Political Opinions

Tiny’s Mayor’s Monthly Column

Plans for the Balm Beach playground are underway! Thank you to the many residents who attended the Town Hall Meeting on September 19 and provided feedback on the proposed accessibility features. As a result of the public consultation and a review by the Accessibility Advisory Committee, many playground features were enhanced to accommodate accessibility needs. The playground design has been finalized and the installation is anticipated to be complete prior to the end of November 2019. This project was funded by the provincial Downtown Revitalization Program grant, funds raised at the 2018 and 2019 Balm Beach Family Fun Days, and private donations.

If you know a volunteer who has made a difference in Tiny, show them your appreciation by nominating them for a volunteer award. Nominations are due by October 29.

If you’re interested in joining the Tiny Fire Department as a Volunteer Firefighter and want to know more about the position, recruitment process, training and important dates, attend the recruitment information session on Saturday, October 19 at 9am at the Midland Fire Department (550 Bayshore Drive). View the Orientation Guide on our website for full details. Apply by October 25 at 4pm.

Halloween is around the corner. Bring the kids by Tiny Fire Station 1 (Lafontaine), Station 2 (Wyevale) and Station 3 (Toanche) for some trick or treating and to check out the fire trucks. Enjoy a safe and spooktacular evening!

Save the Date: Senior Speaker Series (November 7), Noel au Village (November 23) and the Wyevale Santa Claus Parade and Party (November 30).

Find full details about Tiny events, programs and news at www.tiny.ca

Did You Know: Tiny Township is a member municipality of the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay, a group that works to celebrate, foster, promote and leverage cultural resources across North Simcoe. Visit www.culturealliance.ca to join in the many cultural programs and activities in our area.

Until next month!  Mayor George Cornell

 

Mayor Cornell and Council Present Cheques to the Charitable Recipients of the 2019 Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament

 (Above: Students of Sistema Huronia Music Academy are presented with a cheque for $2,650 on behalf of the charity)

 The Township of Tiny held its 2019 Annual Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament and Dinner on Friday, September 13, 2019 at the Brooklea Golf and Country Club.  More than $50,000 was raised to support the following 17 local charities:

  • Angels with Backpacks  • Huronia Seniors’ Volunteer Care Team  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe  • MTM Conservation Association  • Boys and Girls Clubs of North Simcoe  • Scientists in School  • Chigamik Community Health Centre  • Sistema Huronia Music Academy  • Community Reach  • Township of Tiny Bursary Program  • Crime Stoppers of Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka  • We Are The Villagers  • Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre  • Wendat Community Programs  • Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation  • Quest Art School & Gallery  • Huronia Community Foundation 

On Monday, September 30, 2019, the Township of Tiny Council held the official cheque presentation ceremony. During the Regular Meeting of Council, Mayor Cornell and members of Council presented each of the charities with their designated proceeds from the tournament.   

 Mayor Cornell, on behalf of Council, recognized the organizing committee, volunteers and staff for coordinating this successful event and thanked the many generous sponsors and participants for helping to support the 17 local charities that provide vital services to our community. To view moments from the Official Cheque Presentations, please visit our website or Facebook page using the links below:

Website: www.tiny.ca/EventPhotos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TownshipofTiny 

To watch the cheque presentations, visit www.tiny.ca/LiveStream.

 

Springwater Township celebrates Small Business Week with local business owners

Township of Springwater / October 24, 2019 – The Township of Springwater joins Canadian communities coast to coast from October 20 to 26 in celebration of Small Business Week.

As part of Small Business Week, nearly 50 local entrepreneurs gathered at the Elmvale Community Arena on October 24 to attend the 3rd annual Business Breakfast. The breakfast brought together Springwater business owners to learn about economic development initiatives in the municipality and network with their peers.

Representatives from the County of Simcoe Economic Development Office and Elmvale BIA were on hand to speak to attendees about ongoing initiatives and upcoming events related to subsidies, resources and business opportunities. Presentations included information on the County of Simcoe’s In-Market Special Project Fund, “Made in Simcoe County” campaign, LINX transit system, and more.

“The Business Breakfast celebrates our vibrant business community and enables business owners to network, share success stories, and learn about available support programs and partners in the region,” said Mayor Don Allen. “When businesses succeed, our economy grows and jobs are created. We will continue to prioritize economic development to assist new and existing businesses grow and develop in Springwater.”

