Category: hvwkw

Barrie woman tips off police about threats from would-be suitor

A woman who called Barrie Police from her workplace at 1:30 a.m. Sunday suspected a man was trying to break into her home.

The woman said she had been communicating with the man on Facebook for the two days and told the man she didn’t want anything to do with him.

Police say he became angry, making threats in person and with text messages.

Officers arrived to her home to find the man parked out front.

A 30-year-old Mississauga man was arrested and charged with uttering death threats, attempted break and enter and several counts of mischief. He was also charged with impaired care and control of a vehicle.

Township urges caution as river rises

The Black River is rising and Ramara Township residents are being urged to take appropriate measures to prevent damage.

In a news release issued Thursday, Ramara Fire Chief Dave McCarthy said the water in Black River could spill over its banks if levels continue to rise.

"We’ve had flooding in the past in that area," he said in an interview Friday. "So, we tend to let everybody know what’s going on once the river crests. Then we can monitor it very carefully to ensure that people have any help with flood control."

Water levels increase regularly in the spring, he noted, adding if it continues to rise for the next two or three weeks, residents will have cause for concern.

"This year, with the lack of snow, we’re not expecting that situation," said McCarthy. "The only issue that could arise is a major storm event … The weather service isn’t predicting anything like that, but we’d like to err on the safe side."

A mix of rain and snow is being predicted for next week.

"With the temperatures we’re forecasting, it looks like this could be a snow event for the most part," said Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson. "So, there could be some snow accumulation through into Wednesday morning, (but it’s) a little too early to tell how much we could be looking at."

Another weather system later next week could bring more snow, but warmer temperatures could turn it into rain, he said.

In cases of flooding, the Ramara fire department provides residents with sand and sandbags to help protect their homes.

Anywhere along the Black River’s northern end in Washago is prone to flooding, McCarthy noted. He said residents in that area should ensure all items in their backyards are properly stowed and/or anchored.

"Hopefully, it won’t get to the point where it gets into your house," he said. "If it does, you have to shut your power off and make sure you’ve got everything up high."

Residents of homes that have an oil tank in the basement for the furnace should monitor it to make sure the oil doesn’t overflow and contaminate the water, said McCarthy.

Even though most residents with homes along the Black River seem to have already taken measures against flooding by building their homes on elevated land, seasonally occupied homes could be at risk.

"By putting out a press release, we can kind of let people know, and the seasonal dwellers, that the river’s getting up and they should be checking their place," said McCarthy.

Flooding or no flooding, people should stay out of the water, he added.

"It’s well worth pointing out that regardless of whether the water is flooding properties or not, it’s moving extremely fast, so it’s dangerous for young people and children. They should stay away from that fast-moving water," he said.

The township is also keeping an eye on the rising levels in the Talbot River.

"That’s kind of normal in the spring, but we’re watching it closely as well," McCarthy said.

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York Region Tories outspent rivals in federal campaign

Money doesn’t always guarantee success in life.

The same can be said for the federal Newmarket-Aurora candidates in the 2015 election.

Campaign expenses for three of the riding’s five candidates — then Conservative MP Lois Brown, Liberal Kyle Peterson and New Democrat Yvonne Kelly — have been released on the Elections Canada website.

According to the document, Brown spent $117,630.33, while Peterson had $52,313.75 in expenses and Kelly put $21,163.04 into her campaign.

“We ran a lean campaign,” Peterson, now the MP for the riding, said from Parliament Hill Thursday. “It was an effective one, in hindsight. We had a lot of volunteers making phone calls and door knocking, which means you don’t have to spend so much producing pieces to mail. It’s not unusual for the sitting MP to spend more money than the challenger.”

The spending limit in the riding was $219,830. That amount is higher than in past campaigns, due to the historic length of the 2015 election period, he said.

Peterson unseated Brown, the riding’s two-term incumbent, in one of the closest races in the Greater Toronto Area. He had 25,513 votes to Brown’s 24,059. Kelly finished third with 4,806 votes, while Green Party candidate Vanessa Long earned 1,331 and Progressive Canadian candidate Dorian Baxter received 762.

“All expenses are audited; that’s an important part of the process,” Brown said. “This campaign was much longer than any other I’ve run. It was almost three times the length of (a normal) campaign. Obviously, there’s going to be more costs incurred, just from that perspective alone. But I had a wonderful team and I don’t know that we would have done anything differently. When you (compare) my expenses to the length of the campaign, they’re correspondingly higher.”

Brown says her campaign money was spent locally, giving a boost to many Newmarket-Aurora businesses.  

Spending limits differ in ridings across Canada, but mostly range from the $190,000s to mid-$200,000s.

