Plan to close Clearview road stirs residents, environmental groups

A coalition of residents and environmental groups is continuing a fight against a road agreement it says was reached behind closed doors and could have a negative impact on community safety and the environment.

A group calling itself Quarry Aware — a coalition of residents and citizen groups —  is raising questions about the deal that saw what was formerly County Road 91 transferred to an aggregate company.

While the agreement between the County of Simcoe, Clearview Township and Walker Industries to transfer 91 to Walker is now more than six years old — one of the conditions of — the process of handing over and closing the road has been delayed while the township gets approvals from the Niagara Escarpment Commission to upgrade the surrounding road network.

Under the agreement, Walker would take ownership of County Road 91 west from the 10th Concession to the township boundary, and nearly $10 million would be spent in upgrades to 91 east to Duntroon — which are now complete — as well as the 10th Concession and the .

The work would largely be financed by the aggregate company.

Quarry Aware member Doug Dingeldein said the matter has been brought back to the fore because of the upcoming municipal election, citing community security and road safety issues.

“We want to put pressure on people who are running,” he said. “It’s an issue because there’s a growing awareness in the community of the implications of closing that road.

“People are stunned when they find that the road is going to be closed, they don’t believe it,: he said. “It’s been dragged on so long that people think it’s gone away, it’s dead, because nothing has happened.”

The environment is also a factor, as the agreement specifies that in closing 91, the 26/27 Sideroad — which is essentially only passable in summer — would be upgraded to year-round use; environmentalists say that would negatively affect a nearby cold-water stream used as a spawning area for brook trout.

In 2015, the NEC denied the township’s application to upgrade Sideroad 26/27 west of the 10th Line to the municipal boundary. The municipality has since made an application to amend the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP), and is challenging the NEC’s decision through the Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office (NEHO).

The NEC turned down the permit because the project did not meet the commission’s test of ‘essential’, though NEC planners had supported the application. The NEC’s decision has been backed at the tribunal by neighbours and the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust, which has party status at the NEHO hearing.

George Powell, a member of the Trust’s Watershed Action Group, said while the Trust is not affiliated with Quarry Aware, the two groups share similar goals.

Powell said the Trust wanted to see a class environmental assessment of the 26/27 proposal, “otherwise (the township) would not be in this mess.

“This is a transportation issue, but it is also an environmental issue,” he said, noting the sideroad runs through the highest point in Ontario and is the headwaters for four area streams.

Powell said several additional wetland areas along the sideroad were not documented in the original application by the township, and the Trust has asked the Minister of the Environment to suspend the hearing process.

“The initial failure by Clearview Township to carry out the appropriate level of environmental assessment remains as a serious and major problem,” Powell wrote to Minister Rod Phillips in July. In response, the ministry declined to get involved, citing the ongoing hearing process.

A status update on the township’s appeal will be held Aug. 18.

Clearview Township officials declined to comment to Quarry Aware’s position on the agreement. In an email to, the township’s communications and marketing co-ordinator Tim Hendry stated the township’s appeal of the NEC decision is ongoing, and municipal officials continue to work toward completing an amendment to the NEP.

The township is also awaiting on the NEC to approve a development permit to repave the 10th Line from 124 to north of 26/27. The township budgeted $4 million in the 2018 budget for the work; $3 million would come from Walker, while the township’s share would be funded through gas tax revenue.

Quarry Aware has asked for a traffic study to be undertaken on the area, and “none has been forthcoming,” said Dingeldein.

“We want it stopped — there are no ifs, ands, buts or maybes, we want the deal jettisoned. That’s the easiest thing,” Dingeldein said. “I don’t think the taxpayers in Clearview have a really good idea of what their council is spending on this project — spending on lawyers, planners, experts, studies, and it’s been going on a long time.”

Wasaga Beach bar will be hosting this hair-raising event

About a dozen folks will be lopping off their locks for a good cause.

A Gift of Hair Because We Care will be held at the on July 19 from 6 until 9 p.m.

Organizer Leslie Farkas said six hair donations have come through the mail, and another six people — children and adults — have lined up to get their hair cut at the event by stylists from Transformation Hair Studio. The hair will be donated to Angel Hair for Kids Foundation.

Local magician Jayden Vanderburg and musical duo the Strange Potatoes will be the entertainment, along with giant bubbles, face painting, and hair braiding.

This will be fifth time Farkas has donated his hair.

Celebrate island life and support Orillia’s Aqua Theatre

Orillia’s time-worn will benefit from an upcoming celebration of island life.

