Home Political Opinions Collective opinions of the community

Collective opinions of the community

A Message from MP Doug Shipley

When can I get the vaccine? This is the big concern that my staff and I hear from you, your friends and your neighbors.  We all want to know when the Covid-19 vaccine will become widely available.  We do know that we need to reach a high percentage of vaccination in our population to offer safety and to give you the opportunity to enjoy family gatherings, to run your businesses at full capacity and get back to those recreational activities that do so much to improve mental and physical health.

What have we seen so far?  We have seen a broken chain of procurement.  We have seen Canada fall further and further behind other countries around the world as they achieve levels of vaccination that we are weeks, if not months, away from.

While the current government continues to make announcements, they are not offering any immediate solutions.  Recently, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Novavax would produce its Covid-19 vaccine at a facility in Montreal that is still under construction.  The Prime Minister reported that this facility could be ready to produce shots as early as this summer.  Later this was clarified by Innovation Minister Francoise-Philippe Champagne and we were advised that the real earliest possible production start date would be the end of 2021!  Which might lead one to ask, did the Prime Minister deliberately mislead us with that announcement?

Between inaccurate information from the Prime Minister and weeks where no vaccines are being delivered from one source or another, either Pfizer or Moderna, it is hard to be confident in any promises being made by the current government about vaccine procurement and timelines. 

Giving Canadians quick access to this tool to fight Covid-19 is critical to rebuilding our economy. 

I want to see the Liberal Government succeed in procuring vaccines for every person who wants to be vaccinated.  When the opportunity comes for me to receive the vaccine, I am eager and happy to get in line.  I just hope that day doesn’t continue to be pushed further in the future because of the Liberals failure to act quickly.  Without vaccines there is no recovery.

Sincerely,

Doug Shipley

Member of Parliament

Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte

My View – Bill French

Springwater Official Plan Review – February 23 6 to 8 p.m.

The current Springwater Official Plan dates back to 1998 and aside from a number of amendments over the last 23 years, it is based on a different vision of the future development and growth of the Township. It had many holes in the Plan that some clever land speculators exploited to the long-term detriment of Springwater. The Review of the Plan began in the last term of Council and the Council of the day outlined a detailed preparatory process to make sure that everyone interested had input. I had the pleasure of leading Council at the time and since I come from a business background, I knew that an effective plan must have a solid foundation. We began with a Communication strategy, then conducted a number of Visioning workshops that were well attended. This resulted in a first draft of a discussion paper, a Public Meeting, a Section 26 Public Meeting and then the completion of the discussion paper and Growth Management Strategy. Because of the change in Council Leadership and then a year of COVID-19, we are now at the next phase. On February 23rd from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a special meeting to present, review and ask questions about three important aspects of the Official Plan Review. The three background Reports include one report and detailed information on Population Related Employment or in simple language businesses and employment based on the growth of the population itself. The second report will be on an Intensification Strategy which means, how much more residential and commercial/industrial development can be undertaken within the built boundaries of Elmvale and Midhurst. The third report is the Bayfield Corridor Study which has always been a key focus of the future of Springwater, but until this report, has not been well defined. This is your chance to engage in the future of Springwater. You can ask questions during the meeting and all the information is on the Township website and can be found under the Business and Development tab and then click on the Official Plan link and scroll down to the information being presented at the meeting. I want to compliment the drafters of these reports and they are certainly in line with my thinking of how we can develop a vibrant and prosperous Springwater over the next 20 to 30 years. In 2015, I presented an idea to the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Ted McMeekin, with a vision for the Bayfield Corridor which is in line with the concepts being presented at this meeting, which I fully support with some minor changes. I wish the Bayfield Corridor Plan would have been finalized before the residential developments in the Midhurst Secondary Plan had been permitted to advance. My only criticism is that there appears to be no plan for employment and business development in Hillsdale which is our third primary development community which is expecting growth of about 1,500 to 2,000 people over the next 20 years. It has some large tracts of industrial land that could be incorporated for the long term economic growth of Springwater. Following this meeting the consultants will take away the input and start the draft of the Official Plan itself and hopefully a few more public input sessions even though the Planning Act does not require such input. Please don’t miss this important step in the development of a new Official Plan for Springwater.

