When is Springwater Township planning to demolish or “decommission” the Midhurst Community Centre?

April 8, 2016

Sometimes it helps to ask politicians, in writing, important questions.

Springwater Council Web

(l) Don Allen, Perry Ritchie, Katy Austin, Bill French, Sandy McConkey, Jennifer Coughlin, Jack Hanna

1. Email from author to Midhurst ward councillor (Mr. Jack Hanna), Township of Springwater

FROM: Les Stewart
TO: Jack Hanna <jack.hanna@springwater.ca>
CC: Bill French <Bill.French@springwater.ca>
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:31
SUBJECT: Midhurst Sports and Wellness Centre proposal

Mr. Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5
Township of Springwater

Mr. Hanna,

I would appreciate an update on the Township’s evaluation of this proposal.

I would also like to have an opportunity for a meeting so that I can make sure my facts are correct about how this proposal will affect the Midhurst Community Centre at 74 Doran Road, Midhurst.


Les Stewart

2. Response from Mayor French

FROM: Bill French

TO: Les Stewart, Jack Hanna

CC: Ron Belcourt <Ron.Belcourt@springwater.ca>, (Director of Recreation, Parks & Properties)

Robert Brindley <Robert.Brindley@springwater.ca> (Chief Administrative Officer)

DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:51

It was referred to staff for feedback. It will not be reviewed until we finalize our Master Recreation Plan which will not be complete until later this year.
Before the advancement of any idea or concept, it would be subject to rigorous review and public input. But at the same time we commend people that have ideas that try to enhance our various communities.
Appreciate your interest.

Best Regards


Bill French
Township of Springwater
2231 Nursery Road
Minesing, ON L0L 1Y2
P 705-728-4784 ext. 2040
F 705-728-6957
C 705-718-7031 or


3. Reply by author

FROM:: Les Stewart
TO: Bill French
CC: Jack Hanna, Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 12:05

Mayor French,

Thank you for the update.

I take from this that the proposal, which called for demolishing the Midhurst Community Hall by fall 2016, will not be happening.

I have attached a current Springwater News article by Ruth Byers.  She notes Midhurst and many township residents had worked very hard to preserve 164 years of continuous civic building presence. It may be of interest to the Corporation that the Midhurst United, St. Paul’s Anglican and Midhurst Baptist churchs rented the Doran Road facilities while their congregations struggled, successfully, to construct their own buildings in our community.

Considering the season, it’s nice that the current church congregation renting (Old Apostolic Lutheran Church) won’t become homeless by this administration.

At least for now, eh?

Regards, Les

4. Mr. Jack Hanna comments.

FROM: Jack Hanna
TO: Bill French, Les Stewart
CC: Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 16:39

Mr Les Stewart
Further to the response from Mayor French you will note in the Draft Recreation Master Plan a recommendation to “decommission the Midhurst Community Centre” my objection to this is part of the public record.

Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5

Meeting asked for….meeting…

Therefore, the French administration, staff & councillors seems to be pleased with the accuracy of the traditional and social media coverage.

Posted also on SpringwaterParkcc.org.

The Ontario Municipal Board came into Springwater Township today.

April 9, 2014

There was a Pre-Hearing about the Midhurst Secondary Plan today.


It took about 2 hours for about 9 lawyers to decide on the following:

  • agreement on a request for consolidation of zoning approvals (16 in total: 8 subdivisions and 8 zoning).
  • the groups with party status would be the Midhurst Landowners Group, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, the 2 school boards and the Frankcom family,
  • the participants will be the City of Barrie, a citizen, and the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association,
  • the Township of Springwater will be having an Open House for the public,
  • the Environmental Assessments 1 and 2 were completed in 2009 (Stages 3 and 4 are ongoing),
  • the next Pre-Hearing will be July 3rd and perhaps 4th, and
  • the probably full week of Hearings will be August 25th.

The following township politicians were in attendance: Jack Hanna, Sandy McConkey, Perry Ritchie, and Rick Webster.

My interpretation was that counsel from the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority considered the scheduling of a summer Hearing to be inappropriate because the Stage 3 and 4 Environmental Assessments, EAs will not be finished by then. The debate on whether the developers will be given their zoning orders before the EAs will be complete is to be dealt with at the July 3 and 4th pre-hearing.

Ms. Susan Rosenthal, Davies Howe Partners LLP who represents the Midhurst Landowners Group, MLG et al., asked the chairperson to remind those in the audience not to audio record the proceedings. The chair was unable to determine if or who was doing that.

Ms. Rosenthal stated that there was a good deal of work accomplished between this and the last OMB meetings between the MLG, Springwater Township and Simcoe County staff.


Are Springwater Township Council members & staff competently managing their own developer-originated, litigation-derived contingent liabilities?

March 18, 2014

Every corporation must disclose and protect against material risks and executives must manage and disclose something called contingent liability.


From their initial response, this does not appear to be happening by the Corporation of the Township of Springwater

Request for Information
from: Les Stewart les.j.stewart@gmail.com

to: Mayor Linda Collins <linda.collins@springwater.ca>
cc: Deputy Mayor Dan McLean <dan.mclean@springwater.ca>,
Jack Hanna <jack.hanna@springwater.ca>,
Perry Ritchie <perry.ritchie@springwater.ca>,
Dan Clement <dan.clement@springwater.ca>,
Sandy McConkey <sandy.mcconkey@springwater.ca>,
John Daly <John.Daly@springwater.ca>
date: 18 March 2014 09:10
subject: Contingent Liability provision: Litigation risk to Corporatino involving in the Midhurst Secondary Plan

Without Prejudice but Not Confidential

Mayor Linda Collins
Corporation of the Township of Springwater
Minesing, Ontario

Mayor Collins,

This is a follow-up from my verbal question at the March 17, 2014 general council meeting.

