Political Opinions

Patrick Brown
Lately we’ve heard a lot of Wynne Liberal spin suggesting that hydro rates in Ontario are coming down, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ontario’s electricity rates are still among the fastest rising in North America, and they’re only going to keep soaring under Kathleen Wynne’s watch.

In fact, bills could be going up as soon as January 1st, 2018. Hydro One recently applied to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for yet another rate increase, meaning some Ontario families could see their bills going up by $141 a year. This rate increase is coming on the heels of Hydro One giving their CEO a nearly $4 million raise

The Ontario PCs have been protesting this proposed rate hike at OEB hearings across the province. We even challenged the Energy Minister to attend a hearing in his own riding to justify this rate hike, but he refused.

We knew all along that Kathleen Wynne would raise hydro rates after the next election, but even we didn’t think she’d raise them before the next election!

The reason this is happening is because the Wynne Liberals refuse to address the root causes of Ontario’s hydro crisis. Previously the Liberals handed out contracts for expensive, unreliable wind and solar power because 30 companies donated $1.3 million to the Ontario Liberals. All of these contracts were for power we don’t need.

Now we’re seeing the real results of Liberal waste and mismanagement on the hydro file.

Earlier this month, the Ontario PC Caucus revealed alongside the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers that the Wynne Liberals wasted 7.6 terawatt-hours of clean electricity last year – the equivalent of powering 760,000 homes for a year, or wasting $1 billion worth of electricity. This represents a 58 per cent increase from the 4.8 terawatt-hours of electricity wasted in 2015.

While the Liberals handed out green energy contracts to their friends and donors, they continued to ignore Ontario’s abundant source of natural clean energy – hydroelectric power.

Now generating stations are spilling water, as ratepayers are on the hook for massive wind and solar contracts. And, the Wynne Liberals continue to push forward with the signing of even more of these costly contracts.

An Ontario PC Government would immediately stop signing new contracts. You can take our word for it, because we aren’t beholden to the same donors.

We would also get to work in addressing Ontario’s oversupply.

If your family is being hurt by unaffordable electricity rates, I’d love to hear your story. Please feel free to reach out to my constituency office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Katy Austin

’m sorry I missed all the celebrations on Canada Day.  I was on holiday in Scotland.  Congratulations to the Elmvale BIA for all the work that went into its third annual Vintage Day celebrations and to George Allen and the EDHS Shared Facility Project for its event as well.

Friends of Simcoe County Forests would love to connect with any local community groups interested in working with them tidying up local forests in the Township. They can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

On June 21, Council approved changes to its procedural by-law regarding flag flying.  The Fierté Pride Simcoe flag will be raised at the Township administration centre on Nursery Road at 12:30 on Monday, July 31 and continue flying for two weeks.

Springwater’s Economic Development summer student is currently updating the Township’s business inventory profile. Existing and new businesses are being contacted for updated information.  Anyone wishing to make sure her or his business is included in this inventory should contact Megan Wright at 705-728-4784 x 2084 or

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Construction on the Elmvale lift station on Queen St. W. beside the bridge is scheduled to begin next spring.

Council has now approved the details of the Community Improvement Plan.  Staff is now working on finalizing the application procedures.  Those businesses who have been waiting to improve their premises will soon have a chance to apply for financial assistance to do so.

The comments made in this article are strictly my own.  I do not speak on behalf of Council.  Contact me any time if you have concerns or suggestions: 705-796-7348, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Alex Nuttall

I hope everyone in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte enjoyed a very happy and festive Canada Day!   I had such a wonderful time travelling all over our riding, meeting new people and celebrating our great country together.  I had the privilege of discussing new ideas, and the hopes for the future of our country with many passionate, local individuals.   During these talks, the topic of accessibility seemed to come up a number of times, and I would like to take this opportunity to point out an excellent funding program, and encourage local organizations, businesses and individuals to look into this program, which is called the Enabling Accessibility Fund.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) was created in 2007 under the previous Conservative government, by then Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.   This fund supports community-based projects across Canada that are working to improve accessibility, remove barriers and enable Canadians with disabilities to participate in and contribute to their communities.  The EAF funds organizations, businesses and other eligible recipients to improve accessibility and/or safety for people with disabilities, by supporting the capital costs of renovation, construction and/or retrofit activities, and the provision of accessible technologies in workplaces and communities across Canada.

