Barrie chamber offers mini-MBA certificate program

The Barrie Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Schulich School of Business to bring a unique Mini-MBA to members.
This certificate program is for local executives, entrepreneurs, and future leaders, and will be held at the Barrie chamber office. 
The chamber says it has negotiated the best price available, with the first 10 registrants saving an additional $300.
The program is designed to give participants the latest knowledge and skills grounded in academic research and industry best practices, moving beyond the perspective of a single position to make decisions which integrate across the organization and developing renewed confidence associated with being able to communicate with senior management more effectively about a full range of business disciplines.
For more information, click here.

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The Sam Roberts Band, hailing from Montreal, will headline the Downtown Countdown, Barrie’s annual New Year’s Eve bash.
“In partnership with Rock 95 and 107.5 KOOL FM, the City is excited to welcome Canadian favourite Sam Roberts Band to headline the Downtown Countdown,” said Arin Donnelly, Community Events Coordinator. “With alt-rock anthems like Brother Down, Don’t Walk Away Eileen, and Where Have All the Good People Gone, this show in Barrie on New Year’s Eve is the place to be.”
Roberts, a Juno Award winning artist, has six albums under his belt, with the latest being We Were Born In A Flame Deluxe Edition (2018). The band has won five MuchMusic Video Awards and has performed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Ottawa Canada Day celebrations and NHL and CFL events.
This year’s line-up will also include Skye Wallace, a classically-trained singer with east coast roots who discovered punk rock in her youth. Hailing from Toronto, Skye’s music is inspired by every corner of Canada, and her newest album, Something Wicked, was listed as one of Vancouver Weekly’s Best Albums of 2016.
Also scheduled for the fest is Fred Penner, four-time Juno Award winner. The four-time recipient of the Parents’ Choice Award has shared his positive philosophy to make a difference through music, videos, books, speaking engagements and television, including 12 seasons of the hit CBC show Fred Penner’s Place.
Every year, local bands are invited to submit their music for the opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage. From over 30 submissions this year, Cousin Jack, an alternative rock trio from Barrie currently working on their debut EP, has been selected to perform.
This year’s free celebration outside City Hall in downtown Barrie also includes skating at the City Hall rink, horse-drawn wagon rides, roaming street performers, food vendors, fun family activities and two fireworks displays. The festivities get underway at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31. To stay up-to-date on event details, including transit and parking, visit www.barrie.ca/DowntownCountdown.

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Barrie police report that five drivers, over the span of four hours, were hit with impaired driving charges Thursday night.
Last night, between 6:22 p.m. and 10:18 p.m., five drivers, four males and one female, discovered that Barrie police are out on city streets ensuring they are free of impaired drivers, as they removed them and their motor vehicles from the road.
In fact, police say, one driver was almost five times over the legal limit and one of the drivers was arrested after failing a roadside screening test during a R.I.D.E. spot check.
“This type of behaviour is totally preventable and with the recent changes in the laws associated with impaired operation and the numerous options available to motorists who choose to consume alcohol and recreational cannabis, these results are beyond acceptable,” says Barrie Police Deputy Chief Ken Weatherill.
“I commend our officers for their commitment to road and traffic safety; it is their efforts that are making a difference and are helping to save lives every day of the year and not just during the holiday season.”
The safety of all those on City of Barrie streets is a priority of the Barrie Police Service and with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations just around the corner, it becomes everyone’s responsibility to make sure that no one gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, police say.
“If you have not yet taken the time to plan out your travels and how you will get home should you wish to consume alcohol, now is the time to do so. If you don’t, you could be the next driver that we arrest.”

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Barrie Transit offers free rides New Year’s Eve

The City of Barrie reminds residents of the following schedule changes during the holidays:

Barrie Transit Holiday Schedule
Transit will operate a regular Sunday Service schedule on Dec. 24. There will be no service on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. On Dec. 26, Transit will operate a Sunday Service with an early 7 a.m. start. On Dec. 31, there will be regular weekday service with extended free service from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.  (www.barrie.ca/TransitNotices)

Curbside Collection
There will be no curbside collection on Christmas Day (Tuesday, Dec. 25) and New Year’s Day (Tuesday, Jan. 1) in Barrie. Collection will occur one day later for both of these weeks.  Materials must be curbside by 7 a.m. on your collection day. (www.barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection)

Landfill Holiday Schedule
The Landfill Site will be closed Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1, and will close at noon on Dec. 24 and 31.

City Hall
City Hall will be closed on Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1, and will close at noon on Dec. 24 and 31.

Recreation
Allandale Recreation Centre and East Bayfield Community Centre will be open Dec. 24 & 31 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Both centres will be closed Dec. 26 & Jan. 1. 
Holly Community Centre (HCC) will be open Dec. 24 from 6 a.m. – 11 a.m. HCC will be closed Dec. 25, 26, 31 & January 1 (Note: Holly Community Centre will be closed on Dec. 31 for maintenance).
Check out the Holiday Drop-In schedules at www.barrie.ca/DropIns.

Parking
Downtown parking (on-street and lots) is free on all statutory holidays. Waterfront parking is enforced 24/7/365; residents must display their permits and visitors are required to pay $3/hour (daily maximum: $15).

Overnight On-Street Parking
From Dec. 1st through March 31st, on-street parking is not permitted from 3–6 a.m. within the Downtown BIA, and on other City streets from 12:01–7 a.m. (www.barrie.ca/parking)

Possible Overnight On-Street Parking Exemption:
If winter maintenance is not required, on-street parking will be permitted for the following dates and times:
·        12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Dec. 25, 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Dec. 26, 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Jan. 1.
If winter maintenance is required on these nights, the City will ask residents to remove parked vehicles from the road to allow crews to effectively clear the streets.
A notice will be posted at www.barrie.ca/snow, Facebook, and Twitter by 4 p.m. on the day prior (Dec. 24, 25, and 31) that will confirm whether overnight on-street parking is permitted.

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“We want all families and caregivers for vulnerable persons to be aware of this incredibly useful program. We know that families of those living with conditions like Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Autism may not be aware of the services that are out there to support them and their loved ones. Belonging to Project Lifesaver can be very comforting for these caregivers who are worried that their loved one may wander off.” – Randy Starr of Seniors Helpers, Barrie

The Project Lifesaver program combines radio technology with a coordinated police response to locate wandering and disoriented persons due to Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Acquired Brain Disorder, or other conditions or disorders.

With winter settling in, and along with it the dip in temperature that chills toes and fingers, the Barrie Police Service is reminding the public about Project Lifesaver, a program for individuals who are at risk of wandering and getting lost.
Participants registered with the Project Lifesaver program wear a wristband which emits an FM signal that can be tracked by police in the event that the individual goes missing. The watch-sized bracelet is a one-ounce, battery-operated transmitter that emits an FM radio frequency signal every second, 24 hours a day.
If a caregiver notifies Barrie Police Service that their loved one is missing, police will respond to the area where the person was last seen and utilize the specialized mobile-location tracking system.
Seniors Helpers, a Barrie business that specializes in the needs of seniors, has partnered with the Barrie Police Service to help deliver this program.
 “We want all families and caregivers for vulnerable persons to be aware of this incredibly useful program,” said Randy Starr of Seniors Helpers, Barrie. “We know that families of those living with conditions like Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Autism may not be aware of the services that are out there to support them and their loved ones. Belonging to Project Lifesaver can be very comforting for these caregivers who are worried that their loved one may wander off.”
Starr also notes that what sets Project Lifesaver apart is the equipment worn by the participant and the technology used to communicate with police.
“The wristbands are secure and difficult to remove. Volunteers from Georgian Bay Search and Rescue visit every 60 days to check and change the device’s batteries and ensure that the wristband is always in perfect working order,” said Starr.
Project Lifesaver participants must be registered with the Barrie Police Service’s Vulnerable Person’s Registry. If their caregiver reports them as missing, being registered with Project Lifesaver can make a significant difference to police as they begin to search for the individual.
“Project Lifesaver helps our efforts significantly when searching for missing vulnerable persons,” said Constable Jamie Saunders, a Search Master for the Barrie Police Service.
“We are able to use the highly accurate FM signal to get a better idea of the area where the missing person might be located. As a Search Master, we are then able to deploy the most effective human resources to that area, increasing the likelihood we will locate the missing person in the best possible condition in the least amount of time.”
The cost of the transmitter, bracelets and batteries is $500 for the year. After the first year, there is a $10 per month or $120 annual cost for replacement batteries and wristbands. Senior Helpers will meet with potential participants and their caregivers to provide and properly fit the bracelets and transmitters. Call 1-249-888-0249 to book an appointment. 
More information is also available on the Barrie Police Service website at BarriePolice.ca/project-lifesaver-simcoe.

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“The Busby Centre provides a key service in our community, helping the most marginalized citizens … with winter at hand, it is critical that the centre open for clients as soon as possible.” – Ward 4 Coun. Barry Ward

The top four reasons for being homeless were identified as addiction/substance abuse (21 per cent), inability to pay rent/mortgage (20 per cent), conflict with spouse/partner (16 per cent), and unsafe housing conditions (15 per cent).

The $200,000 granted to the David Busby Centre by City Council Monday night is in keeping with the 2018-2022 term priorities the new council adopted recently, says Ward 4 Coun. Barry Ward.
For the coming term, council set five priorities: growing the local economy, fostering a safe and healthy city, building strong neighbourhoods, offering innovative and citizen-driven services, and improving the ability to get around Barrie.
“The Busby Centre provides a key service in our community, helping the most marginalized citizens … with winter at hand, it is critical that the centre open for clients as soon as possible,” says Ward.
The centre’s home at 88 Mulcaster Street has been undergoing a $920,000 renovation to increase its size from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet. The centre has managed to raise $520,000 towards the renovations, but fundraising has fallen short, says Ward, who put the motion to grant the $200,000 on the floor at the request of Mayor Jeff Lehman.
“The Busby Centre fundraising is still underway but has fallen short of the goal to date and the centre is ready to open. The purpose of the (centre’s) deputation (was) to bring council up to date on what is happening, along with informing new councillors about what services the Busby provides.”
Busby took over the Out of the Cold program last year, which worked with local churches to provide overnight shelter to those experiencing homelessness. A report, Simcoe County Homeless Enumeration, released in April identified almost 700 people who were homeless in Simcoe County, with 305 being located in Barrie.
When open, the centre will operate on a 24/7 basis. The Out of the Cold program was taken over by Busby last year, and has since ended. The centre will deploy its Housing First strategy, seeking to place those in need in permanent housing, with followup services.
“It is my understanding that Simcoe County, our social services partner, is also being asked to provide funding. At least half of the funding will come through the Busby’s own fundraising efforts,” says Ward.
“The way the grant request funding would be done is the result of the mayor consulting with staff as to the best way to provide the dollars. Section 37 money, or bonusing from developers, is meant to be directed to projects which have a community benefit. The Busby Centre, in my opinion, fits the bill.”

