Political Opinions

Doug Downey MPP Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte
We’re bringing change you can see to Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. A constituent called our office and brought our attention to a portion of sidewalk in Hillsdale that was in a state of utter disrepair. This constituent also presented us with a petition signed by nearly a quarter of the residents of this small community, which demonstrated just how important repairing this infrastructure was to the residents of the area. A significant portion of the sidewalk was reduced to a gravel path, which connected the two cracked and chipped remaining sidewalks.
This eyesore for the community was also a safety hazard. It was incredibly inaccessible for seniors and people with disabilities, and unsafe for kids walking to and from school. We took our constituent’s concern to heart and connected with the Ministry of Transportation on this issue. After working closely with the Ministry, the issue has now been resolved. The harsh step off of and on to the sidewalk has been replaced with a smoothly paved gradient. Now the community has a safe and smooth walkway that is accessible for everyone to use.   
This is the kind of work we do at our constituency office every day. We are here to ensure constituent issues are heard and addressed. If you have a provincial concern that you need help with, please contact our office so we can begin working for you. Together, we can continue to make impactful change in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, and ensure the needs of our community are always met.

Ward One Report
Councillor Katy Austin
This will be my last Ward One Report.  I thank Mike Jacobs, the editor of the Springwater News for allowing me to write in each edition of his paper during my term as Springwater Township Councillor for Ward 1.
Enbridge Gas Distribution is planning to build a pipeline to service the Georgian Sands planned subdivision at the east end of Wasaga Beach. The line would run along Vigo Road from Flos Road 4 West to Flos Road 8 West, then west along Flos Road 8 to Rylan Road.  If approved, construction of the pipeline is anticipated to begin in late summer 2019.  Residents who live on Vigo Road where the pipeline runs would have the option of connecting to it.
At its November 7th meeting, Council approved measures to enhance the safety of the pedestrian crosswalk at the corner of Queen St. E. and Simcoe St. They include line painting on the road (which has to wait until Spring), the addition of signs on Shaw St. and Simcoe Street reminding drivers to check the crosswalk before making right-hand turns, and “no parking” signs in designated spaces.  Because this crosswalk is still relatively new, drivers are urged to be especially vigilant before and after school.
With a new Council soon to be in place, members of the general public are invited to volunteer for positions on a number of Township committees, such as the Library Board, the Recreation Advisory Committee, the Agricultural Advisory Committee, and the new Cultural Activities Advisory Committee. A complete list of the boards and committees and how to apply can be found on the Township website, under http://www.springwater.ca/governance/committees.  The deadline to submit an application is November 30th.
Two proposed new housing developments in Hillsdale are continuing to go through the Township approval process and will come before Council again in January, 2019.  A total of 346 new homes are slated to be built to the north of Hillsdale elementary school. Once the Township gives final approval, the start of construction is up to the developer.
Good luck to the new Council, which will be sworn in on December 5th.  I hope their term is as fulfilling as mine was.
The comments made in this article are strictly my own.  I do not speak on behalf of Council.  
Contact me any time if you have concerns or suggestions: 705-796-7348, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bruce Stanton MP Simcoe North
Privacy concerns over StatsCan collecting digital financial data on Canadians
 As the result of a recent Global News report, we have become aware that Statistics Canada is requiring banks across the country to disclose financial transaction data and personal information of upwards of 500,000 Canadians to develop a “new institutional personal information bank.”  What is alarming is that it’s being done without the knowledge or consent of the individual account holders. The news report revealed that the agency has already harvested sensitive customer data from the credit reporting agency, TransUnion of Canada. The Canadian banks requested by StatsCan have yet to comply with the order.  
 In my opinion, Statistics Canada’s proposed new Personal Information Bank is a great concern and a potential over-reach of StatsCan’s mandate. My party is calling on the government to immediately halt what it believes is an intrusion into the private lives of Canadians.  Prime Minister Trudeau is defending the decision by Statistics Canada to compel banks and financial institutions to release personal transaction data. The personal banking and financial transactions being requested includes bill payments, cash withdrawals from ATMs, credit card payments, electronic money transfers and even account balances of Canadians across the country.  
 This request for personal banking information by Statistics Canada has now triggered a formal investigation by the Privacy Commissioner, Daniel Therrien. It may have ramifications for Canada’s trade agreement with the European Union, which provides for much stronger privacy protection of personal data under Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA. There is a possibility that if Canadian financial institutions comply with the StatsCan directive, they may run afoul of Canadian-European treaty rules governing privacy and be severely fined under PIPEDA.
 It is essential that this type of data be protected. It is private. It should only be accessed by persons, other than account holders, through express permission. It appears that is not the case here. Protecting Canadians’ personal and financial data that is held by federally regulated institutions, such as banks, is the responsibility of the federal government.  
 I am the first to agree that aggregating data for good policy making is a sound practice of Statistics Canada, but I have grave reservations of what this new information bank is for, how it will operate, and most importantly who will have access to it. It may be helpful to policy makers to have accurate financial data in the digital age, but the government should explain how this can be done without account holders’ permission. It seems to me that the recommendation of the federal Privacy Commissioner, for banks to first remove any personal identifiers before the data is provided to StatsCan, is a far better way to ensure the privacy of highly sensitive personal information.  It would require oversight and transparency to ensure the safeguards are in place to protect this information. But, until these processes are in place, the government should step back from any further gathering of this information.
 Bruce Stanton, M.P. Simcoe North

