David Vasey: environmental hero, peacekeeper & human rights activist

February 24, 2019

Dave Vasey Memorial Peace Walk, Toronto, Feb 22, 2019

***

***

***

Thank you.

Rabble.ca obituary

 

 

 

Advertisements

Will Niagara ever have a focused and effective Conservation Authority? by Dennis Edell and Dr. John Bacher

February 19, 2019

A Letter to the Editor:

Thorold News
February 19, 2019

Will Niagara ever have a focused and effective Conservation Authority?
Letter to the Editor
Dennis Edell and Dr. John Bacher

Stock image

ThoroldNews received the following letter to the editor from Dennis Edell, chair of the Niagara Chapter Trout Unlimited Canada and John Bacher, chair of the Niagara Restoration Council:

Last week, the alleged management of the Niagara Conservation Authority fired Stuart McPherson, the agency’s last resident ecosystem restoration expert. Mr. McPherson was uniquely qualified as a water quality expert, with knowledge of the science and familiarity with the issues surrounding the management of Niagara’s watersheds. This action was approved by the interim Board of Directors, acting without the advice of a qualified CAO.

According to Conservation Ontario, “Conservation Authorities are local, watershed management agencies that deliver services and programs that protect and manage water and other natural resources in partnership with government, landowners and other organizations.” Unfortunately NPCA’s action not only ignores this mission, but it abdicates their responsibility in this regard.

As noted in the Ontario Auditor General’s report, the NPCA has not done any work on improving water quality since it suspended its restoration program in July 2017. In May 2018, eight months after suspending the Water Quality Improvement Program, the board approved draft terms of reference for a new restoration grant and in August 2018 began accepting applications. A few months later the management team cancelled this same program. Such is the disarray at the NPCA that shows no signs of abating.

The Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada and the Niagara Restoration Council work together to restore and protect the headwaters of Twelve Mile Creek, Niagara’s major cold water resource that flows from Pelham through Thorold and St. Catharines into Lake Ontario. This partnership includes stream restoration in Short Hills Park and a Landowner Stewardship program to address the 80 per cent of the stream that flows through private lands.

Prior to 2017, the NPCA was a primary local source of expertise and support for these projects. With the firing of restoration staff, the cancelling of a restoration grant program and now the firing of one of the last key restoration resource persons, NPCA management has confirmed the low priority they assign to programs for improving Niagara’s water quality and aquatic health. This is the same important work that will help mitigate the recent unusual storm surge and flooding events caused by climate change.

With the old Board of Directors voted out and the appointment of a new interim board, there was reason to hope that the NPCA would return to its mission. Given the current state of flux at the NPCA and the critical comments from Ontario’s Auditor General’s report, it is frankly bewildering to try and understand why this new board would sanction the loss of a valuable employee, especially when the recommendation came from an interim and unqualified management team. Will Niagara ever have a focused and effective Conservation Authority?

Dennis Edell is Chair of the Niagara Chapter Trout Unlimited Canada: tucniagara@gmail.com
John Bacher is Chair of the Niagara Restoration Council: pals@becon.org


Revolution for Mother Earth by Danny Beaton (Mohawk)

February 17, 2019

An orginal article from Elder Beaton:

************

First Nations Drum
January 2019

Revolution for Mother Earth
Danny Beaton (Mohawk)
DannyBeaton.ca

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska

Alice and Lehman Gibson would tell me “Danny go out and pick some fresh rhubarb and turn on the garden hose and clean them and eat them after you pull them out of Mother Earth. Then pick some strawberries and eat them out of Mother Earth; they are very healing and still alive.” NiaWeh for all the gifts that our plant life gives us humans to use and heal with, to fill our tummies, medicines, the three sisters, corn, bean and squash, which give us a good life here on this sacred Mother Earth. It is the gardens of the world that feed us with life-giving forces. Our elders teach us, when we are young, to eat plant life from the garden. Alice said “Nothing is more healing than fresh strawberries right out of the garden, Danny; they are the first to ripen and so we use them in most ceremonies, social gatherings, feasts. They are the leader of the berries in our way of life, we even have strawberries on our traditional clothes and headdresses, shirts, dresses and sacred artwork. Go out in the garden and pick what you like and pick some berries to take home with you. You can wash them, if you like, or just take them off the plant.” The rhubarb was a new experience for me at Lehman and Alice’s farm because I had never really tasted rhubarb fresh from the earth and eating it raw without being cooked or without sugar was a new thing and realistically the only time I had tasted rhubarb was in freshly-baked rhubarb pie when I was a kid. Whenever I visited Six Nations and saw my elders, chiefs, clan mothers and people, they were always friendly on the reservation.

