Time to vote in the Springwater Township leader you want.

October 27, 2014

I will be voting for change.


CTV Barrie reports yesterday in Springwater Township election crucial:

The Midhurst Secondary Plan will be on voter’s minds in Springwater Township as they head to the polls Monday.

“There are a lot of issues at stake here,” said Springwater resident Peter Kaukola.

The Midhurst Secondary Plan will see more than four thousand new homes built on farmland in the Midhurst area.

Incumbent Mayor Linda Collins says the environmental safety of the project is one of her main concerns.

“It will bring first and foremost environmental protection to over 1,200 acres that are deemed to be environmentally protected,” says Collins. “The stringent conditions around the build will set the bar for the province.”

Alternatively, mayoral candidate Bill French says “it offends all the policies of the province and it was only allowed to proceed because the last two mayors lobbied for it and so a special rule was put in place by a minister.”

Tony Guegis, the third mayoral candidate in Springwater, says he want more information before making a decision.

“The first thing I’m going to do is send out a message to the province that we want to sit back down and go through the chronology of how this is to happen and see what we need to do,” he says.

Municipal and school board election polls are open Monday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.


Springwater township’s “No-show candidates”: Let them cry their hot tears of oppression elsewhere.

October 9, 2014

Mayor Linda Collins and Deputy Mayor Dan McLean and former Simcoe County Warden and township Mayor Tony Guergis decide to boycott an all-candidates’ meeting this week.

No showers linda collins tony guergis dan mcleanNoelle takes them to the rhetorical woodshed:

There is more than a drop of irony in the failure of pro-MSP Candidates to appear for the All Candidates Meeting last night

Once again the pro-MSP brigade showed a remarkable capacity to simultaneously display duplicity, self-pity, and more than a little irony at last night’s All Candidates Meeting in Snow Valley. Speaking via a common spokesperson, Brenda Stanley, the candidates, including Linda Collins, Tony Guergis and Dan MacLean, cited concerns about the transparency and neutrality of the organizers, AWARE Simcoe, as reason for withdrawing from the public meeting.

This allegation, and the act of public theatre through which it was delivered, raises an eyebrow for several reasons.

First off, the peculiar timing of Kathleen Wynne’s letter to incumbent Mayor Linda Collins, arriving, as it did on the day of a much-anticipated open public forum, begs the question: if Collins has had access to this back channel, why did she apparently fail to seize this opportunity to ask the Premier the question residents have been loudly demanding – Will you review the MSP? Instead, Wynne’s response that the province “has no plan to review the Midhurst Secondary Plan or Special Rule in the Transition Regulation,” suggests the Premier had not been invited to take, or defend a position on this issue. The only way to find out, of course, is if Collins would release the unedited email correspondence with Wynne. Without doing so, there seems no compelling reason to believe she has shifted her long-standing pattern of seemingly representing developer interests over the concerns of residents.

The irony is stark, coming from the clutch of candidates who now allege preferential treatment of their opponents by the organizers of last night’s meeting. Clearly, this faction not only had prior knowledge of Wynne’s letter, but took it upon itself to plan and coordinate its exemption from the meeting, surprising other candidates as much as it did those residents who came expecting a long-awaited, honest and unfiltered discussion.

Pity the candidates who narrowly escaped being ganged up upon, and torn limb-from-bloody-limb last night, by committed, truth-seeking residents. They have clearly insulated themselves from the democratic process for so long that they no longer recognize it when it comes up to shake them by the hand. More than that, they have come to fear it, and to fear any encounter where they are not able control and limit public participation.

Let’s also address the allegation that the organizers shared questions in advance with its preferred candidates. AWARE Simcoe has unequivocally denied this allegation, and pointed to measures it took to guarantee the neutral facilitation of the meeting. But let’s assume for a moment, they did plant questions. Surely none of the questions would have been unpredictable to incumbents who are presumably, by now, well versed in all the issues? Or were they out of their depth? Perhaps they feared pointed, negative questions by their opponents, in which case, the most suspicious response is silence.

Overall, the sense of entitlement displayed by sitting out this singular opportunity to recharge the local democratic process, is dwarfed only by the repugnant stench of self-pity. The pro-MSP faction would have you believe, after its long unbroken history as apparent mouthpiece to the developer, that it has become the victim of an unfair attack. Let’s get one thing straight – oppression happens when power and authority is exercised unjustly – for instance, in the case where a corporation uses its undue power and influence to affect land use policy, it is the local and adjacent residents and environments that are oppressed. It’s not oppression if the pro-MSP faction suddenly feels the tide of public opinion turning against it – that’s just democracy at work, thanks to power of citizen mobilization.

