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Archive for: 5月, 2020

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GEORGIAN BAY – The Honey Harbour community has rallied together under a single vision – to save the community’s schools. At a community meeting earlier this month, a committee was established, aptly named Save Our School and better known as S.O.S. Co-chairs were established, each representing the public school or Catholic school. Honey Harbour Public School, under Trillium Lakelands District School Board jurisdiction, and Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School, under Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, are both recommended for pupil accommodation reviews in the next five years. This process could lead to the closure and/or consolidations of the schools in their respective boards. In the case of school closures, school-aged children could face bus rides of over an hour in length. In a board document released earlier this year, Honey Harbour Public School was recommended for a pupil accommodation review for the 2016-17 school year, currently utilizing 65 per cent of its available space with 30 students enrolled. In December, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic School Board received a staff report with the recommendation to close Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School in Honey Harbour in September 2016 and transport students to Saint Antoine Daniel Catholic School in Victoria Harbour. At that meeting, the trustees defeated the recommendation and, in effect, the school will remain open this fall. Our Lady of Mercy is currently utilizing 15 per cent of its space with 25 students currently enrolled. At the S.O.S. committee meeting, a parent representing Our Lady of Mercy stated that the school was allocated a total of $213 for supplies. Pauline Stevenson, communications manager with the board, said that based on budget information, this figure is not correct. The school was allocated a total of approximately $1,330. However, Stevenson said, “the principal has the discretion to move funds around between budget lines to meet school goals,” and provided the example of school improvement planning. The S.O.S. committee discussed a number of obstacles and challenges that the community is facing, one of which being political boundaries. Georgian Bay township, which governs the villages of Port Severn, Honey Harbour and MacTier, also encompasses three school boards – the two aforementioned, plus Near North District School Board with MacTier Public School. Meeting attendees said that due to their distance from any other Trillium Lakelands District School Board school, they felt as though the board often forgets them. It was learned at a public meeting earlier last month, which was attended by representatives from Trillium Lakelands and Simcoe Muskoka Catholic school boards, that the ministry of education does not recognize Honey Harbour Public School as a school. “Each school has a mident number. For a school to receive a mident number they must have a minimum of 55 enrolled students for at least three consecutive years,” said Catherine Shedden, manager of the director’s office and communications. “Honey Harbour Public School has not had this number of students at any time and so has not been issued a mident number and is therefore not recognized as a stand alone school by the ministry.” Shedden said that Honey Harbour Public School is considered an annex to Glen Orchard Public School and shares the Glen Orchard mident number. With this in mind, one individual pointed out at the most recent committee meeting that, under those regulations, the community is not “entitled” to a school. Since the community has discovered that its schools are at risk, Georgian Bay council has requested to be included in any future school discussions with the respective boards. “The thing about these accommodation reviews is that it’s a process that’s dictated by the province. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic or public. It’s the same process,” said coun. Kathy Kay. “The unfortunately thing with the township is – and it says right in the accommodation review process – that upper tiers are advised, not lower tiers. So the District of Muskoka would be advised, but not the Township of Georgian Bay. We specifically as a council wrote and said we want to be included.” The next S.O.S. committee meeting has not yet been set.

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An area café is celebrating a year of being in business by helping those in need. "We opened the cafe a year ago on May 1," said Dan Barber, who co-owns Em’s Café in Coldwater with his wife. "One of our main objectives with the café was to have a positive impact in the community and the customers. So, when we started thinking about our first anniversary, we decided we would do something for somebody else." April 30, Em’s Café will host its first-anniversary party — dubbed Give a Gift of Hope on Em’s Café’s First Birthday — and will donate $1 for each drink purchased that day to Lighthouse Christian Ministries. The café will also collect donations of items such as soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and other products the shelter is always in need of. "In some ways, we’re doing similar things," said Barber. "We’re a business and hope to make a living out of it, but in doing so, we’re providing a great food and coffee and experience. The Lighthouse is doing the same with giving meals to men, women and children." In the same spirit, he said, during its year in business, the café has given away food or a meal to someone in need. "Obviously, the financial donations are always fantastic," said Linda Goodall, executive director of the Lighthouse, "but it also creates an awareness about what we do and who we are, which is always fantastic. I love it that people are willing to use their birthdays as an example to give a gift of hope for others." The event will also include activities for kids, such as face painting. "We’ll have some draws and give away some gift baskets, but the main thing is to give the Lighthouse some more exposure. I’m not sure people understand that the Lighthouse serves people from Coldwater, too," Barber said. Goodall will be at the café between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to talk to people about what the Lighthouse does, in an effort to create a better understanding about the constant need in the area. "We’ve been told about it; we’ve heard it, (and) I have my stats," Goodall said, adding what needs to be understood is it’s more than just a number. "These people come in, and they rely on the Lighthouse for shelter and a meal and the help they need. And that’s where our vision is — guiding the vulnerable out of life’s storms, towards hope." mshahid@postmedia.com twitter.com/chromartblog 

