Political Opinions

Province Responds to Midhurst Secondary Plan Environmental Assessment

Township of Springwater / November 22, 2019 – The Township of Springwater has received correspondence from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) regarding the Phase 3 & 4 of the Midhurst Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Midhurst Secondary Plan area. The Midhurst Secondary Plan guides development in Midhurst and identifies areas for growth and expansion. Springwater Council adopted the Midhurst Secondary Plan (OPA 38) on November 3, 2008 and has held numerous public meetings and consultations as the Plan moved through the planning process.

In September 2018, the Township of Springwater submitted Phase 3 & 4 of the EA to the MECP to determine specific water, wastewater and transportation infrastructure requirements to accommodate future growth within the Midhurst Secondary Plan. The MECP received five Part II Order requests, asking that the Township prepare individual environmental assessments for all the projects proposed in the EA. On November 21, 2019 the Township received correspondence from Minister Jeff Yurek indicating that an individual environmental assessment would not be required however, eight conditions have been imposed on the municipality with respect to the projects in the Environmental Assessment.

In summary, the conditions outlined by the MECP require the Municipality to:

Prepare a plan to identify any species at risk that may be adversely affected by the work related to the undertakings in the EA. This plan is to be approved by the Director of Ministry’s Species at Risk Branch and is to be implemented by the Township prior to any work or construction activities;

Update the “Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat in the Minesing Wetland and Midhurst Development” memorandum with further information since it was written February 7, 2017;

Inform and consult with landowners that may be impacted by source water protection policies, as a result of new municipal wells. These discussions may include potential Risk Management Plans related to source water protection; and,

Prepare an Odour Mitigation Plan for the design and operation of any proposed wastewater facilities, which will be part of the Environmental Compliance Approval application. This plan will be available to the public on the Township website prior to any construction activities.

Prior to any construction, including site preparation works, all of the conditions listed in the correspondence must be met.

Staff will meet with the Township engineers and solicitors to determine next steps.

For additional information on the Midhurst Secondary Plan and Environmental Assessment or to view the letter from the Ministry, please visit www.springwater.ca/MSP

 

Tay Township launches Toys for Tickets campaign

 Tay, Ontario: Today, Tay Township kicked off its Toys for Tickets campaign. In its fourth year, the campaign invites drivers who receive a parking ticket (with the exception of accessible parking violations) between November 15 and December 18, 2019 to pay the fine by donating a new unwrapped toy or non-perishable food items of equal or greater value.

 Today also marks the first day of winter parking restrictions in Tay. Vehicles in violation of parking on or within 3.05 metres (10 feet) of a roadway from 3 a.m. to 12 p.m. are at risk of being fined and/or towed.

 “Tay Township’s Toys for Tickets campaign will help support our community, including youth, during the upcoming holiday season,” said Mayor Ted Walker. Donations will support the Tay Toy Drive and local food banks.

 Tay Township also welcomes contributions to the Tay Toy Drive from those who don’t receive a parking ticket. Items can be dropped off at the Municipal Office (450 Park Street, Victoria Harbour) during regular office hours (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). 

 For more information on the Tay Toy Drive, Toys for Tickets, or winter parking restrictions, please contact us at 705-534-7248 extension 237.

 

Doug Downey MPP Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte

Each year, I try to do something special for the holiday season. A small gesture to try to spread the Christmas spirit in the community.  Last year, I sent care packages full of cookies and Christmas cards to the residents of our local long-term care facilities.

This year, I wanted to expand the idea a little bit further, and open it up to all the residents of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. I will be hosting a brand new event called Christmas Connections. It will be a great combination of education and support, with a healthy mix of festive fun and community spirit.

Seniors are a large demographic in our community that face their own distinct challenges and needs. I want to use this opportunity to make sure our seniors are informed and supported going into the holidays. There will be a small booth at the event with information on provincial supports and applications for programs like the Ontario Drug Benefit and the new Low-Income Seniors Dental program. 

I have also invited representatives from a few local seniors programs to set up booths and share how they can support you or a loved one over the holidays. One great example being the Prevention of Seniors Abuse Network of Simcoe County. A fantastic local group that provides information and support on senior’s safety issues in our community. 

Christmas Connections is more than just a senior’s support day; it is a festive and fun family event for all ages. There will be live music, free snacks, desserts, drinks, and giveaways. It is an opportunity for our community to spend some time together and fully embrace the holiday spirit in our lead up to Christmas.

I sincerely hope you and your family join us for this exciting and festive event. Feel free to just come for the food and fun, but if there are any seniors in your life please consider bringing them or taking some information from the vendor’s home for them. You may find a new local support that makes a world of difference in someone’s life.

Christmas Connections is on December 17 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 147 (410 St. Vincent Street, Barrie). If you have any questions please feel free to contact my office at 705-726-5538, and I look forward to seeing you there.  