This Call for Proposals (CFP) has two funding streams: the Workplace Accessibility Stream and the Community Accessibility Stream.   I encourage you to visit the website and read the specific objectives/requirements of each stream, to determine which one would best suit your specific project.

The Community Stream includes all places accessible to the public, including places of worship, community playgrounds, and community associations that provide events and programs for the public, such as senior centers, NGOs and other service organizations. 

The Workplace Accessibility Stream is meant to provide funding for small projects that improve accessibility and/or safety for people with disabilities in workplaces across Canada. 

All of the pertinent details are found on the EAF website under Employment and Social Development Canada, including the application and guide.


I hope everyone in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte enjoys the rest of this beautiful month.  Wishing you all the best!



The Mayor’s View

I hope you had a fantastic Canada Day and celebrated our 150th!


Summer Schedule

In July and August Council Meetings are only once a month on the first Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in our Council Chambers. Check the Township website and calendar for any special meetings. We return to our normal Council Meeting schedule the first Wednesday of September. The hazy, lazy days of summer provide a great opportunity to relax and maybe take a walk, a bike ride or even a leisurely canoe ride in one of our streams. Springwater abounds with natural beauty so get out and enjoy it, even if it’s a car ride through the country side. Stop by the side of the road and give a wave to our farmers working tirelessly in their fields in what can only be considered a challenging growing season. Have a great summer and enjoy yourself with family and friends.


Canada 150

Springwater’s celebration of Canada’s 150th is more than a one day event. We continue to receive rave reviews from those that attended our Springwater Celebrates 150 Event on June 24th. We are discussing the possibilities of this event becoming an annual celebration held one week prior to the July 1st weekend. As mentioned, our local hall boards are staging their own special celebrations. Midhurst had a great event recently. Phelpston staged its annual Canada Day Fireworks and it was great as usual. Elmvale staged its vintage days with entertainment and activities on the main street and in the community centre parking lot. Also on Canada Day a fundraising concert, with proceeds going to the Community Building Fund for EDHS, was hosted at the arena and it was well attended. We thank those people that dropped by and made a pledge. Following that event, I suspect the community fund raising has achieved its $200,000 goal but they plan to keep at it and with any extra funds they will propose further amenities to make EDHS a truly vibrant community hub for Elmvale and area. Congratulations to the local fund raising committee for a job well done. For all the Canada 150 events coming up, check out our website for a calendar of events and join us.


EDHS Commencement

Even though it is an annual passage, I am awestruck at the quality of graduates that come from this important community institution. What impresses me most is the well thought out career paths these young people are pursuing. If the graduates are a reflection of our future leaders, we are in good shape would be my observation. We as adults have a great responsibility to provide this enthusiastic group with reasons to come back to our community and make Springwater and all of our communities the best place to live, work and play. I have to say, the valedictorian speech by David Hunter was the most interesting, entertaining and inspiring I have heard in years. We definitely need to bring this young man back to our community, as he will be one of those inspirational leaders that we will read about in years to come.


Springwater Swing Charity Golf Tournament

We are sold out for golfing but if you would like to join us for dinner and support this major township fundraiser next Monday some tickets are still available. Call the office. Proceeds go to our Community Assistance Program (CAP), Physician Recruitment and other local special needs such as the Elmvale and District Food Bank. All proceeds remain in the community. I thank the many sponsors both from the past and new ones that joined us this year for supporting us in this worthwhile cause.


Mayors Open Visiting Hours

I will continue with my open hours on Thursday afternoons from 1 to 4:00 p.m. during July and August. You can drop in and address complaints, concerns or even appreciation for what is happening in Springwater. I have had numerous people come by and in some cases we have resolved some simple issues. If nothing else I promise that you will be heard. The door is open. If you can’t make it and want to keep up to date, you can listen to my thoughts on matters of interest on our local Kool FM or Rock 95 or go to their website as they have a feature with a monthly interview with me hosted by Dan Blakely.