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How many people are experiencing homelessness in the region and, specifically, Barrie? Revisiting the Simcoe County Homeless Enumeration, released in April, provides some answers.
According to the report, 697 people were determined to be homeless, with 305, or 49 per cent of the total, being centred in Barrie. Midland had 138 of the total, while Orillia had 97. The rest were located in other county centres. 
The homeless population was determined using “observation, survey and agency utilization date,” according to the report, the first combined Homeless Point-in-Time Count and Registry Week, which brought together various community and funding partners, and was led by the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness.
“Simcoe County’s first combined Homeless Point-in-Time Count and Registry Week would not have been possible without the support of many dedicated community members,” states the report’s authors.
“Most importantly, we would like to thank the 488 (the number of unique homeless survey participants who provided consent for their information to be used) people experiencing homelessness in Simcoe County who participated in the enumeration – the information you shared about your experience informs planning and work to end homelessness across Simcoe County, Ontario and Canada.”
The top four reasons for being homeless were identified as addiction/substance abuse (21 per cent), inability to pay rent/mortgage (20 per cent), conflict with spouse/partner (16 per cent), and unsafe housing conditions (15 per cent).
Nearly 30 per cent of respondents indicated they were newly homeless. Of that number, 28 per cent said they had recently left a hospital or correctional facility, four per cent indicated they had aged out of/left foster care, and two per cent had left a First Nations Reserve. The largest percentage of survey participants who reported they exited an institution to homelessness were surveyed in Barrie, states the report.
“About one quarter (24 per cent) of survey participants indicated they had experienced living in foster care settings at some time in their past. Thirty percent of participants who had experienced living in foster care settings indicated their first experience of homelessness was before they exited foster care.”
The report pinpoints where those deemed homeless found shelter of some sort:

The top four reasons for being homeless were identified as addiction/substance abuse (21 per cent), inability to pay rent/mortgage (20 per cent), conflict with spouse/partner (16 per cent), and unsafe housing conditions (15 per cent).
  • Provincially accommodated (315 people): This means people “who are technically homeless and without permanent shelter,” with access to “accommodation that offers no prospect of permanence … they may be accessing temporary housing provided by the government or the non-profit sector, or may have independently made arrangements for short-term accommodation.”
  • Emergency sheltered (292 people): The report says this “refers to people who, because they cannot secure permanent housing, are accessing emergency shelter and system supports, generally provided at no cost or minimal cost to the user. Such accommodation represents an institutional response to homelessness provided by government, non-profit, faith-based organizations and/or volunteers.”
  • Unsheltered (82): “This includes people who lack housing and are not accessing emergency shelters or accommodation, except during extreme weather conditions. In most cases, people are staying in places that are not designed for or fit for human habitation,” the report says.

• A further eight people who were deemed to be in an unknown location were “likely homeless.”
The report reveals that the county’s rate of homelessness at the time of the survey was about 14 for every 10,000 residents. Males accounted for the largest share of homeless, at 61 per cent. Females were found to have “more complex and challenging housing supports” than men. About eight per cent of respondents identified as LGBTQ.
Additionally, 57 per cent met the national definition of chronic homelessness, 180 days of homelessness in the past year. Those aged 18-24 accounted for 16 per cent of survey respondents, the same number for those 65 and older. Mental health factored in the homeless equation, with 62 per cent of respondents indicating they dealt with such issues.
The federal government in June reaffirmed its commitment to reduce chronic homelessness in half by 2028, the report states. County agencies partnering with the federal government towards this goal provide “training for front-line homeless services workers to build community capacity to reduce homelessness, and fund “housing support and housing first workers to assist people, including Indigenous Peoples, who are experiencing chronic homelessness and housing instability, to find, secure and maintain permanent housing.” 
Recommendations for next steps include:

  • Introduce low-barrier, housing-focused shelter and transitional housing policy standards.
  • Build capacity and collaboration among emergency services providers to develop better pathways to stable housing.
  • Continue to build capacity and collaborations among emergency services providers to develop effective service response models and coordinated entry protocols that help ensure the right health, police and/or human service providers respond to emergency calls for assistance.
  • Increase primary care, mental health and addiction services and other supports for street involved populations including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ), youth, physically or mental ill, and other very vulnerable populations.
  • Collaborate with other key sector partners such as health, children’s and community services, develop innovative and collaborative approaches to prevent homelessness by discharging people from institutions directly to housing with supports.
  • Reduce homelessness among Indigenous Peoples across Simcoe County.
  • Convene youth service providers to develop a youth specific, local approach to ending youth homelessness in Simcoe County.
  • Increase housing options for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Implement the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) among Simcoe County homeless services providers.
  • Undertake a review of access to County of Simcoe housing programs to ensure that people who have experienced homelessness have equitable opportunities for housing.

To read the full report, click here.

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A trial project launched in November and geared towards improving snow removal services for residential routes will benefit the city and its residents in better response times and lower overtime costs, according to a municipal release.
“By adding a second shift, the City will benefit from efficiencies in reduced overtime costs and better response times to snow storms. The added shift also means when winter maintenance is not required, road maintenance (e.g. filling potholes) can be done overnight instead of during peak travel times,” says the release.
Here are some winter maintenance reminders in Barrie:

Plowing of City roads
The priority is the main roads – those with the most traffic in the city. These roads are serviced when at least five cm of snow has fallen. The secondary (residential) routes are plowed when there is at least eight cm of snow. The goal is to have most routes plowed 12–24 hours after the end of a snow event. With Barrie’s Plow Tracker, you can track the progress of the road plows and see when your street was last serviced. A reminder – plows can’t avoid leaving snow at the bottom of driveways because they can’t lift the blades in between driveways.

Sidewalk plowing
Sidewalk plowing is done on main sidewalks when five cm of snow falls and on residential sidewalks when there’s eight cm of snow. If you see a sidewalk plow driving on the road, there’s a good reason – they’re travelling to their next destination for plowing because it’s faster than travelling on the sidewalk. 

Parking restrictions
A reminder that on-street parking is not permitted on city streets from 12:01–7 a.m. and 3–6 a.m. within the Downtown Business Improvement Area, from Dec. 1 through March 31. This ensures that the streets can be completely cleared and that large emergency vehicles can get down the street.

Waste collection
Shovel out a small area at the bottom of your driveway for your garbage, recycling boxes and green bin, as far from the road as possible without blocking the sidewalk. Do not place them on top of the snow bank.
For more information and updates about winter maintenance, visit www.barrie.ca/Snow.

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Barrie’s new council spent some time on Saturday discussing strategic priorities for the 2018-2022 term. Five goals to guide the strategic direction for Barrie over the next four years were identified.
They are: growing the local economy, fostering a safe and healthy city, building strong neighbourhoods, offering innovative and citizen driven services, improving the ability to get around Barrie.
“As a team of (11) we now have the honour of shaping our city for the next four years,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “There was a lot of energy in the room as this (council) started setting our priorities. We know there’s a lot of work to do, and there is clearly a sense of optimism as we set the direction for our community.  It starts with having a straightforward vision, which I believe we achieved today.”
Council discussed several key issues they heard while campaigning, including affordable housing, the opioid crisis, community safety, road safety, innovation, and customer service.
Staff will now work on developing actions plans for each strategic direction and will report back to General Committee early

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The meeting is scheduled prior to general committee, 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall. The submission is made by Innovative Planning Solutions (IPS) on behalf of Mason Homes Limited.

A public meeting is scheduled tonight (Monday) to review an application for an Official Plan (OP) amendment and a zoning bylaw change to build a 153-unit condo development at the intersection of Yonge Street and Little Avenue.
The meeting is scheduled prior to general committee, 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall. The submission is made by Innovative Planning Solutions (IPS) on behalf of Mason Homes Limited.
The request is to change the OP designation of the property from General Commercial to Residential and the zoning from General Commercial (C4) to Residential Multiple Second Density with Special Provisions (RM2). The special provisions requested to the RM2 zone include: an increase in density to 73 units per hectare, reduced front and rear yard setbacks, increased lot coverage and gross floor area, increased height to 17 metres and an unconsolidated amenity area.
For more on the development, click here.

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During the Lock it OR Lose it campaign, police officers, auxiliary officers, and crime prevention personnel examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view.

During the Christmas season stores and malls are bustling with people spending their hard-earned money on gifts for friends and family.
Barrie police are reminded buyers that to avoid trauma and torment, shoppers need to Lock it OR Lose to prevent theft. The annual provincial campaign (#LockItOrLoseIt) is sponsored by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP).
During the Lock it OR Lose it campaign, police officers, auxiliary officers, and crime prevention personnel examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view. They place a small notice on vehicles checked indicating what safety precautions were neglected and offer simple prevention tips for drivers to protect their vehicles against theft. The notices also congratulate drivers who have secured their vehicle.
“When we conduct Lock it or Lose it campaigns, we’re pleased to see that most vehicles are locked, without any visible valuables,” said Cst. Bovair, a Crime Prevention Officer with the Barrie Police Service. “We do find several vehicles that are not as secure, and we remind them that the best way to prevent thefts is by locking vehicles and securing valuables.”
Between 2016 and 2017, there was an overall increase of six per cent in auto theft across Canada.According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, on average, a car is stolen every seven minutes in Canada. Automobile thefts cost Canadians close to $1 billion. This can be broken down to $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, health care and court system costs, and the rest for correctional services. It’s estimated that about 40 people die and 65 people are injured as a direct result of auto theft every year.
Motorists and passengers are urged not to keep personal documents such as vehicle ownership, liability pink slips, credit card invoices, or other documents containing personal information in their vehicles. Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for export, and even take out a mortgage against victims’ properties without their knowledge.

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The proposal calls for a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 559 to 1,076 square feet, two ground floor commercial units, 103 parking spaces, individual balconies, and common amenity areas.

A public meeting is scheduled for Monday before general committee to review an application for the construction of an eight-story apartment building with 96 rental units on Dunlop Street West, between Boys and Frances streets.
The proposal calls for a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 559 to 1,076 square feet, two ground floor commercial units, 103 parking spaces, individual balconies, and common amenity areas. An application for amendments to the Official Plan and the zoning bylaw to permit the development has been made by Innovative Planning Solutions on behalf of MDM Developments.
In total, the land is 1.78 acres in size, and is currently designated ‘Residential’ and ‘Environmental Protection’ in the City’s Official Plan, zoned ‘Multi-Residential Second Density Special Provision’ and ‘Multi-Residential Second Density Special Provision.’
The owner has applied to amend the Official Plan to permit a density in excess of 150 units per hectare outside of the Urban Growth Centre (UGC), and to amend the current zoning of the property to ‘Residential Apartment Dwelling First Density-3 Special’ (RA1-3)(SP)’ to permit the development.
To see a presentation of the proposal, click here.

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The scheduling of neighbourhood meetings to gather residents’ feedback about planned developments is being changed so that the meetings can be held before a planning application is formally submitted.
Staff believe the change will provide a number of benefits, including providing an earlier opportunity for residents to “view and understand the proposal and provide feedback,” council was told in a memo from Michelle Banfield, the City’s manager of growth and development.
“The process improvement will have the neighbourhood meeting scheduled in advance of the submission of the planning application. The comments and feedback provided by the community at the neighbourhood meeting are expected to be addressed by the applicant or agent as part of a complete planning application in their plans, drawings and reports,” she writes.
Other expected benefits include:
• Allowing the applicant or agent to hear feedback on a draft version of the plans, drawings and reports, affording the opportunity to respond to the feedback through discussion and revisions to the documents
• Maximizing the use of the legislated approval timelines under the Planning Act by focusing the review matters to those of a technical nature, having already incorporated the feedback from the community into the submission
• Reduce the amount of revisions to plans, drawings and reports throughout the process, ultimately decreasing time and costs for everyone involved.
The neighbourhood meetings are not required under the Planning Act but the City has held them for years. Such meetings “have been scheduled to provide the community an opportunity to review the proposal, speak to the applicant/agent and get a better understanding of the proposal prior to the statutory public meeting (required under the Planning Act),” continues Banfield.
The statutory public meeting which is required is scheduled at the beginning of a General Committee meeting, while the “neighbourhood meetings are less formal and tend to be more comfortable for community members to express their feedback.”
For more on this, including a read of a staff-prepared ‘Terms of Reference for the Neighbourhood Meeting,’ click here.

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Donations to the Barrie Police Service’s Mitten Tree drive can be made at any of the three Zehrs locations in Barrie.

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It’s time once again for Barrie residents to decorate the Barrie Police Service’s Mitten Tree and keep hands and fingers warn and cosy through the winter.
The service is collecting donations for the annual Mitten Tree campaign, the 20th anniversary of the drive which began with Constable Janet Schefter having a vision and a goal, which had been inspired by a group of individuals who had been struggling to stay warm throughout the winter months.
It was her goal to see that everyone in our community would be kept warm throughout the winter months, which led to the creation of the Mitten Tree, the service reports.
Many families, including seniors, are faced with low income, high rent and everyday living expenses, and it can be a struggle to make ends meet. The need to help individuals stay warm within the community has continued to grow throughout the years.
The Mitten Tree is one of many holiday initiatives which allow members of the Barrie Police Service and the community to give back. More than 20,000 hats, mittens, gloves and scarves have been distributed to individuals of all ages, throughout Barrie and surrounding area.
The success of the Mitten Tree can be attributed to the generosity of the community, local elementary schools and members of the Barrie Police Service. The Mitten Trees continue to become more vibrant and erupt with vast donations of hats, mittens, gloves and scarves which have been donated to:

  • Out of the Cold
  • Youth Haven
  • David Busby Street Centre
  • The Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie
  • Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and Addiction Services
  • CARAH House
  • Elizabeth Fry Society
  • Salvation Army Barrie
  • Hospice Simcoe

To donate to the Mitten Tree campaign, visit the Barrie Police Service, at one of two locations, 29 Sperling Drive or 60 Bell Farm Road, Unit # 1, in the City of Barrie. Barrie Zehrs are also accepting donations at all three locations: 607 Cundles Road East, 11 Bryne Drive, 620 Yonge Street.
All donated items must be newly purchased for health reasons. Donations will be accepted up until Thursday, Dec. 20. All inquiries can be directed to Corporate Communications at 705-725-7025, ext. 2926.

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Barrie hires new general manager

Blaine Parkin is Barrie has a new General Manager of Infrastructure and Growth Management, effective Jan. 16.

Barrie has a new General Manager of Infrastructure and Growth Management. Blaine Parkin will begin the role, effective Jan. 16.
“This is a key leadership role within the municipality and we are pleased to have Blaine join our Executive Management Team,” says Chief Administrative Officer Michael Prowse. “Blaine’s extensive experience as well as his strengths as a leader and collaborator will be an asset to Barrie as we begin to enter our next phase of incredible growth.”
Parkin has extensive experience in both the private and municipal sectors, the City says in a release. Most recently, he was the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Town of New Tecumseth. Prior to that, he held the positions of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and General Manager of Infrastructure & Development at the Town.
He is a familiar face at the City of Barrie. Before going to the Town of Tecumseth, he worked at the City for 10 years in a variety of capacities, including Director of Corporate Asset Management, Director of Strategic Services and Economic Development, Manager of Policy and Development and Policy and Program Engineer.
In addition to his municipal experience, Parkin has also worked as a Surety Claims Adjuster with The Guarantee Company of North America. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science-Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Architecture from the University of Manitoba and is a professional engineer.
His role role will involve leading a multi-faceted division that includes Planning and Building Services, Engineering, Environmental Services and Roads, Parks and Fleet.

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Campaign to protect Simcoe Uplands Moraine continues

The battle to protect what is called “uniquely pure water” reached Queen’s Park recently, when a delegation of Simcoe County residents met with legislators to gather support for efforts to protect Simcoe Uplands Moraine in Tiny Township.
The delegation from AWARE Simcoe attended proceedings at the Legislature on Nov. 23, and met with MPPs, according to a press release.
“Genuine interest was shown,” said delegation organizer Erin Archer, a member of the local Waterkeepers group. “Brainstorming of new avenues has restored the hope in our water protectors. We’re looking forward to working with MPPs from across Ontario to keep this water pristine for future generations.”
At the beginning of the afternoon session, Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner (MPP for Guelph) introduced the group who were seated in the visitors’ and members’ galleries. Among them were representatives of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations, the Friends of the Waverley Uplands, Tottenham-water, the Anishinaabe Kweag, the Waterkeepers and AWARE Simcoe.
In 2009, First Nations, cottagers, farmers and residents were successful in defeating Simcoe County’s plan for Dump Site 41. Advocates say extraction is the new threat to the water. In a meeting, Schreiner explained that on Dec. 5 he will be bringing forward a private member’s bill to protect water within another moraine. The group will press for protection for all moraines like the Simcoe Uplands Moraine, also known as the Waverley Uplands.

