HomePoliticsPolitical Opinions

Political Opinions

Political Opinions

Mayor Don’s Update – June 23, 2022

Happy Canada Day

As we near July 1st, I would like to wish our residents a safe and happy Canada Day! Canada Day is a time of celebration as well as a time to pause and reflect on what it means to be Canadian. We are blessed with beautiful natural amenities, diverse communities, and a strong democracy. While we have much to celebrate, I encourage you to reflect on Canada’s colonial history and the impact this has had on Indigenous Peoples across the nation. This holiday is also an opportunity to listen, learn and consider how we must continue working towards a shared future built on trust and respect.

Springwater Swing a Success!

I would like to extend a special thank you to the sponsors, golfers and volunteers who supported the Township’s 14th annual Springwater Swing golf tournament at the Barrie Country Club. Your contributions are truly appreciated and the superb turnout we had for this event just goes to show what a wonderfully caring community we have. It was great to see so many of our business partners and residents out enjoying the day and supporting this great cause. Overall, approximately $40,000 was raised in support of our community assistance programs, physician recruitment and other worthwhile local initiatives. A big thank you to staff who organized and carried out a superb event.

Status Update on Council’s Strategic Priorities

At the June 15th Council meeting last week, CAO Jeff Schmidt provided an update on the status of the nine Strategic Priorities identified by Council for the remainder of its 2018-2022 Term. Through the presentation, Council was advised that the Township has completed or is on track to complete most of the projects relating to each priority item. The Strategic

Priorities are as follows:

  1. Continue progress on Phase 1 and 2 Development of Community Hub (Hasty Tract)
  2. Completion of Service Delivery Review, including IT Master Plan
  3. Completion of Official Plan
  4. Completion of Comprehensive Compensation Review
  5. Enhance Staff Recognition Program / Negotiate Collective Agreement
  6. Continue to manage growth in a sustainable manner
  7. Finalize formation of new OPP Detachment Board
  8. Continue developing our Asset Management Roadmap
  9. Creation of Financial Policy Framework

New Fire Station 2 Progress Report

On November 4, 2020, Council approved the acquisition of 1132 Snow Valley Road (Hasty Tract) with the intent of providing for recreation and community services as well as the relocation of the Midhurst Fire Station 2. An RFP for Phase 1 design works of the new fire station was released last fall, with Masri O Inc. awarded the contract in late December. At its June 15th meeting last week, Council received and approved the preliminary design for the new facility. Highlights of the design proposal include the following:

  • The new Fire Station 2 will be a four-bay 16,910 ft2 facility.
  • The building is envisioned to reflect the architectural heritage of the community.
  • The design includes environmentally-friendly features, such as the increased use of natural lighting, low flow water fixtures, motion sensors for lighting, LED lighting, low impact landscaping, and air-source heating and cooling.
  • The material choices are functional and durable.

Due to the economic climate, rising inflation rate and supply chain issues, Township staff estimate the cost to construct the Midhurst Fire Station 2 to be $7,964,000, which is $114,000 more than currently budgeted. The sale of one acre of the Hasty Tract to the County of Simcoe for an adjacent paramedic station they will build will provide funding of approximately $100,000 to help offset this cost. The County has also agreed to pay its proportionate share of all costs directly related to the development of the property.

Springwater Farmers’ Market – Elmvale

The Springwater Farmers’ Market – Elmvale was off to a terrific start last Friday. We are pleased to welcome some new vendors this year as well as our new Market Manager Bob Simmons. Thank you to Mr. Simmons and the staff and volunteers who worked hard to get us ready for another great season. The Farmers’ Market operates every Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm through September 16 in the municipal parking lot at 33 Queen Street West. Come explore fresh, unique and delicious products from local Simcoe County growers, bakers and makers.

Survey on County Waste Program

The County of Simcoe is running a public survey to obtain input on the County’s waste collection and landfill services, as well as to get information for future strategies to serve residents better. Those who submit a response will be entered for a chance to win one of 16 prizes, including the grand prize of a spa day for two at Vetta Spa valued at $1,000. Complete the survey by July 1, 2022 at  simcoe.ca/WasteSurvey.

Residents’ feedback will help County Council and staff identify areas of improvement that could lead to higher waste diversion and reduce the amount of material we send to landfill. The survey will also assist in providing insight into how residents and businesses use County waste facilities and how they prefer to receive communications, alerts and information about waste management programs.

Music in the Park

Grab a few lawn chairs and head to the Elmvale Gateway Parkette this Saturday for the return of the Elmvale BIA’s Music in the Park concert series. The Summer ‘22 lineup includes a range of talented local musicians, with a different performer featured each week on Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The lively and upbeat music of Collingwood musician Jamie Ciotka will kick off the series. While you are enjoying the amazing local talent, be sure to stop by the vast selection of businesses in Elmvale’s downtown core nestled on Yonge & Queen Streets. Learn more at elmvalebia.ca.