Keep informed and involved with Springwater by checking out our website www.springwwater.ca and especially our calendar of meetings. Tune into our live streaming of the Council Meetings at www.springwater.ca/live . Stay close to the action and read this excellent local paper, the Springwater News, and check out our regular Springwater Link and Council Corner columns. Be part of the solution and have your say.

Contact me at 705-728-4784 ext. 2040 or my cell at 416-587-7030 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on twitter @MayorFrench

A reminder these articles are my thoughts and perspectives on issues and I am but one voice on Council. These opinions may not reflect the position of other Councillors.




Dick’s Tiny Corner

by Dick Wesselo –   School’s out for Summer!  The day the last column came out was the last day for the elementary school year and for some reason, the Alice Cooper tune just pounded through my head that day. “No more pencils no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks. Out for summer, out till fall, we might not come back at all. School's out forever; School's out for summer; School's out with fever; School's out completely”.


Seasonal residents, welcome back to Tiny! Let’s hope we get some sun and that the Bay warms up a bit! The roads will be busier. Please everyone, drive carefully and let’s have a safe and enjoyable summer in Tiny.

If you plan on enjoying Tiny’s accessible parks and public beach areas, please keep the generally accepted beach protocol in mind. To avoid any controversy, assume that there is no overnight camping on the beach and that your motorized vehicles and toys, including powered watercrafts and trailers are not welcome. Common sense should tell that you don’t bring glass bottles or other breakable materials to a beach visit. In general, lighting a fire or cooking on the beaches is a no-no and it stands to reason that you take your garbage with you when you depart.  The number of voices against smoking on the beach are increasing and those voices are getting louder as well. If you have to smoke, please collect your butts.  Please keep Fido on the leash and be ready to stoop and scoop if the pooch has to do his or her business. Other than that, enjoy Tiny’s parks and accessible public beach areas! Needless to say, if the public beach area is adjacent to Private Property, respect the owners’ Privacy!


The 11-tonne floating giant yellow duck will make its Midland debut on Friday, July 21st at the Midland Town Dock. Depending on which website you look at, the quacker’s arrival is either as part of “Harbour Days festivities” or “Ontario 150 Tour & Feast Fest”. At least the dates for this event are consistent, July 21st-23rd. A gentle reminder to all of you who are upset about the cost of staging this duck’s arrival, there is no inflatable yellow duck hunting allowed in North Simcoe.


I had to chuckle in a weird kind of way the other day when I read the insert from the Ontario Government about Ontario’s fair hydro plan. The insert was included with the last Hydro One bill received. The first bullet point reads that “Electricity bills would be lowered by 25 per cent on average for residential consumers”. Read that last line again: “would be lowered”??. Not a big deal if you missed the “would be” the first time, there are 5 more “would be’s” on the insert altogether. The reduction “could have been” perhaps if there not been an application to the Ontario Energy Board for a rate increase. What the number now will be we’re not really sure of yet and rather than committing to a number we hope you only read and remember the “lowered by 25 per cent”. This probably sounds a bit facetious. However, Kathleen Wynn and crew, please call a spade a spade, never mind the politics.  Hydro costs are a hardship for many these days. Time to quit playing games. Don’t word advertising in such a way that another party or entity can be blamed when the advertised 25% does not materialize. Patrick Brown, our local MPP told a gathering the other day that he expects another 60% increase in Hydro costs in the very foreseeable future. Please dear readers, don’t be fooled by Ms. Wynn’s antics.


In case you missed the announcement on June 27, Ms. Gail Hunt was appointed as the Georgian Bay General Hospital’s new President and CEO effective September 11, 2017. The announcement states that Ms. Hunt was the CEO at “Services de santé de Chapleau Health Services” for 15 years “where she led and was responsible for all hospital operations including, Emergency Services, Long-term Care, Community Mental Health, Addictions, Senior’s Mental Health, Developmental Services, Senior’s Assisted Living, Medical Clinic, Family Health Team, Community Support Services, Aging at Home Services, and Community Nurse Practitioners.