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It’s budget time for Barrie, and residents can have input into how the process unfolds by using the Budget Allocator resource.
City Hall is promoting the feedback tool as a way for residents to share what is important to them in terms of services and spending. It allows residents to choose to increase, decrease or maintain budget spending for nine major services, and leave comments about their choices.
Feedback received by 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 14 will be shared with council and included in the 2019 budget deliberations.
For instance, the allocator shows that current budget for the department of creative economy is $2.57 million. An increase in spending of five per cent would see the budget rise to $2.7 million, while a decrease of five per cent would see the budget drop to $2.44 million.
The budget for environmental services, which includes curbside waste/recycling pickup, now stands at $7.11 million. A five per cent increase would see it go to $7.47 million, while a corresponding decrease would drop it to $6.75 million.
Barrie’s 2018 budget came in at $80.87 million. Of the residential property tax bill, about 55 per cent funds City services, 14 per cent funds education, as mandated by the Province, and 31 per cent funds the City’s service partners such as the Barrie Police, Public Libraries and services delivered by the County of Simcoe, such as Land Ambulance and Social Services. The allocator does not include service partner budget items.
The past budget saw a 2.75 per cent tax increase, approved Jan. 29 of this year.

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Flags at Barrie City Hall are being flown at half-mast in honour of Willard Kinzie, the city’s first mayor who passed away Nov. 25.
Kinzie served as mayor from 1957 to 1961. Barrie officially became a city during his term, in 1959.
“Barrie has lost one of its greatest leaders, and one of its greatest champions,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Willard Kinzie was the first Mayor of the City of Barrie and truly one of its finest. A man who’s love of Barrie and belief in its potential were unlimited.
“It is not an exaggeration to call Willard Kinzie the father of our waterfront. He saw the possibility to create a park and beach, a place for all the people of Barrie. This legacy not only delights us, it defines us.
“That the first thing about Barrie that most of us mention is our waterfront, is due to Willard’s vision. In more recent years, he brought the concept of a waterfront heritage trail to the City, now enjoyed by residents and visitors as they walk around Kempenfelt Bay.”
Kinzie’s bronzed handprint, cast in 2016, waits at the end of the Waterfront Heritage Trail at Penetanguishene Road to offer a ‘high five’ to those who complete the trail. An avid trail user, Kinzie envisioned a way for residents to learn about Barrie’s history while enjoying an open air, self-guided interpretative experience on the city’s s waterfront.

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UPDATE

Charges have been laid in relation to a sexual assault which took place in Barrie, Nov. 9.
On that date, just before 3 p.m., police responded to a report of a sexual assault which occurred in a wooded area between Red Oak Drive and Farmstead Crescent. Police immediately responded to the area and a female victim was taken to a local hospital and treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries, police report.
Following the release of the composite sketch, a second incident was reported to police. This incident occurred on Tuesday, Oct. 2, between 2:30 and 3 p.m., in the area of Ardagh Road and Eaglestone Lane. The victim did not sustain any physical injuries.
Through further investigation, it had been determined that the same male had been responsible for both assaults, police report. On Thursday, Nov.  29, detectives from the Crimes Against Person Unit arrested and charged a 39-year-old Barrie man. He has been charged with Sexual Interference, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Assault Causing Bodily Harm.
The accused appeared in a Barrie Court of Justice for a bail hearing last Friday morning and has been remanded into custody. The investigation conducted by the Crimes Against Person Unit utilized numerous resources within the Barrie Police Service. Investigators would like to thank the public and local media for their assistance.
A court-imposed publication ban has been implemented and no further information can be released at this time, police report.


UPDATE

Police have released this sketch of suspect wanted in assault investigation

The investigation into a serious assault that was reported to the Barrie Police on Friday, Nov. 9, just before 3 p.m., remains ongoing and police can now confirm that assault was sexual in nature.
Police have also established a dedicated tip line 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 have carried out this violent attack has been released and investigators are hopeful the release of this sketch will assist in the identification and arrest of the person responsible.
The Barrie Police Service again reminds the public to be aware of their personal safety at all times and when possible, refrain from entering secluded and poorly lit areas alone. Further details and updates will only be provided as the investigation permits.


Barrie police are seeking a suspect following what they say was a “serious assault” Friday afternoon that left a woman hospitalized.
Just after 3 p.m. on Friday, police say they responded to a report of a serious assault that occurred northeast of a local secondary school in a wooded area between Red Oak Drive and Farmstead Crescent. Uniform officers immediately responded to the area where a female victim was located and taken to a local hospital for what are described as serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
The investigation has utilized resources from within the Barrie Police Service, including the Tactical Support Unit, Canine Unit, Forensic Identification Unit, Community Response Unit, Investigative Services and the Crimes Against Person Unit. A thorough search of the area where the assault is believed to have taken place has been conducted, however at present, the person responsible remains outstanding.
Detectives, police continue, have determined that the person who is believed to be responsible for this assault is described as a white male, about 40 years old, thin hollow face with a medium build and a beard. He may have been wearing a blue or black with white plaid shirt, either dark blue or black coloured cargo pants and a blue beanie style hat.
Anyone with information to the assault is asked to contact Detective Constable Thisdelle at 705-725-7025, ext. 2935, by email at vthisdelle@barriepolice.ca,  by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.
Further details and updates will only be provided as the investigation permits. The Barrie Police Service reminds the public to be aware of their personal safety at all times and when possible, refrain from entering secluded and poorly lit areas alone.