Pollinator Week

June 20 to 26 is Pollinator Week—an annual event held in countries around the world in support of pollinator health. It’s a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what we can do to protect them. Pollinators like bees, butterflies and bats help provide 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat. About 75% of all flowering plant species need animal pollinators for reproduction. As a result, pollinators contribute to ecosystem health and a sustainable food supply. We can say thanks by planting native plants, supporting local farmers, and educating others about the importance of pollinators. Learn what else you can do to get involved at pollinator.org/pollinator-week.

Elmvale Blood Drive

Sign up to save a life! Canadian Blood Services will be hosting a Blood Donor Clinic at the Elmvale Community Hall on Saturday, July 16, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Every donation counts. Book your appointment online at blood.ca or by phoning 1-888-2DONATE.

Simcoe County Bursary Awards

The County of Simcoe is offering education bursaries of up to $3000 to Simcoe County students attending a post-secondary institution in Ontario. Eligible applicants must reside in Simcoe County and submit an online application by July 29, 2022. For eligibility criteria and additional information, visit simcoe.ca/StudentBursary.

Happy Summer.


Township of Springwater

Council Meeting Highlights:

June 15, 2022

Next Council Meeting:

July 6, 2022

Public Meeting – 2482 South Orr Lake Rd

A Public Meeting was held regarding a Zoning By-law Amendment to accommodate the construction of a single detached dwelling for year-round use on the property at 2482 South Orr Lake Road. Following the Public Meeting, Council moved forward with the approval of the Zoning By-law Amendment.

Draft Plan of Subdivision Application –

980 St. Vincent Street

Jonathan Godfrey of S. Godfrey Co. Limited presented a delegation to provide Council with information on a Draft Plan of Subdivision Application that will be submitted for the 42 ½ acre property at 980 St. Vincent Street. With the intent to protect and enhance the existing character of Midhurst, the draft plan calls for a small development of thirty-two estate style lots each over ½ acre in size and with at least 100 feet of lot frontage. Other proposed features include a neighbourhood park and trail around the outer 30-metre Environmental Protection area.

2021-2022 Council Strategic Priorities

In a delegation to Council, Township CAO Jeff Schmidt provided a progress update on the nine Strategic Priorities identified by Council in 2021 for the remainder of the 2018-2022 Term of Council. Through the presentation, CAO Schmidt advised that the Township has completed or is on track to complete most of the projects relating to each priority item. A list of the Strategic Priorities can be found on the Township’s website at springwater.ca/MayorAndCouncil

Design of Midhurst Fire Station 2

Council approved the preliminary design of the new Midhurst Fire Station 2 and directed staff to proceed in moving forward with issuing a tender for the ultimate construction of the facility. The design proposal includes a four-bay apparatus area, apparatus bay support and vehicle maintenance areas, administrative and training areas, and residential areas including a day room/kitchen, fitness space and washrooms.

Additional Parking at Orr Lake

Council voted to create four additional parking spaces at South Orr Lake Park with an upset limit of $50,000 to be funded from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve. The motion included a directive to retain the existing seventeen parking spaces around Orr Lake and to install no parking signage at the lower portion of Marshall Road.

Advisory Committee Review

Following a review of the Township’s advisory committees, Council voted to maintain the Agricultural Advisory Committee, amalgamate the Cultural Advisory Committee and Heritage Advisory Committee, and dissolve the following


  • Efficiency and Service Delivery Audit          Ad Hoc Committee
  • Finance and Audit Advisory Committee
  • Grants Advisory Committee
  • Community Broadband Advisory Committee
  • Economic Development Advisory Committee
  • Planning and Development Advisory  Committee
  • Recreation Advisory Committee

Award of Aggregate Production

Duivenvoorden Haulage Ltd. was awarded the tender for aggregate production at a cost of $286,900.79, including HST. The work includes crushing and hauling aggregate materials at the Township’s pit on Flos Road 10 East as well as adding fresh gravel to ten municipal roads.

Award of Program Management of Road, Watermain and Sewer Projects

At a cost of $397,350.00 excluding HST, Tatham Engineering was awarded the contract to manage the 2022 program of road, watermain

and sewer rehabilitation projects identified in the 2022 Capital Budget and February 2, 2022 Staff Report. The 2022 program may continue into 2023 and 2024 with the Township spending approximately $3,000,000 each year.

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.

