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Other Interesting Community Stories

Impacts of Provincial Shutdown on Springwater Municipal Services. Township of Springwater / April 1, 2021 – Today, Premier Doug Ford announced a Province-wide shutdown, effective April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The shutdown will remain in effect for a minimum of 28 days. The shutdown is being put in place to restrict the rapid transmission of the COVID-19 virus throughout the Province. 

As a result of the shutdown, the following municipal restrictions and closures are in place in the Township of Springwater:

All Township facilities, including the Township Administration Centre, are closed to the public with staff working remotely where possible. Staff are available to assist via email and phone; contact information is available at www.springwater.ca/contact

Outside staff (Roads & Fleet, By-law Enforcement and Parks & Facilities) will continue with their current work schedule while practicing safe physical distancing.

All field permits and rentals have been cancelled for the duration of the shutdown.

Parks, playgrounds and community sports fields are open for spontaneous, non-organized play. Equipment is not sanitized. All public washroom facilities are closed at this time.

The Springwater Public Library will continue offering curbside service to residents.

For additional information on provincial shutdown measures and restrictions, visit the provincial website at covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions. For additional information on the status of COVID-19 in our area, visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website at smdhu.org/COVID19

Reverend Meg Jordan for the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor Committee. Legion Supports Purchase of Specialized Beds for Cataract Surgery at Soldiers’

Cutline: John Cropper, Chair of the Poppy Fund at Orillia’s Branch 34 of the Royal Canadian Legion and Brenda Watt, President of the Ladies Auxiliary, present a cheque to Brittany Wilson, Development Officer with the OSMH Foundation for $5,700 to purchase a cataract surgery stretcher.

ORILLIA, ON – The Royal Canadian Legion’s Ontario Provincial Command Branches and Ladies’ Auxiliaries Charitable Foundation have generously donated $5,700 for the purchase of a specialized stretcher bed to improve cataract surgeries at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

Each year, more than 1,500 cataract surgeries are performed at Soldiers’. Surgeons can perform up to 18 cataract surgeries in one day, making it one of the highest volumes of procedures performed at the Hospital. Each patient undergoing surgery requires a specialized stretcher bed with an intricate braking system and attachment to ensure the patient’s head is stabilized during the procedure. It is vital that there are enough of these beds to meet the needs of the community.

“This donation means that we are able to reduce wait times for this life-altering procedure,” said Brittany Wilson, Development Officer, OSMH Foundation. “We care deeply about the wellbeing of our senior community and giving sight to someone whose vision has been compromised by cataracts is an amazing gift to give. We are incredibly grateful to the Royal Canadian Legion’s Ontario Provincial Command Branches and Ladies’ Auxiliary for this generous donation that will significantly improve the quality of life of our senior population.”

For the Legion’s Charitable Foundation President, Marg Emery, this donation is a culmination of support from inside and outside of the organization. “Thanks to the support of our Legion Branches and Ladies Auxiliaries volunteers and the public, the Royal Canadian Legion Charitable Foundation is able to assist hospitals and other health facilities and take part in improving the quality of life of our veterans and the community at large.”

Since 1997, the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Provincial Command Branches and Ladies’ Auxiliaries Charitable Foundation have generously donated over $80,200 to support Soldiers’.

About Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation

The OSMH Foundation is a proud partner of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and the communities it serves. The Foundation fundraises to purchase medical equipment, sustain programs and assist the Hospital in maintaining its position as a leader in providing quality community-based healthcare.

Major study of “exceptional” water planned – but will it survive “disaster” of aggregate extraction?

By Kate Harries

The water that gushes out of artesian wells around Waverley in North Simcoe is so clean that it has astonished dozens of scientists in different countries who have tested it for a wide range of contaminants. 

“This water,” geochemist William Shotyk told Tiny Township Council last week after an explanation of the factors at play in the natural water filtration systems and underlying aquifers and aquitards, “is not just great water or excellent water – it’s absolutely exceptional water.”

But will this globally unique resource survive the removal and disruption of soils, gravel and tree cover as aggregate extraction intensifies in the recharge area?

