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Political Opinions

Political Opinions

Mayor Don’s Update

Municipal Election

The 2022 Municipal Election is fast approaching with our next Springwater Council to be decided on Monday, October 24. I hope many of you were able to attend one of the candidates meetings this past week to learn more about those running for office this term. If not, there are other ways to inform yourself on each candidate’s platform. Follow local news media or visit springwater.ca/Election to find candidates’ contact information, websites, and social media channels. And most importantly, make sure you exercise your right to vote! Internet and telephone voting is open from October 14 to 24, 2022. There will also be Voter Help Centres open throughout the voting period for those who do not have access to the internet, need to be added to the Voters List, or require help voting. Information on Voter Help Centres will be mailed to all eligible electors in early October and available at springwater.ca/Election.

Elmvale Active Seniors’ Residence Presentation Centre Opening

On September 7, we celebrated the grand opening of the Elmvale Active Seniors’ Residence Presentation Centre. This was a significant milestone for the group of volunteers on the EASR Board, who have been working tirelessly and passionately to get this much needed project off the ground. EASR is a non-profit organization established specifically to create a retirement complex in Elmvale that allows seniors to remain active and engaged members of their community. Springwater Council lent our support to the project in 2020 by assisting the EASR Board in obtaining an MZO from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The project is currently moving through the site plan approval process in consultation with the Township and other applicable authorities. The proposed senior’s complex includes up to 240 one and two bedroom, affordable senior’s apartments, underground parking, and a medical centre. With affordable housing options for seniors being in short supply locally, the Elmvale Active Seniors’ Residence is an important step forward for our community. I am confident it will be of great benefit to the town of Elmvale and beyond. My congratulations and best wishes go out the EASR Board and staff.

Springwater Farmers’ Market – Elmvale

The last day of the season for the Springwater Farmers’ Market – Elmvale is Friday, September 16. Make sure you get out and support our local farmers, producers, and artisans. The Market runs from 9 am to 2 pm in the municipal parking lot at 33 Queen Street West. We thank our vendors for another great summer and look forward to seeing them again next year.

2022 AMO Conference Highlights

From August 15 to 17, the Township of Springwater joined municipal leaders from across the province for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s 2022 AMO Conference. For the first year since 2019, the conference was held in-person, with the City of Ottawa hosting this time. Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Schmidt, Clerk Renée Ainsworth and myself attended on behalf of the Township. Though the Township of Springwater did not provide for any delegations this year, a number of important topics relevant to our municipality were discussed. These included economic recovery, climate change, integrated approaches to mental health & addictions, and achieving attainable housing in rural Ontario, among many other topics. The conference also included a Ministers’ Forum, a Women’s Leadership Forum, a Municipal Trailblazers panel discussion, messages from Provincial Leaders, and valuable information from a number of industry experts.

Stonemanor Woods Phase 2 Park

I am pleased to share that the new neighbourhood park in the Stonemanor Woods Phase 2 development has officially opened to the public. The Township hosted a ribbon cutting event last Friday to celebrate this great new addition to our municipality. The new park was designed by Alexander Budrevics & Associates with extensive input from residents. It is a highly integrated space that will serve a diverse range of ages and abilities for many years to come. As selected by our community, park features include junior and senior play structures, a tennis court, a basketball court, two pickleball courts, and a large open field space. The amenities are connected by accessible paths, with landscaping and seeding throughout. Thank you to everyone who helped shape the design of the new park by responding to our public outreach initiatives last year. This space was developed with your wishes and interests in mind.

Community Based Strategic Plan Survey

What is your vision for the future of Springwater? Our municipality’s Community-Based Strategic Plan is now in development and your feedback is critical to determining what our next 20 years look like. If you are a Springwater resident, business owner, worker, student, or community stakeholder, please share your thoughts by completing the public survey found at springwater.ca/OurFuture. The Township has also made paper copies of the survey available at the Township Administration Centre, each branch of the Springwater Public Library, the Elmvale Arena, and community events like the Springwater Farmers’ Market – Elmvale.

The Community-Based Strategic Plan will be a highly important document that guides the Township in its decision-making, planning, and execution of key projects and initiatives for the next two decades. It will inform everything from our infrastructure and budget development to the way we communicate and the future partnerships we will have. The goal is to build a vibrant and prosperous community where people want to live, work, play and retire.

