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Political Opinions

Mayor Don’s Update

Springwater Farmer’s Market – Elmvale

The Springwater Farmers’ Market – Elmvale returns on Friday, June 17 to kick off the summer season. We are looking forward to working with our local vendors once again as well as our new Market Manager Bob Simmons. The Farmers’ Market will operate every Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm through September 16 in the municipal parking lot at 33 Queen Street West. Come explore fresh, unique and delicious products from local Simcoe County growers, bakers and makers. Information for those interested in becoming a vendor can be found online at springwater.ca/FarmersMarket.

Survey on County Waste Program

The County of Simcoe is running a public survey to obtain input on the County’s waste collection and landfill services, as well as to get information for future strategies to serve residents better. Those who submit a response will be entered for a chance to win one of 16 prizes, including the grand prize of a spa day for two at Vetta Spa valued at $1,000. Complete the survey by July 1, 2022 at  simcoe.ca/WasteSurvey.

Residents’ feedback will help County Council and staff identify areas of improvement that could lead to higher waste diversion and reduce the amount of material we send to landfill. The survey will also assist in providing insight into how residents and businesses use County waste facilities and how they prefer to receive communications, alerts and information about waste management programs.

omer Barrett Park Playground

In the winter of 2022, the Township received a $200,000 Community Building Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to replace the playground equipment at Homer Barrett Park in Elmvale. The first phase of the project will be to design the new play area with playground equipment that is accessible and inclusive for a wide range of ages and abilities. We invite you to share your thoughts and feedback on the play equipment features you would like to see incorporated into the new playground design. Please take a moment to fill out our online survey, which can be found through the Township’s website at springwater.ca/HomerBarrettParkPlayground Our community engagement consultant will also be organizing several pop-up engagement events in the coming months, so residents have the option to provide in-person feedback as well. Stay tuned for further details.

  1. Hickling Subdivision Agreement

At the June 1st meeting, Council gave its approval for Stage One of the Subdivision Agreement related to the D. Hickling Subdivision. The execution of the Stage One Subdivision Agreement will result in the commencement of site works and site preparation, which include significant grading works. It is the first of three stages that must be completed before the subdivision may be registered and home sales may begin. The next stage of the agreement will require the execution of an External Servicing Agreement and Environmental Compliance Approval from the Ministry of the Environment, Culture and Parks (MOECP). It will also require Council’s authorization to proceed.

The D. Hickling Subdivision is planned to include 885 residential units and is scheduled as the second development (Phase 1B) to commence within the Midhurst Secondary Plan Area. For additional information on the Midhurst Secondary Plan, visit springwater.ca/CurrentDevelopment.

Invasive Mussel Substrates in Orr Lake

In September 2021, the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) completed a shoreline survey of Orr Lake, during which invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels were detected for the first time. To help determine whether there is an established population, the SSEA will be installing artificial invasive mussel substrates in Orr Lake this June. Invasive mussel establishment in Orr Lake would greatly impact the lake’s ecosystem. Invasive mussels compete with fish and invertebrates for food and spawning sites. They also promote unwanted aquatic plant and blue-green algae growth, and can impact the recreational use of the lake by clogging water intake pipes, damaging boat engines, and harming swimmers and pets with their razor-sharp shells.

If you notice the artificial mussel substrates in Orr Lake, please do not touch or move them. The substrates must be kept in their specific locations for this work to be successful. Residents can also help by being on the lookout for adult mussels attached to hard substrates (docks, rocks, garbage or lake bottom) and plants. Report your observations to InvasiveSpecies@severnsound.ca. If safe to do so, you can remove the mussels (wearing gardening or work gloves) and leave them to dry out on land for a week in an area where people and pets will not step on them. Dispose of the dried-out adults in your household garbage. For further information and photos, visit severnsound.ca

Construction Along Wilson Drive

Please be advised of construction work along Wilson Drive related to three separate roadworks projects. Residents may experience temporary disruptions or delays at this time due to required lane closures. Every attempt will be made to minimize these disruptions and access to roads and businesses will be maintained at all times.

Project Location Timeline
Effluent Main Installation Wilson Dr and Highway 26 Work is in progress and is expected to be completed in July 2022.
Traffic Signal Installation Wilson Dr and Snow Valley Rd Work will commence in May and is expected to be completed in July 2022.
County Road 53 Roundabout Wilson Dr and Seadon Rd / Carson Rd The relocation of utilities is currently underway. Construction of the roundabout is planned for 2022/2023.

