Who are the corporate sponsors for the 11th annual, Springwater Swing Golf Tournament?

July 18, 2017

It’s helpful the township photographs and communicates who the major sponsors are.


Why didn’t the new 2015 Springwater Township council fire the old CAO and Clerk and change law firms?

May 16, 2017

In Oct 2014, (l) Mayor Bill French and Deputy Mayor Don Allen were elected to change the direction of Springwater Township.

To, specifically, try as much as possible to defeat the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

What new experts have they relied on?

Robert Brindley

John Daly

They kept on Chief Administrator Officer Robert Brindley and Clerk John Daly.

And they then stayed the course even further by keeping Mr. Barnet H. Kussner of WeirFoulds LLP as counsel for the Midhurst Secondary Plan.


If Midhurst residents are at war over their community’s future, is it likely that their adversary is using change agents to undermine their defences?

February 19, 2016

Every military campaign relies on intrigue. What is concealed, what is revealed

20160219 Deception

A commercial plan like the Midhurst Secondary Plan, MSP which is worth $40-billion, is no different. Very charming, highly-accomplished, -motivated, and -educated individuals are recruited, moved in, provide back intelligence and sabotage their master’s adversaries’ defences.

In my opinion these are the two most likely individuals:

20160219 David Strachan

David Strachan, current AWARE Simcoe board member for Springwater Township, chaired and organized the meeting on November 28, 2011 meeting at the Midhurst Community Centre which broke the MSP news publicly, new to Midhurst in 2009.

20160219 Don Allen

(l) Mayor Bill French and Don Allen, township election results, Oct 2015

Don Allen, current Springwater Township Deputy Mayor and franchisor executive, new to Midhurst in March 2015.

20160219 Springwater Township council

IMHO, a legal liability (failure of duty, conflict of interest) compromises, both personally the returning and the new members, and the Corporation of Springwater Township. Maybe that’s why Barnet Kussner and WeirFoulds LLP is still on the township payroll in 2016?

Jack Hanna is the most motivated because of  a large variance between his personal net worth versus his competence to independently re-create it.

Toronto Star: Brampton correct in calling in the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate development deal.

May 6, 2015

A $500-million development triggers a call for an independent investigation.

Andre Marin

Andre Marin to look into a controversial development deal.// TORONTO STAR

The province will have to agree but in today’s Toronto Star: Brampton city council is right to ask Ontario Ombudsman André Marin to investigate a controversial development

It was supposed to shine a light on Brampton’s murky business dealings, but a $269,000 report by a high-profile municipal lawyer has only generated more smoke.

Brampton residents, city council and Mayor Linda Jeffrey have every right to be outraged. Instead of supplying credible answers, lawyer George Rust-D’Eye’s report raised further questions about a controversial $500-million development deal, and about his own investigation.

Council was correct in unanimously voting to ask Ontario Ombudsman André Marin to launch an inquiry into the city’s procurements. Indeed, municipal leaders had little choice given what they were handed — a document repeatedly called a “whitewash” in Brampton’s council chambers on Monday.

As reported by the Star’s San Grewal, Rust-D’Eye exonerated city staff of any misconduct in a deal that had raised concern about how some developers were being treated. Council critics noted that he reached that finding through heavy reliance on claims made by the very staff he was investigating. That’s not good enough to maintain public confidence in the fairness of the process.

Concern was also expressed about Rust-D’Eye’s previous work for the law firm WeirFoulds, which was involved in the development deal’s initial stages. Rust-D’Eye said that connection did not pose a conflict of interest, since he hadn’t worked on this specific development file. But, according to WeirFoulds, he was head of the firm’s municipal law section at the time.

Even if Rust-D’Eye wasn’t technically in conflict, he should have known this connection might raise a troubling suspicion of potential bias — one that would likely undermine community trust in his findings. And that’s precisely what has happened.

Adding financial insult to the mix, the cost of his report was initially pegged at between $50,000 and $60,000. Rust-D’Eye said he worked as efficiently as he could and gave the public a break by charging less than his usual rate. Despite that, his analysis arrived with a bill to taxpayers of more than a quarter of a million dollars.

It’s a disappointing outcome on every level. But, to their credit, Brampton’s leaders aren’t abandoning their search for answers and have turned to Ontario’s ombudsman.

Mr. Marin, it’s your turn to shine the spotlight.

The Midhurst Secondary Plan has been estimated to be worth 80 times as much as the Brampton development.

Mr. Rick Webster, current Councillor Springwater Township, goes on the record about the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

April 11, 2014

Mr. Barnet Kussner of Bay Street firm WeirFouls LLP provided advice to Springwater Council last fall.