At the breakfast, attendees were reminded of the Township’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP is a grant program that supports and incentivizes new development and private sector investment within the municipality. Grants are available to local businesses across eight separate program areas—from signage and exterior improvements to interior renovations, fee rebates, accessibility upgrades and more. All business owners in the community are encouraged to take advantage of the CIP program to support their renovation and development efforts. Funding is still available and applications are accepted year-round. For more information on the CIP program, visit springwater.ca/CIP.

Quick Facts

Since the Township introduced the Community Improvement Plan in 2017, over $23,000 has been approved in grant funding to help local businesses.

The Township developed its first Economic Development Marketing Plan in 2018, which achieved a MarCom Gold Award for Public Sector Marketing.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) estimates that 98% of Canadian businesses are small businesses, with the top three industries being construction, retail trade and professional services.

 

Doug Downey MPP

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween last night.

Monday was our fist day back in the house as a new session began in Queens Park. While I thoroughly enjoyed having the extra time to spend meeting organizations and constituents in the riding, I am also excited to be back working for the province in both the house and in the Ministry.

My primary role is MPP for the constituents of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, but I also have a secondary role as Attorney General, which has proven to be a diverse and interesting portfolio. We are hard at work in the Ministry improving services and updating processes in a wide variety of sectors.

We recently announced that starting on January 1st; the maximum claim filed in small claims court will be increased from $25,000 to $35,000. This small change will benefit Ontarians greatly, and alleviate pressure on our justice system.

Small claims cases are often resolved in less than a year and now rather than be forced to hire a lawyer, claimants can work with paralegals, law students or represent themselves. This will free up time and space in the Superior Court of Justice - one of the busiest courts in Canada - where litigation can take years and can involve expensive legal representation.

Throughout the fall, we will be continuing to consult victim’s service providers and community partners on how we can better deliver services. Ontarians must have access to adequate support in a timely manner when their lives have been shattered, and we are going to work to ensure that is the case for victims across the province.

These are just a few examples of the many things we are working on in the Ministry. It will be a busy end to the year as we work hard both there, and in the house, to improve Ontario’s systems and services. I will still be working in the riding frequently and am excited to continue representing the people of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. 

 

Mayor Don’s Update - by Don Allen

Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment

The Township of Springwater Fire & Emergency Services is recruiting for volunteer firefighters. There are four active fire stations in Springwater in Midhurst, Minesing, Hillsdale and Elmvale with over 90 volunteer firefighters. We urge residents to serve our community when help is needed the most and make a lifesaving difference. Applications will be accepted until November 5, 2019. Visit springwater.ca/careers to apply and for more information.

Winter Parking Restrictions

Winter is coming and so are winter parking restrictions from November 1 to March 31. No parking is allowed on Township roads between these dates from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. so that snow removal crews can operate effectively. Please remove items from the end of your driveway such as basketball and hockey nets so that they don’t interfere with snowplows. The Township clears snow and ice from nearly 430 km of road and 25 km of sidewalk. The County of Simcoe is responsible for maintaining all County roads.

Town Hall and Dinner – Grenfel

The Township of Springwater invites community members to the next Town Hall meeting in Grenfel on November 21, 2019. This is your chance to chat with municipal staff and members of Council, learn more about important initiatives and projects in your neighbourhoods, and ask questions. Watch for more details in the mail or online on the Township’s website. 

Also, Grenfel church will ne holding its fall dinner and police choir on November 24th starting at 4:30pm.

Midhurst Arts & Crafts Home Tour

The Midhurst Arts & Crafts Tour returns for its 30th year on November 23 and 24, 2019. This self-guided tour through the village of Midhurst gives visitors a taste of local culture and art. With ten stops, artists open their homes and workshops to visitors wanting to explore at their own pace. Grab a friend, hop in your car and visit as many stops as you want! As always, the Midhurst Arts & Crafts Home Tour features a Tea Room at the Midhurst United Church. Delicious sandwiches and treats along with tea and coffee are served on Saturday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.). Visit midhurstartsandcrafts.com for the guide map and participating artists.