The survey is open until September 30, 2022. Don’t miss your chance to have your say by letting us know what’s important to you.

Fall Fairs & Festivals

After two years of cancelled events, we are thrilled to once again be able to celebrate the fall season as a community. Be sure to check out the following fairs and festivals happening throughout the Township in September and October:

  1. Midhurst Autumnfest – Midhurst Autumnfest Fall Fair is back on September 24 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Midhurst Pavilion. An annual tradition in the community of Midhurst since 1969, this event features vendors, activities, and games for the whole family.
  2. Anten Mills Autumn Artisan and Crafters Fair – The Anten Mills Community Recreation Association is hosting their annual Artisan and Crafters Fair on October 1 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The event will feature products created by local authors, artists and crafters, door prizes, and a pancake breakfast. All proceeds from the breakfast (two pancakes for a toonie while supplies last) will go to the Elmvale & District Food Bank.
  3. Festival at Fort Willow – Experience the Historic Fort Willow Conservation Area come to life on October 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Festival at Fort Willow is an annual event where visitors can experience what life was like at Fort Willow pre-European contact, during the Fur Trade and the War of 1812. Learn more at springwater.ca/FortWillow.
  4. Elmvale Fall Fair – The Flos Agricultural Society is hosting the 160th annual Elmvale Fall Fair over Thanksgiving weekend, October 6 to 8.This popular community tradition includes a midway, animals, food, tractor pulls, exhibits, fun, contests, and more. Event details can be found at elmvalefallfair.com.

Traffic Safety in School Zones

The safety of children is important to everyone in our community. Drivers should be extra vigilant when driving near schools to help keep our school zones safe for students, families, and pedestrians. If you have to drive or park in a school zone, please remember the following tips to help minimize the potential for dangerous situations to occur.

Driving through School Zones      

  • Slow down and be ready to stop at all times.
  • Stop for school buses and be aware of children running in front of or behind buses.
  • Do not perform U-turns in school zones.
  • Do not pass other vehicles in a school zone.
  • Expect the unexpected. Children may cross the street at the wrong place, run into traffic or ride in front of your vehicle without warning.
  • Obey all laws including the posted speed limits.
  • Avoid distraction within your vehicle and ensure your children are secured in a correctly installed child-restraint seat.
  • Obey crossing guard signals and yield to pedestrians.

Parking in School Zones

  • Avoid double parking.
  • Watch for signs indicating No Stopping
  • and No Parking.
  • Keep fire routes and bus zones clear.
  • Leave nine metres between your car and
  • crosswalks and/or stop signs. Parking too
  • close to these locations makes it difficult
  • to see children when crossing the road.
  • Ensure your children exit by the passenger
  • side of your vehicle.
  • Use designated crosswalks or cross at an intersection when parking across the street.

Update From Doug Shipley MP

Last week, two events took place that will see changes in Parliament and the House of Commons. On Thursday, September 8, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96. She was the longest-reigning British monarch. The passing of Queen Elizabeth means that King Charles III will automatically transition into the role of head of state of Canada.

On September 10, the membership of the Conservative Party of Canada elected a new leader, Pierre Poilievre, who will also be the leader of the Official Opposition. I am proud to support MP Poilievre and look forward to the party continuing to come together as a team to fight for Canadian families.

While I always enjoy spending time in the riding and meeting residents, I am eager to return to Ottawa and get back to work on the issues that matter most to constituents. To accommodate Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on September 19, and the Canadian commemorations also taking place that day, Parliament will resume on September 20 for the fall session.

We are halfway into September, and already starting to feel cooler nights ahead of the first day of fall next week. While I enjoy all the seasons, there is something about fall in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte that feels extra special. Something I love about this time of year is the fall festivals. Springwater is home to many festivals including the Midhurst Autumnfest on September 24, and the Elmvale Fall Fair on October 7-8. These festivals are a fun outing for the whole family and showcase the important agricultural sector in the region. If you are attending the festivals, feel free to stop by my booth to say hello!

As always, if you or your family have concerns with any federal matters, please contact me at 705-728-2596 or doug.shipley@parl.gc.ca.

Doug Shipley, MP Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte

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