top of page

FSF Notice of Application for Judicial Review, Oct 19, 2020:





FRIENDS OF SIMCOE FORESTS Pleased with Minister Clark’s decision not to issue an MZO for County’s waste project - Press Release Sept 4 2020:



URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED!! You can click on the link below to help the Friends of Simcoe Forests as it faces an unfair and unprecedented turn in the appeal process regarding the ERRC:

While we are all overloaded and trying to cope with the COVID-19 virus, Simcoe County Council appears to be taking full advantage of this tragic situation.

On April 17th, County Council sent a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) to assist with the development of the Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) in a Simcoe forest that has been found to be a significant and sensitive forest by ecological and planning experts.

This request was made, despite FSF and two other appellants being well into the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) process opposing the Official Plan Amendment 2 (OPA2) which pertains to the ERRC.

This is an unprecedented request — which can be perceived as unfair and seeking preferential treatment by a governing body during legal proceedings — and, if granted would leave the legal, technical and planning issues that have been raised by the 3 appellants in this case unanswered and unresolved. Moreover, it is our understanding that, should the Minister of MMAH grant an MZO, this would overrule any potential decisions made by LPAT, rendering our case along with evidence and expert witnesses as pointless.

PLEASE BE AWARE: FSF’s experts have raised serious concerns about the adequacy of the County’s technical studies in relation to the Significant Woodland and four types of Significant Wildlife Habitat found on the proposed site.

WE NEED YOUR HELP to be heard and to stand up for justice. PLEASE lend a hand by sending a letter to Minister Clark in support of The Friends of Simcoe Forests. Also, please consider reaching out to others to join in this very important letter campaign.   

Click below to download letter template in word doc OR copy and paste (edit if you like) the letter below into your email to Minister Clark and don’t forget to copy the following email addresses:

Doug Downey, MPP Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte

Andrea Khanjin, MPP Barrie-Innisfil

Caroline Mulroney, MPP York-Simcoe

Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North

Jim Wilson, MPP Simcoe-Grey


April 23, 2020


The Honourable Steve Clark

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Office of the Minister

777 Bay Street, 17th Floor

Toronto, Ontario M7A 2J3


Dear Minister Clark,


RE: County of Simcoe’s Request for Minister’s Zoning Order


I am writing to you to express my strong opposition to the County of Simcoe’s request for a Minister’s Zoning Order for the Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (“ERRC”).

I am a supporter of the Friends of Simcoe Forests Inc., (“FSF”) a local non-profit organization that seeks to protect and conserve forests in Simcoe County. I live in the County of Simcoe and am very concerned about the County’s proposal to establish the ERRC, a large waste processing facility, in the Freele County Forest.

The proposed ERRC was approved by the province through Official Plan Amendment 2 (“OPA2”), which FSF appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (“LPAT”). FSF has expended significant time, resources, and money to prepare for the LPAT hearing. We retained experts in the field of ecology and planning who have prepared reports critiquing the inadequacy of the County’s planning and technical studies. We have attended case management conferences before LPAT and have been very actively engaged throughout the planning process.

Under these circumstances it would be extremely unfair to terminate the LPAT process by issuing a Minister’s Zoning Order. We are unaware of any instance where a Minister's Zoning Order has been issued while a matter was before the LPAT. The issuance of a Minister’s Zoning Order would terminate the LPAT proceeding but would leave the legal, planning, and technical issues with the ERRC unresolved. This would fundamentally undermine public confidence in Ontario’s planning regime.

Therefore, I urge you not to issue a Minister’s Zoning Order to the ERRC.

Yours truly,

Name & Address

Or Download Word Doc Here

On the agenda for the County of Simcoe Committee of the Whole meeting held on Sept. 24, 2019 was the following staff report including Schedule 1 titledCompensation Planting Plan (links below). The Compensation Planting Plan Proposed Environmental Resource Recovery Center 2976 Horseshoe Valley Road West Springwater, ONwas prepared by Simcoe County’s consultants GHD. A peer review of this report has been completed by Dougan & Associates Ecological Consultants. Attached is a copy of the peer review letter dated Nov. 5, 2019.


Staff Report CCW-2019-330

Schedule 1 Compensation Planting Plan

Freele Forest-April 10, 2017 

Click on images to download our flyers

The County Doesn't Care where you live
One Site, Many Concerns

Aware Simcoe Meeting – Sunday April 2nd Midhurst United Church 91 Doran Road ~ Everyone is welcome

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Dr. Dianne Saxe presents her compelling report

Why not write her a letter... here is a suggested letter template.

Word file

pdf file

Click to view files

For further information about the Rainforest Alliance  audit process, here are links to key documents for your reference:

-The FSC Canada Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Forest Management standard.  Pay particular attention to Criterion 6.10, Criterion 4.4, Principle 1, Principle 7 and Principle 9. 

-The FSC Policy for Excision of Areas from the Scope of Certification  (FSC POL 20 003), which lays out the ‘rules’ for conversion of forest to other uses and/or removing forest from the scope of an active certificate.

-Public summaries for past audits of Simcoe County Forest

Letter from Dougan & Assoc.

This peer review applies Dougan & Associates standard approach for reviews of natural heritage planning reports, which focuses on whether the EIS adequately reflects relevant protocols and interpretation as required under the Provincial Policy Statement (OMMAH 2014) and its guiding documents, such as the Natural Heritage Reference Manual 2nd Ed. (OMNR 2010), Significant Wildlife Habitat Technical Guide (OMNR 2000), and other provincial references, as well as the Simcoe County Official Plan (2007) and other local documents, including the Simcoe County Forest Plan (2011) and the Simcoe County ONE SITE – ONE SOLUTION (2016) document. D&A peer review authors also completed a site review on May 3, 2017 to review existing conditions on the site.

Read More

Impacts to Regional Natural Heritage System by Proposed County of Simcoe Environmental Resource Recovery Center (ERRC), Springwater, Ontario

We note that the Province has published its own Regional Natural Heritage System (RNHS) mapping that will form the basis of planning under the Growth Plan (2017), and under the Greenbelt Plan (2017). On-line mapping of this system currently indicates the County’s preferred ERRC site is located within the RNHS, with woodland cover throughout the site, and unevaluated wetlands

Read More

Letter from Jenifer Lawrence & Assoc.

I have reviewed the following reports, prepared by the County of Simcoe, in support of the above noted applications:

  • • County of Simcoe Materials Management Facility, Part 1 – Planning – Siting Methodology and Evaluation Criteria, prepared by Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, dated February 2015;

  • • County of Simcoe Organics Processing Facility, Part 1 – Planning – Siting Methodology and Evaluation Criteria, prepared by Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, dated February 2015;

  • • County of Simcoe – Materials Management Facility, Part 2 – Long List Evaluation, prepared by GHD, dated July 12, 2015;

  • • County of Simcoe – Organics Processing Facility, Part 2 – Long List Evaluation, prepared by GHD, dated July 23, 2015; ......

  • Read More

bottom of page