Overall in York Region, money did not necessarily translate into victory. Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leona Alleslev ($76,512.44), King-Vaughan MP Deb Schulte ($90,450.38), Markham-Thornhill MP John McCallum ($81,558.04) and Vaughan-Woodbridge MP Francesco Sorbara ($77,179) all ran for the Liberals and were outspent by their Conservative opponents. Financial statements for Markham-Stouffville Liberal MP Jane Philpott were not available on the Elections Canada website.

Conservatives who did win local ridings also seem to have spent more than their opponents during the campaign. Markham-Unionville MP Bob Saroya poured in $159,700.05 and Thornhill MP Peter Kent spent $125,312.34. York-Simcoe MP Peter Van Loan dropped $139,541.66, but none of his opponents’ expense reports were listed on the website.

It appears the gap in spending has grown between the Liberals and Conservatives over the past three elections in Newmarket-Aurora.

In 2008, Liberal candidate Tim Jones actually outspent Brown, $64,059.63 to $57,855.59. During the 2011 campaign, Brown put $77,006.38 in, compared to Peterson’s $69,749.79.

“The limits were really high this time, because of the length of the campaign; it was artificially high,” Peterson said. “Even if we had that money to spend, I don’t know what we’d spend it on. We can’t buy TV commercials. (The campaign) was unnecessarily long, though we were the benefactors.”  

Candidates had four months from the date of the election to file their campaign expenses, though Elections Canada can grant extensions. Statements for Long and Baxter were not online, as of the publication of this article.

Roadwork dividing community near Duntroon

CLEARVIEW TWP. – A road is dividing neighbours, municipalities and organizations west of Duntroon.

The reconstruction of Clearview Sideroad 26/27 west of Duntroon definitely will not take place this summer as a tribunal involving the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) and Clearview Township will be held in September or October.

Heather Gibbs, a vice-chair of Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal, headed up a recent pre-hearing at the Clearview Administration Centre in Stayner in a packed council chamber.

She said her goals were to determine who has status at the hearing, set a date for the hearing and identify problematic issues.

“It’s unsafe,” said Richard Young, who lives year round on the summer road with no winter maintenance, west of Con. 10 and east of the Osprey Clearview Townline.

“We support Clearview bringing it into a safe condition,” he added.

Even when drivers can see, the road becomes snow covered and they continue to drive on the road and get stuck at the bottom, he said. “They follow their GPS and go down hill,” he said, adding that tow truck drivers don’t want to fetch them out of the roadside.

Young has party status as does Clearview Township and Walker Aggregates, supporting the road reconstruction (altering grade and ditches while maintaining a gravel base). The NEC and the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation (BMWTF) have party status supporting leaving it as a natural grade, gravel road.

Clearview Township planned to reconstruct the road this summer, but the NEC’s board members decided turned down Clearview’s application to upgrade 26/27 Sideroad in November. Clearview filed an appeal in December.

Walker Aggregates has an interest in the case due to its expanding quarry being located at 9861 County Road 91, using County Road 91 as a haul route.

A resident spoke at the Nov. 23 Clearview council meeting saying Cty. Rd. 91 is in need of reconstruction to make it more safe. He said trucks have experienced mechanical failure while coming down the hill to the Duntroon corners at Hwy. 124 and that on one occasion, a driver jumped out of the rig when the brakes failed.

In an agreement with Clearview regarding its expansion, Walker Aggregates was to take possession of Cty. Rd. 91, west of Con. 10 and divert vehicular traffic to 26/27.

On Feb. 29, there was a serious collision between a dump truck and SUV at the intersection of Cty. Rd. 91 and Concession 10.

There will be several individuals and groups having participant status. Those objecting to road construction include the Municipality of Grey Highlands, Clearview Community Coalition and property owner Amelia Franks.

“I’m very interested in preserving the Niagara Escarpment, the gravel, the cold water fishery, spawning grounds, residents that live downstream and the wildlife corridor,” said Franks, who added that her family has been a local property owner since 1945.

Those seeking participant status supporting road construction include property owners Mark Bell and Raymond Mueller.

The road in question is part of the Niagara Escarpment and thus controlled by the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP), Canada’s first large-scale environmental land use plan. It outlines land use designation, development criteria and related permitted uses, including farming, forestry and mineral resource extractions.

The Niagara Escarpment is also a designated UNESCO World Biosphere due to its land form with a 450-million year old geological history, and vital watersheds. It’s landscape hosts a rich biodiversity of plants and animals, including many Species at Risk.

The NEC is made up of 18 members, including a chair, representing eight municipalities. Clearview’s representative is Coun. Shawn Davidson.

The board refused the application because it did not meet the test of “essential” which requires that all options are taken into consideration.

The second reason for refusal involves the NEC being unhappy with the former lack of approval required when Walker Aggregates began expanding the quarry including a tunnel under Cty. Rd. 91 that will be used to move aggregate from the new Duntroon quarry to the processing plant.

The NEC in its refusal said the tunneling action “further erodes the case for this road project to be deemed essential.”