Oro-Medonte Mayor, Harry Hughes appears deeply concerned about AWARE Simcoe’s integrity.

April 28, 2016

Based on what Mayor Hughes disclosed, the majority of Simoce County councillors seem to share that view.

Harry Hughes

An article on AWARE News Network called Simcoe County wants $5,000 from AWARE Simcoe:

Simcoe County Council voted overwhelmingly today to recover $5,000 in court costs from AWARE Simcoe.

The case involved an application by the citizens’ group for a judicial review of a County decision to allow a developer to clearcut a portion of Beeton Woods. A judge awarded the costs after refusing to grant an injunction to prevent the cutting until the judicial review was heard. AWARE Simcoe then withdrew from the judicial review.

New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne told council that developer Tecumseth Estates is not planning to pursue the $27,000 in costs it was awarded against AWARE. The group has no money, he said. “Are we going to spend staff time and legal costs? I think we should just write it off.”

Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes disagreed. “AWARE’s integrity is at stake,” he said. “We should not be letting them off the hook.”

Upon receipt, the county plans to donate the funds to the South Simcoe Streams Network for the planting of trees.

AWARE Simcoe spokesperson Sandy Agnew said members are disappointed in the county’s decision.

“AWARE Simcoe is working hard to protect the environment and natural heritage in Simcoe County and the value of that work seems to be lost on most of county council,” he said.

“AWARE Simcoe members spend their own personal money on our work, while the county spends our tax dollars fighting AWARE Simcoe, instead of getting the process right – as pointed out by the judge.”

Allowing the cutting of the Beeton Woods under the false pretence of agriculture was an abdication of political responsibility by county councillors, Agnew said.

“AWARE Simcoe’s cause was just, but we were out-gunned in court by high paid lawyers who bamboozled the judge. The idea of replacing a mature stand of trees with seedlings planted elsewhere is ludicrous.”

Agnew said AWARE Simcoe’s Vision is for a Healthy Environment, Agricultural Prosperity, Development that is a Net Benefit to the Community, Complete Communities, Reliable Sustainable Energy, Awareness of the Need for Sustainability, and Healthy Lifestyles.

“AWARE Simcoe will continue to fight for our Vision,” he said.

Disclosure: My family has been in Midhurst since 1960, been a member of AWARE Simcoe for 4 years and my son currently serves on their board. In my opinion, saving Springwater Park would have been impossible without their active involvement while Mayor Hughes was indifferent at best.

My family or I are NOT involved in any potential or actual legal action with AWARE Simcoe or any of their Board members.

Is it material if Mayor Hughes failed to disclose any past or present litigation he has personally against AWARE Simcoe of their members to his fellow Simcoe County councillors, before they voted?

Was Mayor Hughes in a conflict of interest?

 


How frequently has SpringwaterParkcc.org been viewed since October 2012?

September 24, 2015

In total, 60,924 times, 1,647 monthly, or 54.9 views per day.

20150926 Traffic spcc

The 10 most viewed posts in 2015 are:

  1. Barrie Pow Wow at Springwater Park, June 13 and 14th
  2. The Fraud Triangle by Dr. David Cressey
  3. Mel Howell led by example.
  4. Cat’s-paw: a pawn or dupe
  5. Are the 31,000 acres of Simcoe County Forest really The Lungs of Barrie?
  6. My memories from the Waawaase’Aagaming (Lake Simcoe) Water Walk 2015
  7. Ontario parks have been severely underfunded for decades
  8. The Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp occupation of Awenda Provincial Park continues
  9. Grand re-opening of Springwater Park tomorrow!
  10. Corruption in local government: 5 Types

Cross-published by Les Stewart on iLoveMidhurst.ca.


Successful and seasoned environmentalists do the sensible thing: they take a Walk for Water

August 15, 2015

Want to know the secret to stop a massive limestone quarry and an industrial garbage complex atop the world’s purest water?

Just ask Danny Beaton and Dr. John Bacher:

  1. Take a stand, and
  2. do something sensible like, Walk for Water 2015.

Danny and John were key advisors to me for the remarkable rescue of Springwater Park by Beausoleil First Nation.


With serious social justice causes, I write on the internet to influence the powerful stakeholders.

February 20, 2015

My Midhurst neighbours may think I am writing about Springwater Park at SpringwaterParkcc.org for the “average Joe”.