The people were mostly always happy when I was young and I would bring my friends from Toronto with me to learn and feel the open space and see the beauty of the farmland and open space. It was magical with the Six Nations community, now people ask me if I am still going to Six. The people of the cities and urban life, even suburban area, can find peace, healing creativity, community, even great healing there, but there is no healing like the rich forests, meadows, woodlands, old-growth forests or rainforests. The insects creeping, crawling and flying, together with frogs, turtles, salamanders, snakes, are living as one with the ecosystems full of nutrients and medicines, which make up true Creation in its power and spirit. The mushrooms, flowers, berries, wetlands, swamps, Cattails, Oneyed Suzannes, Dandelions, meadows, are evidence of a vast life of species thriving, nurturing each other while we humans can only study what is transpiring in this world we live in. The sap runs from the big Maple and Birch trees and we make syrup for pancakes, but before we boil it, it is considered a powerful medicine for many illnesses. Here in Ontario, Canada, we have Carolina Forest, which is actually the biggest one remaining in Canada with the greatest biodiversity for wildlife: common trees are Shagbark and Black Walnut, both with edible nuts and these nuts are not just good for humans to eat, but also animals: birds eat too, even wild turkeys. Native people gather what our elders call “Repper Roots” and many more herbs for medicinal value. The forests here are home for our relatives, big and small, but now forests are not just a home but a Refuge in Ontario for many creatures, such as the Painted Turtle and Snapping Turtle, which are an endangered species and at risk of disappearing forever. Scientists say we are losing between two hundred and two thousand species each year in the world. Some scientists say the number of species dying is a lot more already. The Eastern Cougar is gone forever, also the japanese Otter, Black Rhinoceros, Pinta Tortoise, Clouded Leopard, Newfoundland and Cascade Wolves, Passenger Pigeon and Labrador Duck, to name a few all directly or indirectly affected by Global Warming.

As native people we have to ask ourselves if there is anything we can do that will stop the destruction of Mother Earth, how we can slow down the forest industry, mining industry, fishing industry, urban sprawl and the oil industry, which includes fracking. When I attended our first elders and youth gatherings in Onondaga, New York, around nineteen ninety, our leaders were crying because our women said our men were not doing enough to protect Mother Earth’s Blood, the water! There were a lot of tears from our grandmothers and women. That had a huge effect on me; from that day on and every ceremony I ever attended with The Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth based in Bozeman, Montana, the spirit of the people always energized our people, the ceremonies were powerful and healing for us all. Back then Bob Staffansan and Eric Noyes were our executives for American Indian Institute and for our council of grassroots spiritual leaders of North America. The Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth is a part of the American Indian Institute and as far as I remember there is a website with the Communiqués or sacred messages sent out from our spiritual leaders and youth, including our mandate.

Almost thirty years ago our elders spoke of the devastations that were happening in their respected communities; alcohol, addictions, drug use, aids, diabetes, environmental issues from pollution to mercury poisoning, then our kids joining gang culture. Back then there was more hope than there is today, even with everything that was going on. Even as I write this story I think how I can truly wish someone Happy New Year, when it is not a happy situation or new year for Mother Earth or Creation. Our way of life tells us we are supposed to be happy, but realistically it is not a positive time in the history of the earth for anyone. Our elders and youth involved in sacred ceremonies through traditionally native culture and those defending Mother Earth have hope of being human beings again, even when things look bad and hopeless. In the past few years there has been a great resurgence of native culture and pride by standing up for Mother Earth with new protests, called “Idle No More! and “Occupy Now!” Mother Earth can see and hear every ceremony we give, our old elders teach us. Creation can feel every prayer and song and action we take for respect, for life! With the recent protests across Canada and the world for the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia and the Gidimt’en Clan, support is pouring in for the Indigenous people there, holding anti pipeline camps for Mother Earth’s Protection.