 

Residents are advised to plan ahead and leave extra time for travel or take alternate routes where possible. For the safety of workers, everyone travelling through the work sites are advised to take extra care and adhere to the posted signage.

County Textiles Collection Program

Help keep clothing and textiles out of the garbage by participating in the County of Simcoe’s Textile Collection Program this month. Between June 6 and 17, the County will be collecting clean, dry, and odour free clothes from households, including items that cannot be re-used. The collection will occur on either week one (June 6 and 10) or week two (June 13 and 17) of the program, depending on your household’s location/zone. To determine your collection date, download the Simcoe County Collects app, available free of charge through the App Store and Google Play. Information is also available on www.simcoe.ca/waste or within your Waste Calendar.

To participate in the program, please have your items to the curb by 7:00 am on your collection day. You can use the pink plastic bags that were sent in the mail for clothing and textiles or regular clear plastic bags. Please also make sure that your items are placed a minimum of 2 feet from your carts.

Simcoe County Museum Making Tracts Exhibit

The Simcoe County Museum has opened a new temporary exhibit called Making Tracks – Mountain Biking in Simcoe County. Running to September 5, 2022, this exhibit explores the evolution of the sport and how Simcoe County has been a training ground for World Cup champions and Olympics team members. Visitors can take a look at mountain bikes from the past 30 years, a tandem bike, and even a mountain bike used in the Tokyo Olympics by Simcoe County’s Peter Disera. Interactive areas include a Winners’ Podium as well as a stationary bike used to compare museum visitors’ skills with pro athletes. For more information, visit museum.simcoe.ca.

Celebrate Recreation and Parks Month

The month of June is Recreation and Parks Month (JRPM)—a national movement promoting the benefits of recreation and parks for physical, social and environmental health. There are lots of great ways to get active in the Township of Springwater. We encourage all residents to participate in JRPM by taking part in a recreation activity or heading outside to enjoy our spectacular trails, conservation areas, parks and playgrounds. To help you get active and moving, the Township’s Recreation, Parks and Facilities department has come up with a list of suggested activities for the month of June. Download the JRPM2022 Calendar at springwater.ca/Recreation.

Planning Staff Hire

I was surprised and disappointed that enough Councillors did not support a needed and requested staff hire at the last Council meeting. Our Planning Director presented a report requesting authorization to hire a full-time Junior Planner to assist with many planning duties, which would enable senior planners to focus on more complex projects and applications. The position would be funded in 2022 through wage savings and in 2023 through taxation. Despite the ongoing growth and additional programs in Springwater handled by the Planning department, there has not been an increase in staff since 2017. Attempts to hire interim contract positions have been unsuccessful. The recent Service Delivery Report determined the Planning department is operating at an average of 119% over capacity based on work volumes. All staff have been very supportive throughout this term and over the COVID period, and providing staff resources to deliver the services we expect requires Council support. There are currently 6,887 residential units being considered through various stages of the planning process. A portion of the estimated $86,000 annual salary and benefits for this position would be partially offset by increased planning revenues. Councillors Cabral, Hanna and Ritchie did not support the hire at this time and wanted it reviewed for the 2023 budget, which won’t be finalized until January 2023 by the next Council. Councillor Maw-Chapman agreed with deferring it. I opposed deferring it and supported the request because the hire is necessary now to provide expected levels of service as well as to assist and support existing staff. Deputy Mayor Coughlin and Councillor Moore sent regrets and were not at the meeting. So, until next year, planning staff will continue to be strained to provide service levels that residents expect. I hope all of staff stay with us to continue to do that.

This message reflects my thoughts and not necessarily those of Council.

 

Doug Shipley, MP June 2022

With the end of the school year fast approaching, I know many families are excited to make travel plans both domestically and abroad. My staff and I have received countless requests for assistance with passport services over the past few months, and the demand for new and renewed passports is expected to continue. Long line-ups at Service Canada Centres and passport offices, delayed processing, and a difficult to reach phone system are a few of the major  roadblocks constituents are facing when trying to renew or apply for their passports.

In conjunction with numerous other Conservative MPs, I have signed a letter calling on the federal government to resolve the delays, provide a timeline for a solution, and get Service Canada services, including passports, moving again. If you are planning to travel this summer, be sure to check well in advance that your passport is still valid. Feel free to contact my office if you have questions or need assistance.

