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The boo ride is coming back to town, courtesy of Barrie Transit and the ghouls and goblins at City Hall.
The Ghost Bus is back for its sixth year, bringing free Halloween fun to the City’s three main community centres next week. Once again, a Barrie Transit bus has been transformed into a spooky place for families to explore this Halloween season. 
“The Ghost Bus Tour has grown into one of our most popular annual events. It’s a great way for families to get in the Halloween spirit,” said Alex Malmsten, Recreation Supervisor at the City. “Transit and Recreation staff try to raise the bar each year and introduce new spooky elements to keep the thrill alive.”
Approximately 8,000 people attended the Ghost Bus Tour last year. Here are the dates and locations of this year’s tour:
• Tuesday, October 22 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at East Bayfield Community Centre, 80 Livingstone St. E
• Wednesday, October 23 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Allandale Recreation Centre, 190 Bayview Drive
• Thursday, October 24 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Holly Community Centre, 171 Mapleton Ave.
In addition to the Ghost Bus, a variety of Halloween-themed activities will be offered for kids of all ages. The bus will remain stationary all night so participants are invited to drop in anytime during the free event. Costumes are encouraged.  
Parents are reminded to use their discretion when deciding whether or not to enter the Ghost Bus with their children. The bus is on the softer side of a typical haunted house, but may be too spooky for some participants.

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Barrie retains its AA credit rating in annual report

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It seems that Barrie stands in good credit as it has maintained its AA credit rating, according to the latest report from Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
The report is issued annually from S&P, a financial services company that offers services including credit ratings, data analysis and equity research to both the private and public sectors worldwide.
“We expect the City of Barrie’s economy to continue growing at a healthy pace and to diversify in the next two years, owing to high demographic growth and robust private investment trends,” S&P states in its report.
“We expect that the city will maintain elevated levels of capital spending and will continue to run modest deficits after capital accounts. We also expect the city’s experienced management team and sound financial policies will support fiscal performance throughout our two-year outlook period.”
The report attributes Barrie’s ‘AA’ rating to the City’s growing and diversifying economy and strong financial management that will continue to support the City’s fiscal performance in the face of high population growth and elevated capital spending. The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s expectations that Barrie’s economy will continue to expand healthily, and its liquidity position will remain more than sufficient over the next two years, says the City in a release.
“S&P’s ‘AA’ credit rating confirms that Barrie’s economy is strong and we continue to make the necessary investments to support our growing community. Council and City staff are dedicated to building a solid financial foundation and this rating shows that we are on the right path,” says Mayor Jeff Lehman. 
“We expect the City of Barrie’s economy to continue growing at a healthy pace and to diversify in the next two years, owing to high demographic growth and robust private investment trends.”
“We expect that the city will maintain elevated levels of capital spending and will continue to run modest deficits after capital accounts. We also expect the city’s experienced management team and sound financial policies will support fiscal performance throughout our two-year outlook period.”

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Chamber and realtors host candidates’ debate

The Barrie Chamber of Commerce, with the Barrie & District Association of Realtors, is holding a Federal Candidates’ Debate for the Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte riding tonight (Oct. 10). The event is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at 676 Veterans Drive.

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EQAO testing a ‘snapshot of student achievement’

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The Education Quality and Accountability Office’s province-wide testing results for school boards and schools are out, with results for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board showing a high of 80 per cent for Grade 6 writing, and a low of 39 per cent for Grade 6 mathematics.
“Our students and staff work extremely hard all year, in every subject area, and we are particularly proud of those students who spend many hours writing the EQAO test each spring – they should feel good about their hard work and efforts,” said Brian Beal, Director of Education.
“EQAO is useful to help identify trends so that the province and the school board can put programs and strategies in place, enabling every student to achieve their God-given ability.” 
The testing shows percentages of students who are meeting or exceeding the provincial standard. The results for the school board are:
• Grade 3 reading – 67 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Grade 3 writing – 62 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Grade 3 mathematics – 48 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Grade 6 reading – 79 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Grade 6 writing – 80 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Grade 6 mathematics – 39 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Grade 9 applied mathematics – 40 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Grade 9 academic mathematics – 77 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard
• Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test first-time eligible students – 75 per cent meeting or exceeding the provincial standard.
“It is important for parents, students and staff to remember that EQAO is only one of the tools we use to measure student outcomes and it is a consideration when board staff are planning curriculum and professional development opportunities,” said Carol Corriveau-Truchon, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
“EQAO provides a snapshot of student achievement on one particular day, but ongoing evaluation in our classrooms reflect the learning and achievements that take place everyday in our schools.”

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Transforming the student experience was the focus of the second phase of Georgian College’s Power of Education Campaign, and thanks to the support of a generous community, the campaign exceeded its $40-million goal.
At the close of the campaign, Georgian raised more than $54 million to support capital projects and scholarships to benefit students at all seven campuses and the downtown Barrie location. The campaign was supported by alumni, students and friends, corporations and foundations, as well as through government investment at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels.
“To maintain its edge, Georgian must continue to deliver a transformative student experience,” said Mike Stollery, President of the AutoIQ Network and Power of Education Campaign Chair. “One that empowers students to learn any time, anywhere; uses technology to enable and expand access to learning; and prepares graduates to be change-makers, ready to adapt and innovate in a constantly evolving economy.”
In 2014, the County of Grey council committed $2 million, followed by provincial and federal government investment, as well as private industry support, resulting in the 2016 opening of the Algoma Central Corporation Marine Emergency Duties (MED) Centre at the Owen Sound Campus. The 13,600-square-foot facility is a key part of Georgian’s renowned Centre for Marine Training and Research.
That same year, the college opened the Segal International Centre at the Barrie Campus to better serve the growing number of international students. The centre features an experienced team of multilingual and culturally astute staff who support more than 3,600 students from 85 countries.  
Early on in the campaign, the Georgian College Alumni Association funded the development of fully equipped videoconferencing classrooms that allow students enrolled in programs at all Georgian campuses to benefit from the technology.
The largest campaign gift came from those with a direct stake in the outcome – the students. The Georgian College Students’ Association (GCSA) made a $7.2-million commitment to the campaign that supported a number of priorities across Georgian campuses, including renovations to student spaces in Orillia, Owen Sound and Barrie, phase one of the sports field at the Barrie Campus and the implementation of a student portal providing any time, anywhere access for all Georgian students. 
“Since joining Georgian, I’ve seen the commitment to excellence that our students, staff, alumni and communities expect,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO, Georgian College.

“It’s that commitment that has made reaching and exceeding the goal of the Power of Education campaign both necessary, and possible. We deeply appreciate our Board of Governors and campaign volunteers for their tireless efforts, and are truly grateful to our community of donors and industry partners for their incredible generosity. We have an exciting future ahead of us.”

Other notable successes include the naming of the J.C. Massie Field in 2017 in recognition of improvements to the sports field, extending its use and reach into the community, and in 2018 the grand opening of the Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre. 
The new $30-million, 56,000 square-foot facility is providing students and industry partners with access to research, commercialization, incubator, change-maker and fabrication spaces and is home to the first engineering, environmental sustainability and computer science degrees in Central Ontario, offered in partnership with Lakehead University.
Federal funding from the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund was matched by commitments of $5 million respectively made by the County of Simcoe and the City of Barrie. Furnishings and future-ready equipment and technology were supported by major gift donors such as Peter B. Moore, owner of Moore Packaging, the Automotive Business School of Canada Board of Directors, Alectra Inc., Honda Canada Foundation, the GCSA, AutoIQ.ca Network, Innovative Automation Inc., and Jane Brown Jackson.
Those who support Georgian understand that investments in the college are investments in the broader community and the future success of our region.
“I’ve been involved with the college for many years and feel strongly that it has a huge influence in our community,” said Jamie Massie, President and CEO of Georgian International and Honorary Campaign Chair. “My business has grown in part due to the talent pool of Georgian graduates, particularly on the automotive side. Investing in Georgian is synonymous with investing in our community.”

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Representatives of the Downtown Barrie Business Improvement Area (BIA) are scheduled to appear before the City’s building committee on Tuesday to lobby for parking options during the current reconstruction of Dunlop Street.
In a presentation titled ‘Construction Negatively Affects Businesses – A Solution is Proposed,’ the BIA says the current option of free parking on the fourth floor of the Collier Street parkade is not effective. The association is requesting free parking for all of the Downtown BIA area during all phases of the construction.
The project is proceeding in three phases:
• Phase 1A – Section between east of Mulcaster Street to just east of Owen Street commenced in September, and is scheduled to proceed to Nov. 8. This phase will be completed early in 2020, as weather permits 
• Phase 1B – Owen Street intersection culvert, Owen Street intersection to Bayfield Street and Five Points intersection. This work is to start after the first phase is done
• Phase 2 – Section between Bayfield and Toronto streets, planned following the completion of phase 1B.
The BIA has committed $300,000 to the $13 million project, but in the presentation says (many businesses) “won’t survive without quick action.” The construction is already impacting businesses, the BIA says.
“In Sept, (business was) down 56 per cent compared to 2018, down 51 per cent compared to 2017,” one retailer says, while another says the “construction has drastically affected my business! Wasn’t prepared for this.”
The parking solution,” says the BIA, “needs to be simple – all parking lots within the downtown.”

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Brian Beal, Director of Education, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.

The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board has announced it will close schools and cancel all programs for Monday, Oct. 7 if an agreement with custodial staff isn’t reach over the weekend.
This would also include the cancellation of before and after care at any of our school locations.
“The health and safety of our students and staff must always be our main priority. After much careful consideration we have determined that in the best interest of student safety, the cancellation of classes is the most appropriate course of action. We understand that this decision will greatly impact our families, but we do remain hopeful that a negotiated settlement is reached this weekend and that a strike is averted,” Director of Education Brian Beal said in an email statement to parents.
Earlier this week the board was notified by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing custodial workers, that it intended to proceed with a full legal strike, beginning Monday. Ongoing negotiations are scheduled during the weekend between CUPE, the provincial government and the Trustee Associations.
“We do remain hopeful that a contract can be negotiated this weekend and/or that full strike action is averted. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation,” Beal continued in his email.

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Barrie residents can share their thoughts about what the City should be spending their money on in 2020 through an online tool, the Budget Allocator.
The allocator will allow residents to offer budget opinions regarding increases, decreases or maintaining current levels of services and taxation. Comments can also be left.
The City operates more than 60 services and programs, including public transit, waste collection, fire and emergency service, roads and parks maintenance, and recreation programs. Through this tool, residents can learn more about each service area and how budgeting changes can impact service delivery.
This year, the City is facing additional budget pressures due to a number of funding and program changes introduced by the provincial government, says CAO Michael Prowse.
“These include funding cuts to public health and changes to the Development Charges Act. There is only one taxpayer. When cuts happen at the provincial level or services are downloaded to municipalities, local governments are left with the bill.”
According to the City, municipalities like Barrie take in just nine cents of every tax dollar raised in Ontario, while the province and the feds receive 44 cents and 47 cents respectively. Municipalities own 57 per cent of the capital infrastructure, while the province owns 41 per cent of infrastructure and the federal government, two per cent.
Examples of capital infrastructure owned by the City include roads, bridges, stormwater drains and sewers, streetlights, sidewalks, community centres, water treatment facilities, etc.
A number of funding and program changes enacted by the province are “adding pressure to the City’s tax base through its service partners,” according to a City spokesperson. Examples include:
Police: Provincial funding reductions were imposed on core programs including Court Security Prisoner Transportation Grant and the Policing Effectiveness and Modernization Grant. 
Health Unit: The provincial budget indicates that the proportion of funding for public health from municipalities will increase to 30 per cent from the previous 25 per cent.
County of Simcoe: The City receives paramedic, social housing, long-term care, child services, and Ontario Works services from the County of Simcoe.  The 2019 provincial budget contains numerous changes to funding agreements between the province and the County that will result in a larger proportion of costs for these services being borne at the municipal level.
The 2020 Budget will outline the City’s plan to make up for the provincial funding shortfalls to ensure vital front-line services are delivered while minimizing the impact to local tax payers. Residents are encouraged to share feedback about their priorities through the Budget Allocator tool.

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This week, city council passed a motion providing free Barrie Transit bus rides to seniors, 65 and older, on Thursdays. Bridging the age gap, children 12 and under can also ride for free, starting Nov. 1.
“We’re very excited to offer free transit for children 12 and under,” said Brent Forsyth, director of transit. “We want to get more young people on the bus—if they get comfortable with the service, they are more likely to become lifelong transit users.” 
Free transit for children 12 and under was approved by council in April as part of the Barrie Transit Fare Strategy. The strategy also includes a small increase to some transit rates.
“In order to be financially responsible with taxpayer money, we need to slightly increase some fares to offset the rising costs of operation,” added Forsyth.
The City has not increased transit student/adult cash fares since 2013. Since that time, Barrie Transit has added more than 25,000 service hours, expanding coverage to areas of the city that didn’t previously have transit service (Route 11), and providing more frequent and direct services through the City’s first express route (Route 100).
Also starting on Nov. 1, transfers will be valid for 75 minutes compared to the current 60 minutes, and seniors 65 and older can ride Barrie Transit for free on Thursdays. This past June, free transit was offered to seniors for the entire month. At that time, the City consulted with seniors to see if they preferred having an entire month free or one day per week. The consultation results showed seniors preferred one free day per week.

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Barrie plants seeds of recognition for pumpkin champ

The hunt is on for pumpkin glory, and the City of Barrie is in on the chase.
Barrie has entered the Compost Council of Canada’s 18th annual Great Pumpkin Growing Contest, entitled Compost’s Giants. The official weigh-in event is this Friday, 10 a.m. at Barrie’s Environmental Centre, 272 Ferndale Drive North.
The pumpkin seeds were germinated by horticulture staff who helped to grow the seedlings. The City’s environmental operations staff and summer students grew the pumpkins using the rich, organic compost at Barrie’s Landfill. 
The heaviest pumpkin in the country will receive bragging rights, $500 towards a horticultural initiative for the municipality and complimentary registration for The Compost Council of Canada’s National Conference.

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Georgian College names new chair of board of governors

Brian Davenport, chair of Georgian College Board of governor

Owen Sound’s Brian Davenport has been named the new chair of Georgian College’s board of governors.
He joined the board in September 2014 and served as vice chair for the past two years. He also served as chair of the finance and audit committee, chair of the nominations committee, and as an active member of most other board committees.
“It is an honour and privilege to be a Georgian board member and to serve in this leadership role,” Davenport is reported saying. “Our students, regardless of what program or career path they choose, are gaining the skills and mindset to be innovative thinkers and change-makers capable of stimulating economic growth and building strong, flourishing communities across our region and beyond.”
The new chair is currently vice president, portfolio and wealth advisor at RBC Dominion Securities. He’s been with RBC since 1986, focusing on portfolio management for business owners, professionals and affluent families. Previously, he worked for TD Bank specializing in agricultural, commercial and corporate lending. He has also served as chair of the board of directors for Grey Bruce Health Services. He is a graduate of Class 3 of the Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program. 
“Brian brings with him extensive experience in board governance, seasoned change management skills and expertise helping organizations achieve their strategic plan,” MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian’s president and CEO. “Under his thoughtful leadership, the board will continue to ensure we achieve our key priorities and live our mission every day to inspire innovation, transform lives and connect communities through the power of education.”
New community members to the board this year are Stephen Arsenault, owner/operator at One More Bid Auctions, and Christopher Edwards, president/CEO of Weber Manufacturing Technologies Inc.
One third of Georgian’s board membership is appointed through the public sector appointment process and two-thirds appointed directly by the board.

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Barrie seniors will be able to ride the buses free of charge on Thursday, and will also see a reduction in what they pay for a monthly transit pass, from $56.50 to $52.
Seniors will also be able to park for free at the Southshore Community Centre during specific events, such as service club meetings and volunteer appreciation gatherings. The changes were adopted during Monday’s city council meeting.
So, what constitutes a senior in Barrie? If you are 65 and older, then you are deemed a senior in these parts.
Council also received a survey conducted by Barrie Transit on how often local seniors ride the buses. Surveys were conducted during June and early July; in June, seniors rode the buses free for the month.
When asked if they had used Barrie Transit from June, 2018 through this past June, 54.84 per cent of respondents said they had, while 45.16 per cent said they had not. Nearly 70 per cent said they used the system to do some shopping.
When asked what option would be best to give seniors the opportunity to try the system for free and gain comfort with it, nearly 55 per cent said free rides one day a week would do the trick.
Seniors aren’t the only group Barrie Transit is trying to convince to ride the buses. Last month council adopted a motion allowing elementary school students in Barrie to continue using a field trip pass.

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Police seek information on whereabouts of Barrie teen

The Barrie Police Service is appealing to the public for assistance in locating a missing teenager.

The Barrie Police Service is appealing to the public for assistance in locating a missing teenager.
Sydney Williams was last seen in the Wellington Street East area on Friday September 13, and was reported missing to the Barrie Police Service on Tuesday September 24. Police have been attempting to locate her and determine her well-being since she was reported missing, but have been unable to do so.
Sydney is described as female white, 16-years old, 5’2, 101 lbs., medium length brown hair, green eyes and a petite build.
Police are asking that anyone with information on where she may be to please contact the Barrie Police Investigative Services at 705-725-7025 extension 2129 or by dialing 911.
You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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The Barrie Police Service is appealing to the public for assistance in locating Elizabeth Smith.

The Barrie Police Service is appealing to the public for assistance in locating Elizabeth Smith.
From the investigation which has followed, police have determined that she was last seen at her northeast Barrie residence at least one week  prior to Wednesday, Sept. 25, when she was reported missing by concerned family members.
Elizabeth is described as female white, 31 years old, 5’4, 120 lbs., medium length brown hair, brown eyes and a petite build. She has a left eyebrow pierce, a piercing in the right nostril and a blue butterfly tattoo on her upper right arm, three diamond tattoos on her back, a flower tattoo on one of her legs and possibly other tattoos as well.
Police and family are asking that anyone with information on where she may be to please contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, or by dialing 911.
You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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The City’s integrity office received an unprecedentedly “high number of complaints” for a two-month period, from May to July, Integrity Commissioner Suzanne Craig reported to council.
During that time, 15 complaints were received.
An investigation of a complaint by the integrity office is aimed at discovering “facts upon which to make a decision on whether a (member of council) has contravened the Code rules,” she writes, adding that if it is found that a member has contravened the rules, “an appropriate penalty or remedial actions is recommended.”
The commissioner writes that some complaints couldn’t be addressed as they were filed anonymously, while other complaints raised matters better addressed bundled in one investigation. Other complaints were dismissed due to lack of grounds for an investigation.
“Based on the status of the current Code complaints, I anticipate that the outstanding reports will be tabled” at the October 28 council meeting, she concludes.

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A familiar scam involving bogus Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) contacts appears to be making the rounds in the Barrie area, and police caution residents to be wary as it has claimed more victims.
This scam is known to be presented in a number of different ways, but usually involves receiving a call over the phone and being told money is owed as a result of a recent review done on a tax return, and that failing to pay it will result in your arrest by your local police service, police report.
The caller will then, in great detail, identify a means by which  the under-payment, or in some cases the over-payment, can be paid back. If at anytime during a phone call such as this you hear the terms Google Play Cards or Bitcoin, police are strongly encouraging residents to hang up as this is often the means by which the fraudsters will try to obtain payment.
If you are ever in doubt about the validity of a call that you receive that sounds like this, it is best to hang up and reach out to your nearest CRA office.
For additional information on fraud or to report an incident involving this type of scam, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca

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This campus is a partnership between Barrie and County of Simcoe. Once complete, it will house the Barrie Police Service, Simcoe County Paramedic Services and Barrie Fire and Emergency Service dispatch communications in one location at 110 Fairview Road in Barrie
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The Barrie Police Service will start to move into the Barrie Simcoe Emergency Services Campus on Jan. 20 “as planned” according to an update memo to city council.
“The BSESC project team confirms that the relocation of Barrie Police Service operations to 110 Fairview Rd. will begin January 20th 2020 as planned and be completed the following week. A detailed schedule is being developed in coordination with the move consultant, move service provider, Barrie Police Service and Barrie Fire and Emergency Services,” writes J. Liefl, manager of facility planning and development.
Resulting from design choices and construction efficiencies, hard construction costs are currently forecast to be below budgeted figures by approximately one per cent, he adds. Of these savings, 50 per cent will be shared by the project will be kept by the owner group.
“The City of Barrie is entitled to approximately 76 per cent of the owner group savings. The City’s share of these savings will be reinvested into the project to contribute to other financial risks or retained by the City at the conclusion of the project.”
He continues that “significant budget risks to the project continue to exist outside of these hard construction costs and savings,” which are:
• New IT equipment identified as being required by BPS post-validation that was not originally included in the project budget. This risk still exists. The City’s projected percentage of hard construction savings should be able to fund this cost. 
• BPS communication requirements. This risk still exists. The City’s projected percentage of hard construction savings should be able to fund this cost. 

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How does a Barrie recreation centre make money doing nothing? The answer, according to a memo to council from Rick Pews, director of corporate facilities, lies in being part of a program designed to ration energy use during peak demand periods.
The Demand Response (DR) program, run by the Independent Electrical System Operator’s (IESO), is an energy rationing system for electric power supply, Pews writes in the memo to council. Participants can ration energy use during peak consumption times, presenting them with “price incentives (lower net unit pricing) based on demand response activities during the peak period.”
The Allandale Community Centre has been part of the program since 2013, with a demand reduction target of 75kW.
“Since this date the facility has had a revenue of $16,500. It is important to note that a majority of the revenue is passive and is generated by becoming a participant. Additionally, the risk in not reaching the demand target is with the consultancy, and the client (Allandale Community Centre) does not pay penalties for not achieving the 75kW target,” writes Pew.
“Based on set targets, provincial demand and actual performance, each facility will receive payment for simply agreeing to try to reduce demand and real time energy consumption.”
For more on this, click here.

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Summer camps offered by the City from July 2 to August 30 provided activities for 4,385 youngsters, an increase from last summer’s 4,134 participants.
 The City’s Recreation Services Department offered more than 55 different summer camps, including inclusion one-on-one support for 129 campers. Inclusion-adapted programs provided camps for 152 youth. The camps were help at community centres around the city, offered to children four to 16 featuring a wide range of themes for different interests and skills.
“This success is attributable to a number of initiatives led by the camp team, including increased marketing initiatives such as the camp blog and increased quality in camps by achieving HIGH FIVE Accreditation,” council was told in a memo from Steve Lee Young, manager of recreation services.
“Most importantly, this success is attributable to our recreation programmers and summer students working tirelessly to provide the best camp programs possible.”

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The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board is calling on parents to support their children’s efforts to raise funds for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Run on Thursday, Sept. 26.
The board’s staff and students have raised more than $1.2 million for cancer research to date, says the board, adding that runs are being organized by 50 schools throughout the board’s region.
In 1980, Terry Fox challenged his fellow Canadians to battle cancer.
“If we all donated just one dollar, we’d have $22 million for cancer research … there’s no reason that isn’t possible. No reason!” he was quoted saying.
Terry, the board says in a release, never gave up hope and neither will the more than 22,000 students at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, who will continue to enthusiastically participate and support this important goal.

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Barrie man faces total of 68 criminal charges

An investigation conducted by members of the Barrie Police Drug Unit, who were assisted by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), has concluded and a 28-year old male from Barrie is facing a total of 68 Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges.
As a result of the ongoing and collaborative investigation, a Criminal Code Search Warrant was executed at a storage facility located in Innisfil on Monday, Sept. 9, which yielded of a number of firearms and drugs. As the investigation continued and additional search warrants were executed, police later in the week seized significant quantities of cocaine, cannabis, crystal methamphetamine and heroin that contained fentanyl which were all destined Barrie streets and those throughout Simcoe County.
Also seized were six high-end motor vehicles which included three Mercedes Benz’s, an Audi, a BMW and a 2019 Toyota Tundra pickup truck.
The accused, who was arrested on Monday, appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Barrie for a bail hearing the following day, and has since been remanded in custody.
Anyone with information on any form of drug related or illegal activity is asked to contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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Fake American money may be making an appearance in Barrie say police who report that over four hours Wednesday morning, four incidents of suspected counterfeit American currency being passed were reported.
As a result of these incidents, business owners are being reminded to watch for $50 and $100 bills that may be used for purchases. American currency is very different than Canadian currency, but there are a number of ways to determine if the bill is real or fake and the first is by touching the bill as you receive it, police say.
Authentic American currency is and feels thinner and is crisper because of the paper used when it is made; it also has blue and red fibres that appear to be printed onto the paper instead of being part of the paper. By examining the serial numbers located on the face of the bill, they should match. If you receive more than one bill, check to see that each bill is defined by its own unique serial number.
Counterfeiters do not normally change serial numbers on fake bills, so if they are the same, then you will know they are counterfeit. Newer American currency uses raised ink and ridges can be felt in the Federal Reserve Crest located on the left side of the bill that has a face. The ink on real money when rubbed on paper will not rub off and the face will appear to be crisp and vibrant and will not blend in with the colouring on the bill.
The bills in question have all been forwarded to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau for examination and authenticity. If they are deemed to be counterfeit, they are promptly returned to the United States Secret Service and the victim will be out the denomination represented by the bill.
Anyone with information with regards to these incidents is asked to contact the Barrie Police at 705-725-7025, by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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To build a fence or not to build a fence, that’s now the question coming to the City’s building committee for discussion.
General committee had previously endorsed a motion to construct a fence along the McDonald Street frontage of the Busby Street Centre, in reaction to noise and behaviour concerns expressed by nearby residents.
However, when the issue came to council for approval on Monday night, councillors voted to send the matter to the building committee for another look.
Ward 2 councillor Keenan Aylwin had previously spoken supportively of building a fence to address residents’ concerns, but now says that council wants the Neighbourhood Liaison Committee to look into the matter to “come up with a dignified solution that addresses concerns from neighbours.
“After doing a walk around at the Centre, speaking with Busby participants and neighbours, it became clear to me that a fence could actually exacerbate the neighbourhood concerns. The fence is also not a dignified or compassionate solution and I think it sends the wrong message. I’m hopeful that we can come up with a compromise that works for everyone,” he told City Scene.
The liaison committee comprises representatives of the Canadian Medical Health Association (which owns the property), the Busby, and area residents. Ward 4 councillor Barry Ward told City Scene that the committee will meet to “determine the best steps to take” and that the City’s building committee “will wait to see if that group can reach a consensus on what can be done to alleviate some of the neighbours’ concerns.”
Ward said he isn’t sure if council thought the fence was a good or bad idea, as “we never really discussed it.
“I think councillors, including myself, thought the CMHA, Busby and neighbours had reached an agreement on a fence so we went along with it. In the past week, since the general committee recommendation was passed, we heard from both one neighbour, who questioned whether the fence was a good idea, and … from the Busby suggesting they also didn’t support it.”
Ward continued that he doesn’t think the residents will feel let down by the decision to continue discussions over building a fence.
“I think they will be happy they are being consulted about the next steps.  As I said, one of the most vocal of the neighbours had questions about the fence,” he told City Scene.
“I think the Busby wants to be a good neighbour and will take all practical steps to address some of the concerns. If residents have concerns, the Busby has an obligation to at least try to make things better, within reason.”

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Former Barrie Mayor Willard Kinzie will be celebrated at an event to mark what would have been his 100th birthday, Thursday, Sept. 26.
He passed away last year, on November 25, at the age 99. Kinzie served as Mayor of Barrie from 1957 to 1961, with the municipality officially becoming a city during his tenure, in 1959.
Mayor Jeff Lehman, city councillors and Kinzie family members will attend the event, planned for 3:15 p.m. at the north end of the Barrie marina boardwalk.
The event will include an unveiling of a new trailhead sign to honour the former Barrie mayor. The unveiling of the new sign will be followed by the inaugural ‘Willard’s Walk,’ led by Lehman.
Mr. Kinzie brought the concept of a waterfront heritage trail to the City. An avid trail user, Mr. Kinzie envisioned a way for residents to learn about our history while enjoying an open-air, self-guided interpretative experience on Barrie’s waterfront.
The Barrie Waterfront Heritage Trail is a 6km outdoor trail around the waterfront with 11 themed interpretive stations which tell the history of the city. The project, which will be complete in 2020, aims to raise awareness of Barrie’s historical heritage, fostering cultural enrichment for resident and visitors.

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A burst of free gaming packaged with technology, creativity and innovation is coming back to town as Barrie celebrates the third annual Game On! festival, this Saturday.
The event is being held in partnership with the Barrie Public Library’s Comic Con and features retro gaming, video game competitions, virtual reality and more.
“We’re thrilled to host the third annual Game On event, featuring local companies involved in the fast-growing gaming and e-sports industry,” Karen Dubeau, the City’s Director of the Creative Economy, is quoted saying.
“With over $1.1 billion annually, the sector is rapidly expanding, creating new job opportunities for gamers, artists, programmers and musicians. It’s a great event for anyone interested in learning more about gaming and esports to try things out, meet developers and get connected in this community.”
The festival takes takes place from 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. at two downtown locations:
1) Five Points Theatre, presented by Pratt Homes and Development (1 Dunlop St. W).
• Compete in a Super Smash Bros 64 drop in competition hosted by local YouTube channel RekAllTheThings for a chance to win a prize!
• Do you have what it takes to beat the all-mighty Mike Tyson? Well, now is your chance to prove you can­ – in the Mike Tyson Punch out challenge on NES, sponsored by Barrie’s own Power Up Gaming. If you beat him, you may just win a prize!
• Explore video game stations featuring a variety of retro arcade games to new generation and VR, sponsored by Power Up Gaming and Last Level Lounge.
• Meet local video game developers, learn what it’s like to work in the industry, and how to get involved.  Vendors will be onsite showcasing video game-related artwork, technology, and more.
2) City Hall Rotunda (70 Collier St.)
• Refine your board gaming skills with demos and drop-ins with Sir Games-A-Lot!
• Build Barrie’s ultimate community board game with BRIX. Put your own twist on the rules, rewards, and challenges crafted by friends, neighbours, and gamers! Give your iteration a whirl, and see how it grows with everyone’s new additions. 
• Go behind-the-scenes with Barrie Robotics! Now is your opportunity to test, drive and play with robots – and earn your ‘Licence to Drive’, signed by Mayor Jeff Lehman.
• Learn about the history of gaming and where many of our world’s popular games originated from – with International Student Ambassadors from Georgian College!
• Try your hands (literally) at Conductive Fabric Gaming, using Capacitive Touch with Georgian College’s Maker Space.
The annual celebration features a new twist this year: Game On! After Dark, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Five Points Theatre. Activities include:
• Featured Cosplayers will be onsite for a cosplay mixer and mingle, with a chance at being named Barrie’s Ultimate Cosplayer and walk home with a prize.
• Participate in a drop-in video game competition where players will compete on multiple gaming platforms from PS4, Xbox one, Nintendo 64, an arcade cabinet and pinball machine while playing various styles of video games from Mortal Kombat 11, Call of Duty: Black Op’s 4 Zombies and Mario Kart 64. The players with the four top highest scores will advance to the final round, and battle it out on the big screen with Super Smash Bros Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch. The winner will be crowned Barrie’s Ultimate Gamer and walk home with a prize.
• Escape on the Go will be onsite with a Stranger Things escape room. Escape with the fastest time and you may be walking home with a prize, curtesy of OMG! Games.
For more information about Game On! visit barrie.ca or facebook.com/CreativeBarrie. Share the event through social media using the hashtag #GameOnBarrie.

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