Gail brings strengths and skills in strategic leadership, hospital funding, mediation, physician relationships and project management which will be a great asset to our hospital.  Her knowledge of the Ontario healthcare system and her focus on providing quality patient care is completely aligned with the GBGH mission, vision and values.”  Welcome to North Simcoe!


A long list of summer events in Tiny:

- Festival du Loup — July 13-16, 2017, Lafontaine;

- Tiny Mayor's Charity Golf Tournament & Dinner - Friday, July 14, 2017, Brooklea Golf & Country Club. Contact Maggie Off @ 705-526-4204, ext. 271

- The Canada 150 Community BBQ - July 22, 2017, Perkinsfield Park, starting at 11AM. The re-dedication ceremony for the Perkinsfield Cross will take place during this event. To quote from the Perkinsfield School Cross Announcement: “The cross that adorned l'École catholique Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens is being presented in order to commemorate the school that once stood at what is now Perkinsfield Park from 1948 to 2000. The commemoration is to recognize the importance of the institution to the community and its location within the town. The school was one of few that serviced the French-speaking community. The cross speaks to the history of Perkinsfield as an important institution within the hamlet. Join the Heritage Advisory Committee at the Canada 150 Community BBQ on July 22, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. for the Perkinsfield School Cross announcement to celebrate the historical significance of the cross.”

- Georgian Bay Pops on Saturday, August 12. For tickets and/or information call Shelly at 705-526-1300, ext. 5338.

-  Farm Fresh Food Fest  -  August 18-20 – Crossland Road / 3rd Concession - http://www.farmfreshfoodfest.ca/

- A Fire Department Family Fun Day is to be held on August 26, 2017 between 11AM and 2PM at the Wyevale Fire Hall.

-  A celebration of Tiny’s Trails is also scheduled for the evening of August 26, 2017. This event is in the very early planning stages. Stay tuned for further information

- Town Hall Meeting - Thursday, September 14, 2017, 7 - 9 pm., Tiny Township Community Centre.

Most of these events are FREE! See what Tiny has to offer, meet some new people and enjoy the events!


In case neither the Festival du Loup nor the Tiny Mayor's Charity Golf Tournament & Dinner tickles your fancy on Friday, July 14, 2017, perhaps the Phragmites Workshop to be held at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre in Midland will do it. Learn what you can do to stop this invasive nuisance weed from taking over our shorelines, ditches and swampy areas. The workshop starts at 5:45PM and is expected to wrap up by 8:00PM. Register for this event at www.gbf.org.


One of the first items of the June 26 Committee of the Whole Agenda (CoW) was the introduction to Council of David Martin as the new Public Works Superintendent and Rachel Jaworowicz as the new Public Works Administrative Assistant. Both have experience in their respective fields and like most, they will both decide to stick around for a while. Welcome to Tiny, David & Rachel!


Two scheduled Deputations to Council were made and both will be discussed by Council during the July 10 CoW meeting. Unfortunately, because of editing and article submission due dates, I can’t report on July 10 events until the July 27 edition of this paper.

The first deputation was made by Father Tony and Father Glen Lucas on behalf of supporters of the Multi-Faith Prayer Chapel along Tiny’s Base Line. The Chapel was built from an idea that originated many years ago from within a Church Community that the North Simcoe area would benefit from a place to pray for those who do not have a place to worship regularly. The Chapel’s inside walls provide a high level philosophic overview of the world’s major religions and documentation is available to be taken away by visitors.  The Chapel was built on private property and as the lot recently changed hands, an effort is underway to find a new and permanent location for the Chapel that the Church Community would like to maintain. Bernie Leclerc Parc in Perkinsville was suggested as a possible location. It will be interesting to hear Council’s thoughts on this proposal during the July 10 CoW Meeting.

