Doug Downey Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte
Our community thrives based on the contributions of its members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, so many people have stepped up and gone above and beyond to help support others where they live, or to provide essential services that maintain our way of life.
Throughout this pandemic, our farmers have continued to provide safe and sustainable options for consumers, and have kept our grocery store shelves stocked. Like many essential services, farmers have continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic, and incurred more costs due to the increased safety measures they have had to undertake.
That is why the governments of Ontario and Canada are investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers. This funding will help cover the increased costs faced by farmers due to COVID-19 processing delays. This funding will also help redirect surplus pork products to help those in need. This program will help farmers as they ensure the country’s food supply chain remains strong and ready to fully recover as the economy gradually and safely reopens.
Beef farmers will be able to claim $2 per head of cattle per day to help pay for additional maintenance costs through the beef cattle set-aside program. This funding will help farmers keep their market-ready animals on farms for extended periods of time due to the COVID-19 processing delays.
Additionally, the hog sector support program will provide farmers with up to $5 million to help cover their maintenance fees. The province of Ontario is also providing up to $1.5 million to process and package surplus pork for food banks, and to provide those in need with fresh, locally produced pork products.
This funding comes to our community through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a fiveyear, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada’s agri-food and agri-product sectors. Additionally, the province is expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase PPE and implement workplace modifications and other measures.
It is because of the contributions of all our essential workers, and especially because of our famers, that the food supply in Ontario has remained strong and steady, despite the disruptions of COVID-19. Thank you to all the farmers within our community who have gone above and beyond to continue to provide Ontario with locally grown and healthy food options during this pandemic.
Additionally - The government has created new funding streams as part of a safe reopening of Ontario's public schools in the fall. These funds will serve to enhance cleaning measures, provide PPE, bring healthcare professionals into schools and provide additional supports for students in need," sadi Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte. "Our government will continue to actively monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 and consider any adjustments necessary. We are committed to protecting our students, staff and teachers and ensuring a Safe September and beyond."
Springwater News: A Message from MP Doug Shipley
It is now more critical than ever for Canadians to have access to good, high quality, and nutritious food.
We are privileged in Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte to have many local farmers living and working within the riding. I thank you all for your hard work – every farmer is integral in keeping our shelves stocked and providing food that our families rely on.
I am very happy to see that the provincial government has increased its contribution to the Ontario Risk Management Program (RMP) by another $50 million dollars, for a total of $150 million. This program will help Canadian Farmers by providing stability to Ontario’s farms through partial financial protection against downturns in commodity markets.
Even with this increase in funding, more needs to be done to support Canadians farmers and our agriculture sector.
So far, the federal government has spent a lot of money shoring up safety measures at food processing facilities. This is a good thing, but we can’t forget that our farmers are the ones who send food to these plants. We must ensure that our farmers can financially survive this pandemic, as they are our most important link in our food supply chain.
As your Member of Parliament, I am continuing to advocate for farmers. I am pushing the federal government to further expand access to government supports like the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) so that farmers and small businesses that don’t have a corporate bank account can access the $40,000-dollar loan.
My Conservative colleagues and I are always looking for ways to improve the federal supports offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, so if you have any ideas or suggestions, please reach out to my office so we can hear about it.
Thank you again to all the farmers and agriculture sector workers in Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte.
I want to remind everyone that if they need help dealing with the federal government, or accessing federal supports, please send my office an email or give us a call.
My office in Barrie remains staffed and ready to help you. We are not currently open for walk-ins, but we look forward to the day we can meet again in person.
Doug Shipley, Member of Parliament
Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte
County of Simcoe partnering with Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to encourage the use of masks and face coverings
Midhurst/July 31, 2020 – The County of Simcoe and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) are partnering to promote health and safety in our communities through a regional awareness campaign to encourage residents and visitors to wear face coverings or masks. The new #WearIt campaign will support the SMDHU’s instruction requiring face coverings in publicly accessible indoor spaces and remind both residents and visitors to do their part to work towards our regional pandemic recovery.
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that the widespread use of face coverings by all persons decreases the spread of respiratory droplets, which can contain the COVID-19 virus of an infected person. With new regulations requiring the public to wear a mask or face covering in stores and other indoor places, we can help to stop a second wave of COVID-19. If we all make our best effort to #WearIt, we’ll get through this pandemic together.
In addition to wearing a mask or face covering, these additional public health measures remain in effect in all indoor and outdoor settings:
Maintain physical distancing of at least two metres (6 feet) from others who are not in your household or social circle
Stay home if ill and get tested for COVID-19
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Children under the age of 2 should not wear a mask or face covering, and those under 5 who cannot be persuaded are not required to wear a face covering, as well as individuals whose health or ability, or cultural or religious reasons would prevent them from doing so. No proof of exemption is required, and people should not be judged or mistreated in any way if they do not wear a face covering. Businesses and organizations are required to have a policy and measures in place requiring face coverings in indoor public places, however they are only required to apply their best effort in enforcing this.
Have questions about when and where to wear a face covering or mask? Please find helpful tips below:
What indoor public spaces are NOT included in the mandatory mask/face covering instruction?
The following indoor spaces are not covered by the mandatory mask instruction from the Medical Officer of Health because they each have their own specific directives from the province:
Schools, licensed child care centres and indoor/outdoor day camps
Indoor areas of a building accessible to only employees
Areas that are outside, whether or not the areas are covered (e.g. restaurant patios)
Do employees at a business, organization or public transit service need to wear a mask/face covering?
Yes, employees need to wear a face covering when working in indoor public spaces unless the employee is within or behind a physical barrier (e.g. plexiglas barrier) or is in an area of the premises that is not designated for public access. Employees who also have one of the other exemptions (cited above) do not have to wear a face covering.
To learn more about how to protect yourself and others, including frequently asked questions about wearing face coverings, click here.
To follow the County’s efforts to support of our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic, like or follow County of Simcoe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
My View – Bill French
Trudeau – With him its not all about WE but more about “look at ME”
Many people are angry and disgusted with the recent revelations of Trudeau’s total inability to lead and govern and his total lack of a moral or ethical conscience. I know I have many Liberal friends that seem to be blind to his almost hypnotic Pied Piper ways and are satisfied with his “non-apologies” when things go off kilter.
The entire populace movement surprises me as I have noted in my articles. With any reasoning or a little thought, most people would say to themselves, “There is something wrong here.” But that for some reason does not seem to be the case with Trudeau and his caucus of Frat Brothers and Sorority Sisters. I recognized we had a problem in the beginning when people touted his statement, “It is 2015” as his only explanation for dividing up cabinet posts based on gender rather than ability or experience.
The WE matter is just the tip of the iceberg. The WE organization like most benevolent organizations starts with a pure thought and in the beginning the focus on Youth Volunteerism and Social Entrepreneurship was a good cause. But as organizations, much like companies, grow, sometimes they lose their focus and corporate conscience. That is what happened to WE in my view. They allowed themselves to become a promotional vehicle for the leftist and socialist views of the Liberal party. Their high school and university pep rally style events were highjacked and became the platform for Trudeau and company to promote their distorted unsustainable view of their ideal world and leftist ideology. What made it worse is the leader Trudeau, and the person holding the public purse Morneau, the finance minister, have no real life experience with the struggles of making an honest living. They were silver spoon fed from the day they were born and as such I actually understand their disconnect from reality.
Let’s talk about the money, which seems to be ignored by many pundits. Trudeau and the Liberals were going to squander away a billion dollars through a third party, WE and hand out to youth for their volunteer work. Isn’t there something wrong with this picture right from the start. Have we all forgotten how much a billion dollars is? Then to add insult to injury the Trudeau clan benefited by close to half a million dollars through fees and travel from WE. Then Morneau and family members ate up more money from WE. Why won’t Trudeau and Morneau come clean and admit they broke the law and were both guilty of Conflicts of Interest. I am not surprised, but amazed that Trudeau supporters are comfortable with his explanation that in hindsight he and Morneau should have excluded themselves from the WE decision because of the family connections. No shit Dick Tracy!
