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Candidate responses are coming in

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Question: Do you support the residents of Orillia who want to protect our Provincially Significant Wetlands and who are opposed to zoning changes that would enable further development on the wetlands and woodlands on Victoria Point?

September 12 - Joe Wincacott - Ward 4 candidate

My name is Joe Winacott and I am running for council in ward 4. I appreciate you sending out information on this matter and asking what our position is and will be.  My answer would be YES I support strongly in protecting the wetlands in our beautiful community.  There are many reasons why I decided to run for council for this term, one being protecting our city from unwanted and or unneeded developments. The zoning was originally put in for a reason and we should not be changning that, as you mentioned will have a major effect on the areas around.  Being a business owner downtown, they are trying to rezone as well to take away most of the parking to allow for a big development. I am not against development but it needs to be done wisely and much thought needs to be given to what it would do to the adjacent areas, wetlands, eco systems, businesses etc.  We need to protect what we have in Orillia and I feel we are going down the wrong path.

September 12 - Ralph Cipolla - Ward 2 candidate

Hi Thank you for the email. We need to protect all of our wetlands…

September 14 - Brian Hare - Ward 2 candidate

Yes I support saving wetlands. I can not make any real comment on this site until the developer makes a formal application with the supporting information that is required for this site. I can tell you now that the Government policy is for denser development to stop urban sprawl so at the OMB the higher density would likely be approved .

September 14 - Whitney Smith - Ward 1 candidate

Thank you for your email. Yes, I fully support the voice of all of the residents of ward 1. My parent's first home as a married couple was on Victoria Crescent; I have had several family members over the years have homes on Victoria Crescent as well as Heyden Avenue.

Currently I have not seen any development proposals that I would be in favour of.

September 14 - Gilles Depratto - Ward 2 candidate

As a Detective Inspector/ Major Case Manager in the Criminal Investigation Branch of the Ontario Provincial Police I needed to ensure that I was well informed on the specific investigation prior to making a decision and I would often turn to subject matter experts to educate myself.  This is what I intend to do if I am successful in becoming a Councillor in Orillia.

With your specific question I needed to educate myself prior to answering your question on the preservation of the wetlands/ woodlands of Victoria Point. So I contacted one of the subject matter expert in this field in our region Mr Robert Bowles who provided me with significant sources of referrals and has invited me to visit the Inch farm wetland site in Orillia as it will probably come up early in the next Council's term to show me the importance of preserving these wetlands.

Preserving our environment and our water sources are definite priorities and we must pursue climate change protection initiatives. Therefore, I would say YES to supporting the OMB's previous decision to preserve the wetlands/woodlands at Victoria Point.

September 15 - Elizabeth Van Houtte - Ward 3 candidate

Thank you for sending along great information on the impact of development in Victoria Point.  I firmly support the residents and totally oppose any development on wetlands.

September 15 - David Campbell - Ward 1 candidate

YES! Absolutely!

Now, I would like to expand on my answer: I, without question or reservation, want to protect our wetlands. The Policy changes that have come into effect (as you are well aware), along with the ‘build regardless of the cost to

the environment’ type of attitude from the Province are, to me, frightening. Now, here is where it gets tricky. As you know, a Municipality can only say ‘no’ to a proposed development based on ‘sound planning principles’. That, of

course, is completely open to interpretation. Because of this, throughout the Province, we are seeing developers appeal (and win) decisions over local Councils. Some developers are also seeking MZOs to ‘fast track’ their developments (just

for the record, I would NEVER support an MZO). Many Municipalities are, therefore, trying to work with developers to ensure that their developments have little to no impact on the environment.

My personal position is that if a development had ANY impact on wetlands, I would oppose it. It will be interesting to see, once the new Council starts dealing with these issues, what ‘stance’ the majority will take.

Thank you again for your ongoing efforts,

September 16 - Don McIsaac - Mayoral candidate


September 16 - Rick Sinotte - Ward 1 candidate

Yes. I do not support any development that would require rezoning.

September 18 - Janet-Lynne Durnford - Ward 4 candidate

Thank you for this information, and particularly for the background information with regard to the threat to the Victoria Point wetlands.

YES, I support the protection of our local Provincially Significant Wetlands. I am opposed to any development and zoning changes that would threaten ecologically important wetlands, and the health of our lakes and other natural heritage ecosystems.

September 18 - Paul Cain - Ward 1 candidate

The answer is "YES". It is important to continue to protect this parcel of land.

I live on Lankin Blvd and I walk around the loop pretty often. I knew there was a plan being made by a developer for this area but when I reviewed it I was surprised to see just how many units they are planning to build and how deep they want to cut into the green space. I would not support the plan as presented on their website. I would vote against this change.

September 18 - Mason Ainsworth - Mayoral candidate

Yes, I supported them in 2014 during my first election when this same item was being discussed, I have continued to support them during my 8 years on Council, and will support them as Mayor. To be clear, I support the residents of Orillia who want to protect our Provincially Significant Wetlands, and who are opposed to zoning changes that would enable further development on the wetlands and woodlands on Victoria Point.

September 22 - Ian Gordon - Ward 2 candidate

I support the residents of Orillia who want to protect our Provincially Significant Wetlands and who are opposed to zoning changes that would enable further development on the wetlands and woodlands on Victoria Point?

However with that being said, I only have part of the story and would like to take a deeper look into it, but in my mind this is not the right place for this development.

September 26 - Paula Hill-Coulson - Ward 4 candidate

Thank you for your question. Yes I support the protection of wetlands.



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