The proposed changes to the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association bylaws take my breath away.

April 27, 2017

I have never seen a not-for profit community group concentrate as much power in their executive.

Inconsistent with several democratic principles. Perfect to serve corporate or corporatist interests.

 

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Changes in red.

Board members: Sandy Buxton, David Strachan, Margaret Prophet, Connie Spek, Barb Kutcher, Kevin Newman


The time is now to financially support the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association final push back, if you can.

January 16, 2016

Sometimes extraordinary resources should be summoned.

When I give of my time or money, I give in someone who has touched my life; with a specific person who is unable to do so but I think would like to.

It’s about the kids future in all of Springwater Township (Flos and Vespra), no matter what the contemptuous claim.

Fundraising effort

 


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

 


Will we have to blindly trust that the Midhurst Secondary Plan’s environmental safeguards are strong enough to protect the Minesing Wetlands?

January 15, 2015

On January 7, 2015, there was a summary of the Environmental Assessment (EA) Update at the Springwater Township administration centre.

20150107 Ainley1

Mr. Joe Mullan of Ainley Group presented a slideshow and answered questions (download slideshow here).

The Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA wrote about their interpretation in Previous Promises of Environmental Protection Unfoundedpdf

For a long time, the previous administration and developers told us the environment and the Minesing Wetlands will be protected; that things are under control and there is no reason to worry. Ever since Phase 3 of the Environmental Assessment began in April 2013, the MRA and other concerned residents and organizations have been asking for the details, reports and studies that would show us that things are proceeding as promised. We never received those reports and studies. And there’s a good reason why – they’re not done. From what we can tell, those environmental assurances, given in an attempt to placate us, were completely unfounded.

Councillor Katy Austin mentioned in her Springwater News Ward One Councillor’s Report: pdf

Mr. Mullan assured the audience that the proposed wastewater treatment plant and various offsetting measures would “protect and even enhance” the watershed in question as far as phosphorous levels are concerned. Some members of the audience appeared somewhat skeptical about this statement.

I have recorded the MRA’s and councillor’s articles in the Springwater Township Growth wiki as well as in the Media Article page of SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Why is it risky for community groups to endorse any individual or a “slate” of candidates in an Ontario municipal election?

October 4, 2014

A type of election campaign advertising arrived in the mail this week from the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA.

MRA vote for front

Back.

MRA vote for back

 

I think this is the link that provides more detail on the MRA’s endorsements of what appears to be a slate of candidates.

MRA endorsements 1

Questions Arising:

  • Had the MRA’s membership dues and fundraising made it clear that they would be recommending one candidate over another in the upcoming election?
  • Were members and contributors informed that funds would be used to promote one candidate over another?
  • Were the funds spent by the MRA on the design, printing, and mailing a form of subsidy (indirect $ contributed) to the endorsed candidates’ campaigns?
  • Was this indirect funding a form of soft money campaign donation (undisclosed by the candidate under existing provincial law)?
  • Since Margaret Atwood and Others had been centrally identified as allies, were they aware and approving of this new policy direction?
  • Was a weighted rating system used?
  • Were the means and implications of using the endorsements disclosed to the four candidates?
  • Were the candidates informed of the evaluation method process?
  • Were the candidates provided a copy of the finished evaluation matrix (self and others)?
  • Could and were each of the evaluations, independently audited?
  • Who were the individuals who ranked and evaluated the submissions (eg. MRA’s own transparency and accountability)?
  • Would a secretive and non-accountable process of evaluation likely result in a perceived and real non-biased recommendation?

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. George Orwell

MRA 4 endorsed candidates

 Posted on LesStewart.wikidot.com.


Geranium sends out their Fall 2014 newsletter to all the beautiful, happy, perfect people in Midhurst.

September 22, 2014

While making an impression on the former Federation of Ontario Naturalists (est. 1931).

MLG NL Fall 2014 1

If the Midhurst Secondary Plan, MSP is such a”A Done Deal” and the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association is so clearly wrong, wrong, wrong: then why the drama?

MLG NL Fall 2014 2

Note back page article:

“ON Nature magazine apologizes and retracts statement

Geranium Corporation, one of the partners in the Midhurst Landowners Group, has received an unqualified retraction and apology in the pages of ON Nature magazine, and on the website of the magazine at : www.onnaturemagazine.com/2014/07

ON Nature is the publication of Ontario Nature, a charitable organization established in 1931 as the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. It’s [sic] correction and apology states:

 “On page 10 of its Summer 2014 issue, ON Nature published an article entitled “Midhurst residents oppose development”. The article stated that a land developer mentioned in the article, Geranium Corporation, had not returned calls for comment. This was incorrect. In fact, Geranium and its public relations representative did return the reporter’s calls for comment, although through no fault of Geranium the reporter did not reach them in response. Geranium has provided ON Nature with the following statement responding to the article:

Geranium Corporation is an award-winning, Ontario-based home builder and developer with an excellent track record of public consultation and involvement, as well as respect for the environment and the years-long public approvals process. Its repeated invitations to meet with the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association have been refused by the Association.

 ON Nature regrets the error, and apologizes to Geranium.””

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Note the bold text above is what Geranium gave ON Nature to say.

  1. Click here to ON Nature‘s actual web page.
  2. Click here to see what I wrote after reading ON Nature’s article (June 19th)
  3. Click here to see what I wrote after receiving Geranium’s Summer newsletter (Volume 2, 2014).
  4. Click here to see what I wrote after receiving their Spring newsletter (Volume 1, 2014)

 

MSP icon white on red

 

Shiny Happy People, REM


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.


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