What frightens me more is that Trudeau himself, as noted by the ethic commissioner, seems to have a total blind side when it comes to ethical behaviour, as ethical breaches seem to be an everyday occurrence with him. In the simplest terms as an elected member of any level of government, you cannot be part of the decision making process when it benefits you or a member of your family. Its black and white and not some obscure ethical rule. Trudeau did the same with the SNC Lavalin case when he was trying to take care of his friends by interfering with an ongoing criminal case. That was more than a conflict; it was judicial interference, which if committed by anyone else would be in deep trouble. Because of it, he lost two leading cabinet members Jody Wilson Raybould and Jane Philpott who could no longer hold their nose to the stink created by Trudeau’s unethical and cesspool political behaviour. What about his trips with the Aga Khan that left us a hefty bill and he was found guilty of a breach of ethics. Any other politician would have been ousted long before now with all those faux pas. The biggest scandal with Harper was the Mike Duffy affair that after millions spent on legal wrangling because of the pressure from the Liberals of the day, Duffy was found not guilty on the four charges he faced in court and the rest of the charges were dismissed. The big number there was less than $100,000 of living expenses, not the billions that Trudeau has squandered. We are not done yet as you will not believe the hole that Trudeau is digging with his unbridled and out of control COVID-19 handouts based on his latest rhetoric, “we will leave no one behind”, whatever that means.
Trudeau’s lack of ability as a leader was further evidenced recently with the nonsense and workplace abuse at Rideau Hall. What would you expect when you appoint someone as Governor General, the highest office in the land, with absolutely no experience in government relations. However, as the Rideau antics unfold, we see she is being true to her career, and really is a real space cadet in every sense of the word. Now with staff changes and settlements, this little misguided appointment by Trudeau, will cost us more millions? Appointing populace individuals for the sake of continuing the rock star persona keeps coming back and biting him.
But in the end Trudeau is like the Teflon man and makes everyone else answer for his gross incompetence and most of the Liberals I know will swallow it hook line and sinker. As my dad said a few years before his passing, “if I had known what the world was going to turn into, I probably would not have fought for this nation in the second world war.” I think that says it all. If we do not get back to some sense of accountability and responsibility by our elected leaders, we will see the total destruction of this wonderful country we call Canada.
Bill French is a seasoned business leader with over 40 years experience and served in senior positions of International Enterprises. Bill served as Mayor of Springwater and a County of Simcoe Councillor from 2014 to 2018 and has taught business at the college level for over 15 years.
County of Simcoe to extend local waste facility operations at select sites
Midhurst/July 27, 2020 – Starting the week of July 27, the County of Simcoe’s Tosorontio and Mara waste facilities will expand operating days and Matchedash waste facility will reopen to the public.
Matchedash Waste Facility – As of July 27, Matchedash will operate Sundays and Mondays 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Please note: Due to servicing limitations, Matchedash will be operating on cash only, rounded down to the nearest $5, until a cashless system can be installed.)
Tosorontio Waste Facility – Starting July 28, Tosorontio will operate Tuesday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Mara Waste Facility – Starting July 30, Mara will operate Thursday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In May, the County was among one of the first municipalities in the area to reopen waste facilities to assist residents and local businesses and help meet their waste disposal needs. Taking into account health and safety guidelines and staffing/resourcing limitations due to COVID-19, the County created a modified schedule that allowed five of eight sites to operate five days per week.
The County and our front-line staff ask that residents continue to follow all Public Health recommendations. If you are in self isolation, stay at home. Please don’t make any unnecessary visits to the sites and adhere to physical distancing when interacting with staff and other site users. When physical distancing is not possible, Public Health strongly recommends wearing a mask in all settings.
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.
The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus takes action to support rural broadband
Southwestern, ON – At their meeting on July 2nd the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus approved a series of recommendations to support rural broadband in Southwestern Ontario. Increased funding from both the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada is urgently needed to address Southwestern Ontario’s large connectivity gaps, so that we can close the digital divide and restart our economies.
In order to reduce the digital divide within Southwestern Ontario, and to achieve the Government of Canada’s target, in which 95% of homes and businesses will have access to internet speeds of at least 50/10 Mbps by 2026, it will cost an estimated $1 billion.
The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and the participating SWIFT municipalities of Caledon, Niagara and Waterloo are requesting direct funding to SWIFT from the Government of Canada in the amount of $254 million and from the Government of Ontario in the amount of $221 million. Combined with a $174 million commitment from public-private partnerships, the WOWC intends to successfully address the $1 billion Southwestern Ontario infrastructure deficit and achieve the interim goal of providing 50/10 broadband services to 95% of the population within the region by 2025.
In addition, the WOWC is also requesting that the CRTC Broadband Fund and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Universal Broadband Fund each allocate 10% of their funds directly to Southwestern Ontario (based on population share of total for Canada).
“Families and businesses in our rural areas have been shut out of the economy and society as a result of the pandemic. COVID -19 has underscored the need for urgency to address gaps in broadband services across our region. The SWIFT model works, it delivers results and can be immediately leveraged to upgrade networks and coverage in our region’s underserved areas.” – George Cornell, Vice-Chair of SWIFT, Warden of Simcoe County.
Southwestern Ontario with a population of 3 million, represents 10% of the population of Canada.
Southwestern Ontario represents 20% of the total number of businesses in Canada (Source: Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2015. Canadian Business Patterns 2015). Now more than ever businesses need connectivity to ensure a livelihood for themselves and their employees.
Without direct broadband funding the pre-existing Southwestern Ontario “homework gap” will be exacerbated and lead to an unparallel inequality in education, as elementary, secondary and post secondary institutions, continue to shift to online learning.
The Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and SWIFT are committed to achieving the interim goal of providing 50/10 broadband services to 95% of the population within the region by 2025. This is one year earlier than the Government of Canada’s goal.
The Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus (WOWC) is a not-for-profit organization representing 15 upper and single tier municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, representing more than three million residents. The WOWC aims to enhance the prosperity and overall wellbeing of rural and small urban communities across the region. Caucus members work collectively to influence federal and provincial legislation and programs through advocacy, research and analysis and education. For more information, visit www.wowc.ca.
SWIFT, a regional broadband expansion project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus is focused on enabling greater digital equality between rural and urban populations. SWIFT subsidizes the construction of open-access high-speed networks to encourage service providers to expand broadband infrastructure in underserved rural areas.
SPRINGWATER/MIDLAND/BARRIE AREA RESIDENTS SUPPORT HONDURAS COMMUNITIES
TINY ART SHACK TEAMS UP WITH LOCAL MACRAME ARTIST
HONDURAS NOW PODCAST
DISAPPEARED INDIGINOUS GARIFUNA LEADERS STILL MISSING
Springwater, Barrie and Midland Area Support
Over the past few weeks, local Springwater, Barrie, and Midland area residents have donated funds to support the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor’s (SCHRM) food program in Honduras. To date we have received over $4000 to send to Tegucigalpa and El Progreso food programs. As the reported COVID-19 cases have risen to over 45 000 and with lack of medical attention, hospital supplies and facilities, proper sanitation, and food, these communities have greatly benefitted from our donations. It is important to note that many deaths from COVID are not reported, particularly in poor neighbourhoods, where people cannot reach a hospital; some die in the street, waiting in line at the overcrowded hospital to be treated, or die at home. This brings attention to the need for food support.
The cost to feed a child one meal a day is $3 CDN. With your donations, many families and children particularly, have received nutritious meals. This grassroots program goes directly to the source of the need; receipts and photos are supplied for transparency. With so much attention on charity organizations in the news lately, SCHRM believes that full disclosure and transparency is vital and that those in need actually receive the benefits of donations from a grassroots perspective.
Barrie Children Raise Funds
SCHRM appreciates the initiative of a group of children from Barrie who raised $200 last weekend selling their homemade crafts. The children are connected to a local Barrie teacher who teaches a course on government policy and world affairs. His students focussed on Honduras last year when Edwin Espinal was in prison. When the children heard about the food program, they quickly went to work to make items to sell. SCHRM thanks Avery, Bethany, and Ryen for making their beautiful crafts and raising funds for the children in Honduras.
Elmvale Business Supports Honduran Families
The SCHRM appreciates the support of owner and operator Tina Breen from the TINY ART SHACK, Elmvale for her sponsorship of local macramé artist, Karen Spring. Tina is featuring Karen’s macramé projects in her store and on her website: www.thetinyartshack.com. The macramé wall hangings are made with Canadian-manufactured rope and driftwood found on the shores of Georgian Bay. These wall hangings are only available for a few more weeks as Karen plans to travel back to Honduras when flights resume in mid-August. All proceeds go to grassroots projects to help the Honduran people. Thank you, Tina, for your support of these very meaningful initiatives!
