WBRA Dinner and Online Voting Presentation
Dr. Aleksander Essex, Western University
Marlwood Golf & Country Club
31 Marlwood Ave, Wasaga Beach
Friday, May 27, 2022
Doors Open for Dinner: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Doors Open for Presentation: 6:30 PM
Presentation: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
What's the plan, Stan?
Councillor Stan Wells asks: "What do we want the Town in the long term to look like? ...what is our real belief in what the Town should look like because I'm not sure we have one at the moment."
Link to the whole meeting video: September 9 2021 Coordinated Committee
Beachfront Redevelopment Project
Add your own comments to the email. Let the mayor know what you think.
Here's what you can do to get involved with the Beachfront Redevelopment Project:
On May 20 Council's Committee of the Whole voted to go ahead with negotiations to sell the town-owned beachfront lands to Slate Asset Management. Recent changes to the Official Plan allow the developer to build six-storey condominiums in Beach Area 1. Beach Area 2 is not part of the project but remains zoned for six-storey condos. In our opinion, the mandatory meeting on the Official Plan changes did not serve as public consultation regarding the building of the condominiums shown in the concept drawings published by Slate. We believe that public meetings should be held to give taxpayers a chance to express themselves about the future of their beachfront lands.
Read the news articles and the plan.
Barrie News: Developer Picked
Town of Wasaga Beach: Preferred Developer
The Sun: Negotiations with Slate
Simcoe.com: Council Approves Policies
Whether you are for this development or against it, speak up and demand Public Engagement. There is no going back once the taxpayer-owned beachfront lands are sold to the single developer selected by the town's evaluation team. The decisions made by this council will dictate what The Beach will be for generations to come. Not only the taxpayers that give up their ownership of these lands will live with this choice; all the visitors with years of fond memories and all those we hope to attract in the future will judge what is done here now. Use the button below to send an email to the mayor asking that the public be allowed to participate in the process and have a voice in the decisions.
Beachfront Redevelopment Project
The Great Wall of Condos
This is not the 2017 Downtown Development Master Plan
This is the sale and redevelopment of taxpayer-owned land at the main beachfront. There have been no public engagement meetings regarding this new plan and none have been promised.
Slate Asset Management Concept for Beach Area 1
Concept image for the Beachfront District
(click image to enlarge)
Slate Asset Management Concept Image
(click image to enlarge)
From the Downtown Development Plan: The Hunt for a Developer
Feedback from Electorate
A new council was sworn in on December 5, 2018 amid local concerns over the downtown development.
The majority of council heard a common theme during the election campaign.
- People were not happy with the previous council's plans to see condominiums constructed at Beach Area 2.
- People were not happy with certain aspects of the previous council's plans for developing the downtown, i.e. mandatory requirement that the new arena and library be located in the downtown, and the prescriptive language in the Official Plan.
If you weren't happy with four-storey condos on Beach Area 2, how do feel about zoning for six-storey condos on Beach Area 1 and Beach Area 2?
If you weren't happy with the "prescriptive language" of the Official Plan, the rules that developers have to follow, how do you feel about the rules being replaced with "recommendations"?
If you weren't happy about the "mandatory requirement that the new arena and library be located in the downtown", actually the Community Hub that was the anchor of the Downtown Development, how do you feel about them being located at the edge of town and built at a cost of $60,000,000 without any federal or provincial grants?
These questions and many, many more need to be asked and answered in a public forum. If you haven't already done so, use the button below to send an email to the mayor asking that the public be allowed to participate in the process and have a voice in the decisions.
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Library & Arena Issues
Petition to Pause the Arena/Library Project until grant money is available presented to council. Watch the video here.
A WBRA member reports their experience trying to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the $60,000,000 Area/Library. The public was not allowed in.
Free Speech Issues
No participation is allowed by the public at regular council meetings until regular meetings resume. Why can’t we participate online like other municipalities?
Procurement Policy Issues
President of the Wasaga Beach Ratepayers Association, Faye Ego, addresses members at the Information Meeting held September 16, 2021. Faye discussed the accomplishments of the past year and all the effort that was put in to produce the results. She also spoke about plans for an upcoming rally.
Affordable Housing Issues
WBRA sends an open letter to the mayor of Wasaga Beach calling for a policy review on the issue of affordable housing.
May 24 Victoria Day long weekend:
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is open. Beach is closed.
After much confusion and misinformation, the question about the beach being open for May 24 is definitively answered by Premier Ford - yes and no.
All the provincial park beach areas, parking lots, picnic areas, washrooms and the beach itself are closed. The Nordic Ski Trails are open.
Community deserves clear and consistent messaging
from provincial agencies
Premier Doug Ford has clarified the rules regarding access to Wasaga Beach
WBRA Members Comment On May 24 Concerns - Mayor Sends Thanks
Their responses were summarized and passed on to the mayor who sent back a thank you email.
