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 iLoveMidhurst.ca.

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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., iLoveMidhurst.ca, 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 iLoveMidhurst.ca.


Who is responsible for the sandblasting, damage and repair of the circa 1929 Vespra Boys cenotaph at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi?

October 15, 2013

I took these photographs on Friday October 11, 2013. This monument had never been sand blasted in its 84 year history.

Back 34 cropped

Note the broken corner of the cairn main pedestal at the front right.

The Vespra Boys is made up of three very different materials: granite field stones, concrete mortar and marble.

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Another view with the broken urn base at the left back. The MNR-owned heritage-designated building in the back is the original park office.

Each material has it’s own much different properties such as porosity, hardness, strength, etc.

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Detail of broken urn base.

One of the key heritage preservation principles is to try to do no harm. Start with the mildest, least destructive means to the stated, justifiable end.

Back marble sign

Note how the years of patina soak so deeply in the mortar. To get a consistent “new look” the mortar would have to be blasted up to one inch deep.

I was told that the Ministry of Natural Resources considers any of their buildings that are over 50 years old to be “heritage” and extreme caution must be taken. I do not know if those standards apply to community cultural assets that they have legal stewardship for.

Face marble no relief

Front: The softest material (white marble) is easily destroyed with silica sand. The text is almost unreadable now. The contrast between the 3 media is lost. Many of the stones have horizontal etch marks now. Note how the light orange, protective patina has been destroyed. When marble is polished it changes the physical properties of its surface. By sand lasting the raised and relief areas, the contrast is lost. The sharpness of the relief lettering is much less.

Over the years, objects as well as people acquire character. Patina is a much-valued characteristic by many people that appreciate things that have endured. In stone, sand blasting destroys this highly-prized protective layer; the earned look and feel of a well-worn artifact. The cold-hard facts are that etched monuments will likely have more structural problems in the future than if it were more gently treated. The Ontario Heritage Trust talks of The Conservation Cycle.

NICMM 3

The before picture: In 2013, Major John R. Fisher took these photographs in support of the registration to the Department of Defence of the Vespra Boys cairn. There are less than 6,700 of these nationally-registered war memorials in Canada in 2013. It’s magnificent as it was and precisely how the builders envisioned it in 1929, I believe. Note the irregular patina that is appropriate for its age and nature and the sharpness of the relief edges.

Sand blasting is known to radically alter the appearance, life and strength of materials. it is the most aggressive form of abrasive cleaning and is usually the last method used.

Front cross

The after picture: The field stone/mortar joints have been opened up for water to freeze and thaw. There are only surface cracks evident over the whole monument. There is no safety issue. The symbol may indicate the builders’ were concerned in pleasing an entity other then their own ego.

Silica sand appears to be the material used against the Vespra Boys centotaph. There are chips of mortar and stone all over the grass.

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There are different grades of silica sand available. The most destructive are the cheapest. There are bits and pieces of stones, mortar and sand 2 to 3 metres away from the cairn.

Sand blasting is classified as a form of abrasive blasting.

Abrasive blasting is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants. A pressurized fluid, typically air, or a centrifugal wheel is used to propel the blasting material (often called the media). The first abrasive blasting process was patented by Benjamin Chew Tilghman on 18 October 1870.

There are several variants of the process, such as bead blasting, sand blasting, sodablasting, and shot blasting.

Background: At a meeting at the site arranged by Ontario Parks Zone Manager Mr. Ken Lacroix this summer, I opposed the use of chemicals being applied and then having it power blasted with high pressure water. This elicited a very strong reaction by a representative of Ian Taylor’s, Friends of Springwater Park. I was not informed of any plans to alter the monument although I take Minister David Orazietti at his word when he said he appreciates my interest in the park.

Mr. Taylor appears to be taking credit for this “restoration” project on his Facebook page (see Sept 29th). He also thanks his good friends Patrick Brown Barrie MP, Ms. Nancy Bigelow, Ken Lacroix, Park Superintendent Scott Thomas,  Monument Restoration Ltd., Barrie Legion 147 and Elmvale Legion 262.

CFB Borden, the Department of National Defence, Springwater Township and City Barrie Heritage Committees, Camp Nibi grandmothers/occupiers or the families of the 18 WWI dead appear not to have been consulted, accommodated or included in his thanks.

I have asked the Ministry of Natural Resources to secure the site and not allow any further work until more is known about some may consider a pre-meditated assault on heritage on what is claimed to be protected Ontario land.


Garden of Truth report: 92 per cent of aboriginal women interviewed wanted to escape prostitution.

August 25, 2013

Two-thirds of the women interviewed had family members who attended native residential schools.

FN women prostitution

An article by Peter Edwards in the Toronto Star, page A12,  August 24 called,  Aboriginal women exploited in Great Lakes sex trade:

On the docks of Duluth, Minn., it’s called “working the boats.”

