Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe, is pleased to announce that he has awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to 16 York-Simcoe constituents in a ceremony held Aug. 16.

This new commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

“Our commitment to Canada is strengthened when we collectively pay homage to those who distinguished themselves by virtue of their talents, their generosity, and their service to their community and to our country,” said MP Peter Van Loan. “We are proud to recognize today’s recipients for their contributions.”

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to celebrate Her Majesty’s accession to the Throne 60 years ago. This commemorative medal is a tangible and lasting way to pay tribute to 60,000 Canadians who have benefitted their fellow citizens, their community, their organization and the country. It provides an opportunity to look back and recognize those who made Canada what it is today, and to look forward and recognize people who are actively involved in our country’s future.

The recipients are:

Carol Collier
Began her volunteer work when her 4 children became involved in various activities, free to choose what they were interested in. She has been supported by her family, and community and has been accustomed to the freedoms we have to choose and to participate in whatever we select to do, whether coaching, cheering, tending to our vulnerable citizens, helping in our faith community, supporting our democratic elections, or any pursuit I choose. This freedom is so precious to her, to all of us and she is forever mindful, and grateful for this.

Frank Ferragine
AKA Frankie Flowers attended Hon Earl Rowe Public School and Bradford High school. He is a best-selling author and award winning broadcaster. He assisted in the opening of Bradford West Gwillimbury’s new Recreation facility and library, and was a founding member and Honorary Board Member of Ewing’s Cancer Foundation of Canada (the same cancer his brother Tony passed from in 1998). He is a supporter of locally grown food through his weekly column in the Toronto Sun. He is also a supporter of Easter Seals, Canadian Cancer Society. His proudest and most recent accomplishment is the building of a backyard paradise for 5 year old Utopia resident Ava Campbell who is battling cancer for the second time. Frank speaks at High Schools, Public Schools, and of course Carrot Fest

Carl Hordyk
Carl has tried to play a role in his community…He has organized area clean ups – marched in Remembrance Day and Santa Claus Parades – worked on Political Campaigns – Raised money for Charity, etc. He is currently serving as a town Councillor for Bradford-West Gwillimbury. However, his service has usually been to the motoring public – having spent more than 2 decades helping people who have the need of a tow truck, big or small. He has always done more than what can be paid for – many tasks are done without compensation. Most calls are emergencies and some are life and death. One of Carl’s proudest moments came in 2009, when he received the OPP Commissioner’s citation and the St John’s Ambulance Award for saving a man’s life at the scene of a very serious traffic accident.

Ken Jamieson
Ken is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Entrepreneur and believes this award should be shared with his wife Angela who also dedicates a great deal of time and energy into their community and children’s sports and activities. Ken is currently President and a Head Coach for Georgina Minor Hockey Association where he and his wife have been actively involved on the Board and with individual teams and the hockey school for the last 8 years. Both were involved in volunteering with Georgina Minor Baseball Association and Coaching teams for several years.
Both have been involved in several 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 children’s hockey programs in their community as well as with lacrosse. Angela is Chair of their local community-built Egypt Hall which organizes many community fundraisers and events and donates to children’s sports teams and families in need in our community. Ken is currently involved in many volunteer petroleum industry safety groups, committees and councils with the government, ULC, CSA and TSSA. Ken is the volunteer Past President of the Ontario Petroleum Contractors Association. Ken and Angela have also been involved as volunteer Board members and association members and actively involved in supporting wildlife management and sustainability with such groups as Safari Club International, Ontario Federations of Anglers and Hunters and Ducks Unlimited.

Anne Kell
Anne is a member of the Innisfil Public Library – and is part way through her fourth term. She was Vice-Chair last term and is currently Chair of the Board. She is a Member of the Cookstown Friends of the Library – who fundraise for money to help the library offer special programs and events to the community. Anne is a member of the Rotary Club of Innisfil – Foundation Chair, Innisfil Communities in Bloom, Canvasser for the Canadian Cancer Society. Board Member for Christmas for Kids program –this is a local program in Innisfil that provides gifts and groceries to Innisfil families in need at Christmas. Secretary for Loaves and Fishes – a local growing project for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank – Loaves and Fishes grows crops, sells them and donates the money raised to the Foodgrains Bank which works in countries in need around the world. Traveled to Ethiopia and Kenya in February 2006 for three weeks as part of a Food Study/Food Justice tour – 13 people from across Canada participated. Anne has traveled to India in February 2012 for two weeks to distribute bed kits with the Canadian charity Sleeping Children Around the World.

Miriam King
Miriam King is a “founding mother” of The Bradford Times weekly community newspaper, and supporter of numerous charitable causes in Bradford West Gwillimbury and surrounding areas. She has reported on the news in the South Simcoe area since 1985, and has been the dedicated editor of The Times since 1991, helping to keep the focus on community-building and community support, and providing a vehicle for the voices of its residents. She is an Honorary Member of the Bond Head Lions, the Bradford Legion, the Portuguese Cultural Centre, and 1st Bradford Scouts. She is married, mother of 3, living in Innisfil and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, Masters of Science from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia

Dave Minnema
Dave Minnema has been involved for many years in his community supporting the minor sports in Bradford. He has been on the Executive for the Bradford Minor Softball for many Years and has also been involved coaching fastpitch at all levels, House League, Select and Rep teams. He has also been involved in coaching Midget house league hockey for the past 4 years for Bradford Minor Hockey. Dave has also officiated fast-pitch and slo-pitch leagues in Bradford and surrounding area for many years. He is currently Umpire and Chief and scheduler of 2 Co-Ed Adult leagues and the Men’s Legion League. Dave has also been involved at a Provincial Level with Softball Ontario as a Zone Umpire in Chief for slo-pitch for 2 terms and continues at this time as a support contact. Dave has been part of the Bradford Rotary and is a Proud Member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 521 and ran for Town Council in Bradford in the last election.

Mikki Nanowski
Mikki Nanowski has lived in Bradford West Gwillimbury since 1959. She was welcomed into the community and from the community’s example she learned to volunteer. She has attempted to do that in the circle of family, business and community. Her happiest day was June 13, 2008 when the Elizabeth Gwillim bronze statue was unveiled. So many people had worked so hard to bring this historical monument to Bradford West Gwillimbury for its sesquicentennial year. Mikki always works with a committee – a group of friends – with whom she shares this honour.

Sam Neilly
Sam’s myriad contributions to local causes, and his interest in others, have enriched the lives of so many. Sam has been involved in many organizations as past President of the Simcoe District Co-Op, Chairman of Innisfil Hydro, Church Elder at Gilford United Church, Past Master of Simcoe Lodge, board member Big Cedar Golf Course and on the Simcoe County School Board. Sam has always given back to his community throughout his life and always recognized the importance of being involved as a volunteer.

Kathy Simpson
Unlike today…You can usually find Kathy behind the scenes and not out front. 31 years married to her high school sweetheart, Ken, and mom of three ages 29 28 27 and gramma of 2…so far, Kathy has been volunteering in one capacity or another all her life. Willing to pitch in where needed and not afraid to get her hands…arms, shoulders, well if need be her whole body dirty for the task - Whether it is at someone’s home helping out with a need or want, organizing/volunteering at fundraisers for a variety of groups, setting up weddings or various other events or workshops, even feeding 70 to 700, she is most happiest watching people, usually from the kitchen or behind the curtain, have a great time! Kathy has been volunteering with The South Simcoe Theatre for over 10 years wearing a variety of different hats. She has been on several committees, boards and associations in her community. Planning, raising money, marketing, and implementing. She has enjoyed her life volunteering and will continue to do so!

Gerda Slykhuis
Gerda moved to Bradford in 1997 from Aurora. Soon after, she volunteered at Safe Arrival at Bradford Public School. Then came The Downtown Revitalization Committee and Communities in Bloom. Assisted for a while at the Hub and played Mrs. Santa with her husband as Santa. She joined Helping Hand Food Bank and the Bradford Seniors Centre at the opening in 1998, where she is currently the President. She is a Volunteer at Southlake Regional Health Centre 1 day a week. She spends her free time with her husband of 56 years.