The second deputation was made by Huronia Court residents who expressed concern about emergency personnel access to residences due to illegal parking. The residents were asking for the placing of “No Stopping” signage and that “the existing "permit parking" spots in front of the 2 remaining undeveloped properties on the road” be removed.


Bill Goodale of C.C. Tatham & Associates provided an update on the merits of the Septic System Reinspection Program. Several pictures of their findings were shown to Council. Broken tank lids and invading tree roots comprise the majority of their findings. Mr. Goodale also illustrated how concrete can disintegrate. My notes of the technical explanation were in retrospect not clear and the following explanation of the phenomena was obtained from the internet: “The decomposition of concrete depends on the porosity of the cement paste, on the concentration of the acid, the solubility of the acid calcium salts (CaX2) and on the fluid transport through the concrete. Insoluble calcium salts may precipitate in the voids and can slow down the attack. Acids such as nitric acid, hydrochloric acid and acetic acid are very aggressive as their calcium salts are readily soluble and removed from the attack front. Acids such as phosphoric acid and humic acid are less harmful as their calcium salt, due to their low solubility, inhibit the attack by blocking the pathways within the concrete such as interconnected cracks, voids and porosity. Sulphuric acid is very damaging to concrete as it combines an acid attack and a sulfate attack.”  Apparently, chemical coatings are increasingly used to reduce the breakdown of concrete in sceptic tanks.  Google “sulfuric acid effect on concrete” for further information.


Another Closed Session was held to deal with Report PWR-017-17, dated June 26, 2017, from Tim Leitch, Director of Public Works in regard to “A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality”. The matter was deferred to the July 10, 2017 Regular Meeting of Council pending further information from staff.


Procurement By-law 04-139 had to be waived in order to “sole source” the leasing of tabulators from Dominion Voting Systems for the upcoming 2018 Municipal Election. The system has a Vote-By-Mail Ballot Scanning Tabulation System, which includes an ImageCast Ballot Marker Device to avoid the counting of duplicate ballots. The Township of Tay has opted for this system as well and joint training with Tay is provided as a cost reduction measure. The contract covers the next two election cycles which resulted in significant savings as well.


The Public Works Department included the Moreau Parkway Subdivision Drainage Improvement project in their 2017 Capital Budget to address residents' concerns about drainage issues within the Subdivision. Tiny’s request for a Grant has been approved by both the Federal and Provincial Governments. Without this funding, the Public Works Department would not be able to complete the project in 2017. Specific plans will be developed and project tenders will go out shortly.


ATV use on Tiny’s Municipal Lands and Roads has been an ongoing project now for over 2 years. An ATV use Pilot Proposal finally came to Council on June 26. The pilot project presented is a far cry from what originally was proposed. In spite of the support the County offers and the success of the ATV use program in Severn and Wasaga Beach, Tiny continues to be hesitant. Councillor Wishart remains very vocal in his opposition, citing numerous things that possibly could happen once ATV use would be allowed in the Township. The same things that could happen with ATV’s, could happen with snowmobiles, motorbikes, cars and anything else motorized. Tiny’s roads accommodate a multitude of transportation modes.  When a trail is designated as multi-use, the trail needs to be shared and every user must do his or her part.  Common sense is the overriding commodity. Yahoos are on the roads and on the trails, regardless of the user’s choice of transportation. Education and enforcement is key. Wishart voted against the motion that will see a trial run go ahead. Stay tuned for additional information!


The Fire Department responded to 24 emergency response call-outs during the month of May 2017. The total number of Fire Department Inspections by Occupancy Type are up by 25% when compared to last year, largely due to “follow-up” inspections. Medical Emergency call-outs are down year-to-date and false fire alarms continue to be problematic. The Lafontaine Firehall showed a significant drop in call-outs.


That’s it for this week folks. Please do not forget to "LIKE" or "FRIEND" Dick's Tiny Corner's Facebook Page for additional Tiny and area news as it happens. And remember, I am not a member of Tiny Council and all opinions expressed in this column are mine and mine alone. Readers can contact me at 705-549-8383 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..