Traffic SpringwaterParkcc

I don’t mind anyone reading what I write but my primary literary target has always been the Province of Ontario.

I told the rest of the members of the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition that I would quit as their president after 6 months. My job was to identify, scan, and get the legitimate, constitutional powers at the same table which (I hoped) would result in keeping Springwater Park green for the next seven generations and more.

I started doing the research in Oct 2012, and then the nine-month long First Nations occupation started April 1, 2013.

Any resolution will be based on a nation-to-nation negotiation based on Canadian LEGAL realities not some white-mans’ guilt or charity or political correctness. That we’ve come this far is a great testament to the maturity, grace and intelligence of those working together to keep this land sacred.

It’s a great story; a story that our grand kids will re-tell with justifiable pride.

 


The Forest Rangers was a big hit on CBC TV when I was a kid.

February 12, 2015

I dreamed of having that type of extended family.

Forest rangers

The Forest Rangers, 1963

Forest rangers 40

The Forest Rangers, 2004

Opening credits video.


I look forward to 2015 as being the year that Springwater Park gets put back into caring hands.

January 15, 2015

Why wait? Come on out and enjoy the winter at the park.

Snow clear 93

The Springwater News columnist Kathy Stunden-Hall wrote a nice article called The Future of Springwater Parkpdf

Once again we enjoyed taking the dogs for a walk in Springwater Park. We went there last Sunday and were pleased to see lots of people using this wonderful park.

I am sure it’s thanks to the efforts of volunteers that there are plowed trails to walk on. There are also lots of snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. I was even able to kick snow out of the way to use the portable toilet. To my surprise it was equipped with lots of toilet paper so someone out there is looking after keeping it stocked up.

Kathy makes a good point about keeping the park in mind when you contribute to the Springwater Township’s review of their Parks and Recreation Master Plan:

Our community could make even more of this park if given the chance. Mark already mentioned the need for preserving the park in a survey he filled out for the Township of Springwater’s Park and Recreation Master Plan. If you visit the website at springwater.ca/prmasterplan you can complete the recreation survey and tell about your household’s recreation activities, needs, priorities and opinions.

If you’d like to review the May 2005 Master Plan, click here.

 


Ministry of Natural Resources “pleased to be working with” Beausoleil First Nations in re-opening Springwater Park.

April 17, 2014
20140417 Stan Howe

Members of the Beausoleil First Nation plan to return to Springwater park this spring. Stan Howe

Laurie Watt in the Barrie Advance reports: MNR talks with native group to re-open Springwater Park

The Ministry of Natural Resources is talking with the Beausoleil First Nation about reopening Springwater Provincial Park as a pair of warring citizens’ groups wait to hear if they’ll be included.

But while the ministry is “pleased to be working with” Beausoleil, the ministry isn’t yet ready to release details on what’s being discussed, ministry spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski said.

As partnership talks began just before Christmas, Camp Nibi — founded by a group led by Elizabeth Brass Elson as an outreach and healing initiative — packed up and left for the winter. Brass Elson plans to restart the group’s activities and ceremonies in the park this spring, although snow still covers the ground in the 193-hectare park that opened in 1927 and was shuttered by the ministry a year ago.

However, things are getting confusing. There are three community groups, two of them (#1 and #2) both claiming control of over $100,000 in community donations while the the third, is waiting for the MNR/Camp Nibi discussions to be completed.

In summary:

  1. Mr. Ian Taylor, Friends of Springwater Park,
  2. Mr. Jack Garner, Springwater Park Foundation who recently seems to have split off from #1, and
  3. Mr. Les Stewart and the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition. SPCC split from #1 in Oct 2012.

The SPCC and Advisory Board: Our experience shows it is premature and can be potentially very problematic to raise funds or pledges before the management and ownership issues were first sorted out by between the more senior levels (ie. MNR and First Nations).

The SPCC has sought a sustainable business model.

In our opinion, sustainability can only come primarily from long-term, government-underwritten, publicly-funded budgets which may arise from aboriginal and non-aboriginal sources.

As a simple sign of encouragement toward that partnership, we asked our municipality (Springwater Township) to budget some 2014 $ for the park’s re-opening. Township Council responded generously by providing an allocation of $10,000 which will only be spent if an agreement is reached. Public money does not run nearly as “hot and cold” as does individual or corporate donations do.

Summary: Agreement first (resources will be included in that plan anyway.) Then onto further public and private funding.


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