Rick Webster

In a Letter to the Editor in April 10th edition of the Springwater News, entitled My Position on the Midhurst Secondary Plan (link, page 17 or pdf) Mr. Webster suggests that it would cost +$100-million to stop the MSP:

To summarize my understanding of the final opinion of our legal counsel, should the results of rescinding the MSP turn out as above, the costs of such a lawsuit would be in the neighbourhood of $100,000,000 plus substantial legal fees, all of which would have to be paid by the taxpayers of Springwater Township. Based on this, in my view, and the view of other 5 out of 7 of the Councillors, a vote to stop the MSP would be too risky and irresponsible on my part, and definitely not in the best interest of all of the residents of Springwater. My feelings on spending this money have not changed since our recorded vote on this matter in September, when I voted to NOT stop the MSP for the reasons noted above.

Further, he believes it is impossible to influence the provincial government in reversing their exemption to their own planning laws.

Moreover, I see no possibility that any new Provincial Government will listen to any amount of public outcry and thus it will, and should be, Council’s objective to focus on the possibilities and not the problem. This will be the key to supporting new growth all over Springwater which is inevitable due to Provincial Policies.

Credence good experts tend to cheat because they have the opportunity and incentive to do so.

April 5, 2012

An economic analysis of expert credence good providers is useful for the layperson trying to understand the Midhurst Secondary Plan crisis.

Competent public administrators know about the risk of credence good experts and take action to militate the risk of opportunism (self-interest with deceit) foisted on themselves and the public.

Email from Springwater Township to Les Stewart:

From: Brad Sokach
Date: 24 Feb 2012
To: Brent, me, John, Council

Hello Mr. Stewart,

The firm we use for legal matters associated with the Midhurst Secondary Plan is Weir Foulds LLP (www.weirfoulds.com).   Mr. Barnet Kussner and Mr. Bruce Engell are the attorneys assigned to the file.

Outside of the OMB appeals I am not aware of the Township being a plaintiff or defendant on any matters related to the Midhurst Secondary Plan.  I have asked the staff member who tracks claims against the municipality for confirmation and will advise if there are any claims related to the Plan.


Brad Sokach, P.Eng.
Director of Planning and Public Works
Township of Springwater
2231 Nursery Road
Minesing, ON  L0L 1Y2
P. 705.728.4784 ext 2034
F. 705.728.6957


A. Credence Good

Legal advice is a credence good. To economists, credence goods are goods or services with the following 3 characteristics:

  1. the value is difficult or impossible for the buyer to determine accurately before they buy it,
  2. the buyer can’t know if it was useful [even after they did buy it] and
  3. the seller does know the value of #1 and #2 and therefore can exploit this ignorance for their own self-interest (ie. information asymmetry leads to opportunism risk). Wikipedia

Two academic references on credence good experts who cheat.
1. Dr. Gillian K. Hadfield, University of Southern California:

Economists refer to a good as a credence good if it is provided by an expert who also determines the buyer’s needs. Buyers of credence goods are unable to assess how much of the good or service they in fact need; nor can they assess whether or not the service was performed or how well. This puts buyers at risk of opportunistic behavior on the part of sellers: they may be sold too much of a service or billed for services not performed or performed poorly. Theoretical work on markets for credence goods predicts that markets for credence goods may be characterized by fraud (billing for unnecessary services or services not performed) and a price mark-up over cost…Legal services are credence goods… Free download: The Price of Law: How the Market for Lawyers Distorts the Justice System

2. Dr. Winand Emons, University of Bern:

With a credence good, consumers are never sure about the extent of the good that they actually need. Experts such as doctors and lawyers, as well as auto mechanics and appliance service-persons (the sellers) not only provide the services, but also act as the expert in determining the customer’s requirements. This information asymmetry between buyers and the seller creates strong incentives for the seller to cheat. Free download: Credence Good Monopolists

B. NPV (net present value) of Competing Clients

  1. An economically weak municipality in a minor county; next-to-zero repeat business potential


  1. Consortium of national-scale corporations that control thousands of acres of raw land within commuting distance of the largest residential market in Canada; 30 to 50 year time frame.

C. Conflict of Interest (reputation risk of real or perceived)

Conflicts of interest do arise in the business of practicing law. They just seldom arise in a public fashion such as here.

The dealers also named Cassels Brock & Blackwell as a defendant in the action, alleging the law firm was in a conflict of interest. The lawsuit alleges that at the same time Cassels was advising dealers of their legal rights during the wind-down, the firm was also representing the federal government during GM’s bailout negotiations.

Judge certifies class action against General Motors, Cassels Brock, March 2, 2011

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