Letters to Editor

Letters to the Editor 1

I love Springwater news. There is always good material to read.

In the March 8 edition, there were two articles which in my mind deserve commendation. Both were well written and informative.

In When Is A City Too Big, the author uses planning and textbook arguments to suggests that our cities are becoming too large and that the the quality of life for everyone, including new Canadians, would be better if immigrants were encouraged to settle in smaller cities across the country.

The other article which I particularly liked was Katy Austin's submission. In this edition she reported, in a seemingly unbiased way, on three sessions which she attended at the Central Ontario Agricultural Conference in Barrie. Her writing contained sufficient detail for those who were unable to attend to imagine that they had actually been there. The topics were on the Proposed Greenbelt Study Area, Climate Change and Farming Opportunities in Northern Ontario.

Looking forward to your next publication,

David Strachan  Midhurst   


Letters to the Editor 2

The never ending saga of the Springwater mayor's election expenses, seems like a perfect example of political harassment. It also defies common sense.

As I understand it:

  -  A mayor's legal limit for election expenses is $20,000. Mayor French incorrectly claimed that his election expenses were $15,300, but an audit called for by a Compliance Audit Committee (CAC), calculated the mayor's expenses to be $16,475. (i.e. 17.5% under his limit).

-  The audit, performed by Grant Thornton LLP, as requested by the CAC, cost the Township of Springwater $12,860.

  -  But the the CAC rejected Grant Thornton's findings and called for a second audit.

  -  French objected and sought a judicial review, but the judge ruled that the review was premature and deflected the case back to the CAC, awarding costs of $20,000 against French. Springwater also incurred more expenses. A second audit will now go ahead. 

  - The investigation was initiated by defeated deputy mayor Dan McClean. One of the three members of the CAC was a McClean helper in the last municipal election.

  1. Is it sensible to spend (now) over $100,000 of municipal funds to challenge the results of a professional audit which has already determined that the mayor was 17.5% UNDER his election spending limit?
  2. Does this seem like an attempt to demoralize or discredit a mayor who might be perceived as an obstacle to somebody's objectives?

David Strachan   Midhurst  



   As I indicated in March 8th LETTERS - it is uncanny, the way 'coincidences' happen sometimes, and often makes you 'ponder the odds' and wonder if 'that just happened', as part of 'your universe', as a kind of (kind) message to you; perhaps an indication that, 'you are on the right track'.

   If you read that letter - of course synchronicity continues, in my life, anyway.

   Yes, new fella's truck left - just as I was walking by (for the first time that Sunday afternoon), would I expect anything different - not these days, LOL.

   My new tenant and I, pulling into a parking lot, just as his good friend is leaving the entrance - a chance for a friendly smile and wave.  It makes you think of these 'chance encounters', and how we react to them, throughout our lives; the opportunities 'taken-up', and those that are lost.

   As also talked about in previous letters, a harkening to what is known (or NOT known to many), "9-11 TRUTH".  I have had to make the decision in my life, to be silent, and just quietly 'swallow a big red pill', or... openly discuss, which I TRY and do.

   Certainly, it is no small coincidence, that in the USA especially, many of the politicians and players that promote warfare, also personally profit from their shareholdings and even 'appointments' to prestigious corporate positions; of course, all legal, in the World of 'turn-style' politics.  Did you know the Bush family had monetary and business dealings with the bin Laden family?

   Former Vice President Dick Cheney profited enormously through his Halliburton shareholdings, which in some cases was awarded no-bid military contracts.  It's all quite an absurd, a deep-dark rabbit-hole, once you have a peek.

   Maybe not synchronistic, but architect Richard Gage, who founded AE911TRUTH, was making an appearance in Toronto just as Winter 2014 ended, my having finally gotten around to 'exploring' this topic in January of that year.  Not a coincidence also that my zig-zag route to get downtown, on a weekday afternoon, went flawlessly, and I came up to street level from parking underground, to look across and see Richard, with a helper, gathering his presentation props together.  "Pleased to meet you Richard, I'm … from Tiny Township".  Very nice fellow. 

   I also got to meet, and had a great chat with Barrie Zwicker, who has written much on 9-11, even had a cable TV series, calling into question the many 'curious aspects' of what happened on 9-11, 2001.

 Having a bite and refreshments after-wards at a pub on Bloor St., I looked down, then picked up a TTC pass someone had discarded - 079 in large letters.  I did hand this to Mr, Gage - a souvenir for his Toronto visit.  

  The NIST report, explaining the collapse of 47 story WTC7 (in ~ 7 seconds), 'hinges' the event on the failure of a single steel framing connection, on 'column 79'.  Richard clearly explains in his presentations that the collapse of that structure, as officially accounted for, would mean, actually,  the complete failure (due to office fires), of some 400 mechanical connections PER SECOND.

  To you, I would suggest 'taking a second', and look for yourself - into the events of that day. 

