Public interests vs special interests
I’m flattered that Tony Guergis would single me out during the Rogers mayors debate last night as worthy of his concern that I am Bill French’s campaign manager and that I have been elevated to the position of Chair of AWARE Simcoe. He’s wrong on both counts. For the record I am a member of Bill’s campaign team and a director of AWARE Simcoe.
Politics and elections in particular are a dirty business. The truth gets ignored and distorted to suit political agendas. Tony is a master at this. Does he really think the people of Springwater have forgotten his flip from opposing Site 41 to being its biggest proponent? Does he think the people of Springwater have forgotten how, when he was Warden, the County had an elderly couple arrested and two women sued without Council approval? These are the worst kinds of bullying. Who will ever trust him again? Not me.
Tony, Linda and Dan McLean have been part of the decision making process for many years. Did they not even understand that the Midhurst Secondary Plan does not meet the provincial growth policies? That’s why it needs a SPECIAL RULE. On whose behalf have they been lobbying the province for that special rule? Are they so naïve that they think this development will benefit the current residents of Springwater?
AWARE Simcoe stands first and foremost for transparency. Tony, Linda and Dan seem to think that transparency means telling the residents what’s going to happen after it’s been decided behind closed doors in consultation with the real special interest groups, those who stand to personally profit for a proposal or project.
Special interest to me means personal interest. AWARE Simcoe is not a special interest group. None of the members stand to make personal gain from raising concerns, whether they are environmental or financial, such as taxes. In fact our members spend their own money to support our activities.
AWARE Simcoe is a PUBLIC interest group. We stand for transparency in making decisions and protecting the environment and foodland. The development industry stands to make huge profits from their proposals. So the current residents must be very vigilant to make sure they do not end up footing the bill through their taxes or cleaning up environmental problems. And once farmland is gone, it’s gone forever. AWARE Simcoe tries to be vigilant and raise concerns so the rest of the public knows what’s going on.