The 2014 Remembrance Day ceremonies at Springwater Park are well on their way.

August 20, 2014

Enjoy a double slideshow of the 2012 event which features a non-cleaned Vespra Boys cairn.

If you’d like to help the organizers out, just comment on this post and I will confidentiallydo the rest.

  • my immediate family’s military heritage.

Who is Alex Nuttall’s right hand man in Midhurst?

December 9, 2013

From this picture at least, it is David Strachan, president of the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Strachan Nuttall

David Strachan, Alex Nuttall, Sandy Buxton and Aidan Grove-White (left to right)

Other individuals quoted in AWARE Simcoe’s coverage, Growth will Really Pay for Growth: Nuttall,  were:

  • Mr. Jack Hanna, current Ward 5 councillor (Midhurst), Township of Springwater,
  • Mr. Aidan Grove-White, Environmental Defence Canada,
  • Ms. Sandy Buxton, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, and
  • Mr. Patrick Brown MP Barrie.

Organizations who attended: North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance, Angus Ratepayers’ Association and Nottawasaga Steelheaders.

Cross-posted on

Are the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association and Environmental Defence either incompetent or co-opted financially as activists?

December 7, 2013

Was today’s event a bought-and-paid-for publicity stunt to increase the next Conservative candidate’s profile in new Barrie-Oro-Springwater (Midhurst) riding with the first federal election being in Oct 2015?

MRA Nuttall Strachan1

Did money donated to the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA and Environmental Defence Canada, EDC go toward the cost of this event or was the money from another source? Are either or both of them shills for a political party that represents pro-development or can any interest group buy their brand?

I recall the MRA accusing the Township of Springwater for calling  short notice and scheduling information sessions at unbelievably difficult times for citizens to attend. They then said their were “extensive good faith consultations”. I wonder who paid for the show today because my impression from the MRA was that was never enough money to do even a half-assed defence of Midhurst.

1. Extremely Short Notice: I received the bulk email from the MRA last night 11:18 pm (Dec 6th). That would have given me 13 hours to re-arrange my Saturday afternoon. Oddly, the  EDC media advisory also had a very short media fuse as well: out  Dec 6th.

And, to boot, the ED communique mentioned a federal MP (Mr. Patrick Brown Barrie) would be attending although(1) Midhurst is in the Simcoe-Grey riding (Hon. Dr. Kellie Leitch MP) and (2) growth and sprawl are a provincial not a federal jurisdiction. Shouldn’t Jim Wilson MPP Simcoe-Grey who is the 2nd most powerful Conservative in the Hudak caucus (or even Rod Jackson), be explaining growth issues to his own constituents?

I would have gone to it because I would have loved to ask some questions of David Strachan, president of the Midhurst Ratepayers’, Alex Nuttall, City of Barrie Ward 10 councillor (farthest south and east ward in Barrie, rumoured MP hopeful) and EDC. I believe I am a member in good standing and have contributed financially to both the MRA and EDC.

2. Missing Article: In fact, I wrote the only article about the Midhurst Secondary Plan for EDC at the request of their Claire Malcolmson. It was called Midhurst Secondary Plan: Village to grow 10 times? and was published on their weblog on February 13, 2012. When I tried clicking through on the URL that I had listed as a pdf this is the image that came up:

ED Search1

So as an author I no longer have access to the article? I also tried searching ED’s blog with the title and my name, but no luck.

Click here for a pdf copy of the article or here for a post that I wrote called: Land speculation and other confidence games have always relied on human weakness.,, February 14, 2012.

David Donnelly

3. ED’s legal counsel is listed as David Donnelly.

He was Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada from 1988 to 1996 in addition to having been  very involved in the Big Bay Point SLAPP situation as well as many ongoing First Nations issues.

The only federal issue that I am aware of that links Mrs. Brown, Strachan and Donnelly are the ladies at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi

Cross-posted on

Will any honest people bother to contest the 2014 Springwater Township election?