Doug Downey MPP

 

Tiny Mayor’s Monthly Column

November 21, 2019

As we near the end of the year, we reflect on Tiny’s many exciting events and successful initiatives that would not have been accomplished without the support of our generous volunteers and sponsors. I was happy to attend the Township’s Volunteer and Sponsor Appreciation Event on November 14, held annually to recognize the hard work of these dedicated community members. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients: Ingrid Egner was presented with the Corrie Hamelin Award in recognition of her dedication to multiple charitable causes and her strong beliefs in giving back to the community; Diane Leblovic received the Robert Robitaille Award for her commitment to developing and advancing parks and recreation, and improving the quality of life in Tiny. Thank you both for your selfless commitment to our community. 

The Province’s Regional Government Review is now complete and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has announced that there will be no forced amalgamations. Tiny Council is pleased with the announcement and will continue to work collaboratively with our neighbouring municipalities to identify more effective and efficient service delivery for the benefit of our residents in North Simcoe.

Help us kick off the holiday season on November 23 at Noёl au Village and Tiny’s 16th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Once again, these two popular events are combining to offer a spectacular lighting of Lafontaine Village and fun for all ages, including craft workshops, pictures with Santa, festive snacks and drinks, musical performances and, of course, the official tree lighting ceremony. It's a holiday event you don’t want to miss!

Save the Date: Wyevale Santa Claus Parade and Party (November 30), Senior Speaker Series (January 28), and Winter Carnaval D’Hiver (February 8).

Find full details about Tiny events, programs and news at www.tiny.ca

Did You Know: Tiny Township was awarded the 2019 Severn Sound Environmental Association Drinking Water Source Protection Award in recognition of our dedication to protecting drinking water sources in the Severn Sound area. 

Until next month!

Mayor George Cornell

 

Mayor Don’s Update

With Sadness and Respect

We are all saddened and “feeling empty” about the passing of both Scott Jermey and Scott Macpherson.

Scott Jermey was Deputy Mayor of Oro-Medonte, County Councillor on Simcoe County, a hard-working farmer who was very active in his community. Much liked and respected, Scott always was well-informed and eloquent presenting his thoughts and opinions. He also had a keen sense of humour. At 55, he had contributed a lot and had so much more to share and enjoy in life. Already, I miss him greatly. 

Scott Macpherson was also a fine man. At 71, he was a second term Oro-Medonte councillor, vice-president of the provincial Conservative riding association and vice chair of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. He was well informed and always received people in a very affable way. Fighting his illness bravely, he continued to contribute until it prevented him from activity.

Both men are greatly missed and will be remembered with respect.

Elmvale Health and Emergency Services Centre

The County of Simcoe held the grand opening of the new Elmvale Health and Emergency Services Centre on November 14. The facility includes expanded paramedic services and adult day programs resulting in faster response times and more enriched programs for our residents. Previously, paramedic services for this area were housed in the Elmvale Fire Station. That space consisted of one ambulance bay and was originally intended to be used 12-hours per day. However, as Elmvale continued to grow, so did the call volumes and as a result, that unit turned into a 24-hour, fully staffed paramedic transport unit. As Elmvale continues to grow, so will call volumes and this new centre will ensure that paramedics are ready and able to respond.

In addition to the expanded paramedic services, the space will house the Adult Day Programs in the facility and provide a great opportunity for seniors to participate in the wonderful programs provided by the County. These services not only provide fun, recreational and educational programming for participants but also provide respite, support and education for families and caregivers.

CP Holiday Train

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will be rolling into Springwater at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, November 29, 2019 at Highway 26 and Anne Street North. The CP Holiday Train brings a box car stage, a line-up of great musical talent and a corporate donation to local food banks. This event is free to attend, with CP encouraging attendees to open their cupboards and wallets to help address hunger needs in their communities. The Elmvale & District Food Bank and Barrie Food Bank will be accepting donations in Springwater to ensure those less fortunate have enough healthy food this holiday season.

Anne Street North will be closed to accommodate the expected foot traffic and allow for safe viewing. Parking with shuttle service will be available at the Simcoe County Museum (1151 Highway 26) and Tree Nursery Sports Park (2231 Nursery Road). Accessible parking is available to those with a permit on Anne Street North, however space is limited.

Performing on the train this year are Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo. Scott Helman is a Canadian pop singer-songwriter from Toronto, best known for his hit singles ‘Everything Sucks’ and ‘Hang-Ups’. Madeline Merlo is a CCMA Award winning artist with five Top 15 singles under her belt, including ‘Honey Jack’, ‘Whatcha Wanna Do About it’ and ‘War Paint’.

Since its inception in 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than $15.8 million and collected 4.5 million pounds of food for those in need.