Because there is such a growing consciousness for Mother Earth/Environmental Protection, maybe it is time to start an Indigenous Party of Canada in contrast to the Green Party or NDP social political movements. Maybe Canada is ready for change, maybe Canada wants to start a revolution to bring about change for the planet. There certainly is enough spirit power and Good Minds here to begin. The recent voice of women across Canada can be heard through three of the strongest intelligence and Traditional Indigenous Culturalists: Ellen Gabriel Mohawk teaching at McGill University, Tanya Talaga Anishinaabe (writer for Toronto Star author of Seven Fallen Feathers) and Pamela Palmater (Chair of Indigenous Studies at Ryerson University). With the backing of natives and non-native people maybe the people can begin to heal themselves and Mother Earth! I have seen the new documentary film Anthropocene (2018) by photographer Edward Burtynsky and I consider it a blueprint for environmental education and protection. Anthropocene was filmed all over the world, showcasing the world’s largest mines and mining corporations devastating the planet and ecosystems, including climate change and the oceans of the world dying out. The spirit of Mother Earth is everywhere in Ed Burtynsky’s new film, from the animals being eradicated to the beauty of people finally standing guard to protect them in protected areas of the wild. The film documents the forests of British Columbia being clear cut throughout coastal mountain paradise. This is a film that shows rape, pillage, genocide and voices of a bankrupt society lost in a fantasy of greed, which needs a healing consciousness to restore balance in the world. We humans need to look at what we are losing at this fast pace, as this generation is a society out of control. “There is a need to start a revolution, because if there is one iota of of a chance for restoration for Mother Earth we need it.”


Endangered Species Act Review Threatens Two Great Wetlands, Dr. John Bacher

February 16, 2019

Another original article by Dr. John Bacher, SPCC Advisory Council:

JohnBacherPhD.ca
February 14, 2019

Endangered Species Act Review Threatens Two Great Wetlands
Dr. John Bacher

(l) Dr. John Bacher and Mohawk Elder Danny Beaton, Turtle Clan.

After becoming leader of the Conservative Party of Ontario, Ontario Premier Douglas Ford announced his election campaign with an ominous promise. This was that “If I have to hop on that bulldozer myself…we’re going to start building roads in the Ring of Fire.” Ford promised to make 5,000 square kilometer stretch of James Bay Lowlands-now a vast water strong and carbon sequestering wetland: a source of riches “comparable to the oil sands of Alberta.

Ford is not climbing on the bulldozer in a literal sense. What he is doing however, is igniting a review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act which will end on March 4th. To influence what is happening go the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, website and comment through the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry.

One of Ford’s revealing initiatives is to remove “Climate Change” from this Ministry’s name. One of the areas threatened by his review of the Endangered Species Act, the James Bay Lowlands, sequester 12 megaton’s of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas contributing to human induced climate change, every year.

The review consultation document now available through the EBR is full of negative comments about the Endangered Species Act imposing onerous restrictions on business. There is little to say about the value of saving species from extinction and regional extirpation.

The most disturbing specific proposal is would increase the harm caused by the creation of exemptions for hydro, forestry and commercial development carried out in 2013. The consultation paper has a suggestion to adding changes that would politicize this process through exemptions based on ministerial discretion. In terms of a practical achievement that could be won through a campaign abolishing this loophole, inserted several years after the act had been passed through onerous public consultations is the best that can now be achieved.

Ford’s review threatens two great wetlands of fundamental regional significance to Ontario. One is the best example of the still relative intact ecology of vast Hudson Bay Lowlands, still beyond the limits of commercial logging and roads. Another is the biggest wildlife refuge for the landscape of southern Ontario, dominated by agriculture.

In northern Ontario, the review threatens the Hudson Bay wetlands. It is the third largest such complex remaining in the world, and a colossal carbon sink. It is the largest contiguous temperate wetland complex in the world.

The other great vulnerable reservoir is the Minesing Wetlands. It is the biggest remaining wetland complex in southern Ontario’s landscape dominated by agriculture. The Minesing wetlands have become a refuge for species in the landscape being wiped out here such as the American Bittern, Least Bittern and the Lake Sturgeon. It is a place big enough for previously extirpated species such as the Bald Eagle, and the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly to return.