Shotyk, the Bocock Chair for Agriculture and the Environment at the University of Alberta,and geologist Michael Powell, also of the University of Alberta, were before council to explain details of a five-year, multi-million dollar study of the water involving leading Canadian hydrogeologists.

But Powell, who had spent a couple of days last week examining features of the study area, expressed severe misgivings about the ongoing level of aggregate extraction from the recharge area, known locally as French’s Hill. 

“I saw recently a plan to strip a side of French’s Hill,” he told council. “I guess it’s going to happen. That to me is going to be an absolute disaster, I don’t mind going out on a limb and saying that.”

And, he warned: “There are going to be consequences,” when the soil cover is removed and the water flows out of French’s Hill unconstrained.

Two companies have licenses in the area – CRH Canada Group Inc., through its division Dufferin Aggregates, and the Sarjeant Co. Ltd. CRH has one pit, with an application for an expansion that is being appealed by Tiny Township and the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations. Sarjeant has two pits. 

In an email, Powell said said he was astonished by the clearcutting and soil removal that has taken place in the area to be mined. “I was so shocked, and did not know how far they had already proceeded,” he wrote.

Shotyk, who owns a farm in the Elmvale area, has studied the water for 30 years as he moved through various academic institutions in Canada and Europe. He has in vain called for a moratorium on continued extraction until the inter-disciplinary team that has come together can get its work done. An understanding of how the Waverley-area water is cleaned naturally could be of critical importance at a time when the world is facing a water crisis, he has urged

The team includes hydrogeologist John Cherry, Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Waterloo and an internationally recognized expert on groundwater. The plan, Shotyk told council, is to seek funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Preparing the application is a complicated and lengthy process but it should be filed by September 2021, and if approved, work can begin late this year 

The water has been tested in different laboratories internationally for every kind of contaminant – and again and again, scientists have been astonished by levels either below detection or  far lower than those found in groundwater elsewhere.

One key parameter is chloride. Cherry has defined water with less than five parts per million of chloride as being pristine. “Our water contains significantly less than that,” Shotyk told council. The Waverley area water has been tested by five different international laboratories between 1992 and 2019, with results at or below one ppm of chloride. 

The first indication of the unusual cleanliness of the water came when Shotyk took a sample from his farm to his laboratory, then at the University of Heidelberg, where it was tested for lead and compared with ancient Arctic ice cores. The ice had five parts per trillion of lead, the farm water less than one part per trillion.

Organic contaminants are of concern in agricultural regions, Shotyk noted. Jean-Daniel Berset of Berne, Switzerland, tested for hydrocarbons and pesticides in 2009. “He was not able to detect anything,” Shotyk said. “He has never before seen such clean groundwater.” In 2015, Alberto Pereira of Innotech Alberta scanned the water for 75 pesticides and in all cases they were below the level of detection.

For full details of what is known of the water, the ongoing data collection from dedicated wells on the Shotyk property, and what is to be studied, go to the Tiny Township Youtube channel of April 7 2021, Committee of the Whole Part 1 – 1:10 to 2:10 timeframe.

The NSERC funding model requires researchers to partner with organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. The two scientists asked for Tiny Township to become a partner – and councillors readily agreed.

Powell emphasized that every level of government will be asked to become a partner in the project and asked for council’s help in bringing other stakeholders, especially the aggregate companies, to the table.

“In the interests of transparency, if an aggregate company has data that shows there’s no possible way for their industry to impact the water – if they have such data, please show us the data and show that data not only to us, but to all the other stakeholders, including the landowners in the area,” he said.

He added that another aspect of the project is that research will be released in real time, and not withheld for publication at the end of the project, in the interest of informing the public and assisting in developing policy.

There is an undoubted public interest in the water: people come from far and near to collect water that gushes from the “flow” at the side of County Road 27 north of Elmvale. And a 25-year battle to protect the water culminated in 2009 in the defeat of Dump Site 41, a landfill where waste from across Simcoe County would have been piled on top of the aquifer.