Deputy Don’s Update - by Don Allen
The Holiday Season is just five weeks away and leading up to that, there are lots of community events including tree lightings, parades, sleigh rides and other celebrations. Please refer to the Springwater Link in this paper and the Township website postings to see details of the many events and come out and enjoy. It is a wonderful time of year.
New Council Orientation
The period after the municipal election, from October 23rd until the end of this term on November 30th, continues to be busy. Regular meetings of Springwater Council and Simcoe County Council have continued.  County Council also had a full day meeting on the preliminary draft 2019 County financial budget.
Township and County orientation sessions are also occurring during this period. Presentations topics include: Municipal powers and the relationship under the Province of Ontario – governance versus administration and the relationships between elected officials and staff. Understanding the ground rules for ethics and accountability and other oversight mechanisms.
Background information will be shared and distributed to councillors, with numerous presentations and discussions regarding the operations of the Township and the County.
Springwater Inaugural meeting will be on December 5, 2018 at the Township Administration Building. There is reserved seating for Councillor family members and additional seating for the public so please arrive at 6:00 pm to get a seat. The first meeting of the new council is on December 12th, starting at 6:30pm.
County Simcoe Inaugural meeting is on December 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm and is open to the public. Part of this Inaugural Meeting will include Council electing, from amongst themselves, the positions of Warden, Deputy Warden and a Chair and Vice Chair of each Business Sections of County Committee of the Whole (Human Services, Corporate Services and Performance Management Business Sections). Each of these positions will be for a two-year term. I was Vice Chair of Performance Management last term and I plan to run for the Chair position.
Simcoe County Council has 17 returning councillors, leaving 15 new County councillors joining (47%) County Council.
2018-2022 Committee and Board Members
The best way to get involved, have a say and make a difference in your community is to join one of the Township committees or boards. The deadline to submit the Committee Application Form is November 30, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. Please complete and submit completed application forms by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or in person or by mail to 2231 Nursery Road, Minesing L9X 1A8. These will be considered by Council at the beginning of 2019.
Township Committees with Public members include:
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Committee of Adjustments
Cultural Activities Advisory Committee
Heritage Advisory Committee
Planning & Development Advisory Committee
Recreation Advisory Committee
Trails Advisory Committee
Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee
Springwater Township Public Library Board
Livestock Investigator
Please refer to www.springwater.ca for more information and be involved.
These are my thoughts and interpretations and not necessarily those of Council.

Congratulations to the new Springwater Council!  Wishing you the very best for the next four years.  
I’d like to thank the very enthusiastic and hard-working team of people who supported me, helped me canvas, erected and dismantled signs and gave sage advice.  You’re an incredible group and it was my honour.  Thank you again!
Reet Skelton

Freedom Finally Comes My Way

Of all the tears that I have shed,
are about as much, as some soldiers have bled.
What did I do to deserve such pain,
knowing I may never see daddy again?

Momma said hold your head up dear,
our freedom will be coming near.
“He’s gone to war to fight for us all.”
I straightened light a soldier, wanting to be tall.

I pray every night for daddy not to die,
The very thought of it makes me cry.
Why oh why do I think of the worst?
Everyone says you’ll be home on the first.

Please daddy, I’m not ready to say goodbye,
please come home to momma and I.
Three weeks pass without a single letter received,
I can’t help but feel confused and deceived.

It’s morning and I hear voices on the veranda,
I sneak down to hear what I think is propaganda.
Momma’s at the door talking to a soldier,
he whispers in her ear and offers his shoulder.

She closes the door and tries to walk,
her body trembles as she struggles to talk.
“Daddy” she starts, then pauses with fright,
“He actually did win the fight”

I cry with glee and ask, “When will he be home?”
Her face falls and frowns, it looks like stone.
I’m sorry child even though our side is best,
he will not be coming back, nor some of the rest.

Only love from your daddy will be coming back home,
we will honour him with his name carved in stone.
He and his fellows have created freedom,
oh I wish that we could be with him

He would want you to have this as your tears are shed,
A poppy he pressed to remember the dead.
She hands me the poppy the soldier brought back,
the petals stain my fingers, I have a flashback.

I remember when he’d spin me and lift me up high,
my heart aches that I cannot say goodbye.
I run outside and look up at the sky,
the sun warms my skin and I shout a battle cry.

My daddy the brave - at only twenty-seven,
I’ll see you again when we meet in heaven.
Rest in peace daddy of mine,
I will think of you and the sun will shine.

Our cherished memories I’ll never regret,
your sacrifice for freedom lest we forget.
Although my father could not stay,
freedom finally comes my way.

Thank you, Melanie Gaffoor
Special Education Resource Teacher K/1/3
Holly Meadows Elementary School