2231 Nursery Road, Minesing, ON L9X 1A8 | 705-728-4784 | info@springwater.ca | springwater.ca



MP Doug Shipley Announces Over $30,000 in Federal Funding for Local Seniors’ Programs

Doug Shipley, Member of Parliament for Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte, announced $34,075 in funding from the Government of Canada to support seniors’ programs in the community.

This funding will support two local organizations that deliver programs which empower seniors and contributes to improving seniors’ health and well-being. The funding was awarded under the 2021-2022 New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) community-based stream.

“I am pleased to announce this funding which will have a direct positive impact on our seniors in Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte,” MP Doug Shipley said. “This funding will create additional opportunities for seniors to stay active and involved in our communities and will support healthy aging. Seniors play important roles in our community and this funding will make a meaningful difference.”

Funding has been awarded to the Prevention of Senior Abuse Network – Simcoe County for the Reducing the Risk of Financial Abuse project, and Third Age Barrie Lifelong Learning Association for its Expanding Later Life Learning project.

NHSP is a federal grants and contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who are making a difference in the lives of others in their communities. Program funding supports community-based projects and pan-Canadian projects.

For more information, contact the office of MP Doug Shipley: Doug.Shipley@parl.gc.ca


What is senior abuse?

Senior Abuse is most often defined as: “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.” (World Health Organization, 2002).

Senior Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of culture, gender, race or financial status. The person causing the abuse could be a family member, friend, neighbour, paid/unpaid caregiver, professional, financial or legal adviser, healthcare provider or salesperson. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.


Adam Chambers MP Simcoe North

Dear Friends,

At the time of writing this update, the first session of the 44th Parliament is nearing an end.  It will resume in September, with much more work to be done. It is a good time therefore to reflect on the issues facing Simcoe North, across Canada and the rest of the world.

Nationally, affordability and inflation are significant concerns. Inflation hurts everyone, especially the most vulnerable and those whose wages will not keep up with the cost of living. It acts like another tax, causing our dollars to purchase less and less. Higher gas prices and higher prices overall have meant greater tax revenues for the government. I have asked the government to return some of these windfall revenues to Canadians in the form of GST cuts, tax rebates or tax holidays, especially on gasoline and diesel. Since these extra government revenues come from Canadians, I think it is time for the government to give Canadians a break.

Of course, supply chain issues relating to COVID and the war are responsible for some of the inflation we see, but so too have been soaring housing prices and excess government spending. Before the budget, experts warned the government that additional spending would create more inflationary pressure. This is why I criticized the most recent budget for increasing government spending 25% annually over pre-pandemic levels.

Instead of making tough decisions on which programs Canadians can afford during the post-pandemic recovery, the Government has said YES to everything and taken on even more debt. This is not sustainable. We must show restraint in certain areas so that we have the funds to spend on the areas that are most important (healthcare, social transfers, support for families and seniors and defense).

My role as M.P. has taught me a lot in my first 8 months. I wake up every morning excited to serve constituents of Simcoe North and know there is a lot of work still to do and more to learn. I look forward to seeing you all over the summer recess as we get back to reengaging with our communities. Have fun, be patient with each other and support our local businesses.




For the past 16 years, I have been your elected Simcoe County District School Board Trustee representing Springwater and Oro-Medonte Townships. After a lot of thought, I have made the difficult decision not to seek re-election in this falls Municipal Election.

During my time, I have worked with so many amazing Educators, Board Staff, Community Members and Municipal Councillors, for which I am grateful. I learned a lot from these incredibly dedicated people. My 5 years as Chair of the Board and 3 years as Vice-Chair has allowed me to visit so many schools across our county.

I have done my best to work hard for the students and families and while I was not able to find solutions to every issue or concern, I am grateful for what I have accomplished. I was able to help many families navigate the education system. I was successful in getting a major addition/renovation to Elmvale District High School, additions to Huronia Centennial Elementary, working to improve the Elementary School Music Programs, being part of the decision to install Defibrillators in all of our schools, and a more equitable French Immersion Program were just some of them. There are two new schools approved for Oro-Medonte, one in Horseshoe Valley and another in Shanty Bay. These will be essential in supporting the local families and communities.

I am extremely grateful to have had this wonderful opportunity to support students and to make their educational experience the best it can be. I want to say Thank You for your support during my 4 terms in public office.


Simcoe County Council Highlights

Council Highlights are intended to provide a summary of Council proceedings only. The information contained within the Highlights is based on approved material from within the associated agenda packages, linked at the bottom. These reports were part of the agendas from the Council Meeting on June 14, 2022, and Committee of the Whole on May 24, 2022. For more information on any item covered in the Highlights, each article is hyperlinked to the appropriate report, which can be accessed by clicking on the title. Images are also linked to relevant resources.