The Endangered Species Act current protects Ontario’s greatest threatened wetlands, by safeguarding their highly visible and spectacular indicator species. The forested peat wetlands of the James Bay Lowlands are the only success story for the Threatened Woodland Caribou. It is an iconic species on the Canadian Quarter. The James Bay Lowlands where Ford longs to drive the bulldozer is the only part of Ontario that has seen populations of Woodland Caribou actually increase in the ten years the Act has been in operation.

The Endangered Species Act has helped to hold back the very roads that Premier Ford is so keen to take a ceremonial opening ride upon. Despite considerable protests from sports fishermen and recreational hunters it has served to close roads which threaten the caribou’s habitat.

The Minesing Wetlands is guarded by another charismatic species. It is the Endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly.

Minesing’ vernal pool wetlands are the only place in Canada where the Endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly survives. The nearest American population is located in across the waters of Lake Huron in Michigan. Its presence is helping to slow down sprawl in Midhurst by being a concern in the reviews being undertaken through an environmental assessment.

The Minesing Wetlands is already being damaged from pollution laden sediment from adjacent agricultural operations. This causes parts of the wetland to be marred by a growing ring of ominous dead trees. While the presence of dead trees, long associated with two great heronies is normal, what is happening is a warning signal. The expansion of zones of snags and the failure of living trees to succeed them is a sign of ecological degradation. Over time the snags themselves disintegrate and an artificial lake full of exotic invasive species replaces the former wetlands.

A new wave of tree killing pollution may be unleashed by the planned explosive growth of Midhurst. An increase in population for this community from new development for over 12,000 people would unleash a flood of storm water into Willow Creek, which drains into the Minesing Wetlands. Such pollution would threaten an important indicator Species At Risk, the Lake Sturgeon. Minesing has became the last healthy population of this species, which once gave Ontario caviar, in the entire Lake Huron/Georgian Bay Basin. It is also a refuge for the Wood Duck, Trumpeter Swan and Sandhill Crane.

It is appropriate that one of the leading defenders of the Minesing Wetlands has become Danny Beaton, a Mohawk of the Turtle Clan. Beaton reveres this region as the “Peacemaker’s World”, the birthplace of the founder of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. That a member of the Turtle Clan has become such a towering figure in the battle to save Minesing from a deluge from sprawl is appropriate. Turtles have now become one of the alarm bells that have been triggered by declines monitored by the Endangered Species Act.

Recently the Midland Painted Turtle has was designated as a Species At Risk under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. While vanishing throughout most of Ontario, including another threatened wetland, the Thundering Waters Forest of Niagara Falls, painted turtles are still commonly seen in Minesing. Long before this species was designated in 2018, Minesing was greatly appreciated by Beaton as a refuge for other turtle species. These include the Snapping Turtle, Wood Turtle, Blanding’s Turtle and Musk Turtle. All these turtle species would be threatened by residential development near Minesing since they are vulnerable to pet predation.

Beaton has travelled the world, including the Amazon, to alert attention to environmental dangers. He recently, helped by Mohawks teachers in the region, went to the Hudson Bay Lowlands to study environmental threats. This journey was appropriate since the water contained in these wetlands, ecologist John Riley has found, approximates that of the entire Great Lakes. Beaton in his journey to the Amazon warned native communities not to have their traditional territories despoiled for corporate resource extraction.

Ford in his lust to build roads in the pristine James Bay wetlands is following the call of not only mining companies but an influential lobbying organization the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. (OFAH) While it has sometimes championed legitimate environmental causes, notably protecting the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp, the OFAH has advocated roads in the James Bay wetlands, and denounced the Endangered Species Act’s regulations to protect Woodland Caribou habitat for blocking them.

According to the junk science put forward by the OFAH, to quote from their website, “Restrictions on development in Crown Forests are limiting the productivity of industries that sustain Northern Ontario communities..” It takes the view that, “Many opportunities will be lost due to a reduction in public access in public accountability to crown land that occurs only” through “forest access roads.”