But now, the future looks bleak. The excavation is taking place rapidly on private property, out of the public eye, by companies headquartered elsewhere – in Dublin, in the case of CRH. The history of Site 41 means there’s little trust that oversight by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks will protect the water. 

In the race against time, will French’s Hill be destroyed as the effective clean water production system we know it to be – before the scientists are able to study how this system works? Gravel versus water: private commodity versus public good – it’s the story of our time, playing out in a corner of rural Ontario, with a globally significant resource hanging in the balance. 

Improving the Ecological Health of Lake Simcoe

 Lately, as a member of Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, I have been doing a great deal of reading on how to improve the ecological health of lakes in particular Lake Simcoe.

If you have shoreline property on Lake Simcoe or on any lake for that matter, then you might be extremely interested in what I learned.

  I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered a very simple, virtually cost – free way of improving the quality of the water and increasing marine life in the lake.

 It turns out when gnarled, aging trees growing naturally along the lake shore and starting to tumble into the lake should be allowed to do so. (Mother Nature does indeed know best)

 All the trees that are allowed to crash naturally into the lake start a second life under the water.

And this second life may last up to 600 years! 

At the bottom of the lake, the dead trees will attract crayfish, minnows, mudpuppies, tadpoles, a variety of fish, dragonfly nymphs, mayflies, wood ducks, soft shell turtles, blue herons, diatoms, and algae.

 A new community of life will have been created among the multitude of forked branches on the trees.  The organisms will continue to use the tree until its cellulose has completely broken down and the chemical constituents have been fully integrated into the web of life in the lake.

For thousands of years, trees have fallen into lakes.

All kinds of marine life have used these fallen trees as new protective habitats. These trees in riparian areas leave behind seedlings to start new ribbons of trees around lakes and along rivers.

You might be surprised to learn that fish that swim around in the middle of the lake need towering trees and hardy shrubs on the shoreline to survive.

 Most fish, as well as other marine life, like frogs come to the shoreline to lay their eggs.

 If there is no shade to prevent the eggs from overheating from the blistering sun, the fish eggs will die along with other marine-life eggs.

  When the shoreline is devoid of towering trees, a tangle of shrubbery, and native flora, the natural predator-prey balance has forever been disrupted. Each organism functions as a thread in the intricate web of life and each thread relies on other species, and on humans to maintain clean and healthy environments.

When humans rip out and destroy natural greenery on the lakeshore, the threads connecting the web of life are shredded and all the animals in this web are negatively affected.   

 No longer will you enjoy watching a striking blue heron, as it will move elsewhere, where a ribbon of trees and native flora still prevails, to look for fish and fogs. (Michael A. Bozek, UWSP)

Research has actually shown, if you want to catch more fish for supper, go to the area of the lake where you observe a ribbon of life containing stands of  old growth  native trees, a  jungle of shrubbery, and native flora growing naturally along the shoreline.

Not only does the shade of the trees protect the eggs, but when leaves covered with insects trying to devour them, are blown into the lake, the fish will readily eat the bugs.

Here are some suggestions for all the cities that are located on Lake Simcoe.

Ø When the City collects Christmas trees rather than mulching them, drop them on the frozen ice all over the lake and let them sink naturally into the lake. Since Kempenfelt Bay is extremely deep there should be no safety issues with boaters.

Ø When trees along the shoreline are decaying, if the City needs to prune or chop them, let the whole tree or branches fall into the lake to start new habitats for marine life.

Ø  Let all seedlings naturally started by Mother Nature mature and grow into mature native trees.

Ø If trees and shoreline shrubbery have been removed, start a replanting program to restore the web of life to which we are all connected

Ø If you own property on the lake and would like to create a sandy beach for the kids, make sure you also maintain a section of greenery that will help to maintain a healthy lake in which your kids love to swim.  

Ø Keep in mind a manicured monoculture of static non-native lawns, do not promote nor enhance the ecological health of the shoreline nor the lake. 

 Respectfully submitted by – Gwen Petreman  4 Victoria Street,  Barrie, ON

Lake Simcoe and Simcoe County Need Greenbelt Support

Province’s Greenbelt Expansion Consultation Should include Simcoe County

April 13, 2021 Simcoe County, ON –  The province is seeking feedback on how and where to grow the Greenbelt in Ontario until April 19th. Considering the growth pressures within Simcoe County and the health of Lake Simcoe, two local environmental groups are calling for the province to consider Simcoe County as a priority area for Greenbelt expansion.

“In 2018, Simcoe County was proposed by the province as a key area to expand Greenbelt protections to and for good reason,” says Margaret Prophet of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition. “The sustainability of our farmland, significant wetlands, key shorelines and forests are threatened by the urbanization pressures we’re facing that encourage sprawl. We need to ensure the highest level of protection for our landscapes and water before we lose it to overdevelopment.”

A recent report, Lake Simcoe Under Pressure 2021:  Key Stressors and Solutions, authored by the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition and Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition points out that huge projects in the area will only overwhelm Lake Simcoe – a lake already in declining health.  The issues are many, but the groups narrowed it down to the most egregious  projects of concern: The Bradford Bypass, the Orbit MZO, Upper York Sewage “Solution”, and growth planning.

“We cannot afford to ignore the bigger picture,” says Claire Malcolmson of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition. “The science about the lake and climate is telling us that already our land use planning decisions are destroying the places and water we care about. Building large scale infrastructure projects through MZOs and “streamlined” environmental assessments is using the same 1950s solutions that got us here in the first place. Lake Simcoe needs serious champions with a sense of urgency about the lake’s predicament because the impacts of decisions made today will be with us for centuries.”

The report outlines several recommendations about how to keep the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan strong as well as cancelling the outlined projects as they are currently proposed. Another one of the recommendations is to grow the Greenbelt to help protect the portion of the Lake Simcoe watershed that isn’t already in Greenbelt to protect its farmland, areas of hydrological importance, and to constrain urban growth in Simcoe County.

Margaret Prophet of Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition says, “Sprawl and overdevelopment are huge threats to Lake Simcoe and our region generally.  The land speculators will never say they have enough of our farmland, our wetlands and forests to turn a profit.  It is the job of our elected officials and the public to limit what is for sale and destruction. The Greenbelt can help limit  sprawl and strengthen the protection for our most sensitive lands – and most importantly, our water.”

The groups recognize the need to expand the Greenbelt to Simcoe County is urgent because Ontario recently changed many planning policies; municipalities are being directed to calculate the amount of land they will need to accommodate growth to 2051 with market based methodologies that favour sprawl.

Malcolmson says, “It’s expected that the watershed’s population will more than double and likely add 20 tonnes of phosphorus to the lake by 2051. The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan target is to lower phosphorus loads from an average of 90 tonnes to 44 tonnes per year by 2045. We are concerned that the province is approving development without any public discussion or consideration of the long term damage it causes to Lake Simcoe. That should concern everyone.”

The public has until April 19th to contact the province and encourage them to expand the Greenbelt to Simcoe County. The projects outlined in the report will also likely be decided on in the near future as well.

“There isn’t a single solution to fix the problems that recent provincial policy changes have created, but reconsidering these large infrastructure projects, strengthening the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan and expanding the Greenbelt to vulnerable areas are a good start,” says Malcolmson.

The public can review the Lake Simcoe Under Pressure report at: www.rescuelakesimcoe.org.  For those interested in submitting comments to the province about including Simcoe County and protecting Lake Simcoe with Greenbelt expansion, you can visit www.simcoecountygreenbelt.ca for tools and tips.

Ontario’s comment portal on Greenbelt expansion is at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-3136 

Lake Simcoe Under Pressure can be found at www.RescueLakeSimcoe.org 

2021 Budget invests over $12 million to enhance Healthy Workplace initiative

ORILLIA — The Ontario government is investing $12.5 million over three years to strengthen the mental health services available to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and their families. The funding will support the hiring of 20 additional mental-health support staff and enhance the OPP’s Healthy Workplace initiative to address issues of mental health and occupational stress injuries. This investment is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.

The Healthy Workplace program is available to OPP officers and civilians, retired members, as well as their family members. The program’s enhancements will also allow the OPP to provide consultation and support to its Indigenous and municipal police partners. 

This investment builds on recently announced initiatives to provide the OPP with the resources they need to better protect communities while safeguarding their mental health and well-being. These include the hiring of 200 new front-line OPP officers to alleviate work pressure on other staff; a $2.6-million investment to hire new OPP psychologists and other mental health clinicians; as well as the creation of a new integrated mental health support program launched in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA). 

Together, these initiatives respond to recommendations made by the OPP Independent Review Panel (IRP) in its final report released last year. The panel was established to examine the OPP’s workplace culture and how the force addressed staff mental health, occupational stress injuries and suicide among its members. 

Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. With vaccines being distributed, hope is on the horizon. Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy provides the resources necessary to finish the battle with COVID-19, building on the government’s record investments to protect health and jobs during the global pandemic.

County opens 2021 Age-Friendly Seniors Housing Grant Program

Midhurst/ April 1, 2021 – The County of Simcoe is providing the regional housing market for seniors a boost with the 2021 Age-Friendly Seniors Housing Grant Program. County Council recently approved $500,000 in annual funding towards this program to support eligible applicants in creating age-friendly housing.

“The County is committed to enhancing support services and resources that address our aging population and affordable housing needs,” said Warden George Cornell. “This grant program aligns with our Age-Friendly strategy to assist our residents in living independently as long as possible, while encouraging property owners to build and retrofit their spaces with age-friendly designs and features.”

The grant program was recommended within the Simcoe County 2018-2023 Positive Aging Strategy, which identified a number of recommendations for the County and its municipalities to prepare for the region’s aging population. The program will fund projects that incorporate accessible, adaptable and inclusive designs, which allow seniors to continue to live independently in their communities for as long as possible.

Grants will be awarded under three streams: accessible housing design for seniors; design for individuals with dementia; and the provision of support services for housing that incorporates enhanced aspects of accessibility over and above compliance with the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and building code standards for residential units.

Applicants eligible for this grant include those completing housing projects located within Simcoe County (excluding the cities of Barrie and Orillia). Applicants who were successful in obtaining an Age-Friendly Seniors Housing grant in the past three years are not eligible to apply in 2021. Applicants can be homeowners of principal residences or developers, who wish to include accessible, adaptable and inclusive design modifications for occupants aged 60 or older. Grant amounts will be distributed based on the number of applications received and ability to meet funding criteria.

An Age-Friendly Grant Selection Sub-Committee will evaluate each grant submission in accordance with established evaluation criteria and make recommendations to the Simcoe County Age-friendly Advisory Committee for endorsement.

The deadline for 2021 application submissions is June 30, 2021. For further details, or to apply to the Age-Friendly Housing Seniors Grant program, please visit http://www.simcoe.ca/LongTermCare/Pages/Age-Friendly-Seniors-Housing-Grant-Program.aspx.

The County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka announces selection of real estate advisor for Geneva Park project

Colliers to lead community proposal process

BARRIE, ON | April 1, 2021 – The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka announced today that it has selected Colliers as its professional real estate advisor to help determine the future use of YMCA Geneva Park.

In January, the YMCA initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) to engage a real estate provider to help the charitable association gather and assess all possible communitybased solutions for Geneva Park, before proceeding to an open market listing.

A national multi-disciplinary team of real estate experts from Colliers, including Colliers’ Not for Profit Advisory group, Unique Properties practice, and Strategy and Consulting Group will evaluate proposed business cases for the future of the park.

The Not for Group Advisory Group at Colliers has more than 32 years of experience advising nonprofits with the development and implementation of comprehensive real estate strategies, including methodologies and solutions to fully engage nonprofit sector teams and stakeholders in a way that goes deeper than a traditional real estate process.

The Colliers practice also has a proven track record in supporting the mission, vision and values of not for profit organizations, says YMCA CEO, Jill Tettmann.

“We look forward to working with the team at Colliers and leveraging their extensive knowledge and history with organizations like ours. Today’s announcement marks an important step in our process as we seek to understand how we can support the long-term sustainability of our YMCA while seeking the best community use and ways to continue the legacy of the Park,” Tettmann said.

“We are honoured to be collaborating with the YMCA and working in partnership to identify the best future use of Geneva Park,” said Matthew Johnson, Senior Vice President, Not-for-Profit Advisory Group at Colliers. “Our team will comprehensively review all ideas while keeping top-of-mind the longstanding sustained presence of the YMCA.”The YMCA and Colliers are committed to ensuring that all ideas and potential partnerships are considered for the future of Geneva Park. The YMCA expects to have a community proposal process confirmed and launched this spring, and remains committed to a transparent process.

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, which served over 100,000 people in 2019, continues to operate programs across the region, including health, fitness and aquatics, child care, employment and immigrant services, community programs and other camping programs, as health regulations allow.

About Colliers

Colliers is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company. With operations in 67 countries, our more than 15,000 enterprising professionals work collaboratively to provide expert advice to real estate occupiers, owners and investors. Learn more at collierscanada.com, Twitter @Colliers or LinkedIn.

Georgian receives $955,200 from the Future Skills Centre to support bold digital innovation strategy

In November 2020, Georgian launched a bold strategy aimed at providing the best student experience by developing and implementing innovative methods of academic delivery and leveraging technology to provide exceptional service throughout the student journey. The Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre announced today it is investing $955,200 in the college’s multi-year, multi-phase project.

Regional growth and new digital demands are causing many industries, such as health, manufacturing, high-tech, and trades, to change rapidly. Demand for graduates with advanced digital skills in extended reality (XR) – simulations, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and multimedia and comfort working remotely – are rising.

Georgian’s digital innovation commitment will ensure the college continues to produce top talent by integrating XR technologies into its programs. While virtual experiences won’t replace hands-on learning, they can boost students’ confidence by unlocking new ways for them to practice, engage, and socialize.

The college will use the funding for three pilot projects:

College-wide transformation is focused on elevating the college’s capacity to offer XR to students and employees, including access to a virtual campus; establishing multimedia studios to empower faculty to create original content to enhance teaching and learning; and using a change management process to help employees understand how to use XR in their work and how it can lower barriers for students who require a modified learning model.

Departmental transformation is centered around using XR to augment and enhance student learning in existing health, wellness, and science courses. Students will gain access to virtual environments and simulations that enable experiential learning opportunities and the ability to practice skills on-campus and at home. Learnings from this pilot will help the college expand to other academic areas.

Program transformation addresses two key barriers for women and Indigenous peoples entering construction trades between the ages of 16 and 45, namely (a) accessibility, and (b) knowledge-gap issues. A personalized adaptive learning model will be launched to enrich the student learning experience and tailor each student’s learning path using XR. Outcomes will help the college transform other skilled trades programs in similar ways.

Georgian is keenly interested to share the knowledge, strategy and best practices gained through these projects with other institutions so they can amplify efforts in this emerging area of need.

Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, says this program is a perfect example of FSC’s investment in innovative and radical approaches to training to support economic recovery powered by technological advancement. “This program will enable people to enhance their skills in emerging technologies such as extended reality and augmented reality, increasing their employability while at the same time helping industry by increasing the pool of future employees with advanced digital skills,” said Barata. “This is just one of the exciting shock-proofing projects that FSC is investing in to build a future playbook for shared prosperity, and help Canadian workers and businesses seize opportunities in our future economy.”

The Future Skills Centre was announced by the Government of Canada in February 2019 as a result of a commitment in the 2017 budget to establish a new organization to support skills development and measurement in Canada. It is a forward-looking, pan-Canadian organization that prototypes, tests, and measures innovative approaches to skills training and employment development.

The Digital Innovation Strategy project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

April 7 Council Meeting Highlights

Clean Fuel Standard Delegation

The Springwater Agricultural Advisory Committee presented to Council on their concerns related to the proposed Clean Fuels Acts that is currently being considered by the federal government. Their concerns relate to the proposed rules and regulations for restrictions on land use and their detrimental impacts to the long-term viability of agricultural operations. Council has endorsed a letter being sent to MP Shipley on the matter and further requested it be sent to the Minister responsible for the legislation, the Minister of Agricultural, Food and Rural Affairs, as well as all Ontario municipalities.