Support from Elmvale to Midland
SCHRM thanks local Midland human rights group, Peaceworks, for its attention to the Honduran food program. Committee chairperson Elizabeth O’Connor continues to spread the word about serious issues occurring in Honduras. Last year, Peaceworks sponsored a presentation made by Kathy Price of Amnesty Canada on the political prisoner situation and the Canadian involvement in the illegal tourism projects located on the northern coast around Tela Bay and Trujillo Bay.
Honduras Now! Podcast
Karen Spring has launched her Honduras Now! Podcast that shares human rights stories and connects them to global issues and US and Canadian policies. Her fifth episode will be published this week. Honduras Now offers “on the ground analysis from host, Karen Spring, a long-time human rights activist and researcher, and Hondurans from all walks of life through interviews and trips around the country.” To listen on your podcast app, go to redcircle.com-honduras- now-podcast. Karen begins her episode with a background on who she is, where she is from, and her work. In subsequent episodes, she provides details on the US and Canadian backed coup d’état of 2009, what the coup d’état means today, the covid-19 crisis, and the latest disappearances of four Afro-indigenous Garifuna leaders and its link to Canadian and international tourist projects.
Garifuna Leaders Still Missing
The disappearance of four Garifuna leaders of Saturday, July 18, 2020 occurred in Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras. This act of terrorism by Honduran, heavily armed men, dressed in police uniforms, has terrorized the residents of the communities around this northern coastal area. Since these forced disappearances and kidnapping, the international community has demanded the Honduran government investigate these disappearances transparently and with diligence. The men are still missing and are presumed dead.
In a country with over 90% impunity, crimes against the people and raids carried out by the military police are almost never reported or legitimately investigated. Miriam Miranda, leader of the Garifuna organization OFRANEH, stated, “Since the coup, police and military have the freedom to do whatever they want.” This freedom includes stealing Garifuna land and murdering and/or disappearing leaders. This story has a Canadian twist as NJOI, a Canadian tourism company based in Newmarket, is under scrutiny for its illegal activities in the area. US Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and others in the US Congress and Senate been very vocal regarding the illegitimate and corrupt actions of the Honduran government since the coup d’état. They call on the US government to stop their support of the corrupt government of Juan Orlando Hernandez. Many Canadian government officials remain silent on this matter, except for our local federal, provincial, and municipal representatives who have spoken out. We greatly appreciate their continued attention to the issues in Honduras.
Janet Spring and the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor Committee
NEW U.S. FARM SUBSIDIES PUT ONTARIO GRAIN FARMERS AT FURTHER RISK
GUELPH, ON (July 31, 2020) – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province‘s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario‘s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers, today urges the Canadian government to help Ontario grain farmers with current risk from COVID-19 and U.S. farm subsidies and relief, which could soon top $85 billion.
U.S. President Donald Trump has already provided over $35 billion in Farm Aid relief to farmers and the agriculture industry in the U.S., creating an uneven playing field for Canadian farmers competitively. Recently $20 billion in new subsidies and aid was proposed and reports indicate the new funding could go as high as $50 billion.
“The ability of the U.S. grain farmer to survive any economic downturns is better than ever, while our own recent survey shows that 76 per cent of Ontario grain farmers say they cannot compete with U.S. farmers who are receiving subsidies,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “With additional relief being proposed for U.S. farmers and continued U.S. price interventions, the Canadian government must act now.”
Current corn and soybean prices are well below the 10-year average and with market disruptions from COVID-19, trade disputes, and more, show no signs of recovery to normal levels. New U.S. subsidies will continue to drive low prices for Ontario grain farmers, making the need for federal government investment into business risk management (BRM) programs more vital than ever.
AgriStability, an existing BRM, was cut in 2012 leaving grain and oilseed farmers without price insurance farmers can rely on. Grain Farmers of Ontario has repeatedly asked the federal government to restore the coverage to 85 per cent and eliminating the reference margin limiting would be a significant improvement to the program.
“To date, our government has only offered minimal COVID-19 support to agriculture, the bulk of which constituted additional farm debt for farmers, and none of that was earmarked to help grain farmers, who provide the crops that support most of the agriculture industry,” Haerle continued. “Our survey shows that 80 per cent of our farmer-members want the Canadian government to level the playing field with the U.S. farmers.”