A recording of these sessions is also available for public viewing on the County’s YouTube channel.

– Service Simcoe

Seniors Month

June is Seniors Month, and 2022 marks the 38th annual Seniors Month in Ontario. The theme for Senior’s Month in Ontario this year is “Stay Active, Connected, and Safe”. It is a time when we recognize our amazing older adults and the contributions they have made in communities across Ontario. We are also focusing on programs and services that meet the immediate needs of our seniors so that they remain safe, healthy and engaged, and are able to live their lives to the fullest through the COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond.

On May 24, 2022, Council received a report highlighting seniors as the architects of our world; our teachers, inventors, activists, veterans, and friends. Throughout June, the County will host activities in a safe way to celebrate the many ways in which seniors continue to support and enrich our communities through volunteerism, mentorship, fellowship and friendship, and living life to the fullest it can be.

Social and Community Services Hub Development – City of Orillia

The proposed multi-use development includes 130 mixed affordable residential units designed for seniors, families, and individuals. The development also proposes to include a number of community services, primarily on the ground level. Ground floor resources and supports through County of Simcoe services include Ontario Works, Children and Community Services, and Social Housing offices. These services will be available as key components of the proposed campus-style development. The on-site service hub setting also presents partnership opportunities with community agencies to work directly with building residents, as well as community residents.

On May 24, 2022, Council received an update on the County Orillia Campus project. County staff has met with the community agencies that had ex-pressed interest in participating in the County’s Orillia hub development. Confirmed participating agencies to date include a licensed child care provider West Ridge Early Education Centre, EarlyON Child and Family Centre – Simcoe North, and Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions, in addition to an Ontario Works, Children Services, and Social Housing satellite office. Erosion control and fencing is installed, site alteration for the construction of storm water management is complete, and the construction phase of the development has begun. The masons and electricians have started installing the masonry walls, temporary power, as well as electrical rough-in works. Over the upcoming months, the footings and foundation will be completed, and the above ground structure will begin to take shape.

Municipal Comprehensive Review Project (MCR) Update and the Scheduling of a Public Open House and Statutory Public Meeting for a County Official Plan Amendment

The MCR will help shape the growth of Simcoe County and our communi-ties for the next 30 years. Through the Ontario Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the County is mandated by the Province to plan for a population of 555,000 and 198,000 jobs by 2051. This is determined at the Provincial level based on population and economic forecasting.

Over the past two months, County Planning Staff along with the MCR pro-ject consultants attended individual meetings with local municipal staff, mayors and deputy mayors that requested additional opportunities to discuss growth management and recommendations produced to date in relation to their local municipality.

On May 24, 2022, Council received a report outlining County plans to host a virtual Open House on June 21, between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and a Public Meeting on June 28 at 10 a.m. To find out how residents can participate, more information is available at https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/pln/public-meetings.

Engine 1531 and Caboose Donation

In 2008, the City of Barrie and County of Simcoe entered into an agreement to relocate Engine 1531, tender and caboose to the Simcoe County Museum grounds on a temporary loan. The loan agreement included a project to complete a cosmetic restoration of these pieces, led by museum staff and volunteers, and funded by the City of Barrie. Some abatement work on the artifacts was completed in 2010. No further work has been undertaken on these artifacts since that time, as funding was not available from the City.

In December 2021, City of Barrie Council approved a recommendation to donate these artifacts to Simcoe County Museum, with a funding commitment up to $319,000 to assist the County in completing the appropriate restoration over a three-year period.

On June 14, 2022, given the significance of railway history in Simcoe County, and the unique features of these artifacts, Council approved staff’s recommendation to accept the engine, tender and caboose as part of the Museum collection, and begin work on the cosmetic restoration in 2023.

The Guesthouse Shelter (Nathan Sykes, Chief Executive Officer, The Guesthouse Shelter and Rob Walton, Board President, The Guesthouse Shelter)

On May 24, 2022, the Guesthouse Shelter gave a presentation to Committee of the Whole about the state of regional homelessness and the work of the Guesthouse to provide food and shelter in a safe environment for those in need within North Simcoe.

Since 2003, the Guesthouse has grown to almost 500 volunteers and opened a permanent shelter in Midland.

Throughout COVID-19, the Guesthouse provided shelter capacity for be-tween 18 and 60+ homeless individuals per night, as well as community meal program and homelessness prevention services.

As part of the presentation, the Guesthouse Shelter requested that the County of Simcoe provide a grant to clear long-standing capital debt so that the Guesthouse may redirect those payments to the ever-growing need for emergency shelter in North Simcoe.

Share With:
Rate This Article


No Comments

Leave A Comment