Georgian Bay Sports Fan

commentary & opinions on the sports and political scene


Wasaga Beach has started to address their recreational needs by holding planning meetings for public input. Meetings will be at the Wasaga RecPlex this Sat 10am-12pm, and Sept 12th 7pm – 9pm. Leading the consulting team is Peter Dunbar.

Peter who? Rec meetings? Hmmmm this whole thing sounds familiar…..

Peter Dunbar is the former head of Collingwood Leisure Services until retirement a few years ago. Dunbar was instrumental in the start then collapse of the “Fischer Fields” project (more info was posted a few days ago on this). He was also the guy that wrote an official recommendation to the Ontario government for grant money on behalf of the Pretty River Academy

for upgrades to their school property. Problem with this was 1) Pretty River is privately owned and the town has no use of its facilities and 2) the Town of Collingwood was also applying for grant money….Pretty River got it, Collingwood didn’t….must have been a pretty good letter of recommendation !

On the positive side Dunbar is a lifer in town politics so should know the hoops to jump through and the egos to massage if necessary. He’s also been through the “Fischer Fields” fiasco, so should know going in what warning signs to look for, and can advise Beach council accordingly. Lastly, he’s only consulting here not making any decisions so he can speak his mind and put the community first in his report, not having to worry about getting canned for not towing the right councilors line.

If I were a betting man, I’d go with Wasaga to get it right over Collingwood. In my previous post I detailed Collingwood’s attempts to get the Central Park recreation center off the ground.

Dunbar correctly points out that his committee’s goal is to determine what recreational needs and facilities are important to the residents of Wasaga. Collingwood’s committee on the other hand has said they need to have a feasibility study done to “come up with ideas and options” of what complex can be built, then hopefully it meets the needs of the community. Dunbar says “we want to be able to go to council and say this is what the people want, and here’s a strategy how to get there”. Collingwood committee seems to be saying, “hey this is what we can build, hopefully people can use it”.

I spent half hour this morning going through town websites across Ontario. You need “ideas and options” councilor Cunningham says? Turn on your computer and grab a coffee, you don’t need to pay $30k. Single pads, double pads, four plexes, pools, no pools, gyms, libraries, , one gym, two gyms, climbing walls, gymnastics rooms, meeting rooms, ….and on and on and on….and all on the same size piece land as Central Park.

The committees’ jobs are to assess the community needs and create a concept and strategy on meeting them. There are more than enough facilities in Ontario up and running to base an initial costing and feasibility on to present to Collingwood council to act on. Dunbar seems to know this by focusing on community needs.

Co-ChairTucker-Reid says they are “not putting the cart before the horse”…..ah city folk eh, I think that’s a donkey …..

The Backseat Driver


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