The Barrie Police Service is requesting the assistance of the public with regards to an ongoing armed robbery investigation.
At 2:25 this morning, a lone male entered the Circle K Convenience Store located at 477 Grove Street East in the City of Barrie. Once inside, the suspect, who was brandishing a firearm, made a demand for cash and an undisclosed amount of currency was received. The suspect then turned, exited the store and continued across the plaza parking lot. Fresh tracks in the snow would suggest that the suspect ran northwest from the store and likely into the nearby Eastview Park.
Responding uniform officers immediately set up an area of containment and were assisted by members of the Barrie Police Tactical Support Unit (TSU) and Canine Unit with the hope of locating the suspect. Unfortunately, the subsequent canine track was unsuccessful with the track concluding on a nearby residential street. The person responsible for this robbery remains at large and the store employee was not injured during this incident.
Police are hoping that through images captured by surveillance cameras at the store, that someone may recognize the suspect, his clothing or unique footwear. The suspect is described as:
• Male, 6 feet tall, slim build, black hoody sweatshirt, full face covering balaclava, grey tapered track pants with two stripes on left thigh, grey running shoes with orange on the heel and side and grey gloves with coated fingertips.
Anyone with information or who may have residential video surveillance or information is asked to contact Sgt. Don Moore of the Barrie Police Investigative Services at dmoore@barriepolice.ca, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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Barrie is being told to brace for a winter storm likely heading our way, one that will blanket much of Southern Ontario.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of Southern Ontario, including Barrie, due to a potential winter storm. The latest forecast is showing the possibility of significant rain and freezing rain Saturday through Sunday, followed by strong winds Sunday morning. This weather event may result in flooding and/or power outages caused by significant ice build-up on electrical equipment, high winds and fallen tree limbs on overhead powerlines. 
Residents are encouraged to follow Alectra on Twitter on @AlectraNews, download the Alectra app or visit the outage map at www.alectrautilities.com for the latest updates. To report outages Alectra customers in Simcoe County should call 1-877-963-6900.
The City of Barrie will post City service information related to the storm on Twitter (@cityofbarrie), Facebook (facebook.com/cityofbarrie/) and www.barrie.ca/EmergencyManagement. The City asks residents not to use social media to report service requests during the storm. Service requests should be sent to Service Barrie by calling 705-726-4242 Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm (if the concern needs to be addressed after-hours, press zero for assistance) or emailing servicebarrie@barrie.ca, or by using the Pingstreet mobile app, available for download viawww.barrie.ca/pingstreet. As always, in the event of an emergency, residents should call 911.
The City has all winter maintenance crews on standby to address icy road conditions. Staff will monitor the weather closely and salters/sanders will be dispatched accordingly. Residents can track the progress of crews atwww.barrie.ca/PlowTracker.
Barrie Transit services
During this storm watch, both conventional and specialized transit services will continue to operate. However, the impact of this weather may cause service delays. Staff will monitor the weather closely and work to maintain service levels where possible and safe to do so. Visit MyRideBarrie.ca for real-time bus information. 
What to do if you see a downed tree
Residents are responsible for damage done to trees on their private property. For any downed City trees or trees fallen on utility lines, call Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm. If the concern needs to be addressed after-hours, press zero for assistance. Residents can also report downed trees using the Pingstreet mobile app.
Flashing red or blank traffic lights
During an electrical power loss, traffic signal displays at intersections will be either be blank or flashing red/amber. Yield the right-of-way to vehicles in the intersection and to vehicles entering the intersection from your right. Go cautiously and use the intersection the same way you would use an intersection with all-way stop signs.
What to do if you see a downed power line
Downed power lines may be energized and are dangerous. If power lines are down, stay at least 10 metres away (the length of a school bus), and call 911 immediately.
Make sure you and your family are prepared. Check out the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Flood brochure or visit the MNR website for tips on how to prepare for a flood. 
The City reminds all residents of the importance of having an emergency kit in the event of a sustained power outage. It is recommended that emergency kits include: medicine, first aid supplies, flashlights, new batteries, a battery-operated radio, a manual can opener, canned food, bottled water, blankets, food for pets and important telephone numbers for family doctors, schools, daycare and insurance companies.
For helpful preparedness information please visit www.getprepared.gc.ca.

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“Don’t make your first RIDE of 2020 one that starts with the Barrie police.” – Sergeant John Brooks

It seems calls not to drink and drive continue to fall on some deaf ears, with Barrie police officers having a busy shift overnight arresting four drivers for impaired-related offences.
In a span of just over seven hours, four drivers made the wrong choice and got behind the wheel of their motor vehicle, choosing to drive after they had been consuming alcohol or utilizing drugs, police report. 
Last night, between 7 p.m. and 2:33 a.m., three motor vehicle collisions resulted in the arrest of two males and a female driver after police responded to the scenes and determined that the involved drivers at fault were operating their motor vehicles impaired by either alcohol or drugs.
A fourth driver who was initially observed operating his motor vehicle at a high rate of speed was also arrested and charged with impaired driving.
“This is certainly not the way to end the year when there are so many options available to drivers who should know to plan ahead and make the right choices when it comes to driving,” says Sergeant John Brooks of the Barrie Police Traffic Unit.
“Don’t make your first RIDE of 2020 one that starts with the Barrie police.”

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The Barrie Police Service is appealing to the public for assistance after a number of mischief related incidents have occurred in Barrie.
Beginning on Sunday Dec. 15, and including four occurrences from last night, police have responded to 18 incidents where the complainants have either reported damage to windows in their homes or to parked motor vehicles. In all of these incidents, it would appear as if the damage is consistent with either a pellet gun or slingshot being used and the rounded projectile striking the windows. The incidents have been reported primarily in the northeast and southeast parts of the city but are becoming more widespread.
In the case of the parked motor vehicles, the projectile has shattered the windows on impact and with the windows in the homes, has either lodged between the panes of glass or been able to penetrate through the glass and screen combination. The projectile is described as silver in colour, round, metallic and approximately 1 centimetre in diameter. There have been no persons injured as a result of this malicious activity.
If you have information on these mischiefs please contact Sergeant Don Moore of the Barrie Police Service Investigative Services at 705-725-7025, ext. 2765, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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Council updated on project to enhance Johnson’s Beach

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 Johnson’s Beach in east Barrie is a favourite of residents and visitors seeking summer sun, sand, and surf fun.
Now, a project being planned by the City’s engineering department should add to the experience by extending the beach area.
In a memo to council, Angela MacLean, project engineer, said the department is completing the detail design for the Johnson’s Beach Enhancement Project.
“The beach area will undergo modifications to regain some additional area for beach use. The project will also ensure that there is an area for stormwater to flow properly to reduce the chance of beach washout,” she writes.
An information session on the project is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Parkview Community Centre, from 5-8 p.m. A letter is being mailed to agencies, businesses, property owners, and tenants who may be interested/impacted.
Back in 2016, changes were made to the outlet of the storm sewer that moves through the beach area. “A rock-lined overflow channel was installed so that if the inlet to the storm sewer became blocked, the overland flows would not washout the beach,” the letter reads.
“Since the modifications there have been no issues with the overland flows on the beach, however changes to the design are necessary to regain some of the beach area.”
Highlights of the project include: Changes to the curb in the existing parking lot, removal of the existing rock channel, installation of a new overflow channel east of the existing rock channel, placement of sand in place of the existing rock channel.
The work is expected to take four weeks to complete, and will not require a beach closing. However, access to the parking lot will be restricted. The project is currently in the tender stage, and is about 30 per cent complete. Pending budget approval, work is set to begin next November.
“Daily access to the Yacht Club will not be affected, however movement of large vehicles in and out of the Yacht Club will need to be coordinated during the construction period.”

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The Barrie Police Service was contacted this week regarding an unknown male appearing to check car door handles in the Marshall Street and Little Avenue area of Barrie. The suspicious incidents occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, Dec. 17. 
While all the handles that the male checked appeared to be locked, and police have not received any reports of stolen property, they would still like to speak with this male and are seeking his identity.
 The suspect is described as: male, white; aged 20 – 25; thin build, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, jacket with a hood, a backpack, and Nike running shoes.
As part of an evening routine every night, everyone is encouraged to double-check that vehicles are locked and that any valuables are out of sight, or taken out of the vehicle.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Constable C. Manna of the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025 ext. 2550 or cmanna@barriepolice.ca. Any information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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Barrie police are looking to identify an unknown male who entered the Tim Hortons store on Dunlop Street East in Barrie and stole numerous items of value, including an undisclosed amount of cash.
On Friday, Dec. 13 at approximately 11:25 p.m., the suspect entered the store and spent approximately 15 – 20 minutes inside. He was last seen heading southbound on Bayfield Street from the five-points intersection dragging a covered garbage can of stolen items. At the time that the suspect left the store, there was a lot of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area.
The suspect is described as:
• Male, white; about 30 years old; white partial beard/goatee; wearing a white bandana around face; a blue baseball hat with red logo (Timber Mart); a beige hooded sweatshirt/jacket; beige pants; beige skateboard shoes; and blue and grey wool gloves. 
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable M. Hankin of the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025 ext.2642 or mhankin@barriepolice.ca. Any information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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Devine musings

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Some time ago, a colleague dropped by, grimacing as he reached for his back, a slight stoop to his posture.
“You know you’re getting old when merely standing up brings on the aches and pains,” he said, perhaps looking for some sympathy.
I don’t know about that, being a fit, handsome and incredibly, eternally, youthful man. But it did get me to thinking about the signs we, or rather you, give off to reveal the fact Mother Nature takes no prisoners. 
Sooner or later we, I mean you, surrender to the slow, relentlessly grim pull of the reaper. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you!
Anyway, enough joviality. Here are some behaviours I’ve seen that indicate you, not me, are getting … mature.
When you not only don’t recognize the song being played, you have no idea what kind of device it’s being played on, you know it’s all passing you by.
If you talk more about your snowblower than sex, life, as you have known it, is ending.
When the bartender calls you sir instead of buddy, it’s a sign the age train is pulling into the station.
You know you’re getting on when you break wind in public, and either don’t know or don’t care.
If your back goes out more than you do, it might be a sign the years are piling up.
When you start to scream at the neighbourhood kids, and they’re not even on your lawn, it’s a sign old man grump has come calling.
When you start to laugh like the Penguin (think about it), don’t be surprised if someone gives up a chair for you.
If someone starts to tell you the good news about prostate health, man-o-man you are past it.
If you still think polyester is cheap stuff, your days as a fashion hound are well behind you.
If you get on the dance floor and even attempt to ‘do the hustle,’ grab the next bus for retirement city because they have a lovely lawn chair waiting just for you.
If someone calls you at 9 p.m. and asks if they woke you, age has become a factor.
When you get into the elevator and start to hum along, just step off between floors because there isn’t anywhere to go but down.
If the name Lawrence Welk even enters you vocabulary, grab some popcorn – with butter substitute of course – and watch the show.
When just about everything under the sun or moon has the potential to annoy you, it might be time to admit your capacity to just ‘put up with it’ is diminishing as fast as your bone mass.
You know you’re getting on when you start to worry about getting on – unless you’re an excessive worrier who has been obsessing about age since you were 20. If that’s the case, well never mind.
I know it’s rough getting old, but someone has to do it. And just remember, there’s always someone older than you. If not, man are you old!

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Premier’s Award nominees (back row, from left to right) Cassandra Nordell, Alex Brown, Jesse Hambly, Rishi Ghuldu, Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College, and David Mottershall; (front row, from left to right) Kevin Collins and Darda Sales at the gala event Dec. 2. (photo by Kevin Collins)
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What do a serial entrepreneur, the president of Easter Seals, co-founder of a charity, survivor of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, renowned chef, award-winning designer and four-time Paralympian have in common?
They’re all Georgian graduates, change-makers and nominees for the 2019 Ontario Premier’s Awards. These seven talented Georgian alumni were celebrated at a special gala on Dec. 2 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. Kevin Collins was recipient of a Premier’s Award in the Community Services category.
Collins (Hotel and Resort Administration, 1984; Tourism Management, 1985) is a two-time recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and Ontario Restaurant’s Trillium Award Newsmaker of the Year 2013. He has brought philanthropy to the forefront of the hospitality industry. As a child with Cerebral Palsy, Collins benefited from Easter Seals’ camp programs and pledged to give back, doing so as executive director of Friends of We Care, the industry’s charitable arm, which sends physically disabled children to camp. After successfully tripling the organization’s donor base and raising $20.5 million over his career, he was appointed to his current role as president and CEO of Easter Seals Ontario in 2017.
“People believed in me and that is a powerful thing,” said Collins. “When I get up in the morning, I am driven by having the privilege to help provide children with physical disabilities the opportunity to achieve their dreams. This is my inspiration and my passion and it’s like no other. It is an honour to receive the Premier’s Award in the category of Community Services. Georgian is where it all started for me – it gave me the foundation to get to where I am today.” 
Georgian’s six other nominees are:
• Alex Brown (Business Administration, 2007), is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur who launched and sold a number of thriving businesses, including his current venture, eCommerce Rockstars. He’s a well-respected operations and corporate development expert, and youth entrepreneurship and employment leader in Canada and the U.S. Brown co-founded the Dollar Beard Club, a subscription-based company that earned over $10 million in its first year and has more than 400 million online video views to date. He’s a mentor to numerous eCommerce businesses, and has been a keynote speaker on three continents. He was nominated in the Business category.
• Rishi Ghuldu (Mechanical Engineering Technology; Automotive Manufacturing, 1999) facilitated $200 million in synergy identification from Barrick Gold’s $10.3-billion acquisition of PlacerDome, and led the Business Improvement team to realize $330 million through value-creation projects. Leading Goldcorp’s Operational Excellence function, he yielded benefits of $230 million and led its supply chain transformation, delivering $26 million in annual net savings. He was Goldcorp’s Synergy lead for the Newmont-Goldcorp merger, creating the world’s largest gold mining company. Ghuldu is co-founder and president of CanEducate, a charity that’s supported 20,000 children with educational scholarships since 2010. He was nominated in the Technology category.
• Jesse Hambly (Business Marketing, 2014; Advertising and Marketing Communications, 2015) as a a two-time Ontario college graduate, ambitious entrepreneur and co-founder of Pressa Inc. He is helping to revolutionize the water bottle industry. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Pressa Inc. secured a manufacturer in China and began working with significant retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Staples. An appearance on CBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2017, a successful e-commerce site, distribution centres in China, the U.S. and Canada, as well as product placement in major chain stores across North America, has put Pressa Inc. on the map with global sales of more than 210,000 units within two years. He was nominated in the category of Recent Graduate.|
• David Mottershall (Cook Apprenticeship Advanced, 2001), is a critically acclaimed and award-winning chef. His restaurant Loka opened with the support of a Kickstarter campaign, which surpassed its $25,000 goal within a week, going on to be voted best Toronto restaurant of 2015 by NOW Magazine. He was featured in Toronto Life in 2016 and named one of 20 Canadian chefs to follow by Huffington Post. Mottershall implements a zero-waste policy in his restaurants and promotes the use of locally sourced, raised and produced food that highlights local farmers, fishermen and agriculture. He was nominated in Apprenticeship category.
• Cassandra Nordell (Interior Design, 2005). Before turning 25, Nordell launched two successful building and design companies, one of which, William Standen Co., was named one of the country’s fastest growing companies in 2013 and again in 2016, posting a five-year revenue growth of 958 per cent. She has been named one of the Top Female Entrepreneurs in Canada and a PROFIT 500 CEO. She is recognized as a leader in the North American kitchen and design industry. She uses her expertise to give back to her community by designing spaces for charities such as Habitat for Humanity, and mentoring new designers. She as nominated in the Creative Arts and Design category.
Darda Sales (Therapeutic Recreation, 2006) is a four-time Paralympian in two sports, a gold and silver medalist, world-record holder and dual sport World Champion, Sales has dedicated her career to positively moving sports for individuals with a disability forward. Whether working as a recreational therapist, swim coach, motivational speaker, or consultant to companies looking to improve their parasports programs, Sales strives to remove barriers and raise awareness that sport truly is for everyone. Her goal is to have a positive impact and change the landscape of what people perceive as sports for individuals with a disability. She was nominated in the Health Sciences category.
“We are extremely proud of Kevin and our six other Premier’s Award nominees, and captivated by their incredible stories and accomplishments,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO, Georgian College. “They’ve each worked exceptionally hard, built impressive careers, and are an inspiration to all future Georgian grads. Each has used their strengths and skills as changemakers and leaders to make their industry, community and our world a better place.”
The Premier’s Awards recognize the important social and economic contribution that college graduates make throughout the province and world. Georgian is home to more than 82,000 graduates.

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With the Christmas holidays looking, the City is reminding residents that services will be impacted. Here’s a rundown.
Barrie Transit Holiday Schedule
Transit will operate a regular weekday Service schedule on Dec. 24. There will be no service on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. On Dec. 26, Transit will operate a Sunday service with an early 7 a.m. start. On Dec. 31, there will be regular weekday service with extended free service from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.  (www.barrie.ca/TransitNotices)
Curbside Collection
There will be no curbside collection on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in Barrie. Collection will occur one day later for both of these weeks.  Materials must be curbside by 7 a.m. on your collection day. (www.barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection)
Landfill Holiday Schedule
The Landfill Site will be closed Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1, and will close at noon on Dec. 24 and 31.
City Hall
City Hall will be closed on Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1, and will close at noon on Dec. 24 and 31.
Recreation
All recreation centres will be closed on Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1, and will close at noon on Dec. 24 and 31. Check out the Holiday Drop-In schedules at www.barrie.ca/DropIns.
Parking
Downtown on-street metered parking is free for the first two hours during December. Downtown parking (on-street and lots) is free on all statutory holidays. Waterfront parking is enforced 24/7/365; residents must display their permits and visitors are required to pay $3/hour (daily maximum: $20).
Overnight On-Street Parking
From Dec. 1st through March 31st, on-street parking is not permitted from 3–6 a.m. within the Downtown BIA, and on other City streets from 12:01–7a.m. (www.barrie.ca/parking)
Possible Overnight On-Street Parking Exemption
If winter maintenance is not required, on-street parking will be permitted for the following dates and times:
• 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Christmas Day
• 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Dec. 26
• 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
If winter maintenance is required on these nights, the City will ask residents to remove parked vehicles from the road to allow crews to effectively clear the streets. A notice will be posted at www.barrie.ca/snow, Facebook, and Twitter by 4 p.m. on the day prior (Dec. 24, 25, and 31) that will confirm whether overnight on-street parking is permitted.

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Barrie has a budget for 2020. The City is looking at an operating budget of $362 million, and a capital budget of $231 million. It all translates into a 2.96 per cent increase from last year’s numbers.
The City pointed to a number of factors for additional financial pressures, including provincial downloading, funding cuts to public health, county-run social services and city policing. Combined, they added $2.3 million to the City’s 2020 Business Plan & Budget, or .95 per cent to the overall tax increase.  
Broken down, the 2.96 per cent increase includes a 1.96 per cent property tax increase, and a 1 per cent Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund, used to replace and renew Barrie’s roads, pipes and buildings.
For the average Barrie home (includes town homes, apartments and detached homes) assessed at $351,000, this increase translates to an additional $122 annually. The assessed value is provided by MPAC and is different than the market value of homes.
Council also approved a 3.34 per cent increase to water rates and a 4.75 per cent increase to wastewater rates. For a typical Barrie home consuming 180 cubic metres of water annually, the water bill will increase by $11.50 and the wastewater bill will increase by $22.96.
“This was an extremely challenging budget year, especially as we prepare for significant growth in the coming years. Provincial funding cuts left council with the difficult choice to either reduce key community services or find a way to backfill the provincial funding shortfalls,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman.
“Not withstanding these fiscal constraints, council and staff worked hard to provide improved service and invest in priorities like roads, transit, affordable housing and the infrastructure needed to support our growing city, while minimizing the impact to local tax payers.”
The budget includes increased investments in affordable housing, allocating $1 million to a Community Improvement Plan fund to incentivize the creation of affordable housing. The City is also spending more than last year to support affordable housing services delivered by the County of Simcoe. The Connected Core pilot program will continue in 2020. The program works with social services, police and other agencies to deliver coordinated access to outreach, housing, addiction and mental health and other general community services.
The 2020 operating budget also includes funding for increased lifeguard service at Centennial Beach, needle exchange bins and Naloxone kits at various City parks and parking lots and free Barrie Transit service for seniors on Thursdays. A Transit on Demand pilot program will be introduced in 2020 that will use mobile technology to provide flexible routing based on a specific transit user’s travel needs and a Community Bus pilot project will connect customers to a variety of popular destinations along a unique neighbourhood route.
Expanded operation of the Recycling Depot at the Landfill will reduce wait times and increase diversion rates and winter control and downtown maintenance will be improved with six additional staff who will increase service levels. 
Key projects in the 2020 capital budget include the new Harvie Road and Big Bay Point Road crossing at Highway 400, completion of the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus, $4.2 million in road resurfacing across Barrie and $6 million to replace a portion of the City’s fleet of vehicles. Additional projects include the Dunlop Street improvements, expansion of Mapleview Drive East, reconstruction of Dunlop, Poyntz and Berczy and rehabilitating the 10 public washrooms in City parks.
The budget also includes funding for the new Huronia/McKay trunk sanitary project. Subject to agreements with the development community, this project will unlock 381 residential units in the short-term and is a key piece, along with a number of other infrastructure projects, which will permit the development of about 200 acres of City employment land along Highway 400.
Residential property tax bill funds are allocated to City services 56 per cent), education (13 per cent as mandated by the Province) and Service Partners (31 per cent between the Barrie Police Service, Public Library, County of Simcoe, etc.). The Business Plan & Budget will be funded through property taxes, user fees and other financing sources.
Residents can visit barrie.ca/PropertyTaxes and use the City’s Property Tax Calculator to see an estimate of their property taxes and a breakdown of how they’re used to fund services.

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Bringing body rub parlours in Barrie under a licenced and regulated system could help young women from falling prey to human traffickers, the chair of the Barrie Police Services Board writes in a memo to council.
The Barrie Police Service is “aware of numerous known body rub parlours within the City. If (the City) had a bylaw that licenced and regulated body rub parlours, the (bylaw department and police) would have additional authorities to enter and inspect body rub parkours to keep young women and girls from falling victim to human trafficking,” writes Angela Lockridge, chair of the board.
The board is recommending two actions: 1) That the City amend its zoning laws to permit and regulate body rub parlours, and 2) that the City develop a bylaw to license body rub parlours.

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Catholic schools across Simcoe County and Muskoka will be closed Wednesday for a one-day strike by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).
The job action will close elementary and secondary schools. High schools in the Simcoe County District School Board will also close, as will the board’s adult learning centres.
“At our board, OSSTF represents 750 educational assistants, designated early childhood educators, office and clerical and maintenance staff and we cannot ensure a safe learning environment with these employees on strike,” Catholic board director Brian Beal said in an email to parents.
“We continue to be hopeful that a settlement is reached prior to the commencement of this strike action and we are committed to communicating with our families as this situation evolves over the coming days.”
Updates are made when available and can be found at www.smcdsb.on.ca.

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Wondering what the new era of legal cannabis might mean to you? The Barrie Police Service has released some details. Click here for a City Scene story.

City council was recently made aware of changes to the rules of cannabis production, coming from the repeal of the current licensing bylaw and replacement with a new one, the Cannabis Production Facility Licensing Bylaw.
“The new bylaw would incorporate legislative changes under the Cannabis Act that expanded the type of facilities authorized to produce cannabis, both medical and now recreational cannabis,” reads a Nov. 25 memo to council.
The new regime has been developed to incorporate the following:
• New and amended definitions which incorporate both the federal changes as well as recent changes to the City’s zoning bylaw.
• Expands the permitted licensing categories in accordance with the federal legislation to include various types of production facilities including but not limited to micro-cultivation facilities, medical production facilities and recreational production facilities.
For readers interested in more information on this, here’s a link to the memo.

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A recent memo to council from the manager of the City’s enforcement services details the number of complaints received in regards to licensed boarding lodgings and rooming houses.
As of Nov. 18, there were 39 lodging and rooming abodes in Barrie, with 23 of them having received at least one complaint so far this year, writes Tammy Banting. Of those 23 locations, 10 were the targets of multiple complaints.
“The nature of the complaints have included both interior and exterior property standards, yard maintenance and zoning matters including, but not limited to, pest infestation, mould, garbage/debris, inoperable vehicles, leaking roofs, long grass and weeds. etc.,” she writes.
The memo continues that outdoor property violations can be handled without first getting consent from an owner or tenant, but gaining entrance to a residence is restricted. Officers must obtain permission to enter a residence for an inspection.
“A licensing process does not change this requirement and consent to inspect is still required and can be refused by either the tenant or owner,” reads the memo.
Staff reviewed procedures in Oshawa, Waterloo and Thorold, and found that licensing bylaws in those communities are used to handle concerns addressed in Barrie’s property maintenance, yard maintenance, and zoning bylaws.
Most of the other communities, the memo continues, “did not have these types of bylaws in place and did not have provisions to address some of the community concerns or had insufficient resources to enforce them.” Rather, they used licensing and enforcement resources as an alternative to bylaws.
“The licensing itself does not resolve the issue of access to the interior of the property, nor does it alleviate the day-to-day issues that are most appropriately dealt with through the aforementioned bylaws. It is staff’s view that generally licensing regimes have similar results to the implementation and enforcement through (bylaws) when similar resources are available.”
The memo concludes by informing council that staff “have already explored tools including, but not limited to, awareness campaigns, escalated enforcement timelines and proactive enforcement in an effort to address the concerns raised. The implementation will be accessed and initated in 2020.”
The memo was in response to questions from councillors about the number of complaints received relating to boarding lodging and rooming houses.   

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The Barrie Police Service still has plans for the Bell Farm Road property … and wants $500,000 to turn one of the buildings on the site into a firearms training centre.
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Once the site of a fitness centre, 79 Bell Farm Road was purchased in 2009 by the City for use by the Barrie Police Service. It was meant to be a temporary fix until a new police headquarters could be built sometime down the road.
The end of the road is nearing, with the $103-million Barrie Simcoe Emergency Services Campus on Fairview Road nearing completion. The service still has plans for the Bell Farm Road property, however, and wants $500,000, as part of its $55.8-million budget request, to turn one of the buildings on the site into a firearms training centre.
The decision to purchase the Bell Farm Road property was made without any consultation with the service, according to a report outlining capital requirements for the facility.
“At the time of purchase, it was recognized and informally agreed upon by all stakeholders that this was a temporary solution, in anticipation of a new or alternate police headquarters in the near future,” the report states.
At the time of purchase, the building needed “significant refurbishment” to meet the needs of the police department. It remained vacant until 2015, when the service moved in to accommodate its quartermaster, property and evidence, training, and policy and research units.
When it was bought by the City, staff recommended $1.3 million be made available for upgrades to meet the needs of the service, but council ended up approving $650,000 of the amount, which, says the report, determined what could be done in terms of renovations.
“Strategically speaking, it seemed practical that with a limited budget, and a vision of a ‘stop-gap’ occupancy, the building would undergo only minimal renovations and required maintenance. Many much-needed items were eliminated from the scope, in hopes that the building would suit the service’s needs during this transitional timeframe.”
By the end of 2015, $850,000 had been spent, including an additional $200,000 for a fire-suppression system. Deferred items included dealing with ground-water seepage, an inefficient heating system, replacing a flat roof, replacing HVAC units nearing the end of their life cycle, and rotted stairs at the front entrance. The “catch-up” costs amount to $500,000 for 2020.
Additional repairs may be needed as a detailed analysis of the facility was not completed.
“These repairs and analysis were not completed as expectations were that all units housed at 79 Bell Farm Road would be moving to the new headquarters location at 110 Fairview in 2020. The Barrie Simcoe Emergency Services Campus (BSESC) would be comprised of an administrative building (Building A), a training building (Building B) and a fleet building (Building C).”
However, in 2017, council asked the campus team to, in an attempt to contain costs, scale back the scope of the project and defer the construction of the training centre. Council subsequently approved that deferral. The move meant that savings of $29,144,391 might be realized, “when both the Barrie Police Service and Barrie Fire and Emergency Services portions were taken into account,” states the report.
Removing the training building meant the project would proceed with the administrative and fleet buildings, at a cost of $103,335,470 million.
“Funds from the BSESC project were not allocated for the necessary renovations and maintenance at 79 Bell Farm Road. Further, capital considerations were not assumed by the project, nor was there any immediate strategy considered to address the service’s need of a viable training facility with room for growth and a firearms range. With the cancellation of Building B, there was no consideration given for the critical needs of the training unit that were to be addressed by the new facility.”
When the campus opens, scheduled for early 2020, all operations from police facilities at 79 Bell Farm Road, 29 Sperling Drive, and 60 Bell Farm Road will relocated to the Fairview address, “with the notable exception of the entire training unit.
“There are currently no funds allocated for the essential maintenance and renovations needed to ensure that 79 Bell Farm remains a safe and supportive physical environment that continues to offer much-needed training to Barrie Police Service members.”
Last May, meetings were held to discuss the capital requirements of the Bell Farm Road location that would permit the facility to continue to be used as a training unit. Two funding requests were submitted to council: $500,000 for 2020, and $1 million for 2021.
“79 Bell Farm Road is clearly in need of a major overhaul. From basic renovations and long-deferred maintenance, to renovations needed to support the building’s new role as a back-up communications (centre) and a dedicated police training facility, there are many requirements to bring the building up to the high standards that the community has come to expect from the Barrie Police Service,” states the report which identified two “significant goals” the upgrades would achieve:
• Upgrade a neglected building to meet the needs of the service and provide a practical, accessible and hospitable occupancy to its members and guests.
• Enhance the infrastructure of the service’s training unit, to allow it to properly schedule and and train our members for the foreseeable future, or until the completion of Building B at the BSCESC.
Read the full report here.

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Police charge more suspects in fatal stabbing incident

On Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7:15a.m., Barrie police and the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services responded to a report of a male being stabbed at 16 Dunlop Street East.
A 30-year old male from Barrie was found to be suffering from life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Since then, the ongoing investigation into the murder of Ryan Babineau, which is being conducted by members of the Barrie Police Homicide Unit, has remained active and ongoing. On Monday, Nov. 17, a forensic post-mortem examination was conducted at the Office of the Chief Coroner and Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OCC-OFPS) located in Toronto and the cause of death has been determined to be consistent with injuries sustained as a result of the deceased being fatally stabbed.
On Thursday, Nov. 21, Barrie police arrested and charged a 28-year-old Cory Greavette of no fixed address with 1st Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose and Disguise with Intent after he was located at a Barrie residence.
This past Monday, (Nov. 25,), the Barrie Police Homicide Unit identified two additional suspects who were wanted for 1st Degree Murder in regards to this ongoing investigation. Last evening, shortly after 6:30 p.m., 26-year-old Tyler Wren was located by officers from the South Simcoe Police Service and was taken into custody after he attempted to evade a RIDE spot-check near Yonge Street and Innisfil Beach Road in the Town of Innisfil.
This morning, Barrie police detectives arrested 25-year-old Abad Abdi Shire, who had been incarcerated in northern Ontario on an unrelated matter and returned him to Barrie.
Both of the arrested males have been formally charged with 1st Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose and Disguise with Intent and will appear at the Ontario Court of Justice located in Barrie later today.
Anyone who may have information regarding this homicide is encouraged to contact Detective Constable Bruce Bernard at 705-725-7025 ext. 2162 or by email at bbernard@barriepolice.ca. If you wish to remain anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com

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The first annual Holiday with a Hero is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 30, pairing 77 children in need with local heroes from the OPP, CFB Borden, the Barrie Police Service, Barrie Firefighters and County Paramedics.
United Way Simcoe Muskoka has partnered with CFB Borden and Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions to bring this event to Barrie for the first time. Through Family Connexions, 77 local children in need from across Simcoe County and Muskoka were identified.
“We hope to provide these incredible children with an unforgettable holiday experience that provides them the opportunity to be a hero themselves as they purchase gifts for their family,” writes Douglas Landsborough, marketing and communications specialist with the United Way.
After shopping, the children will be part of an emergency vehicle procession to a morning of activities, gift wrapping and a pancake breakfast. The event begins at 6 a.m., when the heroes arrive. Shopping follows at 6:30 a.m., and at 8 a.m. the emergency vehicle procession begins. Activities start at 8:30 a.m.
“Not only will the children have a magical day, but their opinions of uniformed personnel, who often accompany an emergency or serious life event, will be changed for the better.”

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With the imminent arrival of winter and the current conditions of cold and snow, the City has geared up for seasonal snow removal efforts. Here are some winter maintenance reminders:
Parking restrictions
A reminder that on-street parking is not permitted on City streets from 12:01–7 a.m. and 3–6 a.m. within the Downtown Business Improvement Area, from Dec. 1 through March 31. This ensures that the streets can be completely cleared and that large emergency vehicles can get down the street.
Plowing of City roads
The priority are the main roads, those with the most traffic in the city. These roads are serviced when at least five cm of snow has fallen. The secondary (residential) routes are plowed when there is at least eight cm of snow. The goal is to have most routes plowed 12–24 hours after the end of a snow fall. With Barrie’s Plow Tracker, you can track the progress of the road plows and see when your street was last serviced. A reminder: plows can’t avoid leaving snow at the bottom of driveways because they can’t lift the blades in between driveways.
Sidewalk plowing
Sidewalk plowing is done on main sidewalks when five cm of snow falls and on residential sidewalks when there’s eight cm of snow. If you see a sidewalk plow driving on the road, there’s a good reason—they’re travelling to their next destination for plowing because it’s faster than travelling on the sidewalk.
Waste collection
Shovel out a small area at the bottom of your driveway for your garbage, recycling boxes and green bin, as far from the road as possible without blocking the sidewalk. Do not place them on top of the snow bank. 
For more information and updates about winter maintenance, visit www.barrie.ca/Snow.

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Revellers ringing in the New Year can do so to the sounds of The Trews, as one of Canada’s most popular bands takes to the stage at this year’s Downtown Countdown.
As well as the Trews, this year’s free Downtown Countdown celebration on Dec. 31 features singer-songwriter Craig Cardiff, emerging local band The Hillbirds, and family favourites Splash ‘n Boots.
“In partnership with Rock 95, 107.5 KOOL FM and Barrie 360, the City is excited to welcome The Trews as this year’s Downtown Countdown headliner,” said Arin Donnelly, Community Events Coordinator. “This will be an amazing night of entertainment and fun for all ages. And best of all, it’s all free.” 
The Trews, have earned legions of fans with hits such as Not Ready to GoTired of WaitingHold Me In Your ArmsHighway of Heroes, and Hope and Ruin. They’ve toured extensively over more than 15 years together and have been nominated for 6 Juno Awards. With roots in Nova Scotia, they now call Hamilton home and have performed with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, and Weezer.
This year’s line-up will also include Canadian troubadour, Craig Cardiff. Armed with an extensive catalogue of songs and sharp wit, Cardiff has played with and opened for artists such as Blue Rodeo, Gord Downie, Sarah Harmer, Skydiggers, and Hawksley Workman.
Included in this year’s event is an early celebration for the young (and young at heart) including a special show with Juno Award-winning Splash ‘n Boots and fireworks starting at 7 p.m. Splash ‘n Boots rose to prominence in the hearts and minds of families in Canada through music, live shows, and television. They’ve released 12 albums, including their most recent, “You, Me and the Sea,” co-written and produced by Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea. On TV, they appear daily in homes across Canada with their show broadcast on Treehouse TV and Disney Jr. Canada.
Every year, the City of Barrie invites local bands to submit their music for the opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage. From over 30 submissions, this year’s featured band is The Hillbirds, an indie/folk/pop band from Barrie who keep things real with their meaningful lyrics and high energy performances.
This year’s free New Year’s Eve celebration outside City Hall in downtown Barrie also includes skating at the City Hall rink, horse-drawn wagon rides, fun family activities, roaming street performers, food vendors, and two fireworks displays. The festivities get underway at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31.
Barrie Transit service will be free on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. If driving, there is plenty of free parking within walking distance of the event. For more information about the event, visit www.barrie.ca/DowntownCountdown.

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Arena formerly known as the BMC renamed the Sadlon Arena

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The arena formerly known as the Barrie Molson Centre will now be called the Sadlon Arena.
On Nov. 25, council approved a 10-year naming rights offer from Paul Sadlon Motors Inc. for $170,121 per year, a total of $1,701,210. 
“As a business leader in Barrie since 1971, my family is proud to be continuing our legacy of giving back to our community in such a prominent way,” says Paul Sadlon Sr.
As part of the naming rights, Sadlon Arena will appear on all signage at 555 Bayview Drive where the existing BMC name exists. All changes to signage will occur as soon as possible.
Sadlon Arena is well-known with an established reputation as the region’s premier sports and entertainment venue. The 110,000 sq. ft arena is home to the Barrie Colts (OHL team) and many other notable entertainment activities throughout the year such as concerts, trade shows and special events.
The arena opened on December 31, 1995 with seating for up to 5,000 and has an annual attendance of over 300,000. 

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Key dates set to fill vacant Ward 3 councillor position

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Candidates for Ward 3 councillor can file their nomination papers from today through to Jan. 10, at 2 p.m.
Those interested in filing a nomination for the position, which became vacant when former councillor Doug Shipley became MPP for Barrie-Springwater, must complete and file in the office of the Clerk, first floor of City Hall, 70 Collier Street). Here’s what’s needed:
• declaration of qualification
• endorsement of at least 25 eligible electors in Barrie
• FOI Release Form in order for contact information to be posted on the City’s website
• nomination filing fee of $100 (payable by cash, debit card, certified cheque or money order)
• nomination form.
Key dates for the Ward Three City of Barrie by-election include:
• Nomination Period – Nov. 26, 2019 to Jan. 10, at 2 p.m.
• Nomination Day – Jan. 10, at 2 p.m.
• By-election Day – Monday, Feb. 24.
For more information including candidate qualifications, application process and nomination form, visithttps://www.barrie.ca/City%20Hall/election/Pages/ByElection.aspx.

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The goal of the Connected Core pilot program is to create awareness of services currently available in the downtown core, by bringing together community partners and other key stakeholders, and to work together to fill gaps identified in the community
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Connected Core, a City-supported project that’s aiming to address social issues in the downtown core, is launching a winter boot drive.
The program is coordinating a drive for gently used boots, which will be provided to community partners serving those in need. The collected boots will be distributed by Salvation Army, David Busby Centre, the Gilbert Centre and Redwood Park Communities.
From Nov. 25 to Dec. 9, members of the community are encouraged to donate gently used winter boots at the dropoff boxes in any of two locations: RVH RAAM clinic (70 Wellington St., Barrie lower level); Barrie Police Services Bell Farm Rd office (60 Bell Farm Rd., Barrie; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
The goal of the Connected Core pilot program is to create awareness of services currently available in the downtown core, by bringing together community partners and other key stakeholders, and to work together to fill gaps identified in the community. The aim of the program is to connect marginalized individuals to the right services at the right time by providing access to a comprehensive archive of all our community partners and downtown stakeholders. To learn more about Connected Core visit connectedcore.ca 

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The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board has notified parents that it has received notice from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) about province-wide job action, beginning Tuesday.
The job action involves about 750 staff, including educational assistants (EAs), designated early childhood educators (DECEs), office and clerical and maintenance workers. Teachers are not represented by OSSTF, and although they are continuing to negotiate their own contract, the board’s elementary and secondary teachers are not currently engaged in job action.
OSSTF, says the board in an email message, has indicated that their job action will include information pickets as well as a limited withdrawal of some services. At this time, the withdrawal of service appears to be administrative in nature and the union has indicated, through its public news release that, these job actions will have no impact on student learning.”
Throughout this job action, families and visitors may see staff members participating in information pickets before and after school or during lunch time. These pickets may result in minor delays and the board asks for patience and understanding as “EAs, DECEs, office and maintenance staff exercise their legal rights as part of a union.” 
Check the labour updates section at smcdsb.on.ca for news.

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Barrie police have arrested and charged a man with first degree murder in connection with a stabbing that occurred last Saturday.
On Nov. 16 at 7:15 a.m., Barrie police and the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services responded to a report of a male being stabbed at 16 Dunlop Street East. A 30-year-old male from Barrie was found to be suffering from life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Since then, the ongoing investigation into the murder of Ryan Babineau, which is being conducted by members of the Barrie Police Homicide Unit, has remained active and ongoing. On Monday, Nov. 17, a forensic post-mortem examination was conducted at the Office of the Chief Coroner and Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OCC-OFPS) in Toronto, and the cause of death has been determined to be consistent with injuries sustained as a result of the deceased being fatally stabbed.
As a result of a very focused and exhaustive investigative effort, late yesterday afternoon, Barrie police arrested and charged a 28-year-old male who is no fixed address with 1st Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose and Disguise with Intent after he was located at a Barrie residence. He was scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Barrie today.
Also yesterday afternoon, a stolen grey coloured 2019 Mazda X3T that was involved in the homicide was located in Huntsville at a motel on Main Street West. A short time later, officers from the Huntsville Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Central Region OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) arrested a 27-year-old male without incident for Possession of Stolen Property. This male was not involved in the homicide.
Barrie police continues to request the assistance of the public, and is asking that anyone who may have information regarding this investigation to please contact Detective Constable Bruce Bernard at 705-725-7025 ext. 2162 or by email at bbernard@barriepolice.ca. If you wish to remain anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com

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