Let’s not joke. The Midhurst Secondary Plan has become the pivotal and polarizing issue of this election, because it defines two very different visions for this Township; and that is only right, because its vast implications are dead serious for Springwater as well as for neighbouring Townships that benefit from Springwater’s environment, that are tied into its rural economy and food production system, that share its road networks, and that would experience exponential demand on services, were the MSP to go ahead.

And finally, let’s not fuel the ridiculous pretence, that excluding oneself from hard public questioning is anything other than an act of political manipulation. This considered (in)action on the part of the pro-MSP brigade displays an utter lack of regard for the democratic process. Let them cry their hot tears of oppression elsewhere.

These opinions belong to Noelle Rancourt, indignant nearby (and former) Springwater resident, and do not reflect the views of any group or organization.

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Any Springwater taxpayers remember the huge chemical-fed fireball at the hazardous waste transfer site on Snow Valley Road in July 2003?

July 23, 2012

The 100 foot flames? Smoke plume visible from Collingwood and downtown Toronto?

We remember the lack of willingness to meet as a group, respect and support the Springwater mayor, council, and staff gave.

So when the Midhurst Secondary Plan surprise (1,100 homes to 11,000) happened in November, 2011, we had some history to compare how much truth we should expect from the current Township administration.

The Barrie Examiner (Bob Bruton and Mike Hinds) reported on August 3, 2003, Still thirsty for answers: Residents push for meeting:

Some residents are still seeing smoke days after a huge chemical-fed fire burned out on Snow Valley Road.

Les Stewart, who lives on Highway 26/27 near the Philip Environmental Services fire site, says there needs to be a community meeting to clear the air.

“I’m not for scaring people at all, but, in an information vacuum, the anxiety factor rises exponentially and that is what I am feeling in the community,” said Stewart

He says if everything is all right, people want to know. And, if it’s not, they want to know what the options are.

“There are 18 (affected) homes on Snow Valley Road and Bayfield (Street),” he said. “There are a lot of people with these kind of concerns.”

The fire last Monday afternoon at Philip Environmental sent fireballs and black smoke billowing skyward.

Air emissions testing by Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment showed contaminants at only trace levels.

Results of water, soil and vegetation tests are expected this week.

Stewart says while com information has been released, residents have more questions and concerns.”

“Perception is reality, and it’s hard to avoid the mushroom cloud. People will remember it,” he said.

Springwater Township members on July 29, 2003:

  • Helen Coutts, Mayor
  • John Brown, Deputy Mayor
  • George Woods
  • Tom Elliott
  • Ross Money
  • Tony Guergis
  • George Todd, Midhurst

Update: No meeting. No data. Rebuilt hazardous waste building (2 to 3 times the size of original one).

Springwater Township resident Les Stewart takes a close look at his tap water, but it won’t bring him any closer to knowing what’s in it after a large chemical fire forced the evacuation of 500 people from their homes in July. Stewart, who represents about 20 of his neighbours, wants raw data on well water, air quality and soil testing.  Photo by Mark Wanzel

Re-posted on voteLesStewart.ca on March 6, 2014.

Linda Collins’ council acts to protect some and deny other interests in the Midhurst sprawl stall

May 7, 2012

In any court trial, one side always wants to speed things up AND the other side always wants to slow things down.

It’s been 21 days since the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association (and +200 supporters) presented Springwater Council with a +1,400 signature petition (Midhurst population: 3,000) and a few questions.

Most of all, they were hoping to start a dialogue.

The Linda Collins administration responded by talking past the group via the Barrie Examiner and try to blame the citizens for their inattentiveness. And to remind us that former Doran Road farmers and developers do NOT dictate growth in the township.

Then a press release by a part-time township media employee asking for patience.

Two Additional Questions:

1. Council must have known about the questions since late November 30, 2011 when the former +200 taxpayers’ assembly at the Midhurst Community Hall and was written up in the Examiner: Midhurst residents voice opposition to growth plan. I also recall seeing former Springwater Mayor and County Warden Mr. Tony Guergis being in attendance that night and saying that it was “a done deal” and that he was “on our side”.

So is that 5 months of ragging the puck (stonewalling) or 21 days?

2. How many days until the Ontario Municipal Board calls their pre-hearing and therefore lets the Township “off the hook” for their reckless planning?

