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?



Warden Cal Patterson’s Simcoe County Council: Integrity, Honesty, Trust, Transparency at all Times.

July 25, 2013

The poster at the Administration Centre on Highway 26 sets the standard. It reads:

Poster integrity

Integrity, Honesty, Trust, Transparency at all Times.

Warden Cal Patterson 2014

The current County Warden is Cal Patterson. He will serve at least from  2010 to 2014.

Council current

This is his Council:

  1. Harry Hughes, Deputy Warden and Mayor, Township of Oro-Medonte
  2. Barb Baguley, Mayor, Town of Innisfil
  3. Mike Burkett, Mayor, Township of Severn
  4. Basil Clarke, Deputy Mayor, Township of Ramara
  5. Linda Collins, Mayor, Township of Springwater
  6. Sandra Cooper, Mayor, Town of Collingwood
  7. Judith Cox, Deputy Mayor, Township of Severn
  8. Dan Davidson, Deputy Mayor, Town of Innisfil
  9. Terry Dowdall, Mayor, Township of Essa
  10. Bill Duffy, Mayor, Township of Ramara
  11. Ken Ferguson, Mayor, Township of Clearview
  12. David Foster, Deputy Mayor, Town of Wasaga Beach
  13. Ralph Hough, Deputy Mayor, Township of Oro-Medonte
  14. Rob Keffer, Deputy Mayor, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury
  15. Stephan Kramp, Deputy Mayor, Town of Midland
  16. George Lawrence, Deputy Mayor, Township of Tiny
  17. Rick Lloyd, Deputy Mayor, Town of Collingwood
  18. Sandie Macdonald, Deputy Mayor, Township of Essa
  19. Mike MacEachern, Mayor, Town of New Tecumseth
  20. Patrick Marion, Deputy Mayor, Town of Penetanguishene
  21. Gerry Marshall, Mayor, Town of Penetanguishene
  22. Gord McKay, Mayor, Town of Midland
  23. Dan McLean, Deputy Mayor, Township of Springwater
  24. Ray Millar, Mayor, Township of Tiny
  25. Rick Milne, Deputy Mayor, Town of New Tecumseth
  26. Cal Patterson, Warden and Mayor, Town of Wasaga Beach
  27. Bill Rawson, Deputy Mayor, Township of Tay
  28. Alicia Savage, Deputy Mayor, Township of Clearview
  29. Mary Small Brett, Deputy Mayor, Township of Adjala-Tosorontio
  30. Tom Walsh, Mayor, Township of Adjala-Tosorontio
  31. Scott Warnock, Mayor, Township of Tay
  32. Doug White, Mayor, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury

Source: County Council Members

BTW: It is my understanding that of these 32 individuals, 1 has taken the time to express their constituents’ desire for the park by visiting Springwater Park – Camp Nibi.

It has been 115 days since the Ministry of Natural Resources took the flags down at Springwater Park on April 1, 2013.

  • I haven’t seen Warden Patterson in the park since October 20, 2012 (278 days) when he alone came to see us at the 1st meeting of what would become the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition. We saw each other in chambers when I made a deputation to Council but we didn’t talk then.

The Township of Oro Medonte supports saving Springwater Provincial Park

February 8, 2013

Oro Medonte 1

Thank you Mayor Harry Hughes and Council for responding to AWARE Simoce’s resolution.

AWARE Simcoe refutes plans to close Springwater Park and sell the land for McMansions

November 15, 2012

An internationally-recognized citizens’ coalition refuses to accept the destruction of a 107 year old provincial park in the name of reckless growth.


At our meeting of November 8, 2012, AWARE Simcoe board members passed the following resolution:

AWARE Simcoe opposes the plan by the Ministry of Natural Resources to close Springwater Provincial Park, and further opposes any possibility of the sale and development of this valuable public resource.

In passing this motion AWARE Simcoe is lending its support to the thousands of people who have enjoyed Springwater Park’s unique attractions in the past and the thousands more we hope will enjoy them in the future.

Targets: City of Barrie, Springwater and Oro-Medonte Townships, County of Simcoe, ON Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle, local MPPs (Jim Wilson, Garfield Dunlop and Rod Jackson) and provincial opposition MNR critcs.

AWARE Simcoe, the grassroots coalition that was key to defeating Dump Site 41 outlines 8 reasons:

  1. Loss of amenities and jobs
  2. Loss of a prime asset
  3. MNR’s poor management
  4. Unique tourism values
  5. Logging and sale
  6. Biodiversity
  7. Sanctuary
  8. History

For a complete copy visit AWARE Simcoe here or download a free pdf copy.

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