Margaret Atwood talks about the “life-wrecking” Midhurst Secondary sprawl plan.

July 22, 2014

A question and answer video with Margaret Atwood in support of the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Published on 21 Jul 2014
Margaret Atwood speaks frankly about why supporting Midhurst is not just about ‘development’ but about taking a stand for farmland, shared water resources and keeping government accountable and transparent. “This is a life-wrecking event”.

Transcript to follow…

SourceSave Midhurst Village

How to contact Premier Kathleen Wynne.

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The petition for Premier Wynne to STOP Midhurst sprawl more than DOUBLES within 30 hours!

July 6, 2014

Will ON Premier Kathleen Wynne listen to Margaret Atwood and the people? Or will the secret deals go through, uninvestigated?

Going viral?:

  1. Facebook post said that there were 17,000 signatures (July 5, 1:50 pm),
  2. 33,346 signatures (July 6th, 1:30 pm), and NOW
  3. 35,004 signatures (July 6th, 7:11 pm).

Click here to go to: Save our farms and rare wetland from mega-development.

Time: 0:50 to 1:25

If you can make legislation and then make a loophole in it for one group, that’s very strange and pretty sinister. So that’s the kind of thing that people should pay a lot of attention to.

Margaret Atwood

Click here for information as to where to write a hand-written letter to Premier Wynne.


Celebration of Rural Living with Margaret Atwood: Do something bigger than yourself.

June 25, 2014

Images from the June 22nd event in Midhurst.


Margaret Atwood says to write Premier Wynne a hand-written letter asking her to overturn the legal loophole.


Dale Goldhawk as a master of master of ceremonies.


World class environmental lawyer, David Donnelly. “According to my math, and I could be wrong, some stand to make $40 BILLION from this development. Spending 10% is still $4 BILLION! And how do communities like Midhurst defend themselves? By selling cookies and planters. That’s bake sale justice and it has to stop!” — at Wrico Hosteins Farm, Midhurst. Source


Generously answering questions.

Atwood crowd

A crowd of 400. “The Voice of southern Georgian Bay”, 97.7 The Beach podcast.




Coverage by CTV Barrie.

Atwood says it’s time now for Kathleen Wynne’s government to deliver on addressing what they called an environment priority.

“So with this as a priority for your government – why would you let the most important wetland in Ontario be destroyed?”


Springwater Park – Camp Nibi drum circle.


John and Mary Lou Bacher


Globe and Mail coverage: Margaret Atwood joins fight against planned housing development.



YouTube of Atwood’s talk.

  • Change: good, bad and idiotic…Ontario Liberal party responds to Ducks Unlimited Canada…The Turnip has nothing against poop…10,000 new homes on Class 1 and 2 farmland…treated effluent into Minesing Wetlands…many red lights bypassed by “special legislation”…some bright bunny…threatened lawsuits and toe removal (toe part was a joke)…cottagers concerns…no jobs…
  • cui bonoto whose benefit?…”fine words butter no parsnips”…special loophole…
  • Will Premier Wynne stop this idiotic plan?: “I have faith that she will”.

Bigger than yourself

Margaret Atwood asks if Premier Kathleen Wynne will abandon Ontario’s most important wetland.

June 25, 2014

Will a custom sprawl loophole be allowed to destroy the Minesing Wetlands?

Atwood bear crop

A Barrie Advance article by Laurie Wattt, Focusing growth in Barrie best, Margaret Atwood tells Midhurst crowdpdf

“Someone in the [provincial] government made a special legal loophole for just Midhurst, just for the developers that want to do this. Why?”

A dire warning about degrading the enviornment.

How much poo do you want to be swimming in? You’ll be told there’ll be a wonderful (sewage) treatment plant, but they can only treat some things. (The effluent) will go down Willow Creek into the Minesing Wetland,” said the author, whose 2013 novel MaddAddam completed a post-apocolopytic trilogy that explores the effects of environmental mismanagement.

The effluent, which could include medications that don’t get filtered out at the wastewater plant, will make its way to Wasaga Beach and into Georgian Bay.

A stern warning to our asleep Barrie neighbours.

She also questioned where the proposed village of more than 30,000 people will get its drinking water, noting the aquifer also serves Barrie.

“Be afraid. Be very afraid of anther community as big as Orillia sucking out your water. Urban growth should be in Barrie,” she said.

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So it’s blatant open season on rural Ontario communities then?: Annexation/destruction via Midhurst Secondary Plan.

May 1, 2014

Goodbye to an independent Township of Springwater, Elmvale and the old Vespra and Flos townships. Hello to the latest Barrie land annexation because it is open season on vulnerable Ontario agricultural communities.

Annexation map 2

It’s called the Midhurst Secondary Plan but its very name is a lie.

As all the other Ontario rural municipality staff and leaders know, it’s a precedent-setting, naked shift of power from rural to urban use that makes all provincial institutional stakeholders into lapdogs.

Problems are solved at the price of independence and a rural way of life if The Regional Municipality of Barrie is formed.

Background: The Harris government amalgamated two great agricultural townships to form Springwater: Vespra in the south (Barrie to Horseshoe Valley Road) and Flos (north of Vespra to include Elmvale). These were self-sustainig and prosperous communities.