It means working as a prostitute, sometimes shuffling from bunk to bunk, selling sex to sailors on ships working the Great Lakes.

Some prostitutes are as young as 10, fleeing broken homes in the U.S. and Canada. The average age of entry into the sex trade is 14, according to a 2011 report titled Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota. And a disproportionate number of Great Lakes sex slaves are impoverished First Nations women and girls.

Co-author Christine Stark recently told the CBC that on this issue, “there is a very strong link between Thunder Bay and Duluth.”

Follow the money: Who really profits in this human trafficking activity according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation?

Prostitutes can generate $280,000 each in annual profits for pimps, Redsky [Project Director] says. “The financial gain is to the trafficker.”

And about those +600 missing aboriginal women that all Canadian provincial premiers want to be investigated by the federal government?

Homelessness and a lack of educational options help explain why some First Nations women are drawn into prostitution, said Kezia Picard, director of policy and research at the Ontario Native Women’s Association.

She notes that some 600 Canadian First Nations women are missing, many of them thought to have been murdered, including some who worked in the sex trade.

The 2011 Garden of Truth report was summarized by the Twin Cities Daily Planet in this way:

The study found that of the 105 women, about half had been victims of sex trafficking, 92 percent had been raped, 84 percent had been physically abused during prostitution, 72 percent had suffered traumatic brain injuries from prostitution, 98 percent were currently or previously homeless, and 39 percent entered prostitution before age 18. In addition, the study found that 62 percent of the women saw a connection between prostitution and colonization.

See Simcoe Grey MP and Status of Women minister, Hon. Kellie Leitch’s position on a national inquiry into these missing and murdered aboriginal women.


An Anishinaabe tipi now graces Springwater Park – Camp Nibi in Midhurst.

August 6, 2013

A beautiful addition to the abandoned Ontario Parks lands was built on August 4, 2013.

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A perfect compliment to the existing spiritual practices dwellings:  (l to r) sweat lodge and teaching lodge.

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Nestled just past the Vespra Boys cenotaph.

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Straight through the cathedral of pines, at the bottom of the hill entrance.

Tipi through trees nibi

Come and have your children or grandchildren’s photograph taken at this special place. Lots of families did just that this weekend!

Also, feel free to express your opinion about why aboriginal treaty rights to practice their spiritual practices should not be interfered with or bitched about.

  1. Premier of Ontario,
  2. MNR Minister and staff,
  3. County Provincial Members of Parliament,
  4. Mr. Patrick Brown and Hon. Kellie Leitch, MP, and
  5. Mr. Ian Taylor 

FYI: To see Mr. Ian Taylor‘s response to this post, click here and go to Comment 9 or see below:

“I hope an environmental assesment was made before any of these structures where built! it’s called respect for Mother Earth and is the law!
Thank you.”


Kellie Leitch, MP refuses premiers’ call for a national inquiry into Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women

August 2, 2013

Simcoe Grey MP Hon. Kellie Leitch has been promoted to Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women.

Kellie Leitch 2

Click here and go to 8:19 to hear her response to CBC’s Evan Solomon, Power & Politics television show, July 25, 2013.

This appears as a point-blank refusal to the unanimous decision by all Canadian provincial premiers and others to have a national inquiry into +600 dead First Nations women. Dr. Leitch is concerned enough to choose to wait for a Standing Committee’s report.

—   Premiers urge Stephen Harper to call public inquiry over missing aboriginal women, Mike de Souza, Calgary Herald, July 24, 2013.


Who are the high-profile supporters of Ian Taylor and his Friends of Springwater Park group?

August 2, 2013

Raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in money requires very heavy support from friends in high places.

Ian Brown Nuttall

Patrick Brown, MP Barrie, Mr. Taylor and Alex Nuttall, Barrie Councillor

Ian  Brown Nuttall

Mr. Taylor, Patrick Brown, MP Barrie, Jack Garner and Alex Nuttall, Barrie Councillor

Let Brown FOSP

Patrick Brown, MPP Barrie, Letter of support

Ian Jackson

Rod Jackson, MPP Barrie

Award Jackson FOSP

Rod Jackson, MPP Barrie, Commendation for fundraising excellence

Ian Lehman

Jeff Lehman, Mayor Barrie

Ian Wilson

Jim Wilson, MPP Simcoe-Grey

Jack Garner

Jack Garner, retired businessperson and politician.

Programs

Mr. Taylor’s most recent program to raise money.

Images supplied by Save our Springwater Provincial Park Facebook page.

rcmp-logo

Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Watch out for Charity Scams

This is just the first bit of advice from the RCMP on the white-collar crime subcategory called charity fraud:

  •  Be wary of appeals that tug at your heart strings, especially pleas involving current events.

Experienced public officials are aware their offices can be used to create criminogenic environments.


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