Letters to Editor

Letter to the Editor

The chairman of the MMIWG enquiry into more than 300 unsolved disappearances of Indigenous women refers to the situation as a Canadian genocide.  The enquiry's conclusion is both extreme and sensational designed to attract world wide media attention to the problems confronting Canada's Native people. 

But to use the word genocide implies a deliberate, systematic, premeditated state sanctioned program. Do the Native people of Canada think  the government has established a policy to exterminate them, that Canadians as a people have an intent destroy?  Do they feel that their lives are in danger simply because they are a cultural and ethnic minority? Surely not.

The word genocide brings to mind the purposeful mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Armenians, Rwandans, and Cambodians.   As serious and troublesome as the attacks on Indigenous women are, to refer to it as a genocide trivializes the term. And for our Prime Minister to echo the report of the MMIWG chairman indicates that he is either weak or witless for he is tacitly agreeing that a genocide is in progress. 

Joffre McCleary    Barrie


Letter to the Editor:

I was very disappointed and discouraged to read the Ontario news release Thursday June 6, 2019 that beverage alcohol is to be sold in hundreds of additional stores across Ontario.  “Putting people first” by “delivering more choice and convenience to consumers” is how Finance Minister Vic Fedeli put it in his announcement. 

Alcohol is already readily available in Ontario.  Alcohol is a societal problem; alcohol addiction is a major problem.  And they want to make it more available?  The government is doing the people of Ontario a great dis-service. 

I learned from my doctor, nurses and social workers that alcohol is not a good thing because our Canadian society so easily makes excuses for their problem drinking.  Sure, it's not everybody that has a problem with alcohol, but enough do.  More needs to be done to address society's lackadaisical attitude that alcohol is safe to drink.  It burns the esophagus and pickles the liver!  That is NOT safe!  Regular drinking over time will kill a person.  By regular I am going by what the doctors, nurses and social workers told me: 7 drinks per week (drink = 1 glass beer or 1 glass wine or 1 oz. hard liquor) for a woman is the permissible i.e. healthy limit; 10 drinks per week for a man.  How many people know that?  I asked the doctor why those numbers were such a surprise to me - it was the doctor who said that society keeps making excuses.  I think that “delivering more choice and convenience to consumers” is an excuse.  We need more education to let people know what the healthy limits are and to help people who have addictions learn to deal with their problems with solutions other than alcohol.  More choice and convenience is harmful, not helpful.

Regards, Sadly disappointed

Connie Smith, Elmvale, Ontario


Dear editor,

With Canada’s election just around the corner, I’m concerned that our political parties are not protecting the personal information they gather from us. I believe that they should be made subject to Federal privacy laws. Political parties should follow the same rules companies have to – it’s only fair. Privacy matters regardless of who we vote for. In this election, I believe all the parties should commit to protecting our privacy and I’ll be looking to see if they do when I make my voting decision.
Are you concerned about your personal data being compromised, or wish that you could know it’s being properly stored and safeguarded?
Ones lack of protection for your data make you less willing to engage with political parties?

Sincerely,  Justin Barker


Springwater Township Flos Rd 10 W Hard-top Surfacing is Dropped

Letter to the Editor

At the Springwater Council meeting on Wednesday June 5, 2019, a report tabled to address a motion made by Councillor George Cabral. It was regarding the Director of Public Works investigating having Flos Road 10 West reinstated into the new 10-year capital road plan as well as study the feasibility of getting the road hard topped in 2019. Flos Road 10 West was to be hard topped in the summer of 2019 but it and many other gravel road conversion projects in our area were axed without explanation to the people who live on these roads. The 6 year capital road plan that was in effect, was cut short by one year and replaced by the new 10 year capital road plan. This new 10 year plan has no provision in it to upgrade gravel roads to hard top surfaces.

I have been advocating for paving on Flos Rd. 10 West for approximately 7 years. When a new 6-year plan was developed, Flos Rd 10 West was slated for a hard-top surface, yet a consultant on the project advised that existing hard topped or paved roads in Springwater Township needed upgraded. A new 10-year plan was then devised by the consultant then adopted by the Director of Public Works and forwarded to the new 2018 elected council to be voted upon.

The newly elected council included 3 new councillors who were not informed that the 6-year plan was still in effect. When the vote was taken 6 projects that were still on the plan, including Flos Rd 10 W were dropped altogether. In the new plan, they did not appear at all. After several weeks, I was informed of this new development and immediately contacted Councillor Cabral. Councillor Cabral being new to the council and two other councillors, were unaware that the road was to be hard topped in 2019 according to the old 6-year plan. In addition, they were not informed of the significant changes that were made in the new 10-year plan. I then made a presentation to Springwater Council on May 1, 2019 to advocate for Flos Rd. 10 West hard topping to be reinstated. It was then that Councillor Cabral made his motion as mentioned above.

In the June 5, 2019 Springwater Council meeting, the report was to be tabled, yet when I received the report, I found that the motion made by Councillor Cabral was not in the report. Councillor Cabral also noticed this fact. The new report merely addressed the upgrading of existing hard top roads, and failed to address any gravel road conversions to hard top for the next 10-year period. In other words, taxpayers who live on gravel roads in very poor condition, such as Flos Rd. 10 West, are out of luck, yet those living on roads that are already hard topped get new surfaces. How is this fair and equal treatment to all taxpayers in the township?

