Police are hopeful that a composite sketch of the suspect believed to be responsible for this incident will assist in the identification and arrest of the person being sought by police

Barrie police have released a composite sketch of the suspect wanted for the assault of a homeowner during a break and enter.
The investigation of the incident during the early morning hours of April 3 remains ongoing and detectives from the Barrie Police Service can now confirm that assault was sexual in nature, police report. A dedicated tip line has been established and anyone with information is strongly encouraged to contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-0501.
A composite sketch of the suspect who is believed to be responsible for this incident is also now available and investigators are hopeful that the release of this sketch will assist in the identification and arrest of the person being sought by police.
The Barrie Police Service reminds the public to be aware of their personal safety at all times and where possible, to avoid dark areas unless artificial lighting is available, especially during the overnight hours. Further details and updates will only be provided as the investigation permits.

Share

{ 0 comments }

The Barrie Police Service is requesting the assistance of the public in regards to an investigation of a robbery that occurred Wednesday, 4:51 a.m., at the Circle K Convenience Store at 353 Duckworth Street.
Upon arrival, it was determined by uniformed officers that a lone suspect entered the store armed with what appears to be a bear-repellant type product and a knife. He removed a black backpack that he was wearing and placed it on the counter. A demand for money was made and the clerk complied. An undisclosed amount of Canadian currency was obtained, placed into the backpack and the suspect fled the store on foot, police report.
From surveillance video obtained, police are able to confirm the following description of the suspect who is wanted for this robbery: white male, 5’11
“, wearing black sweater, black pants, black toque, black balaclava and black shoes. Despite being dressed entirely in black, a neatly folded red coloured bandana was also observed tucked into front left hip area.
The Barrie Police Service is asking anyone with information on this robbery to contact Barrie Police Investigative Services at 705-725-7025, ext. 2504, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

Share

{ 0 comments }

The third annual Manufacturing Innovation Summit is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday), bringing together industry experts, executives, investors and entrepreneurs from across the province.
They will discuss Industry 4.0 initiatives that can help manufacturers maintain competitiveness and maximize productivity. The summit is being presented by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), at Georgian College’s Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre.  
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach that manufacturers can use to transform into an Industry 4.0 operation. As adoption of new technologies and approaches gains momentum, companies are calculating the risk-reward ratios,” says Karen Dubeau, Director of Creative Economy at the City of Barrie.
“Barrie has a strong advanced manufacturing sector and many of the companies here and in the Simcoe County/Central Ontario have had great success in starting the Industry 4.0 journey. Together with our partners, we will continue to build out a connected ecosystem supporting our local manufacturers to provide programs and resources for a competitive advantage in growing and transforming their businesses.”
The half-day summit features keynote speakers Michael Gardiner, Manufacturing Industry Solution Executive with Microsoft Canada, and Peter Lawler, Executive Vice President with Business Development Canada (BDC).
Industry experts from Honda of Canada Mfg., Environmental Systems Corporation, Brotech and Molded Precision Components will share their experience with Industry 4.0 including how they started, lessons learned and how they continue to modernize their operations.
The Barrie area currently has more than 500 manufacturers providing over 6,024 jobs. In a recent survey of Barrie manufacturers, results showed 56 per cent of respondents currently have advanced manufacturing processes in place and 86 per cent of respondents are planning on investing in new automation/digital processes within the next 5 years.
For more information, visit www.investbarrie.ca/programs

Share

{ 0 comments }

A Barrie women, 69, was pronounced deceased at hospital following an accident at the scene of a watermain break, at Yonge Street and Big Bay Point Road.
On Saturday at 2:56 p.m., officers from the Barrie Police Service were on scene in the area of the watermain break when a vehicle travelling southbound on Yonge Street entered the closed-off area and struck some material being used for the repair, police report. The motor vehicle then came to rest in a deep and open portion of the road that had been exposed to allow for repairs to be made to the broken watermain.
The occupants, both from Barrie, were extricated by the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service and police officers. They were transported to hospital by the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services where the 69-year-old female passenger was pronounced deceased. The 78-year-old male driver was airlifted to a Toronto area trauma centre where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries that were sustained in the crash.
The investigation remains ongoing and is being conducted by members of the Barrie Police Traffic Unit, who are being assisted by the Forensic Identification Unit and Investigative Services. The Ministry of Labour was also contacted and is also investigating.
Anyone with information with respect to this incident is asked to contact Constable Langdon of the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, ext. 2912 or by email at dlangdon@barriepolice.ca. You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Suspect in armed robbery sought