Proceeds from a Caribbean-flavoured Island Princess boat cruise on Aug. 19 will support the Rotary Club of Orillia and a revitalization of the lakeside stage.

Organizer Janice Thompson is mounting the event as a thank-you to the club and city in recognition of the positive impact the waterfront has had on her life as she contends with medical issues.

“I wanted to contribute back,” said Thompson.

A two-hour, ticketed cruise is billed as the main event during an otherwise free Jamaica Day reggae festival at Couchiching Beach Park from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The day includes Caribbean food, clothing booths, music and dancing.

“It will be mostly Bob Marley music,” Thompson added.  

The Aqua Theatre was erected at Couchiching Beach Park in 1958 by the local service club with assistance from the community.

The club and the city are working to refurbish and improve the theatre while renewing interest in it as a performance space/community hub.

In a nod to that vision, four cedar trees were recently planted along the fence next to the grassed seating area to improve viewing conditions when the sun sets during outdoor movie nights.

“That row of trees is going to be dedicated on Sept. 1 to some people that were key in getting the Aqua Theatre built,” said club president Andrew Shuttleworth.

Council approved $225,000 in the 2018 capital budget for the first phase of work, including a new slab floor, repairs to the exterior, sand blasting and painting, and a new steel roof.

Staff will seek an additional $225,000 for a second phase, including a revamped viewing area, during 2019 budget talks.

Recommendations stemming from a recent design exercise exploring proposed enhancements include a sloping roof structure and replacement of existing seats with moulded, stadium-style seating.

The recommendations have been provided to the club for consideration in their fundraising efforts.  

Tickets to the Aug. 19 cruise are $65 and include live music and dinner.

The cruise runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Island Princess office starting Aug. 15.

Wasaga Beach deputy mayor: I went to the OPP

Wasaga Beach’s deputy mayor says she took her concerns about the direction the municipality was taking to the Ontario Provincial Police in 2016.

Nina Bifolchi also said she approached the Ontario Ombudsman.

She made the comments during a July 10 special council meeting, during discussion on the non-binding letter of intent between the town and Fram Building Group.

She said she went to the OPP out of “my concern for the taxpayers, the future of our town, and the need to share information.

“The concerns I shared with them that day, and since, are now being realized,” she said.

The OPP has not yet responded to’s request for a comment.

The statement caught other councillors by surprise — with a couple of councillors demanding Bifolchi explain herself.

“Today is the first day I’ve heard the comment that the OPP anti-rackets squad has been approached … I find that quite disturbing and I’d like to get more information,” said Coun. Bill Stockwell. “I find it hard we just hear that and leave it hanging there without some further information.”

Bifolchi declined to comment further, other than to state that as a resident and a member of council, “I can go to any higher level to share concerns … I’m not accusing anybody. I took my concerns to them because I felt the need to share it with them.”

Mayor Brian Smith requested she provide “full disclosure” of her comments to the chief administrative officer “so the rest of council, staff, and the town’s legal team can review (them).

“I think it’s a very broad statement that implicates many folks, including this whole council, staff, the legal team and the developer,” he said.

Otherwise, said the mayor, comments about going to the OPP were “white noise.”

“To make an accusation that perhaps there is something underhanded happening here is quite frankly uncalled for and is irresponsible, and it is unacceptable in my personal opinion,” Smith said. “I would invite anyone to look into process to do so because I’m confident … that nothing happened (that was) underhanded. I believe wholeheartedly in what we’re doing.”

Guilty plea in Wasaga Beach stabbing death

A North York teen pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the stabbing death of another teen in Wasaga Beach on a long weekend two years ago.

Austin Zambrano-Peterson, now 20, of North York, was 18 when he was charged along with two of his teen friends with the second-degree murder of Francesco Molinaro, 18, of Bolton. In court Friday, July 20, he stood in the prisoner’s box and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

He was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter as well as robbery.

Court heard that Zambrano-Peterson was not the one who brandished the knife but played a role in the death.

The two men bumped into each other on the night of May 21, 2016, outside of the Pizza Pizza in Wasaga Beach and began punching each other.

Two of Zambrano-Peterson’s friends, 18 and 19, allegedly joined in the fight and started punching Molinaro. One of Zambrano-Peterson’s friends pulled out a knife and stabbed Molinaro seven times in the back and side, court heard. As he lay mortally wounded, the three men ran off.

An ambulance arrived almost immediately, but Molinaro died on the way to the hospital.

Police had all three teens under surveillance before they were arrested. Unaware that police were watching him, two weeks after Molinaro died Zambrano-Peterson wore a disguise and robbed a man in Oshawa.

In court, members of Molinaro’s family wept and read victim impact statements expressing their grief. He was described as a man with a wonderful smile and a big heart.

His mother told the judge she has received a life sentence and nothing will bring her son back.

Standing in the prisoner’s box in handcuffs, wearing a blue dress shirt, his neck covered with tattoos, Zambrano-Peterson was asked by the judge if he had anything to say but quietly declined to comment.

Justice Cary Boswell said there is no sentence that can take away the pain and grief that the Molinaro family is suffering.

“They are permanently scarred,” said the judge. “A young man lost his life. It doesn’t get worse than that.”

Two other accused are charged with second-degree murder and their case is still before the court.

Accused teen killer in court

A Barrie man made a brief appearance in court to face a charge of first-degree murder of a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death 12 years ago.

The man, now 28, was 16 when he allegedly killed the teen in a wooded area of Barrie March 9, 2006.

In 2010 he was found guilty of murder by a jury and sentenced to life in prison following a three-month trial, but the Ontario Court of Appeal struck the verdict and ordered a new trial.

The high court stated the youth was wrongfully arrested and not given his rights according the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The court ordered the case back for a new trial.

The victim’s mother sat in court and saw the man accused of killing her son, now a grown man, for the first time in several years.

There is a ban on publication on all identities as both the victim and accused were youths at the time.

No trial date has yet been set.


Bradford murder

A Bradford man charged with murdering his wife made a brief appearance in court Thursday, July 19.

Jose Fernandes, 57, stands charged with the first-degree murder of his 49-year-old wife, Maria Fernandes, in November 2015.

Police arrested him at his home on Colborne Street where they found his wife stabbed to death. He is expected back in court in August.

Jeff Bumstead — Tay Ward 2

For accountability, community involvement, dedication and future thinking — vote Jeff Bumstead!

I was born and raised on Concession 6, now Newton Street, south of Victoria Harbour and am very happy to be living in the same area. My wife Wendy and I raised our two children here and we are proud they experienced many activities and opportunities offered locally. Our children, now young adults, are currently pursuing career ambitions through university studies and summer employment. As an active member of the community, for over 40 years, I am very excited and eager to join municipal council and make positive decisions that affect Ward 2 and Tay Township.

My municipal employment experience includes bylaw enforcement for Tiny Township, fire prevention and community emergency management for Tay Township, and as emergency planning manager for the County of Simcoe, which provided me with valuable knowledge of municipal laws and requirements, council procedures and planning processes.

Volunteering 15-plus years as a firefighter, captain and training officer with Tay Township Station 5 Victoria Harbour Fire Department, along with volunteering, direct involvement and support of the Rotary Club of Midland, Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre, Hospice Huronia, Huronia Communities Foundation, Georgian Bay General Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Royal Victoria Hospital Radio for Cardiology, Princess Margaret Cancer Research Centre, Midland Minor Hockey, North Simcoe Girls Hockey, Victoria Harbour Minor Ball, Tay Soccer, Victoria Harbour Lions Club, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 523, St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank and the Tay Canada Day committee have helped me understand the needs of the township, its residents and the importance of volunteers and community organizations.

Currently employed as an occasional teacher with the Simcoe County District School Board and a civil servant with the Ministry of Community Service and Correctional Services, my schedule is very flexible, allowing me time to attend council meetings, committee meetings and be very involved in improving and promoting Tay Township on behalf of the residents and businesses of Ward 2. Vote Jeff Bumstead for a better Tay for everyone!

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Innisfil traffic committee changing drop-offs at Alcona Glen

Alcona Glen Elementary School mom Tara Filteau hopes a temporary fix to traffic concerns is going to work.

South Simcoe Deputy Police Chief Robin McElary-Downer made a proposal at a June 18 traffic safety advisory committee special meeting, which was approved by council June 20.

Filteau was at both meetings to voice her concerns about traffic.

“(McElary-Downer) said she went out one morning for an hour, from 7:45 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. and there were 33 violations recorded,” Filteau said.

Several violations could be classified as stunt driving, with the driver losing their car for a week and getting a $2,000 to $10,000 fine.

“I don’t even think parents were aware of that,” Filteau said.

McElary-Downer also saw parents running across Innisfil Beach Road with their children, not using the pedestrian crosswalk.

She recommended banning left turns altogether into the school parking lot between 8:15 a.m. and 9 a.m. as a temporary solution.

“They are redirecting traffic basically to Benson Street, in the back of the school and around,” Filteau said. “I know there are going to be some parents not happy about that, but we have to keep in mind it’s about whatever is safest for kids.”

