So it’s blatant open season on rural Ontario communities then?: Annexation/destruction via Midhurst Secondary Plan.

May 1, 2014

Goodbye to an independent Township of Springwater, Elmvale and the old Vespra and Flos townships. Hello to the latest Barrie land annexation because it is open season on vulnerable Ontario agricultural communities.

Annexation map 2

It’s called the Midhurst Secondary Plan but its very name is a lie.

As all the other Ontario rural municipality staff and leaders know, it’s a precedent-setting, naked shift of power from rural to urban use that makes all provincial institutional stakeholders into lapdogs.

Problems are solved at the price of independence and a rural way of life if The Regional Municipality of Barrie is formed.

Background: The Harris government amalgamated two great agricultural townships to form Springwater: Vespra in the south (Barrie to Horseshoe Valley Road) and Flos (north of Vespra to include Elmvale). These were self-sustainig and prosperous communities.

County in 1954

 

Barrie was a little village in 1812 when the Penetanguishene Road was surveyed.

Penetanguishene Road

The last significant northern Barrie annexation required a bald-faced, shocking display of raw political power by the Davis government (Barrie-Vespra Annexation Act).

I was wrong in April 2012 when I suggested a war was been declared on Midhurst:

the spoils of this war are 100% of the former Vespra and Flos lands.

Growth is inevitable. We know that better than anyone. But really: listening to the soulless, BMW-heavy OMB and their pharisees you’d be tricked into thinking agriculture is  a coarse, less sophisticated, stupid 2nd rate industry. That the “city mice” have pulled a fast one.

Premier Kathleen Wynne: please, we’re all adults here. I ask you to exercise your authority, stop the behind-closed-door OMB deals,  and keep the dialogue in the public sphere where it belongs. With our First Nations friends, we’ve been at this agri-business and community work for several thousands of years. We’ve not only built a community of communities but in some tough conditions, attracted and nurtured winners in every field: agronomy, law, engineering, medicine, service, etc. Everyone deserves to be respected, to engage in a vigorous, open exchange of ideas about the future of our communities, to know that the fight isn’t fixed.

Wouldn’t you agree, premier?


Is the Midhurst Secondary Plan just the early salvo in the WAR against traditional rural values?

February 26, 2014

I think so.

George well history

The values that built and sustain communities such as Minesing, Anten Mills, Midhurst, Grenfel, and Elmvale have to be totally destroyed by the speculators and their courtesans. There can be no alternative but a mindless repeat of a clear-cutting mentality.

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.  George Orwell 1903 – 1950

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca.


What kind of people read the Springwater News?

February 11, 2014

The Elmvale-based, township-wide, bi-weekly, locally-owned community newspaper is a treasure.

If you care about your community, you should pay very close attention in 2014.

A: All of these.


Who is Alex Nuttall’s right hand man in Midhurst?

December 9, 2013

From this picture at least, it is Mr. David Strachan, president of the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Strachan Nuttall

David Strachan, Alex Nuttall, Sandy Buxton and Aidan Grove-White (left to right)

Other individuals quoted in AWARE Simcoe’s coverage, Growth will Really Pay for Growth: Nuttall,  were:

  • Mr. Jack Hanna, current Ward 5 councillor (Midhurst), Township of Springwater,
  • Mr. Aidan Grove-White, Environmental Defence Canada,
  • Ms. Sandy Buxton, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, and
  • Mr. Patrick Brown MP Barrie.

Organizations who attended: North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance, Angus Ratepayers’ Association and Nottawasaga Steelheaders.

Cross-posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Will any honest people bother to contest the 2014 Springwater Township election?

December 7, 2013

Or will they simply watch as Midhurst, Elmvale and the rest of the former Flos and Vespra township communities be destroyed?

Ayn Rand destroyer

Why?: The Ontario development industry likes the toothless Ontario Municipal Act too much. They want their interests (acting through a puppet majority) to deliver them the zoning for the land they want in south Simcoe County so they can have Springwater Township ask for a friendly annexation from Barrie.

And the raw land controllers (eg. the endangered forests Ministry of Natural Resources and  County of Simcoe and the blind ambition of the City of Barrie and the Premier’s office) will profit by looking the other way (see some of the institutional land holdings in south Springwater Township). Delivering these forests and green spaces helps top up any serving politician’s RRSPs.

  • See the colourful land areas below that we as citizens own but elected politicians control? When ownership is separated from control and those in control use self-interest and deceit, this defines the word “opportunism“. In a government setting, this is old-fashioned definition of the word “corruption”.

Springwater land use map

Springwater Park: This is how you establish $2-million estates on the park’s ponds and give the township, county, City of Barrie and province a big chunk of land for their administrative mausoleums. See Map 1 as to what our past, current and (likely) future politicians get from re-zoning the former tree seedling compartments south of Highway 26 inside the park to “Administration/Government” (blue areas) 

Map 1

(see the blue areas within the green and tan “Environmental Protection I and II” areas?)

Land use cropped  1

Map 2

(carving up Springwater Park since 2008)

Map 3

(the grey rectangles just above the “A”: lots more building, lots less trees)

Springwater Park and provincial forest lands

Source:

No wonder it took some time to validate the clearly illegal Midhurst Secondary Plan: the county needed their vig. Corrupting the Midhurst ratepayers’ leadership would come some time later.

Cross-posted on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Does basic responsible government exist in Springwater Township nowadays?