Last week, Conservatives brought forward a motion that would resume pre-pandemic rules and service levels for travellers. I voted in favour of this motion in order to get Canada’s vibrant tourism economy thriving once again and to get Canadians travelling for work, leisure, and to visit loved ones abroad. Even though the motion was voted down in the House of Commons, I will continue to advocate for solutions that get our government services and airports moving in the right direction.

Over the summer months, I look forward to attending many events in the community, starting with Canada Day. On the back of my mailer, which should be arriving at homes and businesses shortly, I have included a Canada flag for you to display in your window to celebrate the day and spread some Canadian cheer!

My staff and I are available to discuss any federal matters that may be of concern to you and your family. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Sincerely,

Doug Shipley, MP

Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte

 

Simcoe County Council Highlights

Meeting Held May 24, 2022

Council Highlights are intended to provide a summary of Council proceedings only. The information contained within the Highlights is based on approved material from within the associated agenda packages, linked at the bottom. These reports were part of the agendas from the Council Meeting on May 24, 2022, and Committee of the Whole on May 10, 2022. For more information on any item covered in the Highlights, each article is hyperlinked to the appropriate report, which can be accessed by clicking on the title. Images are also linked to relevant resources.

A recording of these sessions is also available for public viewing on the County’s YouTube channel.

– Service Simcoe

Simcoe County Hospital Alliance Funding Allocation

In 2006, a Health Care Strategy Committee completed a review and recommended that County Council ensure effective and equitable utilization of County health care tax dollars to help fund health care needs within the County of Simcoe. As a result of this review, County Council approved continued hospital funding in the amount of $3 million annually to the Simcoe County Hospital Alliance for a 10-year period extending from 2007 to 2016. This funding has been subsequently extended until 2031 in the amount of $45 million. Funding of area hospitals is Provincial jurisdiction, however County Council recognizes the important role our hospitals play in our communities and provides this annual funding on behalf of its member municipalities.

On May 26, 2022, Council approved payments of the 2021 Simcoe County Hospital Alliance Funding Allocations, as requested by the Simcoe County Hospital Alliance Chair in alignment with the funding policy. The requested payments totalled $1,800,526, including $8,040 to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, $3,680 to Southlake Regional Health Centre, $788,806 to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, and $1,000,000 to Georgian Bay General Hospital.

Paramedic Services Week and Paramedic for a Day

May 22 to 28 is National Paramedic Services week, a time to reflect on the dedication and resilience of these exceptional first responders serving our communities. This year’s theme, “Faces of Paramedicine” will focus on the diverse and growing range of specialties within the profession.

In addition to responding to approximately 80,000 calls annually, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services is evolving its programs and services to meet the needs of our growing communities, ageing population, and increased demands.

Congratulations to Chloe, a Grade 5 student at Warnica Public School in the City of Barrie for her winning entry to the virtual Paramedic for a Day contest. She enjoyed her visit with County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and Siren the Fox. Chloe’s creative video entry highlighted the steps that should be taken if ever the first responder is you!

Barrie Collingwood Railway Trail

In 2017, the County purchased a 38km long section of the former Barrie Collingwood Railway (BCRY) corridor, which extends from the southern boundary of the Town of Collingwood to Utopia, with the intention of preserving the BCRY Right-of-Way for a future higher order transportation corridor and to use it as an active transportation trail during the interim.

On May 26, 2022, Council reaffirmed the protection of the BCRY corridor for potential future higher order transit use through retaining a contiguous corridor and right of way. Staff will continue to work with Metrolinx, the Ministry of Transportation, and other levels of government to examine long-term higher order transportation needs of the BCRY corridor. Initial development of the BCRY corridor will proceed on the basis of non-motorized uses until a Master Trails Strategy and Plan is completed.

National AccessAbility Week

In 2019, the Accessible Canada Act came into force. National AccessAbility Week brings together all Canadians in recognizing the valuable contributions of Canadians with disabilities and strengthening, the collaborative effort needed to create a country that is fully accessible and inclusive.

National AccessAbility Week is a time to look at the gains that the County has made in removing barriers and improving access for all who live, work and play in Simcoe County and look forward to the work that still needs to be done. Through the work of the Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee, the County continues to remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities, as required by legislation.

Anti-Human Trafficking Services and Supports

On February 22, 2022 Council requested that staff provide information on the provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy and an update on anti-human trafficking services and supports available to victims and survivors of human trafficking in Simcoe County.

On May 10, 2022, Committee of the Whole received a report with information on designated national and global awareness raising dates; the nationally designated Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and the global World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

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