Simcoe-Grey’s Member of Provincial Parliament says a wind energy company’s donations to the provincial Liberal Party appeared to influence the approval of the company’s project in Clearview Township. During Wednesday’s question period, Jim Wilson laid out the timeline between WPD Canada’s court application last July to force the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to make a decision on the company’s Fairview Wind project renewable energy application, and a $6,000 donation made to the Liberal Party during the Simcoe North by-election period in September. “Every time it looked like the project was in jeopardy, a donation was made to the Liberal Party of Ontario,” Wilson claimed in the Ontario Legislature. “These facts … only reinforce the need for a public inquiry. “Does the minister seriously expect the people in my riding to believe that these donations had nothing to do with his approval (of the project).” READ MORE: READ MORE: The project was approved by the ministry in February. Six parties, including the County of Simcoe, the Town of Collingwood, and Clearview Township, have stepped forward to appeal the decision, and a hearing before the Environmental Review Tribunal is scheduled to begin May 16. Wilson also connected other donations by WPD to points when the company’s application was working through the process. As detailed in a , WPD has donated nearly $14,000 to the Liberals between 2011 and 2015. In an interview with Simcoe.com on Wednesday, Wilson noted the reference to a public inquiry was in regards to the political campaign financing issue in general, especially in light of revelations that Liberal government ministers had been assigned fundraising quotas, the ability for corporations and unions to donate, and the amounts that are allowed to be donated. However, said Wilson, he was concerned about the apparent pattern of events with regard to the WPD donations. “There’s a perception (of influence),” Wilson said. “It doesn’t pass the smell test. Each time the government made a move, then WPD made a donation.” WPD Canada spokesperson Kevin Surette acknowledged company representatives have attended “some fundraising events in the past few years.” However, he added, support or opposition to renewable energy in the Collingwood area is not based along party lines. “Consider the opposition to our project by Tim Murphy, a member of the advisory board for the proposed business park, and chair of the Ontario Liberal Fund, the organization responsible for raising funds for the Liberal Party,” Surette pointed out in an email in response for comment to Wilson’s statements in the Legislature In his response in the Legislature, MOECC minister Glen Murray denied there was a connection, noting those decisions were made at a “director’s-level decision, which I do not and cannot interfere with.” Murray suggested the inference the company’s donations had anything to do with the approval of the renewable energy application “is just really, really, really low. “I’ve been in public life municipally and provincially, and I’ve conducted myself to a very high personal standard,” Murray told the Legislature. To the issue of the current system of political donations in Ontario, Wilson said, “it’s a pattern. “We’ve been bringing up example after example after example, to the point where it’s ridiculous,” he said. “There’s too much of a blur between the Liberal Party of Ontario, and the government of Ontario.” Wilson noted in particular the Green Energy Act, and the government taking away the ability of municipalities to approve renewable energy projects. “The way the Liberals have gone about it is very fishy,” he said. “Why would they continue with bad public policy unless they weren’t benefiting by staying in power and getting the financial resources that are required to stay in power?”
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CLEARVIEW TWP. – Seeing a crowd gather around the new Dutch-Canadian tulip garden at Fountain Park in Stayner was meaningful for Janny Kriens. "I was raised during World War Two in the Netherlands and when that happened things were very, very tough. I always remember the last day when the war was over and the Canadian boys were the ones who liberated us," she said with a tear in her eye. "Even now it’s still very emotional. Every year I goes to things like this. It means a lot," she said. The Wasaga Beach resident moved to Canada 60 years ago. In 1945, The Netherland Royal family gave 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada as a way of saying thank you for helping to liberate the national from the Nazis and for the shelter provided to the royal family in Canada. Now, 70 years later, communities all across Canada have planted Dutch-Canadian Tulip Gardens to keep the spirit alive. The 139 gardens are symbolically linked to a 70th anniversary garden planted in Ottawa. Bulbs were donated by Vesey’s bulbs and 700 bulbs were planted by the Stayner Horticultural Society volunteers last fall at Fountain Park, downtown on the south side of Hwy. 26. Past president Judy Hutton said the red and white bulbs bloomed just in time for Friday’s opening ceremony, as only two days prior hardly any of the white bulbs had opened. "Today they are just perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better day," she said. Beyond red and white representing the colours of the Canada flag, Hutton said red represents blood and white represents peace of the war. Grade 9 student Olivia Walker read her poem Today we Remember at the opening ceremony, that won her Royal Canadian Legion award. "It’s a huge historical event and it’s a huge honour for Stayner to have something like this within our community. It was huge honour back in World War Two when the Dutch government sent the bulbs to Canada for their gratitude for what we accomplished," she said. Walker will also be going to Vimy, France next April with other high school students for the 100th anniversary of the First World War battle, where Canadians fought for and won control of land under German occupation. SCI principal Janice Ellerby said students planted 700 tulip bulbs at the school last fall in a new garden near the entrance. "This is part two of our tulip celebration here in Stayner." Students from SCI as well as Clearview Meadows and Byng elementary schools did a community clean up around Stayner Friday before the ceremony as a goodwill gesture. Art students also painted many pairs of wooden shoes displayed around the fountain for the garden opening. Mayor Chris Vanderkruys’s family also emigrated from Holland and he still has family there. Wearing wooden clogs, Vanderkruys came to the ceremony with a huge bowl of home-baked Oliebollen or Dutch doughnuts. He told the crowd he was proud of the community in its work to put in the tulip gardens. Simcoe Grey MPP Jim Wilson thanked the members of the armed forces and the Royal Canadian Legion for their work in the defence of the country and the liberty we now enjoy. "This new Dutch Canadian Friendship Garden is a great symbol of the strong relationship and the history between Canada and the Netherlands," he said. Many Dutch families immigrated to Canada after the end of the Second World War and have made many contributions to Canadian society, he added. email@example.com
An old farmhouse was destroyed by fire Wednesday in Ramara Township, resulting in about $150,000 in damages. Fire Chief Dave McCarthy said no one was home at the time of the blaze, which happened at 4900 Sideroad 5. "It was completely engulfed in flames by the time we got there," McCarthy said. "All we were able to do was fight the fire from outside. It was quite stubborn and the roads were slippery from the snow, so we had to take our time." The fire was reported by a neighbour at about 5:30 p.m. The neighbour went up to the house and knocked on the door, but nobody answered, McCarthy said. Police later contacted the landlord, who was able to reach the tenant to ensure his safety. Crews brought the fire under control a couple of hours after arriving, but the roof had collapsed. To make sure the fire was completely out, an excavator was brought it to knock down the rest of the house. The cause of the fire remains undetermined, but McCarthy said it did not seem suspicious in nature and that the fire department’s investigation is complete. firstname.lastname@example.org twitter.com/chromartblog
MIDLAND – Police issued a warning this week after a man received a call from an individual claiming to be a representative of Windows. The caller told the man he wanted to gain access to his computer in order to fix it. He also indicated his company works closely with the Midland Police Service. Not owning a Windows-based system, the man immediately became suspicious. “It is a scam,” Insp. Ron Wheeldon stated in a press release. “The Midland Police Service does not work with any third-party companies with respect to any aspect of police investigation that would be calling on our behalf.” Anyone with suspicions about the legitimacy of a call can report it to police by calling 705-526-2202.