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City Hall, in a partnership with Barrie Transit and the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium, is launching a pilot program designed to integrate transit services to better serve younger riders.
The program is called the Barrie Transit Field Trip Pass, council was informed in a memorandum from Taylor Green, transit compliance specialist. It “aims to offer ten (10) elementary schools the opportunity to use the system in a safe and educational manner,” writes Green.
“Teachers and students go on field trips throughout the school year but must be cognizant of travel costs to both their respective (boards) and families. Charter bus bookings can add up to significant expenses and vehicle availability may limit their mobility options. By partnering with the (school boards), the City will be able to widen the scope of our existing trip/travel planning programs, promote new ridership over the long term, as well as increase the awareness and provide opportunities for greater utilization at City facilities.”
The program begins Dec. 1 and runs through the end of the 2018/19 school year. Each school will receive three field trip passes each. Each pass will be valid for unlimited travel for 30 students and five adults. Multiple passes can be combined to accommodate additional students/teachers/chaperones, reads the memo.
The schools are: Allandale Heights, Ardagh Bluffs, Emma King, Monsignor Clair, St. John Vianney, St. Monica’s, Steele St, WC Little, West Bayfield, and Willow Landing.
Read the full memo here.

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City Hall gets award for reducing energy consumption

Click on image for Bath Fitter site

Barrie has been recognized for its efforts in achieving “exceptional energy performance in municipal facilities,” Adam McMullin, manager of energy management, told council in a recent memorandum.
The award came from the Mayor’s Megawatt Challenge (MMC), for energy savings achieved at City Hall. Barrie is an active participant in the program – administered by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, states the memo. The aim of the program is to bring “together leading municipalities to achieve exceptional energy performance in municipal facilities. The award is granted to facilities that reduce energy consumption by 10 per  cent compared to the previous year. City Hall exceed this threshold by achieving an energy reduction of 16 per cent in 2017, compared to 2016.”
The results, the memo continues, were “largely driven by the efficiencies realized from the recently replaced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The Facility Planning and Development Branch led the capital renewal project and chose to implement an innovative technical solution – a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. This HVAC system allows for the simultaneous transfer of heating and cooling energy within a floor to serve the dynamic comfort needs of a larger tower building office environment, while minimizing energy usage.”
Read the memo here.

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UPDATE

Barrie residents had an opportunity on Wednesday to meet with City planning officials to get information about the process to create a new official plan.
The ‘Continuing the Conversation: A New Official Plan and Zoning By-law’ document, known as the 3 Pillars, was made available to the public. Attendees were afforded the opportunity to provide feedback on the plan and process.
Members of the public are welcome to come to this drop-in style engagement opportunity to talk with City Planning staff and provide some feedback on the Big Questions being posed in the 3 Pillars paper. Feedback can also be provided here. Click here to read the full OP document.


Residents of Barrie are being asked their opinions as the City begins a process of creating a new Official Plan (OP), anticipated to take 18 months and go through six phases.
“Barrie is on the cusp of major growth and we need to think ahead. The Official Plan Project is an opportunity to collectively build a vision for Barrie’s future,” explains Andrea Bourrie, Director of Planning and Building Services. “Our city is already an amazing place to call home – let’s build on that together.”
The OP is the city’s overarching master plan that sets a vision of what Barrie will be in the next 20 years and guides development for that future. It’s a complex document integrating provincial legislation and policies with public opinion and all elements of the city (i.e. land-use, infrastructure, transportation, natural heritage and culture), states a City release.
The project builds upon previous engagement from the intensification workshops and Essa/Bradford Corridor study that were completed in spring 2018. Feedback gathered in this phase will become the basis for further engagement during phase two of the project which will begin in early 2019.
Residents are encouraged to learn more about the project and share their priorities for Barrie’s future:
• Visit buildingbarrie.ca/OP1 to follow the project and complete the quick poll
• Participate in the interactive workshop on Wednesday, Nov. from 6 – 8 p.m. at the City Hall Rotunda (70 Collier Street). It’s open to everyone and registration is not required.
For more information on how the City is preparing for growth, visit buildingbarrie.ca and join the conversation.

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(Update)

Two men, one from Innisfil and the other Essa, have been charged in connection wth reported shootings by a small calibre pellet-type gun.
On Nov. 20, Barrie Police Service responded to a report that a male had been shot in the eye by what is believed to be a small caliber pellet-type gun. The following day, an officer from the Huronia West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was investigating a multi-vehicle collision on County Road 90 in Springwater Township when a motorist approached the officer to report that he had been shot at by what was believed to have been a person in a passing car.
Following an investigation into both incidents, Barrie police have now charged the motorist in the second report, a 19-year-old Essa man, with Aggravated Assault, Pointing a Firearm, three counts of Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose, and five counts of Assault with a Weapon. These charges relate to several incidents, including the shooting which occurred on Nov. 20 in Barrie.
He is also facing a charge of Public Mischief for the false report of having been shot with a pellet gun on Nov. 21. As a result of this false report, Barrie police issued an updated media release, noting that a second pellet gun incident had been reported.
As well, a 21-year-old Innisfil man has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Pointing a Firearm, three counts of Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose, and five counts of Assault with a Weapon. Both men appeared in an Ontario Court of Justice in Barrie on Wednesday for a bail hearing.


