• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Correct information or unsubstantiated opinion

By
In Agriculture
Jul 31st, 2014
0 Comments
1919 Views

Letter to the Springwater News from Deputy Mayor Dan McLean

The Midhurst Ratepayers Association (MRA), Bill French, and Les Stewart want the public to believe that the main election issue in the up and coming Springwater fall election is voting to stop the Midhurst Secondary Plan (MSP).  Their platform is made up of unsubstantiated opinion and fear mongering.

STOPPING THE MSP

The MSP was approved by the Province through a special rule/regulation allowing 300 hectares in specific locations to proceed at this time.  The remaining Plan is held at the OMB indefinitely and can be reopened in the future.  This means the development can proceed for approximately 10000 people for the planning horizon of 2031.

The only way this development can be stopped is by the Province of Ontario passing a regulation to rescind the special rule.  This would undoubtedly cost the Province considerable funds in law suits.  Jim Wilson, the acting Conservative Party Leader has also acknowledged that the Province would be ill-advised to consider this action due to the millions of dollars in costs.  How could Springwater Council possibly even consider going against the regulations and laws of Ontario when the Province is concerned over the costs and unwilling to change the governing regulations.  Springwater has also written direction from one of the best Municipal Law Firms in the Province confirming that we would be breaking the law and will face very expensive law suits.  There are no grounds to repeal the Plan, all processes and regulations were followed.  The environmental concern is being addressed through with the ongoing Environmental Assessment process presently underway and is expected to be complete within a year.

Bill French, Les Stewart, and the some members of MRA do not promote this but only have their unsubstantiated opinion on the matter.

I understand the concern over a development of this size and there needs be ongoing review and close attention to controls on the financial and environmental planning going forward.  This Council is doing that with detail studies and reports in order to confirm and advise the Provincial agencies of our requirements and conditions.

Recently the OMB verbally approved the Draft Plans for MSP with some of the most stringent environmental and planning conditions for a development in the County of Simcoe. Springwater Staff and Council played a major role in crafting over 150 conditions.  The Nottawasaga Conservation Authority provided their requirements and fully endorsed the conditions presented.

The MRA was given the opportunity to provide comments in opposition to the development both verbally and in writing, but they declined as they could not find issue with the conditions. The opportunity was there at the OMB for the MRA to lay out all their concerns and issues; they chose to be silent. They must have had no arguments to bring forward, why else would they skip this opportunity.

FEAR MONGERING

THE NORTHERN AREA OF SPRINGWATER WILL SUFFER IF MIDHURST GROWS BY 10000 PEOPLE

The suggestion that the unbalanced population and voting power of the south will hurt the north area of Springwater is not new.  I heard this same argument in 1994 when I was on Council during amalgamation. Since that time I have not witnessed that and actually the opposite has happened, all the areas in Springwater have benefited even though presently the South has more representatives and population.  Getting good representation and Springwaters’ representation by population ward system, mitigates that threat.   Having all the South Councilors voting to exclude something from the North has not happened in the 10 years I have been on Springwater Council and is not likely to occur. There are many Municipalities in Ontario where one area has a larger population and they do not experience this.

TAXPAYERS WILL PAY MORE TO SUPPORT THE OPERATION OF THE NEW WASTE WATER (SEWER) AND WATER SYSTEMS IN MIDURST.

Waste water and water systems are independent of the Municipal tax expense and are treated as a separate account. Users of the system pay for funding the operation and capital requirements of the system. Springwater’s user fees are calculated to include all the operating and long term expenses of these systems. Presently the existing waste water and water systems have a healthy capital reserve for future requirements and the new Midhurst system will be no different. If you wish to confirm this review the Springwater Financial fact sheets.

I can no longer stand by and read letters and articles in the paper that do not provide good information.  Week after week opinions are expressed and many readers actually believe the misinformation and unsubstantiated opinions.

This Council continually takes criticism weekly in the paper and at Council meetings by a small group of people. Ask yourself the question, why do they take it, is the majority of the present Council so misinformed and so mislead regarding the MSP, or maybe they are well informed and governing in the best interest of Springwater.

These same individuals are always negative and never speak of the great things this Council has accomplished, such as improving the investment in roads, bridges, parks while reducing the infrastructure deficit, paying off debt, building reserves to minimize impacts on future taxes, improving the efficiency of operations, and enhancing community events. The Townships independent Auditors and the BMA Management Consultant Report both indicate that Springwater is a well run Municipality.

The 2015 to 2019 Council will have its challenges, choosing the right representatives is key, select the  Candidate that has experience and ability to manage the Corporation. Getting the right facts and rational information not opinions and misinformation is very important in making the right choice.

STOPPING THE MSP IS NOT THE ISSUE, MANAGING IT PROPERLY IS, WE NEED PEOPLE IN PLACE ON THE NEW COUNCIL THAT ARE WILLING TO DO JUST THAT.

Leave a Reply

Commenters must post under real names. AWARE Simcoe reserves the right to edit or not publish comments. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *