Get Concerned Stratford

Working for a sustainable future through better government
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About Us


A Minister’s Zoning Order, issued by the Ontario provincial government to permit a Chinese corporation to build a float glass plant in Stratford, threatened 173 acres of prime farmland.

We are a citizens’ group who opposed this project,


Now we spend our time helping other Ontario groups learn how we did it, and we are working for a more open and democratic municipal government in Stratford. We believe that an inclusive government and an engaged citizenry are the only solution to the severe environmental problems we all face.


Members of the Steering Committee

MIKE BALKWILL—Mike Balkwill works with the Wellington Water Watchers as its campaign director. Water Watchers supports grass roots campaigns to protect water and the environment in Ontario. Mike is co-author of the Campaign Planning Handbook.

SHARON COLLINGWOOD—Sharon is a retired teacher who has lived in Stratford for the past seven years. She loves her walks around Stratford, and enjoys gardening and tinkering around with computers.

JAMIE GIBB—Jamie is a Perth South Township resident. His motivation to engage on this project comes from his living and farming next to the proposed Xinyi site, as well as from encouraging a chance for thoughtful future visioning at the local level

SUSAN MCSHERRY—Susan is a water & environmental activist, and member of the Wellington Water Watchers Board.

MIKE SULLIVAN—Mike Sullivan is a retired Union Rep for media workers, and forcibly retired MP. He recently completed a Masters in Environmental Studies and now lives in Stratford

DOUG TRIPP—Doug is a retired chemical engineer, educator and energy/environmental consultant, who moved to Stratford just as the Xinyi case was coming to light.

MELISSA VERSPEETEN—Melissa is a local businesswoman and dedicated hockey mom. She is articulate and knowledgeable, and often serves as the spokesperson for GCS.

Our Mission Statement:


A. To promote the protection and enhancement of the unique character of the City of Stratford and the County of Perth in the Province of Ontario;

B. To promote the protection and enhancement of the environment in and around the city of Stratford and County of Perth in the Province of Ontario;

C. To educate the public regarding development issues in the City of Stratford and County of Perth areas generally;

D. To engage with community stakeholders, the City of Stratford and County of Perth;

E. To represent the concerns of Get Concerned Stratford before municipal councils and any other public forum; and

F. Such other complementary purposes that are not inconsistent with these objectives.