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 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

 


How many more home addresses will Geranium Corporation publish to defend their development interests in the Midhurst Secondary Plan?

July 23, 2014

The Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA opposes sprawl and has been talking to Premier Kathleen Wynne about it since before the provincial election.

On July 17th, Geranium has the MRA president’s home address  printed in 17,100 hard copies and digitally at the Springwater News newspaper. I covered it up with a post-it note (see below) when I photographed it.

20140704 Geranium MRA letter cropped

Maybe Mr. Marc Denhez of the Ontario Muncipal Board? Or Ms. Cheryl Shindruk VP, Geranium? Or Mr. Earl Rumm president of Geranium?

20140717 Springwater News front

I understand that Mr. Earl Rumm is the president of Geranium Corporation (see Ontario looks to smack down SLAPPs).

20140717 Springwater News bifold

Text of the letter: pdf

At least, two previously-published articles note that Ms. Buxton and the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association continue talking directly to Premier Kathleen Wynne:

1. Midhurst ratepayers not giving up fight after OMB defeat, The Barrie Advance, July 9, 2014, and

Buxton said her group met with Premier Kathleen Wynne during the election campaign and has met with other senior government officials since then.

“(Wynne) promised us she’d order a review and she’d involve us in high-level talks so we could flesh out our concerns and be involved. She’s keeping her word,” Buxton said.

2. Approval for Midhurst housing plan takes one step closer, The Barrie Examiner, July 11, 2014.

Buxton said the association “has the ear” of Premier Kathleen Wynne and that she has spoken with the premier about the Midhurst development.

“She was very receptive and very concerned and she promised the whole thing would be reviewed. I know she is committed to reviewing how this all came about,” Buxton said. “We have already had a meeting with very senior people attached to the premier’s office.”


Margaret Atwood coming to Midhurst on Sunday June 22nd

May 24, 2014

A special visit announcement by AWARE Simcoe to draw attention to the negative affects of unchecked urban sprawl.

spring atwood

Quote:

from the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association

Author Margaret Atwood is fulfilling her promise to come to Midhurst if the number of people signing the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Petition reaches 5,000. That happened in March and now arrangements have been finalized: Atwood will speak in Midhurst on Sunday, June 22 12-3 pm at a Celebration of Rural Living.

Tickets are on sale now for this special event coordinated by the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association that will highlight the importance of rural communities and the resources they protect (foodlands, fresh water and natural heritage).

Tickets are limited, so purchase yours now. ONLY $20! Buy tickets online

Volunteer Drive Meeting:

Sunday, May 25 – 7 pm Midhurst Community Hall (74 Doran Rd.)

The MRA needs you. On June 22nd, they require at least 30 volunteers for a variety of tasks including, but not limited to: parking attendants, BBQ attendants, greeters, cashiers. They also need volunteers to distribute posters ahead of the event. A volunteer drive is being held Sunday night – sign up, get more information about the event and engage with the MRA executive about current and future initiatives.

If you can’t attend, but would still like to volunteer, email your name and contact info and someone from their Events team will get in touch with you. Email Events Team

 

Speakers – Begins at 12:30

Emcee – AM 740’s Dale Goldhawk

Supporting Speakers:

  • Shirley Boxem, Food and Water First – “The Importance of Farmland Preservation”
  • David Donnelly, Donnelly Law – “Learning from Mistakes and Building a Better Future for Ontario”
  • Sandy Buxton, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association – “The Midhurst Story”

Keynote Address: Margaret Atwood – “Why Community Matters and Her Journey into Getting Involved”


Which of the three mainstream Ontario political parties should I vote for to stop the Midhurst Secondary Plan?

April 16, 2014

As far as destruction of farmland because of sprawl, none of them.

Ontario political leadersAccording to the the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association’s Ms. Sandy Buxton, only Mike Schreinder of the Green Party has even said they oppose it.

Question:

Subject: Provincial political partys’ positions on Midhurst Secondary Plan, MSP

Date: April 15, 2014

Ms. Sandy Buxton
President
Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association

Ms. Buxton,

I was wondering if the MRA has asked Tim Hudak, Andrea Horwath and Kathleen Wynne if they would reverse the Special Rule and stop the MSP if elected/re-elected as the next Ontario premier?

I think Springwater Township residents might want to know as we maybe facing a provincial election very soon.

Regards, Les

Answer:

HI Les,

The MRA has approached all party leaders, including Mike Schreiner of the Green Party. Except for the latter, none has revealed their position on the MSP, nor have they committed to rescinding the special rule. To date, of all the local incumbents and potential candidates for Simcoe-Grey and Simcoe-North we’ve contacted, only MPPs Jim Wilson and Garfield Dunlop have publicly come forward to support our efforts. We still hope the other leaders and candidates will recognize the importance of this cause and join us. We are continuing to lobby them.

Sandy Buxton
President, MRA

The “Special Rule” (informally known, I am told, as the “Geranium Rule”) was brought in in June 2012 and it is explained here by AWARE Simcoe. pdf  

An exemption to provincial law created by the stroke of a minister’s pen can be reversed likewise

Words of support:

 


How is it possible to destroy 1,900 acres of Ontario farmland to an unwanted, cancer-like sprawl scheme?

April 15, 2014

Will the appointed Ontario Municipal Board have the final word or will a disaster be averted by a democratically-elected premier?

MSP

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is asked for help, by AWARE Simcoe’s article, Midhurst appeal to Kathleen Wynne: we need a partner:

The Midhurst Ratepayers Association has made a direct appeal to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking for a meeting with her and relevant ministers.

MRA president Sandy Buxton points out that the proposed Midhurst Secondary Plan will not only “manufacture a city on 1,900 acres of prime farmland,” but will also discharge its treated wastewater a mere kilometre upstream from the internationally significant Minesing Wetlands.

“Your Liberal government allowed this plan to proceed, despite its failure to comply with 16 key components of your much-prized Growth Plan. It did this by creating a special rule JUST for Midhurst,” Buxton writes.

Presently, she explains, the Township of Springwater is being sued by developers that want to force the rezoning of disputed farmland for residential use. The MRA wants to support the township by being a party to the case before the Ontario Municipal Board but cannot, because of the high cost of retaining a lawyer and planner in order to stand a chance against the well-paid, well-resourced developer lawyers.

“Basically, Midhurst residents are forced to watch from the sidelines as the future of their village, its farms and water and its way of life are decided by people who don’t even live there,” Buxton writes.

Please stop this war on our community.

Toronto Star article: Access to justice is a ‘basic right.


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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