Christmas & Holiday Events

There are events taking place throughout the Township to get you in the Christmas spirit this year.

Tree lightings:

Elmvale – Friday, November 29

Midhurst – Sunday, December 1

Minesing –  Sunday, December 1

Hillsdale – Saturday, December 7

Anten Mills – Saturday, December 7

Parades and Sleigh Rides:

Elmvale Santa Claus Parade – Sunday, December 1

Elmvale Sleigh Ride in the Village – Friday, December 6

Anten Mills Santa Claus Parade – Sunday, December 8

Phelpston Christmas Wagon Ride – Friday, December 13

The South Springwater Firefighters will be hosting their Christmas Tree Party and Tree Sale on Saturday, November 30 from 1 to 5pm at 14 Finlay Mill Road, Midhurst. To celebrate 30 years of giving back, the goal is to sell at least 30 Christmas trees on November 30 at this event.

Thank you to all the Community Recreation Associations, groups and organizations who put on these great events. Visit springwater.ca for an up-to-date listing and additional details. See more details on Springwater.ca.

2020 Budget

The draft 2020 Budget has been tabled and the first deliberation meetings have taken place. The draft 2020 Budget proposes, before possible additional program changes, tax supported operating expenditures of $20.9 million (M), water operating expenditures $3.2M, wastewater operating expenditures $1.6M, capital expenditures $18.7M for a total of $44.5 million. Of the tax dollars collected, 34% gets paid to County Simcoe for services they provide, 19.2% is paid for education, 6% for policing and the remaining 40.8% is available for Springwater Township for all they do. Council will continue to debate the budget at meetings scheduled for December 2 at 4:00 p.m. and December 9 at 6 p.m. Residents are invited to attend all budget meetings at the Township Administration Centre or watch the live stream at home. Learn more about the 2020 Budget at springwater.ca/Budget. I will report more as the budget process continues.

Official Plan Review

The Township is continuing to make progress on the Official Plan Review and is nearing completion of Phase 1. A statutory Public Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 5 at 6:30 pm at the Township Administration Centre. We invite you to come out and learn more about the process and what the Official Plan means to you. Display boards will be set-up for review from 6:30 – 7:00 pm. Staff and consultants will be available to answer any questions. At 7:00 pm the formal portion of the Public Meeting will commence. The consultants will provide an overview of the work completed to date. Learn more about the Official Plan Review process at www.springwater.ca/OfficialPlan

Canine By-law Review

Do you have a pet dog? Township staff are proposing a new Canine Control By-law, which will replace the Animal Control By-law and we are seeking feedback from residents. The proposed by-law will outline topics such as animal licensing, fees, the Dog Owners Liability Act (DOLA) and dangerous dogs. Fill out our online survey and share your thoughts at www.springwater.ca/Canine.

The comments above are my thoughts. Check out my recent radio interview reviewing current Springwater news items with Rock95 and 107.5 KOOL FM news director Dan Blakeley. See https://barrie360.com/springwater-update/

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 705-728-4784 Ext. 2013 to set a time to meet or reach me directly at 705-302-4253. We can also stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MayorDonAllen and review updates on www.donallen.ca

 

Canada Supporting and Upholding Chaos in Latin America: Honduras and Bolivia

A Corrupt Legal System in Honduras: Case of Canadian Porn King, Randy Jorgensen

A Long-Awaited Release: Political Prisoner Gustavo Caceres is Free

Canadian/US Backed Coup in Bolivia: Will Newly Appointed Minister Champagne Speak Up?

The Canadian Federal government once again has decided to support another military coup in Latin America, this time in Bolivia. On November 17, 2019, Bolivia’s democratically elected President Evo Morales was forced to resign. With heavy support from the Bolivian police and military arsenals, he was overthrown. Jeanine Áñez Chavez took power and declared herself interim leader.

With only 4% of the vote in the election that occurred earlier in October, just before the coup, Áñez in this new role, is controlling the population with extreme force and acts of violence. These atrocities are against any groups or individuals that are peacefully protesting the overthrow of Morales or who publically speak against this illegal coup and government corruption.

Canadian Labour Unions and international human rights organizations are condemning the violence that is a result of the recent military coup in Bolivia through the ousting of President Evo Morales, the first indigenous duly elected leader of Bolivia. Morales was forced to flee the country to take refuge in Mexico; his usurper Áñez has threatened him with imprisonment if he returns to the country. Since the indigenous peoples of Bolivia represent over half the population, the ensuing violence, racist remarks, and actions against these peoples is very disturbing. With a reputation of being extremely racist, the international human rights communities fear that Áñez will commit severe atrocities against them. Read further information at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/24/bolivia-anez-regime-violence

The Honduran people still await support from Canada and the United States against illegally elected President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Hernandez is leader of the National Party; his leadership is a product of the 2009 military coup that toppled the government of Manuel Zelaya. They too continue to experience similar severe repression at the hands of the military and illegal, narco dictator government of JOH. After 17 months of imprisonment in La Tolva Prison, political prisoners Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez are still at risk of re-arrest, or violence against them - torture, disappearance, or murder. Hondurans fully understand the reasoning behind and actions of this recent coup in Bolivia as they too have living through a coup and are now living in fear because of it.

