The record indicates that the decision to close the park was made and implemented in bad faith from October 2012 to now (5 months).
Keeping a gun to the community’s head for another 12 months simply compounds the contempt shown the commoners (ie. non-elite, the taxpayers).
Time may show this to be a necessary desperate tactic to salvage a mega-, mega- real estate deal.
Adverse Inference: The County of Simcoe, Township of Springwater, and the Ministry of Natural Resources, MNR consciously chose to freeze-out all community groups since December 6, 2012. It would have taken me 2 minutes to ask for details about the $1 million capital “excuse”. I was a financial analyst for five years but I guess that type of preliminary due diligence eluded all township and county politicians. CAOs and financial officers.
- Springwater Park has existed for 107 years and has been a provincial park since 1958.
- Parks Ontario is a division of the MNR which operates over 300 provincial parks, and controls 10% of all Ontario land. Their mandate is to maintain a permanent system of parks and to consult with the public.
- The MNR’s mandate is to sell 87% of all Ontario land. The current provincial government has close to $12 billion deficit problem to deal with.
- The MNR can sell at least 1,087 acres of crown land in Springwater Township. The County of Simoce can sell at least 2,289.7 acres of Simcoe Forests in Springwater Township (source). Springwater Township rezoned land within Springwater Park to Administration/Government the latest 2008 (source).
- The MNR says that Springwater Park’s usage is half of what it was 10 years ago (No wonder with the main gate being broken, fences were down or non-existent, staff not working on weekend, no ticketing of free riders).
- The MNR says the park loses $100,000 per year (used to be $60,000, logging revenue used to count but doesn’t now).
- The Ministry of Natural Resources says that the County of Simcoe must invest $1,000,000 for capital improvements. However, when a County councillor asked for details at today’s Council meetings, the Warden and Mayor admitted, after several meetings, telephone calls, that they still have zero details). Originally, we were told the washroom needed to be renovated and that would cost $1 million.
So what do you think the Springwater Park deal is:
- a multi-million $ real estate deal which benefits several levels of government which is falling apart like a cheap suit or
- the province is honestly addressing a $12,000,000,000 deficit, in $60,000 “chunks” at a time?
Delay, of course, fatigues ethical community groups and risks the co-opting of others; dampens public emotion; decreases government transparency and allows ample time for SLAPP lawsuits to be filed.
Bearing in mind recent history with those in authority:
Do you think a 12 month moratorium would produce any additional benefits for either the (1) voters or (2) non-local corporate interests?