Tiny Mayor – November 2018
 Municipal Election  
 Well the 2018 election is behind us, congratulations to Tony Mintoff our new Councillor elect in Tiny. Tony will be joining returning incumbent Councillors elect Cindy Hastings and Gibb Wishart, Deputy Mayor elect Steffen Walma and myself. Congratulations to all, I look forward to working together and continuing our progress here in Tiny. Thank you to Andrew Rankin for putting his name forward for Councillor in this year’s municipal election in Tiny. It is not an easy thing to do and demonstrates a care and commitment to our community. 2018-2022 Council’s inauguration will take place on Dec. 3, 2018 at 1:00pm in the Council chambers.
Committee of the Whole and Council Meetings are live streamed and archived on our Township of Tiny YouTube channel. Follow us on Twitter (@tinytownship) or Facebook (Township of Tiny) or visit our website (www.tiny.ca) for more details and information.
What’s happening in Tiny?...
  Official Plan Update
 The Township of Tiny has prepared a new Official Plan in accordance with Section 17 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990 that sets out where and how the Township will grow to the year 2031. The Official Plan establishes the framework for future decisions related to land development. The Official Plan outlines what is generally permitted within each land use designation and includes associated policies. The Official Plan requires updating as there have been many Provincial and County of Simcoe policy changes.
 Over the last two years, the Township has completed significant public consultation in the form of three Open Houses and a statutory Public Meeting.  The final draft of the new Official Plan will be presented to Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.  This final draft will be available once the November 14th, Committee of the Whole Agenda is posted on the Township website, at www.tiny.ca.
Noel Au Village: Tiny’s 15th Annual Tree Lighting Celebration
 Get excited for Tiny’s 15th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony; it’s happening Saturday, November 24th! For the first time, the Tree Lighting will be combined with Noel au Village for a spectacular lighting of Lafontaine Village. Below are some details of the event:
 Saturday, November 24, 2018 Time: 3 to 7 p.m.
Lafontaine Park (342 Rue Lafontaine Road West)
 Activities at the event will include:
• Family crafts
• Exhibit about the history of the Christmas Tree Farm
• Wagon rides
• Live music
• Hot chocolate and apple cider
• Bonfires
• Games
• Cookie decorating
• Pictures with Santa
• Carolers and other performances
• Christmas Market with vendors
• And, of course, the tree lighting at 6:00 p.m.!
If you would like to volunteer, contact Maggie Off at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 705 526-4204 ext. 271.
 Reminder of our new service for the residents of Tiny…
 Receive alerts about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for Tiny Connect. You choose what categories of notifications you want to receive and how you want to receive them.
 Stay Informed - Learn about road closures, burn bans, water restrictions & more!
 Participate - Hear about community events, recreation programs and public meetings!
 Be Prepared - Receive alerts about pending and existing emergencies!
 Questions? Contact Kristie Czovek, Communications/Committee Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 705 526-4204 ext. 277.  
 Visit https://www.tiny.ca/government/employment for current employment opportunities including Engineering Technologist and Facility Maintenance Person.  
  County of Simcoe
 The new County Council elect will be sworn in Dec. 11, 2018. Of the 32 County Councilors, there will be 15 new ones. County Council is composed of the Mayors and Deputy Mayors from the 16 member municipalities.
 Results of the new County textiles and electronics collections…
 The textile collection occurred over two designated weeks in June and the electronics collection occurred over two weeks in September. In both cases, special coloured bags were distributed via Canada Post as part of the promotion and education campaign and also to be used by residents to contain textiles and electronics at curbside for collection.  
 The textile collection netted 107 tonnes of used clothing, linens, shoes and accessories (versus a total of 50 tonnes collected at all of the County waste facilities last year). The amount collected curbside was somewhat short of the 150 tonnes originally estimated. County staff feels that the reason participation was lower than anticipated was due to the need for residents to determine which week their collection would occur on and then have materials out for collection on Monday, rather than on their regular garbage day.  
 The electronics collection netted over 171 tonnes of electronics and small electrical equipment (versus a total of 499 tonnes collected at all of the County waste facilities last year). The amount collected at curbside was somewhat short of the 210 tonnes originally estimated. Staff notes that there were reports of widespread scavenging in some urbanized areas prior to the electronics collection occurring. Scavenging is an issue as electronics may contain personal information and offenders, looking to make money only, may not utilize Ontario Electronic Stewardship approved processors to ensure proper environmental outcomes. Further, scavenging results in a loss of revenue for electronics which partially offsets the cost of the collection program.
 Staff have learned from the experiences gained during these first curbside collections for textiles and electronics and will work to improve processes for next year. This includes pursuing changes such that collections occur on the regular waste collection day in each area. Staff anticipate that this will further increase convenience for residents, reduce opportunistic scavengers and maximize diversion of textiles and electronics from landfill.
  That’s all for this month, talk to you next month!
 Mayor George Cornell  Township of Tiny
 To contact me via e-mail (Please make Note of my new email address): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via phone: 705 526-4204 and leave a message with Laura Russell, Sr. Administrative Coordinator.
  Please feel free to share my message and if you know of someone who would like to receive it directly, just have them e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will add them to the list. Any views expressed in my monthly message do not necessarily represent the views of Council. If you wish to be removed from the e-mail list, please send an e- mail requesting removal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.