As opposed to the junk science view of the OFAH that favours roads through caribou habitat, the Recovery Plan for Woodland Caribou of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, (MNRF) takes a very different view. This accurately reflects the history of Woodland Caribou’s decline throughout our continent. It notes that, “Generally woodland caribou require seasonal ranges in order of tens, hundred, or thousands of square kilometres of undisturbed or little disturbed boreal forest.” The plan notes that Ontario’ has lost fifty percent of Woodland Caribou habitat since 1880, and that it is advancing at a rate which threatens to wipe the species out by the end of this century.

The Recovery Plan for the Woodland Caribou clashes directly with the junk science positions based on Northern Ontario boosterism of the OFAH. It notes that roads within Woodland Caribou habitat are “linear corridors” which serve to “fragment existing habitat tract and impede Woodland Caribou movements, distribution and survival.” The Recovery Plan notes that the presence of Woodland Caribou is a “good ecological indicator of a healthy boreal forest.”

The James Bay Lowlands where Woodland Caribou populations area expanding is also one of the few areas in the province, where the species survives in sufficient numbers to assist in the subsistence economy of the native Creek and Ojibway communities of Northern Ontario. He found no need to spread such warnings in the Ring of Fire region. One of the reason that for the past decade the Ojibway and Cree have not been enticed to endorse road to mines schemes our collective memories of the consequence of past industrial assaults on their lands. Their communities listen to their elders who recall how hydro dams built in the 1930s caused rivers to dry up. Now these waters are threatened by toxic leakages from chromite and nickel mines.

Beaton’s warnings make him akin to prophetic figures like Sitting Bull who sought to protect the Great Plains from the ravages of European agriculture in the 19th century. This reality is shown by the Hudson Bay Lowlands now becoming a bastion of habitat for the Snow Goose, as the birds have retreated from former nesting areas on the Great Plains. Now more than five million Snow Geese live in the Hudson Bay lowlands, in such abundance that hunting restrictions have been abolished.

It is to be hoped that Ford’s planned bulldoze drive into the Ring of Fire will end up as modern day version of Custer’s Last Stand. Hopefully, an awakened public will force a retreat comparable to the one experienced regarding clean water legislation and the Green Belt.


On Our Sacred Journey by Danny Beaton

January 31, 2019

First Nations Drum
October 2018

On Our Sacred Journey
Danny Beaton

robertjohnRobertjohn Knapp and Danny at Parliament of Worlds Religions Salt Lake City Utah Photo by Oren Lyons 2015

In memory of Alicja Rozanska

When we give thanksgiving we honor the plant life first in our way of life, then we go to our Sacred Mother Earths blood, rivers, oceans and ponds the sacred drink that our mother give all Creation. After the plant life and rivers its our relations who we thank and honor four-legged, winged ones, fish life and insects these are the ones who share this sacred mother earth with Humans On Our Sacred Journey. When we all start our day this way, how can we go wrong, how can we we ever feel alone when this respect we have for life grows every day, when we connect our self to life, life can connect itself to the Humans. Our old ones teach us Indian people that all Creation can hear and feel our love when we speak to them, our trees, our plant life, the sky,Grandmother Moon, Brother Sun every insect can hear and feel our love ,respect and thanksgiving for sharing this sacred journey with us Humans, as we share this Sacred Mother Earth in that sacred oneness with the Great Mystery our Great Creator the Universe the Cosmos the life-giving forces Earth Air Fire and Water we are all one in the eyes of the Universe/Creator.

Blackcloud on Sacred Drum at Parliament of Worlds Religions Salt Lake City Utah photo by Danny Beaton

Indigenous people have showed Western ideologists and early explorers the oneness of living in harmony with Mother Earth from first contact 500 years ago and were called inferior beings, how can humans become so confused over the years about the Sacredness in life, how can the natural life become so meaningless to humans and become a commodity, a resource to extract and profit from for short-term profit and destroy our relations, fish, animals, birds and insects who need plants, forests, mountains, gardens, swamp, wetlands to live in as humans do, our relations need rivers, lakes and oceans to thrive, multiply and survive. Our oceans were once full of life species, sharks, whales, tuna, cod, shrimp, octopus endless fish life nurturing breeding endlessly with algae, plankton, seaweed, Our oceans are a source of air supply possibly 75 percent of our fresh air supply comes from the oceans biodiversity and web of life support. Yet the governments of the world in charge have left the oceans to factory fishing to destroy and rape as does the mining industry /corporations pillage and rape Mother Earth for minerals, gold, diamonds, ore, nickel zinc and taking the organs out of Mother Earth then sucking the oil from her body till there is nothing but huge gaping wounds on her body. Chernobyl and Fukushima power plants have created higher cancer rates and leukemia since having uranium, plutonium extracted from Mother Earths body to support nuclear energy. Mismanagement after mismanagement of the world’s resources are killing all life on our Sacred planet.