Barrie police are seeking a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred early Saturday morning.
About 1 a.m., the suspect entered a convenience store at 110 Little Avenue, displayed a knife and demanded the store clerk deliver the cash in the register, police report.
The suspect then gave the store clerk a grocery bag and demanded that he fill it with cigarettes. He then grabbed flavoured cigars from below the cash register counter.
The suspect, police report, took off on foot and was last seen heading southbound through the parking lot. Police are seeking the assistance of the community in identifying the suspect, described as: a white male, about 5’6” tall with a thin build, thick, dark eyebrows. He was wearing a light grey zip-front hooded sweatshirt, black “Puma” track pants, brown boots and a dark face covering with white (upside down) letters on it.
Investigating officers are asking anyone who may have information to please contact Constable Scott of the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025 ext. 2741 or rtscott@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.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Barrie police are cautioning homeowners to beware of the “door-to-door scam” artists that seem to sprout annually with spring.
The “scammers,” police say, can knock on the door offering spring deals on “everything from roofing to driveway repair and replacement to yard related tasks such as landscaping and maintenance.” If the service is legitimate, employees can be expected to wear some sort of identification, and if they don’t “you have the right to ask for proof of who they are and who they are representing.”
If proper ID is not presented, “then you can and should ask them to leave,” police advise.
Police also remind “homeowners to never let someone into your home unless you have contacted them and asked them to come for a specific reason. Flyers that are delivered with the mail allow you to research out the company and determine if the service they are offering is one that is right for you.”
And before agreeing to a service, check references and the Better Business Bureau.
The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services website can also be referenced at www.ontario.ca/ministry-government-and-consumer-services if you are unsure about a seller that comes to your door and what your rights are if you sign a contract.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Report shows that 697 people were “counted experiencing homelessness,” with
305 being located in Barrie.

Members of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness plan to present the group’s new report tonight (Monday) at city council, detailing the homeless situation in Barrie and around the county.
The 2018 Simcoe County Homeless Enumeration Report represents a point-in-time registry and count (April 24-26, 2018) that highlights the homeless situation in the county at that particular time.
It shows that 697 people were “counted experiencing homelessness,” with the rate of homelessness being 14 per every 10,000 county residents. Of the total, 305 were located in Barrie, 128 in Midland, 97 in Orillia, 24 in Collingwood, 24 in Alliston, 17 in Penetanguishene, nine in Wasaga Beach, and 12 in other county areas.
Shelter included provisional accommodation, 45 per cent; emergency shelter, 42 per cent; no shelter, 12 per cent; unknown, eight per cent. There was a stated requirement for 435 housing units.
The report was prepared by Simcoe County, in partnership with the alliance and others.
The top reasons for being homeless are: addiction/substance abuse at 21 per cent; inability to pay rent or mortgage at 20 per cent; conflict with spouse/partner at 16 per cent; unsafe housing conditions at 15 per cent.
Of those experiencing homelessness, 28 per cent had nowhere to live after being discharged from a correctional facility or hospital, while 24 per cent said residing in foster care had been an experience.
More than half (57 per cent) of those surveyed were deemed to be chronically homeless, while 21 per cent experienced homelessness episodically. Physical health issues were reported by 70 per cent of respondents, while 35 per cent noted mental health issues, and 34 per cent addiction issues.
Youth aged 16-24 accounted for 16 per cent of the homeless population, while 29 per cent were Indigenous Peoples.
The report presents a series of next steps:
• Educate city councils and decision makers
• Increase housing options for people experiencing homelessness
• Increase primary care, mental health and addiction services, and other supports for street involved and vulnerable populations
• Collaborate with other key sector partners to discharge people directly into housing with supports.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Water cleared for drinking as advisory lifted

The boil water advisory for the Yonge Street, Big Bay Point Road area has been lifted, as test results have confirmed that the water is free from contamination and is now safe to drink.
As a precaution, residents and businesses in the affected area should take the following steps to make sure their water lines and appliances are flushed.
• Run all cold faucets for a minimum of five minutes. If the water does not run clear after five minutes contact the City of Barrie Water Operations Branch at 705-792-7920 (www.barrie.ca/waterservices)
• Run drinking water fountains and plumbed household water coolers for a minimum of five minutes
• Run all water softeners through a regeneration cycle
• Reverse Osmosis (RO) units: Replace pre-filters and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
• Replace other water filters, as they are disposable and may be contaminated. This applies especially to carbon filters and others that are near the end of their life
• Flush, clean and sanitize appliances with water line connections (e.g., fridges with water and ice dispensers) following the manufacturer’s instructions
• Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 45°C (113°F). Normal setting is 60°C (140°F)
• Drain and flush all ice-making machines and soda fountain machines      
• Dispose of any ice made since Friday April 5
• Large-volume users (for example, restaurants, retirement homes and schools) may need to run cold water taps for a longer period of time on first use, to ensure the water is not cloudy.
Any facilities that were closed as a result of the advisory can now reopen after taking the necessary precautions. For more information, please visit the website www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

Share

{ 0 comments }

An advisory to boil water has been issued for the above area following a watermain break
at Yonge Street and Big Bay Point Road