Computer Virus Matters More Than Coronavirus - Town Staff Not Allowed To Work Remotely
Many of our neighbouring municipalities have made arrangements for staff to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. These include Collingwood, Clearview, Barrie, and Penetanguishene. The Town of Wasaga Beach has not.
On April 19, online news and information site CollingwoodToday.ca published comments from Town of Wasaga Beach communications officer Michael Gennings including a statement that "the risk of an information breach has prevented them from allowing staff to work off-site" during the Covid-19 crisis.
On April 21, Global News reported on an internal Town of Wasaga Beach memo dated March 25, where the Town CAO said the municipality won’t be allowing employees to work from home “at this time.”
On April 22, Mayor Nina Bifolchi issued a Press Release giving her "Response to one-sided Global News story."
WBRA also wrote to express concern for Town of Wasaga Beach Staff that are not allowed an option to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mayor Bifolchi's response is included with the copy of our email posted on our website.
“As an essential service, we believe it is imperative that staff report for work in order to provide public services,” Bifolchi said in the statement. “We also know that working on site is the best way to protect our corporate data and your private information.
"While other municipalities have set up a system allowing many staff to work from home instead of reporting to town offices, [Communications Officer Michael] Gennings said in the case of Wasaga Beach, the risk of an information breach has prevented them from allowing staff to work off-site."
Town of Wasaga Beach staff not allowed to work from home during pandemic
‘Morale seems quite low’: Wasaga Beach staff working on site amid pandemic
Email from the WBRA and Mayor's response.
Opinion: Taxpayer Expresses Concern
Update to the Council Indemnification Policy
No Comments. No Questions. No Discussion.
On March 26, at Special Council Meeting closed to the public due to the pandemic, Council voted to pay the legal costs for politicians and staff to sue for "...alleged defamatory statements, [which] if left unchallenged, will undermine public confidence in the Town's municipal government and government officials". "Defamation" can be " ...any written, printed, or spoken words or publication, or communication of any audible or visible matters or acts, in each case, which tends to lower a person's reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person".
From the Staff Report to Council: "...indemnification costs for individuals commencing litigation pertaining to defamation is not widely seen across the province in indemnification policies. Unfortunately, in Wasaga Beach, over the last several years, it has become all too common to read false statements in publications and on social media about individual members of Council and staff".
There is a reason this kind of litigation is not widely seen; the courts generally feel that freedom of expression is a constitutional right. In a 2018 decision, Justice Patrick Hurley said, “People would be reluctant to express their opposition if they knew that their use of social media could result in a lawsuit by a public official unhappy with the criticism.”
As the saying goes: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
View the Clip
Read the Letters
Read the Article
A big chill: Would policy change stifle free speech in Wasaga Beach?
Read the article: Politicians vote to sue individuals for libel.
Mar 17, 2020 by Ian Adams, Wasaga Sun
After-Hours Clinic Closed
From April 1, 2020
At the Feb 25, 2020 meeting, Council voted 4 to 2 (plus one abstaining) to close our walk-in clinic effective April 1, 2020. The recommendation was not presented at Committee of the Whole, nor was it presented at the Coordinated Committee, as is standard and accepted practice.
Main Street Reconstruction
The Environmental Assessment examines the entire downtown road network, from Main Street and River Road West, and Mosley Street to 6th Street.
One proposal is to restrict Beach Drive to just pedestrians and cyclists.
(See Wasaga Sun: Beach Drive to be closed?)
Public Information Centre
Held February 6, 2020
If you missed the public meeting, you can still have your say. View the presentation and the slideshow then print and submit the Comment Sheet by mail/email/fax by February 29, 2020.
Comments received will be used in the analysis of the recommended options to establish the best solution.
WBRA Survey February 2020
Have your say. Let us know how well you think your town council is doing their job.
Take the survey and leave your comments. We will post results as they become available.
From The News:
Will Wasaga’s Beach Drive be closed to cars?
Feb 10, 2020 by Ian Adams, Wasaga Sun
Are you satisfied with Wasaga Beach council so far? Vote in the Online Poll
Survey says: Has Wasaga Beach council responded to the concerns of voters?
Dec 11, 2019 by Ian Adams, Wasaga Sun
Are you satisfied with Wasaga Beach council so far? Vote in the Online Poll
WBRA comments on potential candidates.
Read the post: Clearing the air on Political Candidates
Read beach BOOSTER Online
Town of Wasaga Beach
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The Wasaga Beach Ratepayers Association, Inc. (WBRA) is a newly formed, non-partisan association of passionate volunteers with a collective interest in the future of the Town of Wasaga Beach.
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To protect and promote the interests of all Taxpayers of the Town of Wasaga Beach.
A community engaged and informed is a community empowered.
- We will strive to bring awareness to key council objectives.
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