The Sacredness of Life must be taught to those who have fallen asleep spiritually, the children of the world are now suffering and this suffering is growing everywhere as our hospital are filling up with cancer, diabetes, heart diseases depression are rampant. Every major river in the world is polluted. All of this was foretold to us in our Sacred Circles and Sacred Councils by our old elders 25 years ago in my lifetime, yet it was all prophesied by most cultures hundreds of years ago. Our work/jobs are to help those who are asleep spiritually each and every one of us people can do something positive to help Mother Earth or support justice and peace somewhere as the negativity is growing and the Fire Keepers of the world the Medicine People need to speak up of respect, equality, unity, peace and righteousness. Our Old Elders would say we need The Good Mind it is our way of life and we need to put our Minds together to solve these problems of the world, As One Minded People!

Twenty-five years ago I remember waking up to the sound of the Sacred Drum and the songs of the morning, the Dawn Song to honour all life coming alive from a good night’s rest. We were gathered up by The American Indian Institute the united nations of native tribes based in Bozeman Montana, the elders and youth who were carrying traditional indigenous culture or better known as The Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth the wisdom keepers of North America. We gathered up to maintain our sacred culture and way of life to honour the Great Mystery our Great Creator Wakan Tanka, Mother Earth, all our Relations the Great Spirit and life-giving forces. We became Creators extended family and like Chief Tom Porter would say every man is a brother on this continent and every woman is a sister in this country that is the law of the land. Every person is indigenous every person has a homeland and territory we are the indigenous people of this continent.

The first year I attended sacred ceremonies was suggested by Chief Oren Lyons in 1990, Oren was one of the greatest environmentalists I ever met or have known in my life a Wolf Clan adopted into the Turtle Clan a spokesperson for the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth and Indigenous Working Group On Climate Change with the United Nations. The peace and respect on the Onondaga Reserve was overwhelming in Syracuse New York the community was the strongest place I had ever seen or been to in my life full of calmness, intelligence and respect and traditional Iroquois culture, Onondaga may be one of the only places that is free from the US government control and still organized by traditional Iroquois people. My first year attending sacred ceremonies was an experience that helped create the person I am now, I had already been attending sacred sweat lodge ceremonies in Guelph with elder Vern Harper but with the grassroots spiritual leaders of North America was a whole new awakening, It seemed like there were at least a hundred old elders with us that year in Onondaga with all the family’s there it was the largest spiritual gathering I had ever been to. Once the Sacred Fire was started by our Fire Keeper the Fire Keepers kept the fire going for 4 days and three nights. The day would start at sun rise and then Sacred Sunrise Ceremony with blessings from elders of the Four Directions. Then the prayers would continue from all the elders, clan mothers, chiefs, medicine people and runners who had gathered there at ceremony to give thanks to Great Creator/Wakan Tanka Creation the Universe/Cosmos and Mother Earth for the gifts we as Humans Beings were blessed with and our Relatives and Ancestors. We honoured the Spirit World we honoured the Four Directions we honoured Natural Life Natural Laws Earth, Air, Fire Water the Life Giving Forces from everything that moved or lived on Mother Earth to everything in the Sky world to everything invisible our old elders taught us we were at one with throughout Our Sacred Journey on this Sacred Mother Earth. That we as humans had a duty and responsibility to give Thanksgiving for All Creation. Uncle Robertjohn always told me that everything in the Spirit World can hear us Human Beings we were given the Sacred Tobacco to communicate with Great Creator with our Sacred Pipes and that our Songs were the highest form of prayer we could give each and every day.

