WBRA:  Where YOUR Opinion Matters

"Today I invested 15 minutes of my time to provide feedback on the Survey for the Official Plan Review. It’s almost a civic duty, as well as a right, just like voting.

My initial impression of the survey was that it’s primarily a very useful tool if the results and feedback are taken to heart, and not ignored in favour of decisions that may be already very much in the works, or priorities that already seem apparent in Council’s current course of action and most recent developments.

There seems to have been an intentional effort to gloss over the entire issue of priorities, such as the “need” for a high school vs the “want” for a new arena and library for example. But even more glaringly obvious was the reference to the future HWY 26 round-about node as more or less a “done deal” without requesting feedback on whether the timing is right for a new node given our current economic challenges, or it’s prioritization over the beach front and downtown revitalization, our tourism bread-basket and crown jewel.

On the topic of Beach One and the Downtown revitalization, once again, they seemed to have glossed over requesting residential feedback on its importance to Wasaga’s future economic viability, as well as the over-all prioritization of tourism itself on our list of priorities.

In addition, more focus could have been placed on asking residents for feedback on the importance of an updated independent economic development study to evaluate the towns future direction and prioritize objectives. This survey would have been much more productive if requested AFTER residents had a chance to review such a study.

So, in conclusion, yes, it was 15 minutes well spent, but my fear is that this may yet be another exercise in meeting the bare minimum requirement checkbox for residential feedback on issues and priorities where decisions may have already been made and priorities already established. And thus, the feedback may not be put to good use as we might hope.

And finally, my last concern is that we may never truly know the real results of this survey, especially if those results run counter to the direction we are already undertaking."

Submitted by John Sare

 "Over many Council terms we have had the vision and plans needed for the most part, but no follow through to get it started and completed. That's the biggest joke among long term residents.

The beachfront and Main Street have become less of a priority yet again and the Casino node is adding to the sprawl and is getting much more focus and attention to the detriment of Beachfront & Main.

We want a town we can all be proud of, can enjoy all year round, and have venues and events we don't have to drive out of town to experience.

There hasn't been any public consultation sessions this year even though significant changes have been made to the plans supported last year.

While I have invested time to provide my comments I do not really believe they will be factored in given that Council is making the decisions for our future without consultation and public debate.”

Submitted by Peter Gribbin