As we are now slowly rising from the lockdown and opening things up cautiously, let me remind you to wear a mask, sanitize and wash your hands regularly after touching anything outside of your home and stay six feet from anyone outside your immediate circle.

Again, please remember these are my thoughts and I am not asking you to agree. I respect your freedom of expression and encourage you to SPEAK UP, before that freedom is taken from us!!

Bill French is a seasoned business leader with over 40 years experience and served in senior positions of International Enterprises. Bill served as Mayor of Springwater and a County of Simcoe Councillor from 2014 to 2018 and has taught business at the college level for over 15 years. You can also read these articles on line at http://springwatercitizens.blogspot.com/

Mayor Don’s Update – February 18 – Springwater News

COVID-19

The Province of Ontario has announced that as of Tuesday, February 16 at 12:01 am, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit area will be moving into the red-control category of the Provincial COVID-19 Framework and will no longer be subject to the Stay-at-Home order.

Under the red-control category organized public events and gatherings are limited to 5 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Restaurants may resume in person dining but are limited to 10 people seated indoors. There is also a 4-person limit to the number of people who may be seated together. Under the new restrictions, supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell grocery or pharmacy must have a 75% capacity limit in place, whereas all other retail is restricted to a 50% capacity limit.

The Township will be re-opening the Administration Centre to the public as of Monday, February 22. Appointments are strongly encouraged. All staff contact information is available on the Township website at www.springwater.ca/contact. The Township Emergency Community Control Group will continue to meet to determine appropriate measures for the municipality.

Please remember that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a serious situation. The UK variant of the disease is prevalent in our area. If our numbers begin to rise, we may be subject to another lockdown. Please only go out for essentials, avoid public gatherings, and continue to follow the advice of the Public Health Unit.

New Dog Licensing Service Launched

The Township has partnered with DocuPet to provide pet licensing and lost pet services. This change will make pet licensing easier and more convenient by providing an online service for our residents. In addition to a contactless license application and delivery platform, DocuPet also offers dog owners a secure online profile linked to their pet and 24/7 lost pet services to safely reunite lost pets with their owners.

Along with this change, your dog’s licence will now be valid for 365 days from the date of purchase rather than a calendar year approach.

Licensing your dog in Springwater is mandatory. The following fees apply to dog licensing:

Altered (spayed or neutered) $20.00

Unaltered: $25.00

Dangerous dog (under section 5): $200.00

Replacement tags: $7.00

If you had purchased a lifetime tag prior to December 31, 2020, your tag will remain valid, however owners are requested to set-up their pet’s profile online with DocuPet to ensure if they get lost, we can get them home quickly and safely.

To learn more and license your dog, visit www.springwater.ca/canine.

Official Plan Stakeholders Meeting

The Township continues to plan for the future through the review of our Official Plan. The revised plan will guide how the Township grows and changes over the next 20 years, and provide guidance on housing, industry, retail and community amenities, as well as protect the natural environment and heritage features.

There will be a stakeholders meeting held on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:00 pm via Zoom. The meeting will provide an update on the process and also review three key background studies which have recently been drafted: the Draft Population-Related Employment Land Market Study, the Draft Intensification Study and the Draft Bayfield Corridor Study. Anyone interested in the Official Plan Review is encouraged to attend.

To learn more about the plan, the background studies and how to participate in the meeting, visit: www.springwater.ca/OPR

Springwater at Home Contest

Have you been active and creative while staying home this winter? During the COVID-19 pandemic, our yards have served us with endless hours of fun and entertainment and the Township of Springwater wants to see how you’ve made the most of it. Have you built a snow castle, created an obstacle course or turned your snow-covered yard into a paint canvas? Show us what you’ve been up to for your chance to win one of three, $50 gift cards to a local Springwater business. All you need to do is snap a picture and share it with the Township at www.springwater.ca/SpringwaterAtHome to be entered into a draw! This contest closes March 5, so make sure you get you entries in!