TAY TOWNSHIP – An Oro-Medonte Township man faces a drug charge after being stopped at a RIDE patrol Sunday night. OPP at the corner of Vasey and Rumney roads stopped a black, Ford F150 just after 10 p.m. An officer smelled marijuana when speaking to the truck’s two occupants, and a small amount of marijuana was located inside by police. A 19-year-old man was charged with drug possession. He has a Midland court date in June.
Two people have been arrested and charged in connection with an April 2 stabbing in Barrie. A 22-year-old Barrie man is charged with robbery with a weapon, forcible confinement, aggravated assault and a probation violation. A Barrie woman, age 28, is charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, robbery with a weapon and a probation violation. Both were scheduled for bail hearings Monday morning. City police were called to 14 Worsley St. just after 3 p.m. on April 2 about a suspected stabbing. When officers arrived, police say the victim was located and had been walking north on Worsley Street suffering from a stab wound to the abdominal area. He was taken Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and received a few stitches. Police believe the 40-year-old victim had been stabbed and robbed by a male known to him while leaving the building. The suspect fled the area on foot and left the knife behind, police said.
The staff at Sunflow Solar is ready to help you make the shift to solar. The Barrie business is just one of the more than 100 vendors taking part in this weekend’s Barrie Spring Home Show. The event, presented by MBM shows, takes over the Barrie Molson Centre Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. “This is a good year for people to go solar,” Sunflow’s Joshua Doerksen said. “Solar is getting simpler and the technology is getting better. We are here to educate people on the solar options available, whether it’s Net Metering, microFIT or Off Grid.” Sunflow’s Brandon Davenport said representatives will be on hand at the home show to answer questions, but he also encourages you to visit sunflowsolar.ca. “The website fully explains all the options in a language people can understand,” he said. “People are still saying, ‘Oh, it’s hard to imagine a country running only on solar,’ but Germany is 50-per-cent solar. Canada is behind. It’s time we catch up.” Sunflow offers customized systems that match with each person’s home. The process starts with the customer sitting down with an environmental agent such as Kat Templelaar. “I come to your home and we go over every detail,” she said. “Every solar power system is different which is why we make it a personal experience. You don’t need to be an expert. We will guide you through the entire process.” Aside from solar, the Barrie Spring Home Show will feature services and products such as roofing, climate control, sod, flooring, lighting, landscaping, health and wellness, plumbing and wood craft. Whether you need to buy windows, paint your house or get a new garage door, the Spring Home show has a vendor for you. SEE THE SHOW • When: April 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Where: Barrie Molson Centre • Cost: Free admission • Info:
(SUBMITTED) – Registration is now open for summer school. Each year, the Simcoe County District School Board offers a variety of summer programs to more than 2,000 students. Summer school options include a Grade 7-9 math preparation program and math, science and English credit recovery courses for students in Grade 9 and 10. Grade 10 – 12 full credit courses are offered in a traditional classroom or online. These free courses are available at locations throughout Simcoe County. Interested students can also travel and earn credits with the summer EduTravel program or experience camp at the YMCA’s Geneva Park location while earning leadership credits. “Our summer school options give students the opportunity to get closer to achieving their academic goals,” said Hanne Nielsen, the board’s principal of Adult and Continuing Education. “Classes include traditional face-to-face classroom instruction, as well as online learning, travel opportunities and leadership training. Students have an opportunity to find a course that is right for them.” Summer school program details and locations (as well as registration information for non-SCDSB students) can be found on The Learning Centres website, www.thelearningcentres.com. Students can also get information from their local elementary or secondary school, or from any of the SCDSB’s Learning Centres.
Simcoe County District School Board students took home 93 awards from the , held April 1 and 2. Young scientists in Grades 4 to 12 competed in the event held at Bear Creek Secondary School. Two grand awards were handed out. The Best of Human and Health Sciences award went to Minoosh Fathi from Bear Creek Secondary School for Refueling with Sugar. The Best of Physical and Mathematical Sciences award went to Ryan Madden, also from Bear Creek, for Magneto-Hydrodynamic Drive. Fathi and Maddeb have qualified to compete at the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF), taking place in May in Montreal. Two SCDSB junior competitors will also travel to the CWSF as members of Team Ontario.
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