December 7, 2013

Or will they simply watch as Midhurst, Elmvale and the rest of the former Flos and Vespra township communities be destroyed?

Ayn Rand destroyer

Why?: The Ontario development industry likes the toothless Ontario Municipal Act too much. They want their interests (acting through a puppet majority) to deliver them the zoning for the land they want in south Simcoe County so they can have Springwater Township ask for a friendly annexation from Barrie.

And the raw land controllers (eg. the endangered forests Ministry of Natural Resources and  County of Simcoe and the blind ambition of the City of Barrie and the Premier’s office) will profit by looking the other way (see some of the institutional land holdings in south Springwater Township). Delivering these forests and green spaces helps top up any serving politician’s RRSPs.

  • See the colourful land areas below that we as citizens own but elected politicians control? When ownership is separated from control and those in control use self-interest and deceit, this defines the word “opportunism“. In a government setting, this is old-fashioned definition of the word “corruption”.

Springwater land use map

Springwater Park: This is how you establish $2-million estates on the park’s ponds and give the township, county, City of Barrie and province a big chunk of land for their administrative mausoleums. See Map 1 as to what our past, current and (likely) future politicians get from re-zoning the former tree seedling compartments south of Highway 26 inside the park to “Administration/Government” (blue areas) 

Map 1

(see the blue areas within the green and tan “Environmental Protection I and II” areas?)

Land use cropped  1

Map 2

(carving up Springwater Park since 2008)

Map 3

(the grey rectangles just above the “A”: lots more building, lots less trees)

Springwater Park and provincial forest lands


No wonder it took some time to validate the clearly illegal Midhurst Secondary Plan: the county needed their vig. Corrupting the Midhurst ratepayers’ leadership would come some time later.

Cross-posted on

“The work of restoring a memorial is a specialist skill requiring appropriate techniques and methods.”

November 14, 2013

An international, Commonwealth veterans’ advocate group suggests great respect, care and community transparency be taken by provincial and federal governments in the ‘appropriate preservation’ and continued protection of the Vespra Boys cenotaph in Midhurst, Ontario, Canada.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3


10 Nov 2013

Mr. Les Stewart MBA
Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition

Dear Les: Remembrance Day 2013: Supplementary Notes

Thank you for bringing to the attention of the Community our concern about what has happened to the ‘Vespra Boys’ Memorial in Springwater Park, support for ‘appropriate preservation’ of the Memorial, and recognition of the important sacrifices these Men made for us.

My Committee has not been privy to any discussions or actions regarding the work on the Vespra Boys Memorial and so cannot comment on the ‘intent’ of anyone in taking the actions which have occurred. It is not infrequently the case that good intentions may not necessarily achieve the best outcome and damage may occur unintentionally.

The work of restoring a memorial is a specialist skill requiring appropriate techniques and methods. In Australia we have specialists who are involved in restoration of Memorials. For example, the War Graves Commission in Australia [Commonwealth War Graves Commission] pays a regular visit to the Official War Cemetery at Evans Head to maintain and clean the headstones and surrounds (see Figure 1).

Certainly in the work of our local museum we pay particular attention to well specified standards in restoration and preservation of the collection and make a point of being part of regular workshops devoted to ‘getting things right’. This often requires a great deal of prior research and clear attention to detail and ‘best practice’ methods.

Figure 1: Specialists clean delicate headstones at the Evans Head War Cemetery, restore lettering as required and repair fractured and friable materials as needed

The Evans Head War Cemetery is treated with a great deal of respect and is kept in good condition despite its age. The community plays a role in keeping the Commission aware of any changes which require attention and it willingly obliges requests we make of them.

The site is used frequently for various memorial occasions including ANZAC Day and Veteran and family reunions (see Figures 2 & 3).