A lively discussion took place by the council on June 5 on this report. I would like to thank Councillor Cabral for his very informative presentation and the councillors who voted to return the report to be modified to address the original motion, however; the vote was recorded, yet due to the absence of one Councillor, the vote was tied, so it was not carried. Mayor Don Allen and a Councillor voted against it because they felt it was too late to change the plan for 2019. The door was left open by them for the Flos Rd. 10 West project to be reviewed in the new budget for 2020. This is encouraging.

Yet I must say that I was very disappointed with Deputy Mayor Coughlin’s opinion who believes there is nothing wrong with staying the course for the new 10-year capital plan in its present form, which leaves many residents to live and travel on substandard gravel roads. Deputy Mayor Coughlin states that changing the plan would set a precedent. As the hard-top surface was already budgeted for and included in the old 6-year capital plan for Flos Rd. 10 West, no precedent is being set here. I strongly feel that Deputy Mayor Coughlin is failing her constituents by not exercising policies that are fair to all. I am at a loss to understand how the Deputy Mayor has this figured out and how a precedent is being set. Perhaps she can enlighten me and the readers of this newspaper with her reasoning. The only precedent being set here is having the 6- year capital road plan cancelled and dropping road projects from the last year of that plan.

Deputy Mayor Coughlin should explain to taxpayers living on gravel roads when they can expect their roads to be hard topped, with the new 10-year capital road plan existing the way it is now.

For further information and to view the proceedings of the Springwater Council meeting of June 5, 2019, please refer to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od8MyzdTxb4

John Spring


Joint Letter to Provincial Facilitators on behalf of the Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and Township of Tiny

 June 5, 2019

 Dear Mr. Fenn and Mr. Seiling, 

 On behalf of the Councils of the Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and the Township of Tiny, we are writing to convey our collective view on the future of North Simcoe as it relates to the Regional Government Review. This letter has been prepared, in part, to respond to the document submitted to your office from the Town of Midland “Strategic Considerations on the Future of North Simcoe” but more importantly to share our joint vision. Our Councils agree that all efforts must be made to ensure that municipal services are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible.   However, as a united group representing the majority of residents in North Simcoe, we believe that municipal amalgamation is not the vehicle to achieve this aim.  

The four municipalities of North Simcoe have a long and productive history of collaboration and shared services. Inter-municipal partnerships in the areas of environmental stewardship, economic development, tourism and culture, building services, transit, emergency services, human resources, recreation, library services and healthcare have been long standing and successful. This relationship has served our residents across North Simcoe very well and delivered excellent value. As Mayors of North Simcoe we firmly believe that we have, over many years, developed a highly effective municipal model of shared services that should be encouraged, maintained and expanded.

As representatives of our respective communities, we thank you for the earlier opportunity to meet with you and provide our individual Councils’ view on the Regional Government Review. As leaders of three thriving municipalities in North Simcoe, we have now also had an opportunity to discuss our collective vision for our community.

As a group, the Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and the Township of Tiny would like to share the following thoughts with you as they relate to your ongoing review. Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny Councils agree that:

- The existing two-tiered structure has served North Simcoe well over the years. However, we are open to a service delivery review to ensure the most effective delivery of services (i.e. Water, Wastewater and Storm Water, Emergency Services, Transit, Procurement, Information Technology, Library services, Land use Planning and Transportation); 

- We strongly believe that local representation, decision making and autonomy must be a key consideration in your deliberations;

- We fully support expanded shared services with our municipal partners;

- We do not support the proposition that a specific critical mass or population is a key determinate of a municipality’s ability to deliver effective and efficient services;

- We are convinced that forced amalgamation will be counterproductive to our joint efforts to deliver cost effective services through voluntary shared services arrangements;

- We are concerned that forced amalgamation will add additional costs as services and programs are harmonized across municipal boundaries;

- We recognize that minor boundary adjustments may be appropriate to ensure the best utilization of existing resources;

- No matter what decision(s) of the Provincial Government may be made in regard to the future of North Simcoe, additional and extensive public consultation needs to be conducted prior to implementation of those decisions; 

- A review of local and upper tier council representation, structure and size is required;

- All decisions and findings should  be evidence based to clearly demonstrate efficiencies in service delivery and cost savings either in the short or long term;

- Your report to the Minister should be made available to the public to ensure accountability and transparency. 

The Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and the Township of Tiny Councils remain fully committed to working with their municipal partners and the Province to find cost savings and improved service delivery for the benefit of our residents.

 Thank you for your kind consideration of our collective thoughts on the future of North Simcoe.   

 Mayor Doug Leroux             Town of Penetanguishene 

Mayor Ted Walker    Township of Tay

Mayor George Cornell          Township of Tiny


c.c.   The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing 

The Honourable Caroline Mulroney, MPP York - Simcoe 

Ms. Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North 

 Mr. Doug Downey, MPP Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte 

Ms. Andrea Khanjin, MPP Barrie – Innisfil

Mr. Jim Wilson, MPP Simcoe – Grey 

Town of Midland Council