A consultant will also study Alcona Glen’s traffic issues, costing approximately $30,000.

Jazz at the Library in Thornbury back for fall season

Few Canadian musicians can claim such an illustrious career as this virtuosic trombonist, composer, arranger and conductor.

Russ Little will bring his ultimate trombone, exuberance and boundless instrumental artistry to the Thornbury library on Friday, Aug. 24. His highlights so far include having been the lead trombonist with the Woody Herman and Count Basie Bands, founding member of the legendary rock orchestra Lighthouse, member of  Rob McConnell’s the Boss Brass, music director for the famous comedy TV show Second City and arranger/conductor for countless CBC, CTV, ABC and NBC network TV shows.

For this concert he will be joined by Andy Harasymczuk on guitar, Jack McFadden on bass and Ted Warren on drums. Tickets are $25 and available at Thornbury Pharmasave and Blue Mountain Music in Collingwood.

Wayne McGrath will bring his trumpet and be joined by Don Buchanan on keyboard, Peter Rissi on trombone, Jay Burr on tuba and Steve Wood on drums to revisit the Roaring 20s with the jazz music of the day on Sept. 21.

Bill McBirnie will perform the best jazz and bossa nova tunes  on his extreme flute on Oct. 19 with Andy Harasymczuk on guitar, Jack McFadden on bass and Ted Warren on drums.

The Marsh Street Centre will be the venue on Nov. 16 to showcase the Marie-Catherine Pazzano Quintet highlighting undiscovered gems, the many jazz tunes which just didn’t get top billings, but rank with the best mainstream jazz standards any time. Marie-Catherine on vocals, Don Buchanan on keyboard, Jason Hunter on tenor sax, Pat Collins on bass and Steve James on drums make up this enjoyable ensemble.

Thornbury Jazzworks presents the Jazz at the Library and Jazz at the Marsh concerts to promote excellence in musical performance and use the proceeds to support music education programs in our local schools.

Rob Sampson — Blue Mountains councillor

I am currently part owner and the managing director of Ceres BioSystems India Private Limited, a Canadian company investing in and operating facilities in India that convert organic waste material into a valuable fertilizer using a Canadian technology.

From June 1995 to September 2003 I was an elected member of the legislative assembly of Ontario and was a member of the Government of Ontario cabinet. I also served as the government caucus chair.

Prior to entering politics, I worked in commercial and corporate banking positions.

I have an MBA and a BA economics both from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

I have decided to run for the position of councillor for The Blue Mountains because my community needs help and I believe that I have the skills to fill that need. The Blue Mountains is a rapidly growing and developing mix of agriculture, recreational/tourist and residential communities, with an overall “small town feel.” However, friction is developing between those communities and a fractured council during the last term has not manage that friction well. Council has also been distracted by issues that are not the voters’ main concern. New leadership is required on The Blue Mountains council.

Growth has brought a strong tax base to The Blue Mountains, but it has put pressure on the town’s infrastructure — roads, attainable housing, and transportation to name a few. Our current relationship with the County of Grey is outdated and no longer reflects our local service needs or our considerable share of the Grey County tax base. This needs to change in order for us to be able to fund the local infrastructure cost demands of the future.

If elected, I will work as a team player on the new council and will focus on the issues that are of critical importance to the town taxpayers. I will also work with the newly elected council to provide the leadership to the town staff that has been lacking.


Twitter: @RobSampson4TBM


Colin Nelthorpe — Barrie Ward 6

I attended Georgian College for the Mechanical Technician program, and I got my first taste for politics when I ran successfully for vice-president of the Change-Maker’s space, a group that engages students to use technology to develop solutions for manufacturing and the environment.

In this role, I would meet with members of industry and college faculty members to ensure the program stayed relevant and up-to-date.

Currently, I am a CNC machinist at Maclean Engineering, a Barrie success story that builds advanced mining equipment and provides the quality jobs we need more of. When management listens to my feedback, I’m able to save the company thousands, producing better parts more efficiently. Barrie city hall may not be manufacturing mining equipment, but the need for efficient decision-makers who listen to the people doing the actual work is no different. Blue collar workers are the backbone of the city and are some of the hardest workers Barrie has to offer, and that kind of front-line mentality is needed at Barrie city hall.

People point to the Morrow Road re-construction delay and just accept it as “typical government,” but I don’t, and that is why I am running. It is time to elect a different kind of Ward 6 councillor, one who understands that a disconnect between corporate and front-line employees can lead to wasted time and money, like we see at Barrie city hall.

I will be door-knocking up until election day at your door to discuss my plan to achieve this, located on my website at

, and to earn your support.