County of Simcoe Investment in Lake Simcoe Regional Airport

In January 2020, the County of Simcoe became the majority shareholder of the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA), with a 90 percent ownership stake, recognizing that the importance and use of this airport will continue to increase. Over the past year, the County has taken the lead role in implementing phase one of the Strategic Plan to support regional economic growth and attract new job opportunities for residents.

The County has been working with area partners to advance a critical runway expansion approval and funding process which will see the widening of the runway from 100ft to 150ft and new infrastructure to support the lighting system and drainage requirements. Phase two of this project includes the installation of a new LED lighting system, and extending to runway from 6,001 ft to 7000 ft. The full cost of the runway project is estimated at $6.1 million, with the County’s overall investment estimated at $3.5 million.

Additional investments include the purchase of a deicing truck, complete modernization of the airports Automatic Weather Observation System, installation of a close circuit security camera and enhancements to the terminal area.

Fact or Fiction – Simcoe County Museum Trivia Night

Looking for an entertaining evening with your family? The Simcoe County Museum is hosting Fact of Fiction – Home Edition. Participants will match wits with museum Curators as they reveal stories of mysterious and unique artifacts. This is a great way to complete against family and friends, while staying safe in your homes. At the end of the evening, the players with the highest score will win one of three prize packs of locally sourced goods, totaling $1,500. Tickets are $25 and pre-registration is required. Learn more at museum.simcoe.ca

Simcoe Waste Diversion

For the eleventh year in a row Simcoe County ranked in the top ten Ontario Municipalities for waste diversion, placing seventh with a diversion rate of 60.7%. One of the major contributing factors to the County’s diversion performance is the significant amount of divertible materials managed at the waste management facilities (19 diversion programs in 2019). The County continues to divert the most non-blue box recyclable material in the Province with about two-and-a-half times the tonnage diverted over the third ranked municipality. The County continues to be a leader in diversion and environmental stewardship with the fourth highest kg/capita diverted of 106 Ontario municipalities. The County ranked 20th with 185 kg/capita of waste disposed – below the provincial average of 245 kg/capita.

211 Services

Are you looking for resources in the community – Call 2-1-1. 211 Ontario is a helpline and online database of Ontario’s community and social services. Every 2-1-1 call is answered by a highly trained specialist who will work to find you the right resources. They provide information on a variety of topics and services ranging from mental health to family services to food banks to income supports and government services. To learn more about 211 visit www.211ontario.ca 

Black History Month

February is Black History Month in Canada. The 2021 theme is “The Future is Now”. Black History Month is a chance to celebrate and acknowledge the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing. To learn more Black History Month or find educational resources visit: www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/black-history-month.html.

These are my thoughts and not necessarily those of Council. Stay safe and take care. 

Springwater Council Highlights

February 3

2019 Audit Results

Council received a report from the Finance & Audit Advisory Committee regarding the results of the 2019 draft audited consolidated financial statements. The results of the audit showed an operating surplus, in which Council voted to apply $890,102 of the surplus towards the purchase of 1132 Snow Valley Road (the Hasty Tract) which will be used for the Community Hub. Doing so will eliminate the debt requirement for the purchase of the land. The remaining surplus of $179,650 was dedicated to the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve.

Snowmobile Trails Agreement

Council has finalized an agreement with the Mid Ontario Snowmobile Trails Association for the use of Township property for snowmobile trails during the winter months. The agreement allows for the permitted use of designated trails and outlines specifics related to insurance, railway crossings, maintenance of approaches to Township roads and rights to trail use.

