed and into the community of Midhurst in Springwater Township. In 2014, both Wilson and Young departed under the guise of an NVCA “efficiency audit.” Young vacated her position first with Wilson following suit.

While such relatively obscure figures cannot get the media’s attention, Doyle’s warnings about violations of provincial land use policy ravaging Huronia have been published in two of Canada’s leading newspapers, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. Doyle’s first warnings about Huronia appeared in the December 12, 2009 edition of the Toronto Star. The newspaper characterized his warnings as “a damming memo from Ontario’s senior planner” that paints “a stark picture of unsustainable sprawl, congestion and skyrocketing infrastructure costs if the province proceeds with a controversial strategy to urbanize large swaths of Simcoe County north of the Greenbelt.”


Waawaasaegaaming (Lake Simcoe) Water Walk 2015, Tudhope Park, Orillia, ON. Photo by Les Stewart

When penning his 2009 warnings, Doyle worried about schemes promoted by corporations to turn the small hamlet of Bond Head, a village of 500 people served by septic tanks, into a city of 114,000 persons. This threat still endures, although now in a more modest scale of a 30,000 hectare proposal. A new danger emerging is the construction of 10,000 housing units in Midhurst. The biggest problem posed by this development is the polluted runoff spilling into Willow Creek, which is a major source of water flowing into the Minesing Wetlands. The wetlands are an important refuge for rare, endangered and ecologically significant wildlife including the endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly, Sturgeon, Bald Eagle, Trumpeter Swan, Sandhill Crane, Blue Winged Warbler, and various turtles.

As Doyle took to writing his second citizen report this spring, Ontario’s land use planning system’s “Co-ordinated Review” appeared to be on the brink of collapse. A freeze on urban boundary expansions – a key principle of both the Greenbelt and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan – was under attack by media, developers and municipalities.

The Toronto Globe and Mail provided a link to Doyle’s full 27 page report titled “The Growth Plan and the Greenbelt Plan: Settling the Record Straight” where he vigorously defends urban boundaries. This led to a modest expansion of the Greenbelt on urban river valleys and on grape and fruit tree growing lands in Grimsby. While “Setting the Record Straight” saved the Greenbelt, it has not yet rescued Huronia. The warnings in the report do show why Midhurst, Bond Head and all of its remaining rural land need the protection of the Greenbelt.

Nonsense used to justify the urbanization of Willow Creek, such as the claim urbanization does not harm streams, is junk science, and has been refuted by Doyle using data from the watershed report cards assembled by conservation authorities. Using a study by the Credit River Conservation Authority, Doyle demonstrates how surface water in urbanized areas is always rated, “Very Poor” or “Poor” and explains that damaged watersheds are without any native fish, turtles or frogs.

Doyle said the main threat posed to Minesing Wetlands wildlife refuge from urban sprawl is “the major issue of habitat loss, which, in turn, is the key loss of bio-diversity.” Doyle warns refusal to extend the Greenbelt into Simcoe County is causing a mass sale of farms purchased by land speculators. His report states, “development interests continue to be speculatively buying or securing huge land assemblies tens of thousands of acres beyond the green belt.” The speculation in Simcoe County has led to farmland to commonly sell for $54,000 dollars an acre. In contrast, in the better regulated Waterloo region, farmland cost $14,000 an acre.

Doyle’s report illustrates the necessity of the struggle to protect Huronia inside the Greenbelt – a struggle made more difficult by the hostility we received while walking around Lake Simcoe with Ojibway environmental leaders in the “Walk for the Water.” My experience includes a driver of an animal control vehicle angrily scowling at us for taking a rest near a bicycle trail.

Those in Huronia that care for the earth should not be treated with contempt, but with the honor given to one standing-up for the sake of the entire community and the life web supporting it. The province must rescue Huronia by extending the Greenbelt.

The province must rescue Huronia by extending the Greenbelt.

 


Are Simcoe County politicians and public servants acting as wastewater “cat’s-paws” for internationally-financed mega-developers/speculators?

May 24, 2017

This is likely one of the hidden reasons for the Midhurst Secondary Plan.


A regional, county-wide wastewater and water system that provides uber profits to the few; paid by the many through their utility bills and forced hook-ups.

Definition:

cat’s-paw
noun
a person who is used by another, typically to carry out an unpleasant or dangerous task.

There are very, very few more lucrative financial investments than a monopoly control of a necessity of life.


Will pumping the Midhurst Secondary Plan treated poo into Kempenfelt Bay/Lake Simcoe be considered a victory?

May 22, 2017

Was that 10-million litres of treated sewage a day?

Piped from either side of Midhurst to Barrie’s grid, treated ($) and then pumped into the deepest part of Lake Simcoe.

Is it an environmental win by NOT dumping the treated poo into Willow Creek — Minesing Wetlands — Nottawasaga River — Wasaga Beach (world’s longest freshwater beach)?

The start of a county-wide wastewater system?

Who will be selling this hard as a “win” for the environment?


The Midhurst Secondary Plan is a pretense for the the private control of drinking water in Simcoe County.

May 19, 2017

The purest water in the world.

Do not be alarmed by simplification, complexity is often a device for claiming sophistication, or for evading simple truths.
― John Kenneth Galbraith


The Midhurst Secondary Plan establishes an internationally-financed “water baronry”.

May 15, 2017

To rule over wendake (Simcoe County) in all things involving public funds.

cs lewis quote

Massive, massive water taking for international sales.


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.


Why does Simcoe County want to become the monopoly service provider for water supply and wastewater via a regional network of underground pipes?

October 22, 2014

Is it “For the Greater Good”: to maximize the value of natural monopoly services to the the current 446,063 current residents as is the case for solid waste, ambulance, forests, long term care?

Simcoe County logo

Or is it to set into place effective corporate control over the water and sewer revenue of one of the fastest growing areas in Canada?

Each mayor and deputy mayor in Simcoe County’s 16 municipalities automatically sits on county council when they’re elected.

Question: Is there an undisclosed, personal, pecuniary interest in everyone running for mayor or deputy mayor in the October 27th election because economic theory indicates profit-maximizing control of monopolies leads to avoidable, inefficient economic rents? These over-and-above market-justified cash flows can create a series of perceived and real conflicts of interest (ie. opportunistically increase the net present value of the lifetime earnings of new and former county politicians and county senior staff).

Pecuniary Interest Disclosure: Since January 2, 2014, I have been a registered candidate for Deputy Mayor of Springwater Township. My only pecuniary interest is part ownership of a residential property in Midhurst which has used well water and septic system for the last 54 years. The perceived forced, future hookup to water and sewers that would come with the Midhurst Secondary Plan, MSP has decreased the market value of this family asset. I restrict my business consulting to individual and groups of franchisees in the North American business format franchise industry.

As a candidate for deputy mayor, I would oppose the privatization of water management in Springwater Township and the county if elected.

There are three of us vying for this position: the incumbent is an uber-staunch MSP supporter and the other one became a Midhurst resident in 2014, appears to be using robo calls, and filed his papers two or three days before the September 12th election deadline. David Donnelly estimates the market value of an approved Midhurst Secondary Plan at $40-billion.


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