We would hope that the Ontario Provincial Government might play a very positive role in providing the necessary specialist services to protect the Midhurst Memorial and that perhaps the appropriate Provincial or Canadian Government Minister might be extended an invitation to attend a Memorial Service at the site particularly given the huge losses Canadian ‘Boys’ sustained in the ‘Great War’ alongside their Australian Comrades-in-Arms. We have had both State and Federal Ministers as well as the State Premier and Governor General and her husband at a number of our functions.

In our view it is critical that the Vespra Boys Memorial not become a ‘political football’ but be treated with the bipartisan respect which it is due. We would hope that on the 11th of the 11th that the Memorial Service is not subject to action other than recognition of the Service and Sacrifice that these ‘Boys’ were prepared to make on behalf of Country and Empire. They deserve nothing less.

As indicated previously we will join you on the 11th in spirit.

Kind regards
Yours sincerely

Dr. Richard Gates, President.

Dr. Gates established the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome in the face of local government opposition and fierce commercial development interests. He is a member of the SPCC Advisory Council.

It’s nice to see the Springwater Township and Simcoe County flags flying in Springwater Park in 2013.

November 12, 2013

So the Township of Springwater and County of Simcoe flags displaced the NATO and United Nations flags from 2012 to 2013, then?


See above the flags that were flown in the 2012 Remembrance Day at Springwater Park: NATO, Canada, Ontario, and United Nations. First time an official ceremony in +30 years, btw.

flags 2013

In 2013, the flags were: Township of Springwater, Ontario, Canada and County of Simcoe.

Canada ON Metis Innuit

The ladies proudly fly the Canadian and Ontario flags, as well as the Métis (left) and Inuit at the main pavilion in Springwater Park – Camp Nibi.

United Nations

But the United Nations flags is always there because of UNIDRIP.United Nations front

Note how the Anishinabe (left) and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy, Six Nations) First Nations flags were given the place of honour next to the UN flag?

I love flags and I’m not alone in knowing flag protocol is important.

The Veterans’ Land Act helped 140,000 Canadian families own their own homes after WWII.

November 8, 2013

Somehow as a nation we could afford to help out veterans in previous decades.

Gord Betty London

Two Canadians in London, UK.


Married with permission on April 28, 1945 (Stewart, RCAF WO2, 33, and RCAF WD Cpl, 23)

1201 Bayfield St N 1961

In 1961, our family retired from CFB Borden, the “Birthplace of the RCAF“.

Veterans’ Land Act, passed 20 July 1942, following a Canadian tradition dating from the 17th century of settling ex-soldiers on the land. In 1919 a Soldier Settlement Act had provided returned WWI veterans who wished to farm with loans to purchase land, stock and equipment. Over 25,000 took advantage of the scheme, although many had to abandon their farms between the wars because of heavy debts and adverse farming conditions. The VLA, designed to overcome some of the problems inherent in the 1919 plan, gave WWII veterans choices. With only a small down payment, ex-servicemen could purchase land with the help of a government loan; additional funds were available for livestock and equipment. Repayment terms allowed settlers time to re-establish themselves without incurring heavy financial obligations. Veterans were also encouraged to settle small rural or suburban holdings as part-time farmers or to substitute commercial fishing for full-time farming. In 1950 the VLA began to provide loans to veterans who wished to construct their own homes. Under the Veterans’ Land Administration, a branch of the Department of VETERANS AFFAIRS, over 140,000 ex-servicemen had sought assistance before new loans were terminated in 1977. Author GLENN T. WRIGHT

Source: Canadian Encyclopedia

Keith Gary snow

The DVA-subsidized mortgage made it possible to buy a house across Bayfield Street from the MNR’s Hasty Market Tract and those straight-rowed pines in Midhurst.

Keith Gary

The two oldest off to RMC and Roads.

Last 4 kids

Then later, my sister’s husband in the 1RCR, London, Canada.

1201 Bayfield Street 1970

Let’s remember the men and women of the Great Depression and WWII and those who have served us since.

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