Lately, are Springwater Township politicians more like E.C. Drury or “Boss” Hogg?

March 30, 2012

Will time be as kind to this recent crop as she has been to Premier Drury?

Within Springwater Township during the last 20 years, these are the individuals who are perceived to have served others or themselves.

These two extremes can be represented by a local farmer and  a fictional politician.

E.C. Drury: Farmer premier

Ernest Charles Drury (1878 – 1968)

…a farmer, politician and writer who served as the eighth Premier of Ontario, Canada, from 1919 to 1923 as the head of a United Farmers of Ontario – Labour coalition government.

Drury was the grandson of Richard Drury, who arrived in Crown Hill, Ontario from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England in 1819. His father, Charles Drury, continued the family farm and was a forward-looking farmer who utilized new techniques and technologies. In 1882, he was president of the Agricultural and Arts Association of Ontario. He also served reeve of Oro Township in Simcoe County for 13 years and was elected to the Ontario legislature as an Ontario Liberal Party member where he served from 1882 to 1890, the last two years as the province’s first Minister of Agriculture.

Premier of Ontario
Drury’s progressive government created the first Department of Welfare for the province and brought in allowances for widows and children, a minimum wage for women and standarized adoption procedures.[2] His government also expanded Ontario Hydro, created the Province of Ontario Savings Office – a provincially owned bank that was designed to lend money to farmers at a lower rate – began the first major reforestation program in North America, and initiated construction of the modern highway system. Drury also arranged for a grant for unknown researchers Frederick Banting and Charles Best who would go on to discover insulin.

Boss Hogg: The Dukes of Hazzard

“Boss” Hogg

…is a fictional character featured in the American television series The Dukes of Hazzard. He was the greedy, unethical commissioner of Hazzard County. A stereotypical villainous glutton, Boss Hogg always wore an all-white suit with a white cowboy hat and regularly smoked cigars.

“Boss” Hogg was the wealthiest man in Hazzard County. As his name would imply, Hogg was incredibly greedy. The “Boss” heading is a distant analogy to the corrupt New York City Tammany Hall era politician Boss Tweed. Creator Gy Waldron said he wanted the character to be the personification of the seven deadly sins

Boss is forever angry at the Duke family, particularly Bo and Luke, for continually exposing and halting his various crooked schemes…

Is Hillsdale to the Guergis’ council, what Midhurst is to Collins’ administration?

March 3, 2012

For the life of me I cannot tell any appreciable difference between the old and new boss.

This is an important message from the Concerned Residents of Hillsdale for all Springwater taxpayers: Hillsdale citizens stood alone when their council abandoned them. Word pdf

We, the former Directors of the now defunct Concerned Residents of Hillsdale (CROH) have decided to have our say with respect to the upcoming Township of Springwater Municipal Election. But first and foremost, it is important that we are clear. We joined together to write this article to report facts and create an awareness, as it applies to our experiences with the sitting Springwater Township Council.

The shoe drops.

The Letdown and The Kicker
Over time, our sense of relief dissipated. The Township failed the CROH in many areas. To name a few: they failed to notify and involve the CROH in an important meeting with the Developer; they inexplicably refused to engage the CROH in the formation of a Consolidated Issues List for review in an OMB Pre-Conference Hearing, yet they forwarded the Township Consolidated Issues List to the County and Developer; they failed to acknowledge the CROH in line with correspondence between the parties at a Special Meeting of Council. Their actions were very disconcerting from the obvious perspective that our organization were Township residents.  In addition, the CROH were granted Full Party standing at the upcoming OMB Hearing.  And most importantly, the Township was not living up to their own suggested strategy that the CROH join together with them to better present our like positions at the OMB Hearing.    And then the kicker. Prior to the beginning of the OMB proceedings in January 2008, the Township abandoned the position they adopted with the CROH. As a result, we stood alone at the OMB Hearing without the support of our elected officials.

 — Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose? (The more things change, the more they stay the same?)

People & companies appearing at the Springwater Township Planning Committee in 2007

January 27, 2012

Slowly a picture emerges.

Does there seem to be a lot of employee turnover at the Township office?

People and companies who were recorded as having attended in Elmavale in 2007:

Kim Anderson, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Elaine Cairncross, Jim Scott, Paul Macallum, Angela Rudy, Rudy & Associates Ltd., Darren Vella, Innovative Planning Solutions Inc., Greg Gemmell, Richardson Foster Engineering, Glenn Lucas, Lucas & Associates, Brian Smith, Ron Sheardown, Stan Wismer, Kim Anderson, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Elaine Cairncross, Barry Peyton,  ProVista, Nicola Mitchinson, Mitchinson Planning Consultants, Arlette Utton, Angela Rudy, Rudy & Associates Limited, Darren Vella,  Innovative Planning Solutions Inc., Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Brad Sokach, Carey DeGorter, Elaine Cairncross, Rick Green, Albert Colosimo, Alison McLeod, Gwen Lousylik, Alec A. Ovenden, Bill Preston, Heather Balck, Mario Giampietri, Maria Gatzios, Bousfields Inc., David White, Ron Sheardown, Brian Smith, Mary Ellen Wood, Rudy & Associates Ltd., Michelle Cutts, Rudy & Associates Ltd., Angela Rudy, Rudy & Associates Ltd., Roger Deschamps, Claire Bateman-Czerry, Chet Czerny, Sandy Hoare, Kevin Everton, Derek Cook, Ross Money, Ken Westra, Harold McMaster, Ken French, Mike Townes, Bill French, Ken Westra, Bob Keeler, Helen Keeler, Ross Money, Steve Bound, Claire Bateman-Czerry, Sandra Beatty, Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins,Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Brad Sokach, Elaine Cairncross, Brad Flach, Darren Vella, Shayne Large, Nicola Mitditch, Phillip Rubinoff, Stephen Sperling, Angela Rudy, Rudy & Associates Ltd., L. D. Jones, Ron Coutts, Helen Coutts, John Bell, Heather Black, Mario Giapietri, Ron Sheardown, Brian Smith, Albert Colosimo, Zancor Homes, Fabricic Cortellucci, Zancor Homes, Alison McLeod, Tehsha Hubbard, Terry Geddes, Mario Gatzios, Bousfields Inc., Gwen Wasyluk, Victor Mason, Bill Preston, Diane Spear, Kim Anderson , Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Mark DeNardis, Elaine Cairncross, Joan Bailey, Doug Bailey, Steve Bound, Ivor Corson, Jen Fairy, Sean Keeping, Jim Roberts, Bill French, Jody Hoare, Bill Hoare, Angela Rudy, Rudy & Associates Ltd., Ron Sheardown, Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Linda Collins, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Marc De Nardis, Elaine Cairncross, Perry Ritchie, REMAX, Dan Amadio, The Jones Consulting Group, Henry Vander Wielen, Barrie Agricultural Society, George Bridge, Barrie Agricultural Society,  Darlene Gould, Barrie Agricultural Society, Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Dan Clement, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Carey deGorter, Brad Sokach, Brent Spagnol, Ron Belcourt, Marc de Nardis, Elaine Cairncross, Angela Rudy, Rudy & Associates Ltd., Maria Gatzios, Gatzios Planning, Heather Black, Geranium Corp., Ron Watkin, Ainley Group, Greg Corbett,  Planscape, Steven Wimmer, MBTW Group, Melissa McKay, MBTW Group, Gwen Wasyluk, CROH, David White, LL.B., John Geist, Amanda Geist, CROH, Diana Spear, Jay Pattison, Peter Maleganovski, Gatzios Planning, Mario Giampietri, Geranium Corp., Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Ralph Scheunemann, City of Barrie, Ken Buck, Stantech, Brian W. Gibbon, Heather Black, Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Elaine Cairncross, Ray Duhamel, Jones Consulting Group, Eric Lawton, Gwen Wasyluk, JJ Pettison, Amanda Geist, Heather Black, Geranium Corp., Lou Nitsopolous, David White, QC, Hillsdale Land Corp., Stan Wismer, Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Elaine Cairncross, Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Brad Sokach, Elaine Cairncross, Suzanne Troxler, CC Tatham & Associates, Ron Watkin, Ainley Group, Norm Godfrey, Ron Sheardown, Joe Mullan, Jay Pattison, GW Jordan, Lou Nitsopoulos, Kim Anderson, Mick Caldwell, Dan Clement, Linda Collins, Reg Cowan, Tony Guergis, Tony Hope, Winanne Grant, Andrew Fyfe, Brent Spagnol, Elaine Cairncross, Steve Bertram, Jerry Jorden, GW Jorden Planning Consultants, Darren Vella, Innovative Planning Solutions, Stan Wismer, Breanne Adams


  1. Click here.
  2. Then click on triangle just before the words “Springwater Planning Committee” (14th from top).
  3. Then click on triangle just before “2007″.
  4. Then click on each of the triangles, by month and cut-and-paste the attendees.

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