From their response, it is my conclusion that your senior staff will not be booking any financial liability whatsoever on their 2013 or 2014 audited financial statements having to do with this controversial, unprecedented activity by corporations that are on the public record as being extremely litigation-prone to those that do not yield unconditionally to their will.

Q1: Will you be instructing your senior staff to investigate and report back to Council in open session the range of potential financial loss(es) that may accrue to the Corporation of the Township of Springwater having to do with the initial cost of defence and potential final claim (trial and appeal) of a lawsuit(s) by a single or multiple parties?

A yes or no answer would be be appreciated, please. Other questions may arise from your answer or non-answer.

It is my understanding, that you, Council members, and senior staff have a professional and personal fiduciary duty to protect the Corporation from harm by acting in a commercially reasonably, fiscally prudent manner to protect future taxpayers’ interests.

I reserve distribution and publication rights to this document and unreservedly offer the same to the Corporation and individual members of Council. Clerk Daly; please formally record this correspondence and acknowledge such to me.


Mr. Les Stewart MBA
1201 Bayfield Street North
Midhurst ON L0L 1X1
705 737-4635 Tel
705 627-2242 Cell

Budget 2014 Fallout: What’s the deal with the email(s) between Deputy Mayor Dan McLean and Mr. Scott McLean on February 18, 2014?

March 13, 2014

And why is important that official correspondence retention be actually and perceived to be dealt with in a non-biased, consistent,  and based on the rule of law.

Dan McLean Scott McLean Record

Above is a Notice of Motion by Councillors Jack Hanna and Sandy McConkey that has been filed here [pdf] for next Monday’s General Council meeting. It says in part:

That the email from Scott McLean dated February-18-14 9:42 AM that further disseminated an email by Daniel McLean via spitfireboone@<<<>>>>.com, dated February-
14-14 5:04 PM soliciting written support for the 2014 budget, be included verbatim as correspondence received in the Township of Springwater Council Agenda.

There was some informal, non-minuted talk in previous meetings during at the special budget meeting on February 25th (see: Dignity and honesty were self-evident at Springwater Township last night.), evaluation process that an email was recorded as official correspondence (ie. retained) and then amended or dropped entirely, I’m not sure.

There were 5 or 6 pieces of correspondence about the budget that were recorded officially: both in favour and opposed to the Springwater Township 2014 Budget. One noteworthy one was on Currie Truck Centre letterhead and was helpfully photocopied by township staff so everyone attending the budget meeting could have their own hard copy.

This is why it’s important to attend these meetings, people! You learn so much, but you have to be there (as I am)

Posted also on voteLesStewart.ca.

Thanks from Grenfel & Centre Vespra for the Springwater Park $10,000 reopening budget.

February 27, 2014

Sandy McConkey and Jack Hanna deserve kudos.

Springwater News masthead finished

Community writer Kathy Stunden-Hall expresses the community’s  appreciation in her February 27th Springwater News column.


Last weekend Mark and I decided to take our dog Max for a walk in Springwater Park. We hadn’t been there since last winter and we didn’t know whether or not there would still be any of the trails there because of the park closure. Then I remembered reading something in the Barrie paper about a bunch of people celebrating Family Day there.

We were a bit apprehensive about their being even a place to park because we didn’t want to leave the truck on Highway 26. Anyway, we got there and discovered that you could park in the old park entranceway. We were also pleasantly surprised to see the snowshoe and cross country ski trails still in use. Someone had even blown out a walking trail. I believe it was the work of one of the Save-the-Park groups.

Another bonus was the old outhouse hadn’t been hammered shut like the rest of the buildings. It was sad to see the park buildings boarded up but it was uplifting to see this jewel of our county still being well used.

That’s why I was glad to see a story in The Examiner [click for pdf here] last week about an initiative put forward by our councillor Sandy McConkey, and fellow councillor Jack Hanna. I meant to save the article but I think it went up the chimney with the rest of the paper. If memory serves me correctly, and I hope it does, the two councillors set aside $10,000 to help keep Springwater Park going. Good work, Sandy and Jack. I know you have a lot of support on this endeavour.

Springwater News excerpt pdf.

Not many people know Springwater Park is busier in the winter than in the summer. MNR staff say that a walk around the cleared road is 3 kilometres.

Please use your leash in consideration of the park rules and your neighbours’ and indigenous animals’ rights.

Who is on the Midhurst Secondary Plan Resident Liasion Committee?

February 27, 2014

Midhurst residents 1


  • Robert Brindley


  • Paul Fleming
  • Robert Wright
  • Gerald Scanlan
  • Regan Frankcom
  • Tiziano Zaghi
  • Linda Collins
  • Sandy McConkey
  • Jack Hanna


  • Joe Mullan
  • Brad Sokach

Words, July 25, 2013 Minutes: link & pdfImage

Dignity and honesty were self-evident at Springwater Township last night.

February 26, 2014

The 2014 budget was passed by an unusual “5 for: 2 against”, recorded vote.

Michael J Fox

Budgets are usually just rubber-stamped.

My notes:

  • respect to those taxpayers who show up,
  • potential federal funding telephone calls left unanswered (x2),
  • make sure $10,000 for Springwater Park was safe (yes it is),
  • don’t like budget process,
  • proposed operating efficiencies (fewer services, lower expenses) were a “full insult”,
  • no attempt at surgical approach to public finances,
  • “my hands were slapped more than one time”,
  • people of Midhurst and Elmvale deserve better,
  • staff delivered exactly what they were instructed to deliver,
  • question whether people and communities are treated fairly and equitably, and
  • finally, “It’s the truth”.

Also: An email that was, but is not now, part of the democratic record?



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