 A very recent development also, is that some of the people who have put many videos on YouTube about 9-11 research, (1 fellow, 12 years worth of work), have had their YouTube channels completely erased.  Makes you wonder about the powers of 'big brother', and 'who is looking over our shoulder'.

   No... just a coincidence, as per usual.                    Peter E Davenport   TINY TOWNSHIP


Election Compliance Audit

Recent opinion articles regarding the auditing of Springwater Township Mayor Bill French’s personal election expenses, which have appeared in the SW News as well as on the Aware Simcoe website, are somewhat absent of facts and thus are increasingly misleading. What is missing in all of the articles is the fact that it is the Committee’s opinion that the Grant Thornton audit did not address McLean’s complaint. The Committee’s mandate is to investigate, validate or eliminate the concerns raised by Mclean relative to the Municipal Elections Act. The CAC has ordered a new “forensic” audit to accomplish this.

Bill French himself has added to the rhetoric by tweeting one of these articles while identifying himself as Mayor of Springwater with the phrase “for those interested in my Election Compliance Audit, read this”. He also reported to the Barrie Advance that he has no issue with allowing the second audit which is contrary to his previous taken position. One would think that it is ill advised for French to attempt to settle this matter, or to gain support through the press.

A read of the decision of Justice Malloy of the Superior Court of Justice is available below. It clearly indicates that, while some would have you believe otherwise, the Committee is well within their mandate to seek an audit which would include McLean’s filings in their pursuit of a decision.

  Posing as a “delegation” to the most recent Committee meeting, French misrepresented the facts in, at a minimum, the following matters.

  He states that Costs for the Committee are over $200,000.00, when in fact the actual Committee cost is approximately $100,000.00.  With French’s decision to take this matter to Judicial Review Court, Justice Malloy ruled (P16, Par 60) that The Township was entitled to notice but in the Justice’s words “should have no partisan interest in the outcome”.  However, since French named the Township in a January 2018 filing, he was at the root of this expenditure as well. Given this ruling, why then did the council of Springwater decide to hire legal counsel? This decision has at minimum, doubled costs.

  French asks the question; “How is the Committee being fair to Mclean and him or the taxpayers of Springwater?” First, the Committee’s mandate is not to be “fair”. Secondly, if French himself wants to be “fair” to the taxpayers, and if he has nothing to hide, he simply would have agreed to a second audit without going to Court. Again, the Committee requested a proper “forensic” audit of all the issues raised by Mclean because they believed that the first audit did not address the issues. In the Justice’s own words, (P14, Par50) which states “It is open to the Committee to conclude that a forensic type audit was appropriate and its determination to order one is a question within its authority and not an error in jurisdiction.” 

As to the matter of offers of settlement, I will refer to the words of Justice Kitelely, as follows: 

After consulting with all of you I believe that a practical and prudent resolution of this matter would be as follows:

Mr. French to withdraw his judicial review application on consent and agree not to object to the Compliance Audit Committee receiving the Grant Thornton Report. Mr. French will be free to attend at the Compliance Audit Committee's meeting when it considers the Grant Thornton Report and will be able to make written and oral submissions to that committee. Mr. French is free to challenge the ultimate decision of the Compliance Audit Committee if he thinks it advisable.

Mr. McLean to withdraw on consent what remains of the balance of his existing judicial review application. Mr. McLean will be free to attend at the Compliance Audit Committee's meeting when it considers the Grant Thornton Report and will be free to make written and oral submissions to that Committee. Mr. McLean is free to challenge the ultimate decision of the Compliance Audit Committee if he thinks it advisable. Mr. McLean will comply with the costs order of Justice Kiteley.

The Compliance Audit Committee will accept that the Grant Thornton Report is the Report upon which it will base its decision and then make whatever decision it considers appropriate, AFTER CONSIDERING THE SUBMISSIONS MADE.

If the matter is resolved all parties will bear their own costs with the exception of the costs ordered by Justice Kiteley. If the matter is not resolved the costs associated with the outstanding judicial review applications will be decided by the Divisional Court when it hears the applications. Because everyone has a copy of the Grant Thornton Report it will not be necessary for the Compliance Audit Committee to re-serve the report. The Committee will communicate with the parties and advise them of the date when it intends to reconvene.

If French has nothing to hide, he and the ratepayers of Springwater Township would have been be much better served by him simply manning up, accepting the request of a proper forensic audit of his personal election expenses and, in the interim, publically apologizing for any mistruths or misunderstandings in his first filings.

Time will surely tell how this all plays out, but meanwhile, be certain, there is only one taxpayer and this $200,000+ tab is on us compliments of the current Mayor of Springwater Township.

Those interested in reading the entire ruling of the Superior Court please go to: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onscdc/doc/2018/2018onsc94/2018onsc94.html

Rick Webster   Anten Mills