(Update)

Police are investigating what seems to be a another incident of someone being shot by what is believed to be a pellet gun.
Thursday night, just after 7 p.m., an officer from the Huronia West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was investigating a multi-vehicle collision on County Road 90 in Springwater Township when a motorist approached the officer to report that he had been shot at by what was believed to have been a person in a passing car, police report.
The motorist did not sustain any injuries, but was reportedly struck by a number of pellets which were shot from what is believed to be a pellet gun. This incident occurred on County Road 90 near Don Ross Drive, just east of the town of Angus and the vehicle believed to be involved is described as a 1991-1997 Honda Civic hatchback, that was light green in colour.
Due to similarities in this incident and the incident that occurred on Monday Nov. 19 on Cundles Road West in Barrie, the Barrie Police Investigative Services are continuing their investigative efforts in identifying both the motor vehicle involved and the person(s) responsible.
Anyone with information with regards to this incident is asked to contact Sergeant Glen Furlong of the Barrie Police Investigative Services at 705-725-7025, ext. 2632, by email at gfurlong@barriepolice.ca, by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.


A Barrie man is in hospital after being shot in the eye by what is believed to be a type of small calibre pellet gun, police report.
The man was walking along the sidewalk on the south side of Cundles Road West, east of Sunnidale Road, at about 9:35 p.m. Monday night when a small green-coloured car approached him. The vehicle slowed, activated its four-way flashers, and then stopped opposite the male, police report.
Thinking that the occupants of the vehicle required some type of assistance, the male turned his head and as he did so, he was shot in the right eye. The occupants of the vehicle then drove off eastbound on Cundles Road West towards the area of either Coulter or Bayfield streets, at which time the victim realized that he had been injured. After dialing 911, he was taken to a hospital where he is being treated for a potentially life-altering injury.
From the investigation which followed by members of the Barrie Police Investigative Services, it has been determined that the incident appears to be isolated in nature. Police are attempting to locate the vehicle wanted in regards to this incident, which is further described as being a light green-coloured two-door compact style passenger car that may be a Honda or Toyota.
At present, there are no descriptions available with regards to the suspects being sought and the investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with information with regards to this assault is asked to contact Sergeant Dave Berriault of the Barrie Police Investigative Services at 705-725-7025, ext. 2518, by email at dberriault@barriepolice.ca, by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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Click on image for Bath Fitter site

Talk is Free Theatre (TIFT) has named Joe Pagnan as the 2018 recipient of the F Joseph Anderson Award, founded in 2011 to honour the contributions of TIFT’s Founding Chair F Joseph Anderson.
It was designed to celebrate an individual who has provided exceptional impact in furthering the objectives of TIFT. Some of the previous recipients have included Steve Sperling, Aline Revoy, Beth Foster and Ashley Frederick.
“Joe is an outstanding talent who selflessly shaped our productions, mentored both emerging and more senior artists, who either sought his mentorship or benefited from it without asking,” Kathryn Talbot, TIFT chair, is quoted saying.
“We’ve been fortunate to have Joe as our resident designer for over six seasons and he’s been instrumental in the success of numerous influential TIFT productions. We wanted to recognize his contributions with the F Joseph Anderson Award.”
On receiving the award, Pagnan said he thanks the company for trusting in his creative journey.
“I am humbled to have my work featured by the F J  Anderson award, and I hope it opens a discussion for ways companies can support emerging interdisciplinary artists often at odds with their creative identity. Thank you Arkady and Talk Is Free for giving space to  risk.”
Some of Pagnan’s TIFT productions include Hedwig and The Angry Inch, The Curious Voyage, Amadeus, Candide, Offline, Darling of the Day, Sunday in the Park With George, Gotcha!, Stop The World, Prince of Hamburg, I Claudia, Vigil, and The Wakowski Brothers.
Pagnan was nominated for the 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award, is a three-time Broadway World Award recipient, a Dora Award Nominee, and a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and the Young Centre Emerging Artist’s Program, with further training with Universität Weimar. He is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. More can be found at joepagnan.com.

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Police charge three motorists with impaired driving

In just over three hours this past weekend, Barrie police stopped and charged three motorists with impaired-driving offences.
Officers, police report, responded to three separate motor vehicle collisions in Barrie, but there was a common factor which connected each of these incidents. In each case, the at-fault driver was arrested and charged with impaired driving as a result of making a poor decision that resulted in them getting behind the wheel of their car and driving after they had consumed alcohol. Fortunately, no one sustained any serious injuries, but the situation could have been worse.
“With so many options available to the motoring public this holiday season, it is imperative that drivers plan ahead and this includes how they will get home after an evening of socializing that may involve alcohol. There have been far too many times that our officers have been called to the scene of crash that involves alcohol or drugs and in all of these investigations, available options would have likely prevented the crash from occurring if the driver simply planned ahead,” Sergeant John Brooks of the Barrie Police Traffic Unit is quoted saying.
Each and every day, impaired driving wreaks havoc upon our roads right across the country and can change a family or an individual’s life forever, police report. This holiday season, the Barrie Police Service is encouraging the public to take the time to simply plan ahead and consider using a designated driver, a ride sharing service, public transit or any other transportation service provider if you plan on drinking or using recreational cannabis. By planning now, you can never put yourself in a seat you shouldn’t be in or in a position that you may regret for a lifetime.

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