CP Holiday Train

The CP Holiday Train will be returning to Springwater again this year on November 29 at 12:15 p.m. Each year, this annual tradition brings talented artists to perform a free show out of the CP train boxcar and encourages attendees to open their cupboards and wallets to stock shelves at local Food Banks. Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo will be performing at this year’s event, located at Wenden Court and Anne Street North. We hope to see you and your family there!

Official Plan Review Meeting

A Public Meeting regarding the Official Plan Review will be held on December 5 at the Township Administration Centre. Review of the informational display boards starts at 6:30 p.m. and the Council Meeting will follow at 7 p.m. The purpose of this Public Meeting is to identify the various changes to Provincial Policy and the County Official Plan and summarize the policy recommendations rising from the Discussion Paper and Growth Management Strategy, all of which provide the basis for the Township’s Official Plan Review. These documents can be found at springwater.ca/OPR.

A more informal Open House will be held by the Township of Springwater on November 14, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Springwater Administration Centre.  This Open House allows community members to learn more about the Official Plan Review prior to the statutory meeting. A brief presentation will be provided by staff at approximately 7:15 p.m. after which stakeholders are encouraged to view information boards and discuss the project with staff members on an informal one-on-one basis. 

We’d like your input to identify policies of the Official Plan which may be revised through the review process. Input received from the public will be considered in the Official Plan Review. Read the full notice in this issue of the Springwater News for more details.

2020 Budget

The 2020 Budget is expected to be initially tabled on November 20, 2019. Four public Council Meetings will be held to consider the budget throughout November and December. During these sessions, staff will present draft budget details to Council and the public for their consideration and comment. The public is invited to attend these meetings or watch from home at springwater.ca/live. Council approves the Township of Springwater's budget on an annual basis. The capital budget covers building and rebuilding things such as roads, municipal facilities, or buying new vehicles. The operating budget covers the daily expenses of delivering municipal services, such as salaries and wages, supplies and energy costs.

Backyard Chickens

Public consultation regarding the potential allowance of backyard chickens in Springwater is ongoing. Share your take on this matter by completing the survey online at springwater.ca/chickens or in person at the Township Administration Centre or any library branch. 

Be sure to attend our public Open House on November 7, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Township Administration Centre (2231 Nursery Road, Minesing) to discuss the topic with staff and neighbours, and provide comment.

Free AED/CPR Training with SaveStation

Thank you to the community members who have joined us at our free CPR/AED training. There are still more sessions this November in Hillsdale, Phelpston, Midhurst, Minesing, and Grenfel/Centre Vespra. Sessions run approximately for two hours to give residents more information about the Township’s new SaveStation units and hands-on experience with AEDs (defibrillators). Learn to save a life and register for training at savestation.ca/township-of-springwater.

The County of Simcoe will also host their full certification program at the Elmvale Community Hall on November 16, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. This training is free with a donation to the local Food Bank. Register for this session at simcoe.ca/CPR.

The comments here reflect my perspective and do not necessarily represent those of the whole of Council.

Check out my recent radio interview reviewing current Springwater news items with Rock95 and 107.5 KOOL FM news director Dan Blakeley. See https://barrie360.com/springwater-update/

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 705-728-4784 Ext. 2013 to set a time to meet or reach me directly at 705-302-4253. We can also stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MayorDonAllen and review updates on www.donallen.ca.

 

How State of Affairs in Honduras Directly Relate to Edwin Espinal and Political Prisoners’ Freedom

New York Trial Results of Tony Hernandez, Brother of President

On October 18, 2019, Juan Antonio ‘Tony” Hernandez, the brother of the illegal president Juan Orlando Hernandez, was found guilty. Tony Hernandez faces a minimum sentence of 40 years to three life sentences on four counts of drug and weapons trafficking and lying to federal authorities:

The 12-member NY jury took 8.5 hours of deliberation to deliver their ‘guilty’ verdict to the court. Since President Hernandez is implicated in the drug and weapons trafficking in connection with his brother Tony, his continual lying to US federal authorities and to the Honduran people, most believe that is only a matter of time for Juan Orlando Hernandez be either taken out of power or for him to resign. Further information can be found at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/world/americas/honduras-president-brother-drug-trafficking.html

President Hernandez Implicated in Recent Murders

Yet the president’s back is against the wall for he has been implicated in a murder this past weekend which occurred in the El Pozo maximum-security prison located in the northern city of Santa Barbara. Another murder under suspicious circumstances recently occurred in La Tolva maximum-security prison (where Edwin and Raul were held for over 17 months).