County in 1954


Barrie was a little village in 1812 when the Penetanguishene Road was surveyed.

Penetanguishene Road

The last significant northern Barrie annexation required a bald-faced, shocking display of raw political power by the Davis government (Barrie-Vespra Annexation Act).

I was wrong in April 2012 when I suggested a war was been declared on Midhurst:

the spoils of this war are 100% of the former Vespra and Flos lands.

Growth is inevitable. We know that better than anyone. But really: listening to the soulless, BMW-heavy OMB and their pharisees you’d be tricked into thinking agriculture is  a coarse, less sophisticated, stupid 2nd rate industry. That the “city mice” have pulled a fast one.

Premier Kathleen Wynne: please, we’re all adults here. I ask you to exercise your authority, stop the behind-closed-door OMB deals,  and keep the dialogue in the public sphere where it belongs. With our First Nations friends, we’ve been at this agri-business and community work for several thousands of years. We’ve not only built a community of communities but in some tough conditions, attracted and nurtured winners in every field: agronomy, law, engineering, medicine, service, etc. Everyone deserves to be respected, to engage in a vigorous, open exchange of ideas about the future of our communities, to know that the fight isn’t fixed.

Wouldn’t you agree, premier?

Has the Ministry of Natural Resources treated the ladies in Springwater Park in a Christian manner?

December 20, 2013

Speaking from my imperfect knowledge of  Catholic social justice principles, no.

SSMarie Precious Blood Cathedral1

Notwithstanding an overall cordial relationship between the perfectly legal First Nations occupation and the local/regional MNR staff and the Premier’s office, any decision above the “mid-level grunt” level is clearly in bad faith (mala fidesand unfair dealings.


  • refusing to meet with the occupation, Beausoleil First Nation, and community leaders at the same time, even once after 8.5 months opportunity to do so, (unreasonably force a winter occupation to cynically take credit for re-opening on Apr 1, 2014 which may coincide with a provincial election),
  • breeding distrust between indigenous and settler leaders (divide-and-conquer),
  • using the 230 cm of our expected snowfall and -20 C temperatures to drive first nations’ grandmothers out of the park or into the hospital,
  • cynically playing “bad cop” to Premier Wynne’s “good cop” (here, here, here, now here),
  • threatening to knock the building down,
  • cutting off all electricity for lights, heat and security in a 193 ha., unsecure wilderness more than 3 months ago,
  • refusing to meet with community groups from the Assistant Deputy Minister level and above,
  • (so far) refusing the community permission to do volunteer snow removal to keep the 14 km. of ski and snowshoe trails open. This also forces low income families to pay over $1,000 at private ski resorts for a season pass instead of using our already-paid-for trails.,
  • showing up late as guests for a spiritual ceremony,
  • refusing to allow fallen trees to be harvested for firewood by chainsaw,
  • failing to investigate damage done to vehicles (twice), and
  • approving the sandblasting/desecration of the Vespra Boys cairn (eg. the Anishinaabe and Medewinin Lodge call field stones “Grandfather”; people, animals, air, land, water, trees and even stones have a type of “soul”, made by the Creator and it is my great honour to have been taught should be valued and protected from harm).

I wish Minister David Orazietti and his family all the best for this Christmas season. He and I will be enjoying the warmth, generosity, support and company of our family, parish and community over this very special time in the liturgical calendar. I imagine that the Precious Blood Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie will be as comfortable as St. Mary’s parish in Barrie will be for Midnight Mass next Tuesday night. St Marys bulletinWe have a terrific new pastor at St. Mary’s who was born in Kenya.

I’ve never had occasion to talk to him specifically about intolerance but this is the first such collection I can remember.

Cross-posted on

NOTE: A very similar article appeared in the Springwater News on January 2, 2014. pdf

Is Linda Collins’s Springwater Township administration any less toxic to us than Mayor Rob Ford is to Toronto?

November 16, 2013

No: what she is doing is worse, if the first imperative of any government is its (1) continued survival as a legal entity and (2) delivering responsible government.

Rob Ford Toronto

Despite Mayor Ford’s shortcomings, no one had dreamed that he could destroy The Corporation of the City of Toronto. This is precisely what Mayor Linda Collins is doing; either intentionally or unintentionally. Destroying via bankruptcy or annexation an independent legal entity called “The Township of Springwater”.

If the current administration continues to refuse to cancel the Midhurst Secondary Plan and related sprawl which will result in the township’s death by annexation to Barrie/imminent bankruptcy, then Premier Kathleen Wynne should immediately place Springwater Township under 3rd party management as a first step toward investigating the events that have lead us to this fundamental failure of representative government.

If Mayor Collins and Deputy Mayor McLean refuse to invite the Province of Ontario to assume administrative control of Springwater Township, each councillor should resign and re-run in the next municipal election if they want to. Currently the five councillors are enabling what may prove to be a corrupted municipal institution and may be judged in the future of knowing or having reasonable grounds to know of this breach of democracy.

The five councillors should contact the Premier’s office, ask her to give them the powers to stop all development and provide testimony to an inquiry.

Cross-posted on

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