August 1, 2013

I and others have warned that the suspension of basic democratic rights seems to be escalating.

Springwater MayorAndCouncil

(l to r) Perry Ritchie, Dan Clement, Dan McLean, Linda Collins, Rick Webster, Sandy McConkey, Jack Hanna

In the Editor’s Musings in the August 1, 2013 edition of the Springwater News:

There have been some unexpected fumbling at the Springwater Council meetings. Dan McLean asked for an apology and when he did not get it, the mayor asked one of the councillors to leave.

When one reads the Municipal Act, it would appear that if one member of councillor is upset at another, you go to the Ombudsman for a ruling. Nowhere could I find does it say that the Mayor can eject one councillor at the willingness of another.

The Mayor of Midland suggest that Linda Collins can not demand a councillor leave the chamber. he said that a councillor is elected to duly represent the people so by ejecting a councillor, democracy was not being served.

Another former councillor said he once called the Mayor a piece of –(manure)– knowing full well there is no power with the Mayor to be able to eject him.

If that power did exist within council, think of the scenario. A few members of council want to pass a motion but they know they do not have the support. All one has to do is to complain about 2 or 3 of the council members who possibly opposed the motion. When they would not apologize, the Mayor could boot them from the chambers. The opposition is gone,. The motion is passed.

One wonders why anyone on Council would create such a problem.

One wonders why there has been a breach of quorum that the Township’s hired Ombudsman had to report on.

One wonders if there is a member or two of council who has negated their chances of being re-elected.

One wonders why some members of council do not want other members to communicate (in the paper) with their constituents. Councillors in Barrie do it, members of parliament do it. it is called transparency.

Rick Webster, Perry Richie, Sandy McConkey and Jack Hanna have written articles for the Springwater News.

Assuming the editor knows who writes in his own very important, local news outlet, the following other members of Springwater Township council have not chosen to communicate with their voters via the paper: Mayor Linda Collins, Deputy Mayor Dan McLean and Councillor Ward 1 (Elmvale) Dan Clement.

There seems no end to the school yard drama.

Two questions about this distraction from the catastrophe that the Midhurst Secondary Plan (MSP) represents:

  1. Who are the few that benefit (now and future: $ and non-$ value) and
  2. The many that it costs (same)?

I seem to recall that Mayor Collins’ Council decided that a MSP cost/benefit analysis was not needed to protect the current and future taxpayers.


In 1984, Barrie officially supports the province’s hostile annexation and financially hollowing-out of Vespra township

May 11, 2012

The William Davis government financially cripples the then-named Vespra (now Springwater) township, while giving more land to Barrie than it had asked for in 10 years of negotiations.

The Corporation of the City of Barrie starts off the resolution to the province with:

 The Corporation of the City of Barrie has unanimously endorsed the following resolution with respect to Bill 142 for the annexation of certain lands from the Township of Vespra…

An accompanying letter to the Honourable William G. Davis, Premier of Ontario states: “This was adopted unanimously by Council and it is intended to show the City’s support of the Province for the introduction of this legislation.

Council is aware of the difficult position that the Province had to make with regard to this dispute and would also like to commend them for their initiative to resolve this long standing dispute between two municipalities.”

Barrie had nothing to lose and everything to gain from a Queens Park unilateral law.

10. AND WHEREAS BE IT RESOLVED that the Premier of the Province of Ontario, The Honourable William Davis, be advised of this resolution and that he be made aware that:

(a) The Council of the Corporation of the City of Barrie fully endorses the actions of The Honourable Claude Bennett, Minister of Municipal Affairs, in introducing Bill 142 into the Ontario Legislature.

(b) We commend the General Government Committee, Chaired by Mr. Allan McLean, MPP for Simcoe East, for conducting a fair and impartial hearing on the annexation issue.

(e) We appreciate the efforts of The Honourable George Taylor, MPP for Simcoe Centre and Solicitor General of Ontario, in trying to bring this dispute to an end without further delay or the expenditure of future tax dollars.

(d) We regret that the Liberal and NDP Members of the Ontario Legislature did not support bill 142 at this time but we do encourage them to reconsider their stand on this issue and recognize that it is the only logical solution to a boundary dispute that has gone on for over 10 years.

(e) We request the Members of the Legislature give speedy passage of the third reading of Bill 142 as soon as possible to facilitate the end of the annexation application by the City and allow both Vespra and Barrie to govern their municipalities under the new boundary changes.

Vespra residents and political insiders would bitterly disagree with much of this resolution. Vespra won at the Supreme Court of Canada (twice) but lost +100% with the passage of Bill 142, the Barrie-Vespra Annexation Act, 1984.

If it Doesn’t Jingle, It doesn’t Count: Compensation was paid to Vespra township for 10 years. The amount was unilaterally decided upon by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Hon. Claude Bennett). Vespra lost 35% of their assessment revenue when Bill 142 passed. When Springwater township was formed in 1994, the northern area (former Flos township and Elmvale) have a much lower total assessment base compared to the south (former Vespra township, including Midhurst, Snow Valley, etc.)

The first time Barrie and Springwater township can “legally” talk about annexation is 2013.

Linda Collins council will reign until 2015.

Full excerpts of the complete May 1984 Municipal World article, City of Barrie Resolution re Bill 142: Annexation –  Readers Comment,  are available in Word and pdf at iLoveMidhurst.ca.

 


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