Many believe the El Pozo murder was the result of the president being involved in evidence tampering and in the commissioning of the crime. Prisoner Magdaleno Meza was brutally murdered by inmates inside El Pozo, and according to a lawyer in Honduras, he was killed so that he could not testify against Juan Orlando Hernandez and other Honduran authorities linked to Tony Hernandez’ drug trafficking operation. Meza was arrested with drug ledgers that implicated Juan Orlando and Tony in running drugs through Honduras to the United States. He could therefore be used as a star witness against the president and others in the government. https://twitter.com/salvapresidente/status/1188635583008129028?s=11

In early October, a Honduran authority also reported that Meza was offered a transfer out of El Pozo in exchange for denying evidence that severely implicated the president: https://twitter.com/notibomba/status/1188606211123564549?s=11 For some reason, his transfer did not materialize to prevent his recent death.

In the above video of the Meza maximum-security prison murder, why were prison and military guards there as spectators? In almost all instances, I have witnessed the fact that prisoners are moved throughout the facilities accompanied by heavily armed guards; they are mostly hand and foot cuffed. In the Meza murder, this crime was committed under the watch of armed prison authorities. In the La Tolva killing, the murderer was accompanied by a group of inmates as they approached the targeted prisoner but no guards were in sight. After the gunman shot his victim, prison guards sauntered in slowly and took some time to act.

In all my previous visits to La Tolva Prison, I was subjected to pat downs and was forced to pass through the scanners. All visitors, diplomats, prison authorities, and prison guards must go through a rigorous scanning process. No personal items are allowed – purses, wallets, keys and other personal items must be left at the front gate. So how did the handguns pass through this process to get into the hands of the murderers? They most certainly were brought in by someone who was under direct orders to do so. Both shootings were very suspiciously planned and executed.

Another important question is why the video taping of the murders inside the prisons were released to social media? Were these videos published as a fear tactic or released intentionally for other unknown reasons?

Still No Comment from the Canadian Government

Despite these recent events that clearly implicate JOH in drug trafficking and murder, the Canadian government remains silent and continues to ‘do business as usual’ in Honduras. As far as our government is concerned, economics overrides the rule of law and human rights.

How this Directly Relates to Edwin Espinal and all Political Prisoners’ Cases

Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez await an appeal decision brought forward in late August by the public prosecutor who has made a motion that they be sent back to prison. As the judicial system is directly controlled by JOH the narco-dictator, the two men could very well be sent back to prison, despite lack of evidence and a ruling for release issued in August by a lower court. Fellow political prisoner Gustavo Caceres still awaits trial, which recently was pushed ahead to mid-November. Even though there is lack of concrete evidence against him as well - Gustavo was merely arrested for being near a protest - he now is the longest standing political prisoner. Gustavo also suffers from an intellectual disability; he cannot speak, read, or write. His incarceration is totally unjust and inhumane. 

Edwin, Raul, Gustavo, and eight others are political pawns in JOH’s game of corruption and narco-trafficking. When the president falls, we trust that a new interim government will grant immunity to the men. In the meantime, Edwin works on his construction project, is a host to Canadian and other international human rights visitors, and is trying to return to a ‘normal’ life. Karen continues her human rights work with the Honduras Solidarity Network.

Will Canada Now Take a Stand?

As our new Canadian Parliament opens in December, will human rights be on the agenda? Since Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will present the SCHRM paper petition regarding the release of all political prisoners and the charges against them be dropped, May will bring the discussion to the House that brings to light the impunity, corruption, and human rights violations occurring in Honduras and in Central America at large. She will demand the Canadian government to take a stand on these issues.

But in the meantime, the international community awaits the fate of the illegal, narco-trafficking president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and hopes for the timely usurping of his presidency. This will bring some stability to the country. For those officials in high places in the Honduran government who have operated with impunity and lack of concern for their people, the anticipation is that they will also fall in disgrace.

Karen and Edwin both have faith that they can leave this political nightmare behind and travel to Canada in the very near future.

Janet Spring and the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor Committee