Downtown Mural

Staff will be reaching out to members of the local art community to gauge interest in creating a mural in downtown Elmvale. The proposed mural would be located on the west wall of the Elmvale Community Hall and Knox Building. If  approved by Council, the goal would be to create a public art piece which attracts people to downtown Elmvale, highlights key features of the Township and pays tribute to the history of the area. 

Community Hub Contribution

The Midhurst Landowners Group has provided a contribution of $540,000 for the design, visioning and working drawings of the Community Hub to be located at 1132 Snow Valley Road, also known as the Hasty Tract. Proposed municipal services for the property include, but are not limited to, a new fire station, EMS post recreation complex, library and creative space, meeting and activity space and active and passive recreation areas, as well as additional land to accommodate future needs.

 This summary is not a full representation of the meeting. For the official record, please refer to the minutes in the next Council Agenda. Past Council Meetings are available for viewing on the Township’s Youtube channel.

Township of Tiny Hires a New Chief Administrative Officer

The Township of Tiny is pleased to announce and welcome Mr. Robert J. Lamb as its new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

“After a thorough recruitment process, Council is very pleased with this outcome and came to the decision unanimously,” said Mayor George Cornell. “As a senior executive, Robert has a breadth of experience in the public and private sectors. We are excited to have him join our team to lead the implementation of our strategic priorities with a focus on enhanced customer service.”

Prior to accepting the position with Tiny, Mr. Lamb spent several years with the Township of Tay as the Chief Administrative Officer/Deputy Clerk. Mr. Lamb also spent four years as Simcoe County’s Manager of Economic Development.

Mr. Lamb brings with him an extensive background and aptitude in the public and private sectors and is well versed in many areas, including leadership, management, economic development, and human resources.

Mr. Lamb will begin his employment with the Township on Monday, February 22, 2021. “We look forward to Robert’s wealth of experience, talent and knowledge to lead the Township forward,” said Mayor Cornell.

Across Canada, headlines disappear

4 FEBRUARY 2021

Across the country, almost 100 newspapers large and small ran blank front pages on last week, as part of News Media Canada’s ‘Disappearing Headlines’ campaign.

The goal of the campaign was to explain to the public the harm to journalism and democracy created by the dominance of global tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, who refuse to pay a fair price for content created by Canadian news outlets.

Research shows that the duopoly drains off more than 80 per cent of all digital advertising revenue in Canada.

News Media Canada continues to call on the federal government to act. We believe the best solution is for Ottawa to follow the Australian example. We believe Canada should adopt legislation that allows newspapers to negotiate a fair price for use of their content, with massive fines if Google and Facebook refuse to co-operate.

An urgent letter to all Members of Parliament

3 FEBRUARY 2021

We have a very serious situation in this country, and we are delighted to hear that Minister of Heritage Steven Guilbeault said on Monday that the government is preparing legislation to force tech giants to fairly compensate content creators.

Google and Facebook, two of the richest companies in history, control the on ramp to the internet highway in Canada. They decide what we as a sovereign nation see and don’t see in the news. To make matters worse, they take the news produced by Canadians and don’t pay for it.

Meanwhile, all Canadian news media companies, big and small, are suffering for two reasons:

First, they don’t get paid for their content by Facebook and Google; and second, Facebook and Google take over 80 per cent of all Canadian digital advertising industry revenue. These massive American companies get virtually all of the revenue and don’t pay for content. Movie content doesn’t work that way in Canada. Music content doesn’t work that way. TV show content doesn’t work that way. So why is news content treated differently?

We only have to look south of the border to see what happens when real news companies disappear, and social media platforms distribute divisive, fake news. We need to support healthy, independent, diverse news companies as the backbone of our democracy.

This is urgent. It’s a fact that news companies across Canada are going out of business. COVID-19 is accelerating the decline. Journalism jobs are disappearing. That means real news keeps disappearing and hate and fake news will be all that’s left to distribute. Let’s not let this happen in Canada.

But there is good news. Australia has figured out the solution. They created a law that forces the trillion-dollar monopolies to pay fairly for news content. This costs the taxpayer absolutely nothing.

We encourage all Members of Parliament to move quickly. Canada needs your leadership.

John Hinds  President/CEO  News Media Canada

Bill C-10 Removal of Canadian’s fundamental rights

Canadians have always valued their freedom of speech. Generally, Canadians are respectful and do not violate the laws already present in Canada. If you want to keep that freedom, contact your Federal MP and tell them Bill C-10 needs to stop…NOW!!!

STOP BILL C-10…for the sake of your freedom of expression and speech…

When the Minister of Justice has to do a document in an attempt to show why Bill C-10 can remove your freedom of expression and violate your Charter Rights … YOU KNOW THE BILL IS CORRUPT and DOES NOT REPRESENT “Canadian true values”…

STOP BILL C-10…for the sake of your freedom of expression and speech…

We all know that prior to the Charter we had freedom of speech and expression…with the Charter we have those rights removed… and it’s the Liberal-NDP-Green-Bloc coalition that is doing it…

Here’s the link the the Federal MP’s contact…be respectful but tell them…ALL to STOP BILL C-10

https://www.ourcommonsca/Members/en/h?fbclid=IwAR3JKs4JSbgHOlOKz0rHvAqzdGClxYnhsNStqaxC2CZJHG7zaAdIADfzFRo

Normally I am completely non-partisan but this is one issue that everyone should be aware of and everyone should be contacting their Federal MPs to stop. Bill C-10 is a complete violation of, not only one’s Charter Rights (failed document) but, all Canadian’s fundamental Constitutional Common Law Right to freedom of speech, expression, religion, etc. Please share and contact all Federal MPs to stop this unprecedent attack on Canadians.

Thank you…

Cheryl Gallant Federal MP with more on Bill C-10…video

https://www.facebook.com/CherylGallant/videos/436852594253274

Elizabeth F. Marshall, President All Rights Research Ltd.,

Non-Partisan Advocate

Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association

Author – “Property Rights 101:  An Introduction”

Director – Canadian Justice Review Board

Legal Research – Queen’s Counsel, Lawyers,  Law Offices, etc.,

Legislative Researcher – MPs, MPPs, Municipal Councillors,

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.  Any information relayed is for informational purposes only.  Please contact a lawyer.  “The rule is the public interest is always paramount but NEVER when it is at the expense of a private individual.”  Ontario Legislative Assembly, Februrary 11, 1965 – Vol. 1, p. 478.

County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell acclaimed Chair of Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus

Midhurst/February 8, 2021 – County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell has been acclaimed Chair of Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) and is focused on the South Western Ontario Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) initiative as his top priority.

“I am honoured to have been acclaimed for the position of chair of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to further initiatives that will benefit our group of 15 upper and single-tier municipalities,” said Warden George Cornell. “Throughout this pandemic, we have witnessed the strength of working together to tackle the biggest issues that we are facing. Collectively, we will represent the joint interests of Southwestern Ontario municipalities, as we collaborate to build on these learnings and continue our great track record of success. I would like to thank all my fellow Wardens and Mayors who supported me, and to congratulate Dufferin County Warden Darren White on returning as vice chair. Together, the caucus will make progress in our recovery efforts, supporting our entire area through coordinated economic development efforts and rural broadband connectivity enhancements in collaboration with SWIFT.”

Simcoe County Councillors continue to go above and beyond to represent local constituents. The County currently benefits from strong voices at key regional venues, including the Association of Municipalities Ontario, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and now the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus.   

About Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus Inc. (WOWC)

The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus is a not-for-profit organization representing 15 upper and single-tier municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, representing more than three million residents. The WOWC aims to enhance the prosperity and overall wellbeing of rural and small urban communities across the region. Caucus members work collectively to influence federal and provincial legislation and programs through advocacy, research, analysis and education. For more information, visit www.wowc.ca