Nancy Young
Nancy has lived in Bradford all her life and has been involved in the Community since 1966. She was on the Ladies Executive when her boys played hockey. Taught school for 20 years before opening Nancy’s Nifty Nook in 1988. She has volunteered for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society. She helped form The Friends of Sandra Burton and raised Money through 13 years, running a Golf Tournament and then hosted a Ladies Victorian Tea for 4 years after that. Many years of these fundraisers the money was given to the Canadian Spinal Research Organization. She has also raised $5000 over the last 2 years and bought an Infant Weigh Scale for Southlake Hospital in memory of Sapper Brian Collier. Nancy is currently working on a committee to bring a Senior’s Retirement Home to Bradford.

The medal also was awarded to:
Monique Chaisson
Mehdi Imtiaz
Christina Luck
Ferguson Mobbs

Until August 7th, the province is looking for public input on their proposed Great Lakes Protection Act and Strategy, introduced this June.

Generally, we like the Act and Strategy, but there’s always room for improvement. For example, the tools to improve water quality, wetlands, beaches and coastlines could be applied more broadly than what is proposed.

Click here to read our top comments and send a letter to government.

We need to make sure the Act is strong enough to protect the Great Lakes’ wild species and human inhabitants from current and future stresses.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop polluting and to start restoring the source of drinking water for 80 per cent of Ontarians.

Help us make sure the Act is really great!

South Simcoe Home Services is located in a 7,000-square-foot building that was originally constructed as a dance hall in 1912. It remained a dance hall up until the 1960s. Over the years, many top local musicians entertained there, including Gordon Lightfoot and the Andrew's Orchestra from Orillia.

The building, located at 25066B Commodore Rd., Beaverton, has been called the Commodore since the mid 1930s and not only offered cottagers and locals from Beaverton and surrounding areas an evening out, but also offered tourist accommodations and dining.

In the past 50 years, the building has housed a variety of businesses and interests and since 1994, has been the home of Adam Dobson and family. The family has operated an antique shop, featuring hand-crafted solid wood furniture built on site in the original dance hall.

The Commodore is excited to be part of this year's Beaverton Town and Country Garden Tour sponsored by the Beaverton and area Historical Society on July 22, 2012.
So drop by and explore a piece of local history and bring along anything you may have kept from years gone by to help us fill in some of the blanks about the Commodore's past.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Metrus withdraws request for Maple Lake Estates special deal

Metrus Development Inc. has withdrawn its request for a special deal (“Minutes of Settlement”) with the Region of York with respect to its Maple Lake Estates (MLE) development in the Town of Georgina.

Metrus advised the Region and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) today that it was withdrawing as an appellant against York Region’s new Official Plan and would not be a party at future OMB proceedings concerning the Region’s Official Plan respecting the MLE lands.

The new Regional Official Plan identifies that over 80% of the MLE site is either inside the Paradise Beach-Island Grove provincially significant wetland in the North Gwillimbury Forest (NGF) or so close to the wetland as to be undevelopable.   Environmental policies in the new Official Plan establish protections for the wetland and forest from development.  These Official Plan policies are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement’s protection of significant wetlands.

In May 2012, it emerged that Metrus had been seeking a special deal with the Region of York with respect to its MLE property, in return for resolving its Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appeal of the Region’s new Official Plan.  The North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance decided to seek party status in the OMB proceeding to ensure that the new Official Plan’s much stricter environmental protections with respect to the NGF’s wetlands and forests were not watered down or ignored when it came to MLE.   As a result of our participation in the OMB process, Metrus decided to drop its appeal and its request for a special deal with respect to MLE.

Once the new Regional Official Plan comes into effect, the Town of Georgina will be obliged to update its Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to make them conform with the Region’s Official Plan.  Specifically, these documents will need to be revised to recognize that no development will be permitted on the Paradise Beach-Island Grove provincially significant wetland in the NGF.  These Regional Official Plan policies will also affect any new development proposals brought forward by Metrus.

This is a major victory for everyone who wants to see this important natural part of the Lake Simcoe watershed remain intact.    But fighting a major developer is costly – we have incurred legal and planning consultancy costs totalling approximately $50,000 to date.  We urgently need your financial support to pay our bills and to continue our work to protect the North Gwillimbury Forest. 

Thank you,

Jack Gibbons
Chair, North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance

416-260-2080 ext. 2

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