Why does Canada continue to support right-wing coup governments throughout Latin America? Like usurped President Zelaya in Honduras, President Morales introduced important social reforms that brought growth in economics and social policies, reduced poverty and racism, enhanced education and health, and most importantly improved human rights. But it is clear that Canadian foreign policy supports economics first; human rights are at the bottom of the list.

We have witnessed the previous Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s support of these coups in Latin America. We therefore urge the newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne to make a public statement condemning the recent military coup in Bolivia and the illegal presidency of JOH. Even though President Hernandez has recently been implicated in drug trafficking as co-conspirator #4, and linked to his convicted brother in a New York courtroom, the Canadian government remains silent. We now hope that with a minority government, issues of human rights in and outside of Canada are discussed and rectified.

Canadian Porn King Randy Jorgensen Declared Innocent by Honduran Court

To understand the impunity and corruption in Honduras, and the unjust legal system that only favours the rich and the advancement of economics, reviewing the case of Canadian Porn King – Randy Jorgensen tells all. After a nine-year wait, the case against Jorgensen stealing Afro-indigenous land and building tourist projects on that land, finally came to trial in the northern community of Trujillo last week. Even though he was charged, Jorgensen was not sent to prison to await trial.

The case is related to Jorgensen’s Canadian land development on the north Caribbean coast that tries to attract North Americans interested in building vacation homes in tropical countries. It is directly related to our billboard story, that was published in Springwater News earlier in the year. Jorgensen is a business associate with other Canadian companies doing the same as he – illegally purchasing land and looking for buyers in areas like Simcoe County. Despite evidence against Jorgensen, the court date has been dragged out for 9 years. An arrest warrant was issued for him, but the Honduran government did not arrest him.

In Honduras, the justice system slows down for the rich and investors like Jorgensen, to a turtle pace, if it relates to economics and wealth. Not surprisingly, Jorgensen was absolved of all charges, even though it is very clear that his Campa Vista project was built on illegally purchased land. Jorgensen also took over land by fencing off additional land surrounding the Campa Vista gated community project. This extra land is being sold to those who wish to purchase land to construct vacation homes.

In this same area, four or five other Canadian and American companies are also developing resort villas; they promote each other’s interests as they try to intimidate families who have lost these lands. Some Afro-indigenous leaders have also been murdered or tortured and then criminalized for protesting the gated communities and attempting to block construction.

Yet no one in Honduras is surprised that Jorgensen was acquitted of all charges. The Garifuna community now must take this case to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. The Honduran people fully are aware that the Honduran justice system operates only for the rich business entrepreneurs, not the Honduran people. The downside of this is that justice make take up to 10-15 years for the Afro-indigenous families to regain their land. It’s not only a long period of time to await the ruling by the international courts, but all of the Canadians and Americans who purchase this land, will lose their investments when a ruling is made. Many foreigners do not know that they are buying illegally purchased land, nor do they know they are vacationing in unfriendly, compromised communities where they are not welcome. Further information on the Randy Jorgensen was reported by Macleans: https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1993/10/11/the-king-of-porn and Toronto Star: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/11/20/the-canadian-porn-king-and-the-caribbean-paradise.html

Political Prisoner Gustavo Caceres is Finally Free!

Gustavo was finally freed by court order on November 14, 2019 and on that day, the National Freedom for Political Prisoners Committee and other international human rights groups traveled to the city of El Progreso where Gustavo was jailed for almost two years. Film crews video-taped the crowd as they congratulated Gustavo when he walked out of the prison a free man. The women’s group in his home town of El Progreso are now meeting to determine how best to support Gustavo and his family. Gustavo spent almost two years in prison for a ‘crime’ he did not commit. Unlike Jorgensen, Gustavo was innocent; the court threw out the case. This is a blatant example of the corruption throughout all levels of the Honduran judicial system and how it works only for the rich. The Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor believes that Gustavo was acquitted because of the international pressure on the Honduran government. If the pressure did not exist, Gustavo could easily have been convicted.

The Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor thanks the community of Elmvale and the greater Springwater area residents for their continued support for all political prisoners and the Honduran people. We continue to work with Canadian, Honduran, and international human rights organizations to affect positive change in Honduras for the Honduran people.

Edwin and Raul send their best to Springwater News and will be personally writing an update in the next issue.

Janet Spring and the Simcoe County Honduras Right Monitor Committee