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Canadian Forces Base Borden is celebrating 100 years next month and planning for the centenary is in full swing. Details were unveiled Monday morning at the Barrie Armoury, which was constructed in 1915 prior to CFB Borden accepting approximately 40,000 troops on Dominion Day (July 1) in 1916. Those troops would eventually be involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. Barrie will host the Freedom of the City Parade on Saturday, June 4 beginning at 11 a.m. Residents are invited to celebrate the arrival of sacred soil from Vimy, containing DNA remnants of some of the nearly 3,600 Canadians who were killed and more than 7,200 who were injured during the pivotal battle that defined Canada as a nation. The Freedom of the City Parade is a time-honoured event that allows military organizations to march into the city with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed. The parade will include 1,000 troops, including 500 from CFB Borden and 500 from veterans groups, legions, cadets, OPP, RCMP, and Barrie police. The Borden Legacy Monument, which has been spearheaded by Barrie businessman Jamie Massie, will be unveiled at Base Borden’s north entrance at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 9. Part of the monument will include the sacred soil returned from Vimy last year. It’s the first time in Canadian history that battlefield soil has been repatriated from overseas. Another highlight of the centenary celebrations will be the Canadian Armed Forces Day and Air Show on June 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The air show will feature the world-famous Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds, the CF-18 Hornet fighter jet, the Canadian Armed Forces Skyhawks parachute team, Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft and warbirds as well as an extensive number of ground displays, army vehicles, a forward operating base and special events. "The air-show weekend is a gift to the community to thank them for their support," said base commander Brig.-Gen Carl Doyon, adding that during a similar event four years ago, more than 30,000 people attended over two days. The unveiling of the Legacy Monument will be a special moment, he added. The urn containing the sacred soil will depart the Barrie Armoury and arrive at the Peacekeeper Park in Angus on morning of June 7. "A two-day vigil will occur, with Base Borden military and cadets, safeguarding the urn," Doyon said. "This event will highlight the urn, symbolizing the sacrifice of Canada’s peacekeepers over the last century, that include not only military personnel, but also law-enforcement officers, RCMP and so many others." Soil will be transported from Peacekeeper Park to the site via First World War wagon and horses and integrated into the wall during the ceremony. "Unique to this event is that all of this is a donation from the community," Doyon said, referring to the efforts of Massie and the community at large. "We at Base Borden are grateful of receiving this amazing gift of support, to highlight the two million men and women that will have trained at Base Borden, Canada’s largest military training base, over the course of century, and to inspire all those sons and daughters of a grateful nation that will pass through our gates in the future, serving Canada with honour, duty and courage, so all may live with freedom, democracy and justice. "The integration of the battlefield soil into the wall is symbolizing the DNA of all those Canadians who made the sacrifices of serving our country over the course of this past century," he added. Residents are encouraged to show their pride by visiting www.facebook.com/cityofbarrie. imcinroy@postmedia.com

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PENETANGUISHENE – Xander Wilson, 3, lets a ball fly during Bowl for Kids’ Sake, held Saturday evening at Penetanguishene’s Knight Haven Lanes. The annual event is a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe. Bowlers also supported the cause at Bayshore Lanes in Midland.

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Taking some time off for a well deserved rest and lunch Campbell House celebrated National Nursing Week with their staff with a barbecue and cake to celebrate the contributions staff have made. In the photo Shawna Wagner, HGT – Campbell House PSW, Lisa Taylor, HGT – Campbell House RN, Linda MacLeod – HGT Board Chair, Allison McHaig, HGT Clinical Services Coordinator, Kelly Borg, HGT Executive Director, Bruce West, The Hospice Georgian Triangle Foundation Board Chair, Heather McMullin, HGT – Campbell House PSW and Lorraine Garland, HGT – Campbell House RN.

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The sport of speedminton was introduced to students at Collingwood Collegiate Institute. READ MORE: “(Speedminton is) a racquet sport that has a lot of parallels to badminton,” said CCI teacher Darryl Sproule. “It’s much faster.” It’s a combination of badminton and squash. Two players are on one side of the court and two on the other. Each team is confined to an area, and the goal, the same as badminton, is to not let the birdie touch the floor. In speedminton, the birdie is called a speeder and is heavier and smaller. The school received a grant from OFSSA (Ontario Federation Secondary School Athletics) of $700, which allowed them to by a class kit. “They provide schools with an opportunity to introduce these sports,” said Sproule. This marks the fourth consecutive year the school has received money for new equipment. “We’ve been very successful in applying for grant money from OFSAA,” he said. “The takeaway for us as a phys-ed department is we’re able to continue offer this sport.” Sproule said more than 400 kids were introduced to the sport as part of OFSSA Try Day on Tuesday. Sproule said student leaders in Grade 11 and 12 were on hand to teach some Grade 9 students the game. “Ultimately it’s going to enhance our kids physical literacy,” he said.

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Barrie council had some fun Monday in a video spoofing an opening montage from 1980s TV shows, such as Dallas. The video features every council member in different poses, such as shopping downtown, working at a construction site and tearing up city taxes. Shot by Rogers TV, the video aired before the May 16 general committee meeting.

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A service dog that helped a 30-year-old Barrie woman during her final days battling cystic fibrosis continues to act as a guardian angel for another member of the family. Amy, a five-year-old cocker spaniel trained to detect changes in a person’s blood sugar levels, is now living with 14-year-old Alliston resident Kate Beausaert, a Type 1 diabetic. Amy was originally going to be used by Kate’s cousin Meghan Manuel. When Manuel, the mother of three kids, died in early February, her father had to decide what to do with Amy. Amy’s trainer, Angus resident Christine Einboden, suggested she could become Kate’s diabetic alert dog. “When I said that to her father, he got so excited,” Einboden said. “He is very happy Amy is still in the family and we all know that’s what Meghan would have wanted.” Kate welcomed her new protector with open arms. “It’s really special to have her,” Kate said. While most service dogs are given to their owners when they are young, Meghan was matched with an older dog because of her ailing condition. “She was bed ridden a lot, and she was in and out of the hospital,” Einboden said. “Amy is five years old and likes to hang out in bed and be snuggled, so it was a perfect match.” Re-training Amy for Kate wasn’t that difficult because she was already being taught how to help Meghan manage her cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, which is similar to Type 1. Through scent, Amy can detect blood sugar lows, which is when medical emergencies most often occur, as well as sugar spikes, which require insulin. “We found medical sniffer dogs can pick up on a scent 20 minutes before a glucometer will, so she could be starting to go down and the dog alerts her,” Einboden said. Whenever Kate’s blood sugar drops, Amy starts nudging and scratching at her to let her know something is amiss. “I don’t feel it right away when my blood sugar goes low, but Amy can pick up on the scent immediately,” Kate said. Kate’s condition is harder to manage when she competes at gymnastics tournaments since the adrenaline causes her blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Usually, all it takes is a juice box or two to bring her sugar levels back to normal. With her new friend at her side, she takes comfort in knowing she won’t have to worry about her condition as much. “It makes me feel good knowing I have something that reminds me of Meghan, and I also like knowing that Amy is being put to good use and is not just someone’s pet,” Kate said. It will take another month or so before Amy is fully trained so she can accompany Kate to public places, like the store and high school. Before Meghan Manuel died, she made this video about her service dog, Amy:

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Simcoe County will start its curbside ice storm pick up Monday as waste collection begins in the hardest hit areas. Innisfil, Essa, New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio and Bradford West-Gwillimbury saw significant tree damage from last week’s storm.  Brush collection may not coincide with regular waste collection days so residents are asked to place brush curbside by Monday April 4 to be picked up as soon as possible.  These waste collectors will not be collect large branches or trees. However, the Town of Innisfil has asked residents to place larger branches neatly at the side of the road for eventual pick up by town crews. Brush bundles must be cut into manageable lengths (maximum 2 meters long and individual branches not to exceed 12 cm. diameter). Brush should be bundled and tied in manageable packages (maximum 20 kgs. per bundle). Residents may also self-haul brush to County waste management facilities at no charge. Food Waste: Spoiled foods as a result of extended power outages may be placed out for collection on the regular collection day in the green bin.  Excessive quantities can be contained in compostable bags and in alternate containers clearly beside the green bin so that collectors can see that it is intended to be collected with the organics.  All packaging must be removed from food waste in order for it to be collected.   If residents have any questions they should be directed to contact Customer Service at 1-800-263-3199 or . 

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The Port of Orillia should rise from the ashes next year, with city council set to award a design-build contract to a local firm at its next meeting. If council rubber-stamps its committee decision from Monday night, the port facility will be rebuilt by Bradanick Construction Services of Orillia. Its bid of $1,997,000 was recommended by council committee. Council is being asked to add another $112,000 from the major capital facility reserve to the temporary port building project. At its Jan. 18 meeting, council pre-qualified four firms to submit proposals for the project. Three of those firms submitted proposals by the March 9 deadline. All three bids submitted came in north of the $1.9-million construction budget. The low bid was from Greystone Project Management, at about $1,957,000. Monteith Building Group was the high bid at more than $2 million. They were all good proposals, Mayor Steve Clarke said. “All three of them are exciting,” he said. “They all had good merit. It was a tough decision.” Bradanick’s was the second-cheapest option. Of the evaluation criteria set out by the city, cost was the most important, accounting for 30% of the points available. The other bids, staff indicated in a report to council committee, did not adequately address a variety of components Bradanick’s did, such as program rooms and operational efficiencies in the port buildings and the total cost of all requirements. That made not choosing the low bid an easier decision. “It’s low enough,” Clarke said. “They were all very comparable … The cost was one of the significant criteria, but it wasn’t the only one.” Kent Guptill, director of facilities and special projects, elaborated. “Even though their bid was not the lowest, they gave us more of what we asked for,” he said. “When you count those in, in fact, they’re probably a lower amount. You get more bang for your buck … the best value for our money." Bradanick’s other work in the area includes the renovation and addition to the museum at Discovery Harbour and the Shoppers Drug Mart on Coldwater Road. Orillia’s economic development manager, Dan Landry, said he often hears concerns about how local firms do not seem to be involved in such projects, which led him to take part in the committee to select the winning bid. He was impressed by what he saw. “Our guys are stepping up,” Landry said. “They stepped up because they realized this was a showcase project for Orillia.” “The teams that were put together are award-winning architects,” Guptill added. “To have them be with our local contractors was very special. The presentations from our local teams were very, very good.” One of the advantages that sold Bradanick’s proposal to the mayor was the inclusion of a large community space, with room for about 60 people with tables and chairs, or 100 people with just chairs. But it’s a space that can also grow. “The ability to add to this project, should we decide to do that, with the skate trail, was considered by all three and considered well by (Bradanick),” Clarke added. The budget for the project was set at $2.3 million — $400,000 of which was set aside for other expenses, such as consulting fees, furniture and equipment and contingencies. Staff remain confident there are enough funds available in the overall budget to complete the project. The former port building was destroyed by arson in December 2014. No one has been charged in the incident. Construction at the site is expected to begin at the end of this boating season. pbales@postmedia.com twitter.com/patrickbales

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