Mountain Biking Programs at Tree Nursery Sports Park – There will be summer and fall mountain biking programs taking place at Tree Nursery Sports Park following Council’s approval of an agreement with Rad Adventures. Rad Adventures offers beginner to advanced mountain biking camps and programs. The organization has COVID-19 protocols and restrictions in place for the safety of all participants.

Fire Safety Grant

Springwater Fire & Emergency Services will receive a grant of $9,300 from the Ontario Fire Marshal to assist in addressing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant may be applied towards ongoing training needs including registration, administrative programming, technology, upgrades and associated costs for attending and providing services.

Anten Mills Community Centre – Heritage Designation = On October 7, Springwater Council approved proceeding with the formal designation of the Anten Mills Community Centre as a heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act.

On the recommendation of the Heritage Advisory Committee, at the April 7 meeting, Council approved the following attributes be included in the Notice of Intention to Designate:

Anten Mills School Bell Tower;

Original exterior unpainted brick façade and finish;

Original wainscoting and window trim in original schoolhouse portion;

Exposed brick wall in the kitchen;

Original hardwood floor underneath the tile; and,

Original tongue and groove ceiling underneath the drop ceiling.

For additional information on heritage properties in Springwater, visit springwater.ca/heritage

Patterson Street Tender – The tender for the Patterson Street Reconstruction has been awarded to Pennorth Group Limited in the amount of $471,069.18 excluding HST. The reconstruction will include new asphalt, improved storm drainage, curb and gutter, on street parking and an upgraded wider sidewalk that meets Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards.

Community Hub Phase 1 Development

Phase 1 development of the Community Hub located at 1132 Snow Valley Road can move forward following Council’s approval. Planned amenities at the Community Hub include the relocation of Fire Station 2, a new recreation complex, library and creative services, meeting and active space, active and passive recreation opportunities, as well as the potential for an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) post in partnership with the County of Simcoe. Phase 1 of the development includes site preparation (studies/survey, tree clearing and civil works), as well as the construction of the new Fire Station. Ainley & Associates has been retained at a cost of $47,990 plus HST for project management and the design fees associated with Phase 1 of the development.

Community Garden Pilot Project – A new community garden will be created at Bishop Park on Amelia Street in Elmvale. Community gardens help to support food security in the community by opening up access to residents for safe, affordable, nutritious diets that come for a sustainable food system. The community garden will offer small allotment plots of land to interested residents for a nominal annual fee. The new community garden is a pilot project and the Township will be seeking interested residents to form a community garden group, which will assist in the operation and maintenance of the new garden.

Float Trailer RFP – J and J Trailer was the successful proponent of the RFP seeking a Tag Along Float Trailer. The new trailer will cost $45,781.81, including non-refundable HST.

Doran Road Community Safety Zone Established

A Community Safety Zone has been established on a portion of Doran Road in Midhurst to help combat excessive speeds in the area and provide a safer experience for all users of the road. The Community Safety Zone limits speeds to 40 kilometres per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and extends from Finlay Mill Road to Highway 27.

This summary is not a full representation of the meeting. For the official record, please refer to the minutes in the next Council Agenda. Past Council Meetings are available for viewing on the Township’s Youtube channel.

Michael & Margaret Ann Jacobs get the needle!

On Wednesday, April 7th, 11 am, we went to the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre located in Wasaga Beach on Ramblewood Drive. There were six people giving shots in any of 18 different rooms. When you went into a room, you were asked if you had any COVID symptoms, the shot was given and you waited 15 minutes in case of any adverse reactions. Over 250 recipients received the

Moderna shot that day. Giving the needles are Heather Klein Gebbinck, the

Executive Director and Nurse Practitioner Carolyn Brennan.

Approximately 30 people work in the SGBCHC in Wasaga Beach.