Correcting The Record

Former Springwater councillor, (1994-2000), Paul Fleming made a presentation to Springwater council on June 25, 2012, that was filled with innuendo and factual errors about the Midhurst Secondary Plan. We would like to correct record. All of the below points can be verified in the public domain:

ON Nature apologizes to Geranium

Ontario Nature, a charitable organization that publishes ON Nature magazine, has apologized to Geranium Corporation, one of the partners in the Midhurst Landowners Group, for an article published in the summer issue of the magazine. The following apology is posted on the ON Nature website (http://onnaturemagazine.com/correction.html) and will run in the fall issue of ON Nature.


Midhurst First Refutes Fleming Allegations
  • Mr. Fleming fails to acknowledge the level and intensity of technical analysis, public consultation and peer-reviewed studies that have been completed in support of the Midhurst Secondary Plan (the “MSP”) since 2003.
  • His recent opposition to the 2008 decision of council to approve the Midhurst Secondary Plan is inconsistent with the facts. The decision to approve the MSP was reached by a democratically elected council after comprehensive technical studies were completed, a full round of public consultation was carried out, and due process was followed every step of the way.
  • Mr. Fleming states that the MSP (OPA 38) was adopted “before information was available from the Environmental Assessment”. This is false. The fact is that the servicing feasibility and the preferred servicing solutions for water, wastewater and transportation were demonstrated through the municipality’s Class Environmental Assessment process prior to Council adoption.
  • The preferred servicing solutions were presented at a publicly advertised public information session held at the Midhurst United Church on August 28, 2008, well before the secondary plan was adopted in November 2008.
  • The preferred servicing solutions were also provided for review and comment to numerous government agencies, including but not limited to:

    • The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
    • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
    • Ministry of the Environment
    • Ministry of Natural Resources
    • Ministry of Agriculture
    • Food and Rural Affairs
    • Ministry of Economic Development and Trade
    • Ministry of Transportation
    • County of Simcoe
    • Simcoe County District School Board
    • Simcoe County Catholic District School Board
    • and neighbouring municipalities including the City of Barrie.

    The Notice of Completion for the Class EA was issued in July 2009, well before the County approved the secondary plan in October 2011.

    • The detailed design for the servicing solutions occurs through phases 3 and 4 of the Class EA. It is typical and appropriate for the detailed design of the servicing solutions to occur after the secondary plan is approved.

    Contrary to Mr. Fleming’s contention, the secondary plan was not rushed. The municipality had been working on background studies since 2003, five years before adoption.

    Contrary to his unsupported allegation that “insufficient analysis was done”, a large body of technical analysis was completed by the municipality’s experts and by MLG’s experts prior to the adoption of the Midhurst Secondary Plan and in connection with phasing investigations and subdivision applications, which have been available to the public, including:

    • Planning analyses
    • Urban design analyses
    • Transportation and traffic impact studies
    • Natural heritage studies
    • Water, wastewater and stormwater management servicing investigations
    • Surface receiving water assessment
    • Archaeological assessments
    • Agricultural assessments
    • Economic impact analyses
    • Commercial needs analyses

    Council was right to adopt the Midhurst Secondary Plan when it did because it was acting in accordance with Springwater’s own official plan, approved by the province that required a secondary plan prior to development.

Peer-Reviewed Study

Economic Implications of Phasing Options for the Midhurst Secondary Plan Area, Springwater Township Completed by Altus Group Economic Consulting, December 2009

The benefits to Springwater of the Midhurst Secondary Plan have been thoroughly analyzed and studied for many years by the Township. For example, among the analyses noted above is a study requested by the Township, completed by Altus Group Economic Consulting, entitled “Economic Implications of Phasing Options for the Midhurst Secondary Plan Area, Springwater Township,” dated December 29, 2009. This study, like other reports produced by the Landowner Group, was peer-reviewed by the Township’s expert consultants. The Altus study shows that the initial phases of development alone will bring the following positive economic benefits for the community:

  • $18.6 million annually in property taxes for the Township, County and school boards combined
  • $7 million in building permit revenues for the Township
  • $64 million in development charges for the Township
  • 3,400 new permanent job in the employment lands
  • 1,000 person years of employment in construction and related industries
  • 11,600 person years of employment constructing new homes, commercial and industrial buildings

The property tax revenues generated by the development will be available to expand and enhance municipal infrastructure and recreational and cultural facilities and services, which are important to community-building, both physically and socially.

The Township of Springwater made the decision to adopt the Midhurst Secondary Plan in accordance with its approved Official Plan and did so only after extensive study and public and agency consultation was completed. They did so considering good planning principles and the public interest.