When we as Indians or non-Indians spend time with our old wisdom keepers/elders the ones who still laugh and joke the ones who still pray and understand the life around us and traditional culture we are being taught our relation to all life around us! When we spend time talking, eating, sleeping, praying, singing, drumming and being with elders who are peaceful healthy, we have a chance to learn stories and teachings of the way life was and should be. When we attended our Sacred Circles in our old days we was loved and nurtured by our elders because that is the way of life that they were taught and it is passed on to us then we pass that Healing and Wisdom on to those who are On Our Sacred Journey.

dannybeaton.ca

http://www.firstnationsdrum.com/2018/10/on-our-sacred-journey/

 


Bill 66 is one giant step closer to City of Barrie/Springwater Township annexation

January 19, 2019

An important document by AWARE Simcoe.

It’s pretty obvious that the township mayor, staff and councillors side with the speculators.

An exccerpt:

Who wants this?
Speculators – There is a surplus of serviced employment lands within Simcoe County. Bill 66 raises the possibility of a variety of scenarios under which these employment lands, designated in a responsible manner as part of a community-wide process, will become devalued and left vacant in favour of protected lands adjacent to settlement areas. The natural “buffer” between Barrie and Midhurst is one example where land has been purchased to be held in case something like Bill 66 could free it for development. (Once that buffer is breached, annexation by the city is only a breath away – note what happened to Vespra Township in 1981)….

AWARE Simcoe submission on Bill 66.

Everyone in Springwater Township that pays taxes should be concerned.


Are Bill 66 and Springwater Township a “marriage made in heaven?”

January 19, 2019

Mayor Don Allen: “But we’re also not going to handcuff ourselves, we’re very keen on economic development.”

AWARE News Network
January 10, 2019

Springwater’s Allen on Bill 66: projects in works
‘Not going to do anything untoward, but not going to handcuff ourselves’
Kate Harries

Mayor Don Allen

Springwater Council voted last night to take a wait-and-see approach on Bill 66, after being told by Planning Director Brent Spagnol that he was not in a position to provide meaningful comment.

However, Mayor Don Allen made clear that the proposed legislation – decried in some quarters for allowing municipalities to set aside environmental protection and government transparency – may be useful.

“There are things in play as we speak that potentially we could use Bill 66 – as best we know it and as we continue to find out about it – to help with respect to that economic development,” Allen stated.

“I can’t say any more right now, it’s early stages,” he added, indicating that there is more than one project that is in the works that could benefit from the provisions in Bill 66.

The matter was on the agenda because of a letter from the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition urging council to commit not to use Bill 66. Such resolutions have been passed by numerous councils across the province, including Bradford-West Gwillimbury.

Text of SCGBC RLSC open letter re Bill 66

Spagnol said the comment deadline set by the province (to January 20) is too short, and the province has provided insufficient information. In particular, he would want to review the regulations related to the “open for business” bylaw before advising council.

Springwater CAO Robert Brindley said council rightly has concerns about the environment and potential abuse of power.

“At the same time there may be instances within Springwater where such a bylaw might be advantageous, where it doesn’t affect those things. We don’t have the details yet to make those decisions. At the same time, the motion proposed in this correspondence I feel is premature until we know those rules.”

Brindley suggested that council may decide to put what he called “more belt and suspenders” in terms of keeping some environmental protection in any “open for business” bylaw process.

Allen described Bill 66 as “a very surprising bill in different ways because of the number of acts that it catches,” but he said it’s hard to interpret at this stage because of the lack of regulations.

However, “the majority of people in the township elected us because they felt we could do the best job. So you put your faith in us as a council,” he told those attending and watching the council meeting. “We’re not about to squander that.”

He added: “This is a municipal council-generated initiative, it’s not a developer-generated initiative, it’s with respect to employment lands, not residential, so it certainly won’t happen with this council that this is abused in any way to the detriment of the environment.”

He promised: “And as has been the case with the previous council, and will be the case with this council, there will be full and open disclosure and communication of public meetings where that’s appropriate so have faith, we’re not going to do anything untoward with respect to this.

“But we’re also not going to handcuff ourselves, we’re very keen on economic development.”

Councillor George Cabral echoed Allen’s call for the electorate’s trust. “I certainly see the concern, I would like to think that everyone would have some faith in us.”

Councillor Jack Hanna asked that staff respond to the province to the effect that the township does not have enough information, but will determine its course of action in the future once the regulations are received.

http://aware-simcoe.ca/2019/01/springwaters-allen-on-bill-66-projects-in-works/


%d bloggers like this: