Jobs stay the focus for 2013: Brassard

“I am fortunate to be able to interact with so many of you in my role as councillor. Whether it’s working to find solutions to issues or simply to lend an ear, I truly appreciate the fact that you put your trust in me to represent you.” – Ward 7 Coun. John Brassard

As a new year takes hold, I want to take time to briefly reflect on the year that was and what to expect in 2013.
In addition to my continual efforts to meet or exceed your expectations and needs as the councillor for Ward 7, I have been extremely focused in my role as chair of Economic Development and Transportation, working on council’s primary strategic priority of bringing employment opportunities to Barrie for our residents.

Ward 7 councillor John Brassard

Ward 7 councillor John Brassard

The foundation of this priority was laid just days after we took office and I’m pleased to say that 3200-plus jobs have been created since 2010 and our unemployment rate has dropped significantly. RVH, Georgian College, the IBM and TD Data Centres, Munro Concrete in Utopia, Napoleon, Jebco Industries, TNR Industrial Doors, R and M Plastics Manufacturing, Transcom, Barrie Welding, Western Mechanical, PPG Canada and Park Place have all contributed to the job growth. Fed Ex is opening a brand new regional facility that can be seen from Mapleview on Reid Dr. MacLean Manufacturing is relocating from Collingwood to Barrie and hiring skilled labour and professional jobs.
I also expect there to be more interest from companies to open new facilities or re-locate existing ones in our emerging cluster of data centres.
There isn’t a day that goes by that council doesn’t work on improving the employment prospects in our city and we’ll continue that laser-like focus into 2013.
Around the Ward, Fire Station 5 opened on December 17th and will improve response times in the south end and particularly Ward 7.
Continuing on safety, it was critical that the sidewalk was placed on Essa to service Roberta Place and the Townhomes and I was glad to see it put in for the sake of the residents at Roberta Place and others. In spite of this, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Essa needs to be widened to five lanes and the Master Transportation Plan being done for the annexed lands should identify widening Essa as a key priority.
Stop lights at McKay and Veterans were an important priority this year and I was pleased to see them operational in October.
The proposed cell phone tower at Mapleton and Marsellus was the most contentious issue in 2012 and I was pleased that Bell agreed to look at an alternate location. There was probably no other issue that took up more time in 2012 than this one. I always knew that a compromise solution could be found for the benefit of the concerned residents of the area and Bell and in the end, one was found.
There are so many things that go on over a period of a year within the Ward that I could literally fill several pages with the many issues and items that I deal with on a day-in and day-out basis. From on-going efforts to ensuring completion of the Sunfield Homes subdivision to reducing speed in residential subdivisions within the Ward with traffic calming measures, 2012 has been a busy year and I expect no less of 2013.
In 2013, in addition to attracting more jobs and employers to Barrie and the efforts that go into that, planning for the annexed lands as well as the service demands that a growing municipality requires and trying to fiscally balance that with our budget will gain plenty of my and council’s attention.
We have re-vamped our transit system and that’s expected to roll out in the summer of 2013. Our system has not been changed in over 40 years and does not currently meet the needs of our residents and the changes will do just that.
Finally, as you’ve come to expect, I’ll continue to be attentive to your needs as residents and businesses of Ward 7 in 2013. I am fortunate to be able to interact with so many of you in my role as councillor. Whether it’s working to find solutions to issues or simply to lend an ear, I truly appreciate the fact that you put your trust in me to represent you.
On behalf of my wife Liane, our children Jeff, Court, Matt, and Mitch, I wish you and your family the very best for 2013. We are truly blessed to live in such a great city and a great country.
Happy New Year!

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