The City has issued a boil water advisory for residents of the area impacted by a watermain break at Yonge Street and Big Bay Point.
The area is bordered by Huronia Road to the west, along and just north of Hurst Drive, just east of Prince William Way, and south to Mapleview Drive and Lochhart Road. (See attached map).
The Water Operations Branch was issued the advisory by the Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and it remains in effect until further notice. It will be lifted once the safety of the water has been confirmed by laboratory tests.
The health unit is responsible for issuing water advisories and the City is working cooperatively with them throughout this process. Health Unit staff are contacting schools, long-term care, child care and day care, retirement homes and food premises in the affected areas.
Residents should use an alternate water supply or boil their water at a rolling boil for a least one minute before drinking, gargling, brushing teeth or rinsing their mouth; making baby food or formula; washing dishes; washing fruits, vegetable and other food; or making any meals, drink or ice.
For more information about boil water advisories, visit www.smdhu.org/boilwater or call 705-721-7520.  
The Yonge and Big Bay Point intersection is closed. City are on-site and have isolated the break. Water has been restored to residents in the area and City staff are flushing and sampling in the affected areas.
All homes and businesses affected by this morning’s water outage are asked to check in and around their water meter for leaks, as pressure spikes may have occurred which can cause leaks. If you find a leak call Water Operations at 705-792-7920.
Barrie Transit has detours in place on Route 4 and 8. Stops in the area of Yonge and Big Bay Point are temporarily closed and signed as “out of service.”
Updates will be shared with local media and posted on the City of Barrie Facebook (www.facebook.com/cityofbarrie) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/cityofbarrie) accounts and www.barrie.ca/WaterServices.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Police seek suspects in armed robbery

Barrie police are seeking two suspects in regards to an armed robbery at the Freedom Mobile store at 555 Essa Road.
It’s reported that two males entered the store with their faces covered and threatened the lone employee with a knife, demanding inventory from the store. The employee did the right thing and complied with their demands, and the suspects made off with a quantity of inventory.  They got into a waiting vehicle and fled the plaza. The employee did not sustain any physical injuries, police report.
The updated suspect description is: The first subject is described as a male, East Indian, aged 20 – 25 years, 5’5” to 5’6” tall, black hair, brown eyes, medium build, and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt. The second suspect is described as male, East Indian, aged 20 – 25 years, 5’7” to 5’8” tall, spiky hair and facial hair, wearing a red hoodie with a grey face covering, and red/black running shoes with a white coloured sole.
They were reportedly driving a black Dodge Charger, with unique rims. Additional information and possible updated photographs may be available as the investigation continues and additional canvasing is carried out.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Barrie Police Investigative Services at 705-725-7025 Ext.2129. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Streetscape work on Dunlop Street is “is an essential component in the success of the downtown revitalization and the City of Barrie’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan.”

Streetscape improvements on Dunlop Street from Mulcaster to Toronto streets are scheduled to begin as the summer of 2019 draws to an end.
It’s estimated the work will cost $10.52 million, which includes $9.6 million for the streetscape work, plus design and related fees. The Downtown BIA will contribute $300,000, while $155,000 comes from an Association of Municipalities Ontario grant. A further $345 million comes from a municipal accommodation tax contribution.
The BIA’s contribution is expected to be paid over ten years instead of the six originally contained in a staff report.
According to the report prepared by Alvaro Almuina, project coordinator, the work to maintain and enhance the corridor “is an essential component in the success of the downtown revitalization and the City of Barrie’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan.”
Back in 2015, a class environmental assessment examined options to “improve the pedestrian environment by studying alternative streetscape configurations with the goal of creating more pedestrian space through wider sidewalks on Dunlop Street between Toronto Street and Mulcaster Street,” reads the report.
Key recommendations included the “implementation of a reconfigurable streetscape that maintains two-way traffic and includes reconfigurable parking areas that can be used for either pedestrian space or parking depending on time of year and demand.”
Plans call for a focus on pedestrian safety and accessibility, and better lighting, visibility, and service opportunities for businesses along the strip, such as on-road/boulevard patios.
“The design concept includes pedestrian friendly, aesthetically enhanced streetscape design elements within the boulevard and roadway,” reads the report. They include:
• Retail zone features such as patios
• Amenity zone features such as trees, planters, lighting, trash/recycling receptacles
• Street furniture
• Pay and display parking
• Flexible zone features allowing either parking or pedestrian zone, depending on how space is to be utilized.
Infrastructure improvements include water and sewer work. It’s expected the first phase of the project will run from Sept. 10 to Nov. 8, with the second phase going from Feb. 24, 2020, through to May 25.
“Staff will mitigate impacts on the local businesses and the patio season and have developed the schedule accordingly. However, it is subject to weather conditions and assumptions made, such as a shorter patio season in 2019,” reads the report.
A communications plan “will be developed as part of the construction contract to ensure affected business are aware of project ongoing during construction and communication protocols.”
To read the report, click here.

Share

{ 0 comments }

The City’s Youth Arts Drop-ins Program is expanding this year, going on the road to visit community centres, parks and local small businesses.
“By branching out further than downtown, this program will bring accessible, hands-on experiences to neighbourhoods, connecting youth and families with artists and creatives from a wide range of backgrounds and art forms,”  Amanda Dyke, cultural development officer, told council in a memo.
“Not only will the program introduce youth to, and expand upon, their understanding of a broad range of arts activities, it will provide income to artists, organizations and venues across Barrie, developing the local economy.”
The program is free for youth under 19, and features local artists and arts organizations offering monthly workshops introducing a variety of art forms.
“Youth are invited to come and try their hand at art and art-related activities across all disciplines, giving them a chance to try various art forms outside of school and scheduled, registered courses. The program was created in an effort to connect local artists and organizations with young people, as well as open up the Five Points Theatre to a new audience through free arts-based programming,” continues Dyke.
Last year, every Wednesday, the program engaged a number of experts at the Five Points Theatre to lead youth through arts-related activities. Activities spanned a variety of disciplines, including dance, painting, music, and cartooning. About 20 to youth attended the monthly sessions.
“The program has developed its own following with new participants often returning for the next month’s drop-in. Local media attended on several occasions to capture footage and speak to facilitators,” related Dyke.
So far this year, three events have been held: a music jam with Shawn Steinhart at the Five Points Theatre, a poetry jam with newly appointed Poet Laureate, Victoria Butler at the Painswick branch of the Barrie Public Library, and a paint party with Jenny Chen at ArtWonderfull.
“Upcoming drop-in workshops will partner with the Recreation Department for National Youth Week, feature recent Barrie Arts Awards nominees and winners, and will explore animation, gaming, fibre arts, street art and more.”

Share

{ 0 comments }

With spring having sprung, it’s time for the city’s annual cleanup event, Spring into Clean.
Registration is now open for the event, scheduled for April 26 to 28. Last year, 18,000 participants collected more than 4.9 tonnes of litter across the city.
Here’s what is planned and how the public can assist:
• Friday, April 26: Student/School Participation Day: The City encourages all elementary and high school students to take an active role in this community project by cleaning up their school property and adjacent parklands. After registering, schools will receive enough garbage bags and gloves for each student participant.
• Saturday, April 27,9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Waterfront Day (Heritage Park): Friends, family and neighbours are encouraged to come out and clean up Barrie’s waterfront area. Garbage bags and gloves will be supplied for all volunteers and beverages will be provided by Tim Hortons. After the cleanup, participants are invited to a free thank you barbecue featuring food, entertainment and activities. Registration is not required for this event.
• April 27 and 28: Community Days: All Barrie residents are encouraged to register to clean up a local neighbourhood public space such as a park, ravine, trail or park. Anyone—community groups, teams, neighbourhood associations, individuals and families—can participate! Registrations can be submitted individually or as a group. By registering, you will receive Spring into Clean collection bags and materials, and you will also ensure that the garbage you pick up is collected on Monday, April 29.
• April 26 to 28: Corporate Days: This is a call to all businesses in Barrie to participate by registering to clean up a local public space such as a park, ravine, trail or park. Register individually or as a group.
A flag raising ceremony will take place at City Hall at 11 a.m. on April 16 with Mayor Jeff Lehman, staff and community members.

Share

{ 0 comments }

The Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce is launching The Living Well Expo, a two-day event that provides access to Simcoe County’s best resources and options to “empower your tomorrow.”
The expo, called informative and interactive, is scheduled for Friday, April 26, 2-8 p.m. and Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Georgian Downs. The event will focus on three areas of interest: financial, physical and mental wellness.
There will be two keynote speakers: former Mississauga mayor ‘Hurricane’ Hazel McCallion, and Susan Hyatt of the Silver Sherpa.
The format, says the chamber, has something for everyone, whether they are looking to improve their lifestyle today, planning for their own future, taking care of aging parents, or providing front line medical care to area residents. 
A wide variety of businesses will be on hand to answer one-on-one questions about their diverse services and support offerings; local experts will present educational workshops on topics like succession planning, downsizing, active lifestyles, wills and estate planning, self-care, and more.
Admission is free and the first 50 attendees each day will receive a gift bag. 
Visit www.barriechamber.com/livingwell for additional information, exhibitor details, and sponsorship opportunities.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Based on feedback, staff is suggesting a full review
of the cultural grants program.

The City’s Cultural Grants Program funded 18 of 23 applicants this year, contributing $335,000 to community arts programs in Barrie.
The total amount of grant requests from the 23 applicants for 2019 was $540,140, Amanda Dyke, cultural development officer, told city council in an update on the program which was launched in 2005.
The goal of fostering and supporting cultural growth in Barrie was identified in the cultural master plan, Culture, Building a Creative Future. It included the creation of a cultural grants program to “create a fair and equitable opportunity for all arts organizations, which serve the City of Barrie, to apply for grant funds that were designated as part of the City’s investment in the local culture sector,” writes Dyke.
The programs objectives included:
• To encourage creation and displays of arts and cultural expressions to enhance the quality of life for Barrie and area residents and tourists
• To increase the opportunity for funding to City of Barrie arts organizations and artists from other (non-municipal) sources such as corporate sponsors and federal and provincial government
• To raise artists’ and arts organizations’ awareness of the need for strategic planning, business planning, sustainability planning, sector analysis, understanding competition and more
• To encourage market and product development
• To identify and support sector champions
• Maximization of the City of Barrie’s return on investment in the culture sector. 
Operating grants provided totalled $308,000, while $27,000 went to project grants. Of the operating grants, $137,000 went to the MacLaren Art Centre, $62,000 to Talk Is Free Theatre, $35,000 to the Barrie Film Festival, $24,000 to Theatre By The Bay, $20,000 to the Huronia Symphony, $15,000 to Simcoe Contemporary Dancers, $5,000 to Kempenfelt Community Players, $5,000 to Ontario Musicians Cooperative, $4,000 to the Barrie Concert Band, and $1,000 to Word Up.
Of the project grants, $4,000 went to the Barrie Native Friendship Centre, $4,000 to Bravado Show Choir, $4,000 to Caring Kids Concerts, $4,000 to King Edward Choir, $3,000 to the Barrie Concert Band, $3,000 to Huronia Symphony, $2,000 to La Cle de la Baie, and $2,000 to Skyliners Youth Big Band.
“It is important to note that 82% of the 2019 funding goes towards five organizations who receive funding annually,” Dyke told council.
The program, she continues, “has been deemed a great success by many members of Barrie’s culture sector, due to its role in helping to build capacity in the arts.”
However, not all artists or organizations are happy with the program’s funding approach, she says.
“Specifically, in discussion with some cultural grant recipients, it was noted that despite showing year-over-year improvements in their applications and organizational performance/results (which included implementing improvements that were recommended by previous juries, driving increased growth in several areas of their organizations, or even deploying new types of community-focused programming), these recipients were not being rewarded by the jury with funding increases for their ongoing responsiveness and organizational improvements.”
Based on the feedback, staff is suggesting a full review of the program is required.
“In support of this recommendation, staff will be submitting an intake form as part of the 2020 budget and business planning process, to retain an independent, third party organization to conduct the review and community engagement. Recommendations from this process will be brought forward to Council for review and approval.”
The City saw significant return on investment for the $325,000 grant to cultural groups in 2018, says Dyke. Municipal support helped grant recipients receive additional funding from other levels of government, and private and corporate sponsorship.
In addition to the 2018 grant of $325,000, a further $795,526 was raised through other government sources, $3.8 million in earned revenue, and $211,338 in sponsorship revenue. 
“The total leveraged funding represents a 1,497% return on investment for the City of Barrie’s cultural grant funding, resulting in local job creation in the cultural sector, and directly supporting growth,” says Dyke.
“The funds raised by the organizations are primarily spent locally, generating further spin-off value for local businesses and creating local employment opportunities.”
For more on this, click here.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Click here for Bath Fitter Barrie

The City’s 2018 annual corporate-wide utility costs came in at $8.97 million, compared to $9.33 million in utility expenses for 2013, the year the Energy Management (EM) Branch was established.
Since the branch was created, “the City has realized a utility cost avoidance of $6.64 million,” Adam McMullin, manager of energy management, informed council. 
The branch’s mandate is to reduce utility consumption and associated costs for all City owned and operated infrastructure. Those costs include electricity, natural gas, propane and water that service City facilities, water and wastewater infrastructure, parks, street lighting and traffic signals.
“In 2018, City operations achieved a favourable utility budget variance of $768,589 (7.9%) and an annual cost reduction of $261,238 (2.8%) compared to 2017 expenses. These savings were driven by moderation in electricity rates and reduced utility consumption for the majority of City facilities. These consumption reductions are achieved through a collaborative effort between the operations staff and the (branch).”
Highlights from 2018, says McMullin, include:
• Mayor’s Megawatt Challenge Award: This award recognizes municipal facilities that cut energy consumption by 10 per cent compared to the previous year. The award was presented to City Hall, which reduced energy consumption by 16 per cent. 
• The establishment of the Water Optimization Group: This is a team launched by the Water Operations and Energy Management staff to seek conservation opportunities at the Surface Water Treatment Plant. Last year, the group met six times and created eight priority areas. One of the focus areas has resulted in reduced electricity consumption of 20 per cent through January and February of 2019, with a cost avoidance of $20,000. 
• Innovative Capital Planning and Implementation: Last year the branch received $300,000 in capital funding to launch conservation projects that result in a minimum rate of return of 10 per cent over the lifetime of the asset.
“This innovative approach has provided flexibility to maximize capital funding dollars to realize more value for City operations. For example, if material pricing is lower than estimated (which if often the case when purchasing LED technology), staff utilize the unspent monies on additional measures,” says McMullin.
• Electric Vehicle Charge Station Deployment: In 2018, the City, in partnership with Tesla, located electrical vehicle charging stations at four municipal locations around the city; 12 at the city marina, 12 at Heritage Park, six at the downtown library, ands 24 at the parkade on Collier Street.
“This partnership provided an opportunity to enhance service to residents and visitors, promote community sustainability and deploy infrastructure at no capital expense to the City.”
• Incentives: The branch seeks to get the most from incentives and grant funding related to conservation initiatives available from local utility companies, provincial and federal jurisdictions. Last year, $154,000 in incentives revenue was collected. Since 2015 more than $1.6 million in incentives have been collected in support of energy conservation initiatives.
City operations used less electricity, 1.1 per cent less in 2018, and 10 per cent more in natural gas usage. Water consumption rose 13 per cent compared to 2017. 
For more, read this and this.

Share

{ 0 comments }

The 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics movement is approaching, snd supporters are looking to raise $50,000 across the province to mark the day.
The Barrie Police Service is raising awareness of the celebration, and in support of local high school athletes who are competing at the inaugural 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games (IYG).
With other longstanding supporters such as the Knights of Columbus, communities are hosting a flag raising ceremony, send-off celebration and raising awareness of the Draft an Athlete campaign to help successfully draft local athletes who will be competing on the world stage May 14-17 in Toronto.
“This will be the first time that athletes with an intellectual disability will represent their community and school on an international stage. Your support is helping fulfill a dream and help make friendships and memories that last a lifetime,” Deputy Chief Ken Weatherill is quoted saying.
The local schools that have qualified to date for these games are Ecole secondaire catholique Nouvell-Alliance, which will be competing in traditional soccer, and St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, which will be competing in athletics.
The provincial goal across all 50 celebrating communities is to raise $50,000 to go towards the Draft an Athlete campaign. Every $1,000 raised drafts an athlete competing at the games with 100 per cent of the contribution helping to fund travel, accommodation, food and competition costs.
The IYG are among several events marking the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics worldwide. These games will break new ground, hosting athletes with and without intellectual disabilities who will compete against and alongside each other.
Qualifying is actively underway and will continue through to April in time for the games. Campaign organizers estimate the final draft will include over 200 teams and 300 individual athletes from across Canada, the United States and elsewhere.
All sports will offer two types of team divisions: a traditional division (in which all athletes on the team have an intellectual disability), and a unified division (in which athletes with and without an intellectual disability will have the opportunity to compete on the same team).

Share

{ 0 comments }

Chief’s Gala supports Child Advocacy Centre

“I’m honoured to host the Chief’s Gala to support and bring awareness to the important work that they do, and the significant role they have in helping children heal.” – Barrie chief of police, Kimberley Greenwood

Barrie’s chief of police, Kimberley Greenwood, is throwing her role’s support behind the Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka.
The Barrie Police Service announces the Inaugural Chief’s Gala in support of the local advocacy centre, saying it’s an opportunity to join members of the community, the Barrie Police Service and the Child Advocacy Centre in an evening of delicious food and great entertainment, while supporting an important community organization. 
“The Child Advocacy Centre is an amazing organization, providing essential support to children when they have experienced traumatic events,” said Greenwood. “I’m honoured to host the Chief’s Gala to support and bring awareness to the important work that they do, and the significant role they have in helping children heal.”
The centre multi-disciplinary, child-friendly approach is structured to improve the community’s response to child abuse and neglect, minimizing trauma to children, youth and their families. It aims to promote and deliver excellence in child abuse response, investigation and prevention through service, education and leadership.
Tracey Carter, the centre’s executive director, says that through the leadership of Greenwood and the Barrie Police Service, “children and youth in our community who have experienced abuse are now supported by an internationally recognized, best practice model of care.
“It is a pleasure to collaborate with the Barrie Police Service; our deepest gratitude to Chief Greenwood for her unfaltering support and commitment to children, youth and families.”
The event is set for Thursday, May 16 at the Liberty North Banquet Hall. Tickers are $150,m available at www.ChiefsGalaBarrie.Ca.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Public input sought for new police strategic plan

The Barrie Police Service is seeking the public’s input into its 2020-22 Strategic Plan. Click here to complete a survey

The Barrie Police Service is seeking the public’s input into its 2020-22 Strategic Plan.
The plan guides the services’ priorities, and staff in the Policy and Planning Unit have now begun the process of developing the next plan. As with previous plans, community engagement and involvement is a crucial part of their development. Staff will be meeting with partner agencies to discuss working together over the next three years to keep the community safe, the service reports.
For members of the public who wish to share their feedback and get involved, a survey is also available, which will gather input on the community’s sense of safety and satisfaction with the Barrie Police Service.
The survey is available online on the Barrie Police website, or in hard copy at the Barrie Police Service Headquarters (located at 29 Sperling Drive) and takes only a few minutes to complete.
Community members are encouraged to share their feedback and let the service know what they consider to be the most important issues facing our community over the next three years. With the plan slated to be launched in early 2020, this is an opportunity for the community to share their feedback in the early stages of the development, and have their voices heard.
The process to develop a new plan is a lengthy and detailed one and involves not only community consultation, but also internal surveys, meetings with the Barrie Police Services Board, and a planning session with senior staff.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Last year’s renumeration paid to members of council and others totalled $533,669.23, according to a staff memo.
“The total remuneration and expenses paid to or on behalf of Members of Council and others by the City of Barrie and other bodies and local boards for 2018 was $533,669.23,” write Melissa Mifsud, supervisor of financial reporting and policy, and Craig Miller, director of finance and treasurer, in a memo to the mayor and council.
The total includes honoraria, council expenses, and corporate expenses. Here’s how the numbers break down for each member of council:
• Mayor Jeff Lehman: $109,943.47
• Ward 1 councillor Bonnie Ainsworth (Jan. 1-Nov. 30): $33,412.29
• Ward 1 councillor Clare Riepma (Dec. 1-31): $1,236.50
• Ward 2 councillor Rose Romita (Jan. 1-Nov. 30): $36,019.90
• Ward 2 councillor Keenan Aylwin (Dec. 1-31): $1,236.30
• Ward 3 councillor Doug Shipley: $34,232.63
• Ward 4 councillor Barry Ward: $39,495.58
• Ward 5 councillor Peter Silveira (Jan. 1-Nov. 30): $34,028.75
• Ward 5 councillor Robert Thomson (Dec. 1-31): $1,236,30
• Ward 6 councillor Stephen Trotter (Jan. 1 Nov. 30): $37,780.18
• Ward 6 councillor Natalie Harris (Dec. 1-31): $1,236.30
• Ward 7 councillor Andrew Prince (Jan. 1-Nov. 30): $33,547.87
• Ward 7 councillor Gary Harvey (Dec. 1-31): $1,236.30
• Ward 8 councillor Arif Khan (Jan. 1-Nov. 30): $35,203.81
• Ward 8 councillor Jim Harris (Dec. 1-31): $1,236.30
• Ward 9 councillor Sergio Morales: $41,208.37
• Ward 10 councillor Mike McCann: $40,880.95
The mayor also receives a total of $46,723.09 for being a member of Board of Alectra Inc. He was appointed by the Board of Barrie Hydro Holdings Inc.
To read the report, click here.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Following up on a council motion last November for the engineering department to provide information about installing sound barriers along Highway 400 adjacent to residential areas, a memo to council advises that barriers for six of 13 identified areas have been deemed not feasible.
The highway falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), and as part of the environmental process for the widening of the highway the ministry completed noise assessments for an area one kilometre south of Highway 89 to the Highway 11/400 junction.
The assessment identified 13 possible areas for sound barriers. Three were determined to be not economically feasible, while three were found to be not technically viable.
“The identified locations are then investigated to determine if noise mitigation measures within the right of way (ROW) would achieve a 5 dBA noise reduction or greater. In locations where the noise reduction is achievable, noise mitigation measures are reviewed based on the following criteria: a) Technical feasibility – the constructability of the mitigation with regards to safety, topography, and the ability to achieve a 5 dBA reduction, among other concerns; b) Economic feasibility – the cost / benefit analysis of the mitigation; and, c) Administrative feasibility – the ability to locate the noise barrier on publicly owned lands such as the MTO ROW,” writes Bala Araniyasundaran, project engineer.
The assessment “identified noise barriers for the majority of residential areas that are abutting the highway corridor … these recommendations will be subject to further assessment as part of detailed design.”
To read the staff report and view the locations of noise barriers, click here. 

Share

{ 0 comments }

Investigation into bank robbery ongoing

The Barrie Police Service requests the assistance of the public with regards to an ongoing robbery investigation.
On Thursday, March 7, at 2:30 p.m., police responded to a report of a robbery at the CIBC at 600 Yonge Street in Barrie. Upon arrival, it was determined by uniformed officers that the two suspects involved had fled the scene in an unknown vehicle and in an unknown direction. No weapons were seen and an undisclosed amount of Canadian currency was obtained.
At the scene, the Barrie Police Tactical Support and Canine Units assisted, however a short canine track determined that the suspects fled the bank likely to a car that was waiting for them on the west side of the bank. The ongoing investigation, which is being conducted by detectives from the Barrie Police Investigative Services and the Forensic Identification Unit, is continuing.
From witness interviews and surveillance video from within the bank, police are able to now provide the description of the two suspects who carried out this mid-afternoon robbery. The suspects are described as:

  • Male black, mid 20’s black hoody, black track pants with a white stripe and wearing a dark face mask.
  • Male non-white, possibly Asian or Hispanic, mid 20’s wearing dark jacket with grey hoody and grey face mask.
  • Believed to have fled in a silver or white passenger 4-door car.

The Barrie Police Service is asking anyone with information on this robbery to contact Barrie Police Investigative Services at 705-725-7025, ext. 2743, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.
Also, should anyone have dash camera video of either a white or silver coloured four-door passenger car traveling westbound on Big Bay Point Road or southbound on Yonge Street shortly after 2:30p.m., you are encouraged to contact the Barrie Police Service.

Share

{ 0 comments }

The public’s assistance is being sought by the Barrie Police Service to help identify a female driver who was in a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian.
On Monday, March 4, at approximately 7:40 a.m., a pedestrian was walking southbound on Yonge Street approaching Big Bay Point Road in Barrie. The pedestrian was walking on the west side of the street across the merge lane in an attempt to cross the street. While crossing within the merge lane, the pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that was turning right onto Big Bay Point Road, police report.
The only vehicle description able to be provided was of an orange/red vehicle operated by a female in her 40s, with curly brown hair and tanned skin. The female driver did make an effort to ask if the pedestrian was injured before leaving. Police are also asking for the driver of the vehicle to contact police in order to successfully complete the investigation.
The investigating officer is asking anyone who may have information to please contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, ext. 2777 or  by email to 7498@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.

Share

{ 0 comments }

“Barrie called to all the beautiful things in the world and crammed them all up into one city.” – Evan Hutt’s I Love Barrie contest submission


Who loves Barrie the most? From the City’s ‘I Love Barrie’ contest, four school children love Barrie the most.
From Feb. 1 to 22, the City welcomed entries from youth sharing why they love Barrie. The contest was open to all elementary-aged children.
Students from 20 elementary schools across the city submitted artwork and essays.
“We received many insightful essays and heart-warming artwork pieces for the I Love Barrie contest,” said Ward 10 Councillor Mike McCann. “It’s so inspiring to see how engaged our youth are and how much they love our city. I want to thank everyone who took the time to submit a contest entry.”
The  contest winners are:
Primary (Kindergarten to Grade 3): Carol Gao, Grade 2, Hewitt’s Creek Public School
Junior (Grade 4 to 6): Sanjit Narasimhan, Grade 4, Ferndale Woods Elementary School
Intermediate (Grade 7 and 8): Evan Hutt, Grade 7, The Good Shepherd Catholic School
Honourable Mention: Lillianne Forest, Kindergarten, École élémentaire La Source.
The top three winners will have their submissions published on barrie.ca and shared in The Barrie Advance in the City’s “This Week in Barrie” feature in March. They will also showcase their artwork or read their essay at the city council meeting on March 25. The Honourable Mention winner receives an ‘I Love Barrie’ prize pack.
The winning entries can be viewed on the City’s website.

Share

{ 0 comments }

A staple of summer in Barrie is approaching, with planning underway for the 19th annual Celebrate Barrie.
The event is scheduled for June 1 at Centennial Park. The search is on for community groups, businesses, and performers from Barrie and the surrounding area who offer unique experiences, doing things differently and helping to create an exciting, inclusive, and dynamic city. 
For local performers, Celebrate Barrie is an opportunity to showcase their talent and entertain thousands of residents and visitors. Performers of all kinds are invited to submit, including bands, individual musicians, choirs, dance groups, theatre companies, and more.
For community groups and local not-for-profit organizations, Celebrate Barrie is an opportunity to connect with the community in a fun environment and to create awareness for the programs and support they provide.
To be eligible to participate, groups must provide a free, unique, and engaging activity. Special consideration will be given to organizations offering new experiences and those providing activities for people of all ages and abilities, students, and visitors to our community. City Hall is also looking for local businesses, innovators, and food vendors to participate in this year’s event.
Community groups and businesses interested in being considered for Celebrate Barrie are encouraged to attend a free Community Engagement Workshop on Friday, March 22. For more information or to register for the workshop, email events@barrie.ca.
The Creative Economy Department will accept submissions from community groups, businesses, and performers until Friday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m.
Celebrate Barrie began in 2000 as a one-time celebration to commemorate the new millennium and proved to be so popular it continued as an annual community event. It has evolved over the years and is now considered Barrie’s kick-off to the summer festival season featuring live entertainment, a heritage village, family fun zone, community displays, local vendor market, outdoor film, and so much more.
More than 10,000 residents and visitors attended last year’s event. For complete details on how you can join the celebration, please visit www.barrie.ca/CelebrateBarrie.

Share

{ 0 comments }