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Archive for: 7月, 2021

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Wasaga Beach could be looking at chopping down more than 5,400 ash trees over the next five years in an effort to control the damage caused by the emerald ash borer. The bug, a wood-boring beetle native to eastern Asia, has killed millions of ash trees in North America since 2002. The insect’s larvae destroy the layer under an ash tree’s bark that transports nutrients and water throughout the tree. The pest can typically kill a mature tree in one to three years. Related: Landon Black, with the firm Skelton, Brumwell & Associates, which has undertaken developing a management plan for Wasaga Beach on how to deal with the pest, outlined several options for the municipality in a presentation to the April 7 meeting of council’s coordinated committee, That includes treating trees that could be considered “high-value” from a cultural or socio-economic perspective. Black recommended the town take a “proactive management” approach, which would likely result in the removal of about 99 per cent of the town’s ash trees. Phase one of the five-year plan would involve treating trees with an insecticide designed specifically to kill the emerald ash borer in the first year, with remaining trees removed over the next four years. The plan would affect trees that are in public right-of-ways, or be in a position of endangering public safety. Black said the plan would not include ash trees in woodlots. The cost to remove the trees over five years would be $1.4 million. Parks and facilities manager Gerry Reinders said the trees that will be saved have been identified, and there is money is this year’s budget to being treatment. The insecticide, TreeAzin, is derived from a plant native to the Indian subcontinent. “It’s a huge cost,” Reinders told Simcoe.com. “The reason we’re putting out the strategy is to try and spread the costs out over a period of time. “It’s not a huge amount (of trees), but there are a number that could be healthy enough and are at the right size that they could be treated,” he said. Reinder said the cost to treat a tree works out to $5 a centimetre. “A normal tree would cost about $200 to $300,” he said. Reinders will be coming back to committee at a later date with recommendations on how to proceed with the strategy. During the meeting, Mayor Brian Smith asked Black if the borer could jump to another species once ash trees were no longer available. Black said it was possible as the borer can be found in a variety of trees in Asia; however, he said, there was only once instance in North America of the bug being found in another tree species. “So far in North America, ash is the predominant food source, but there is a real possibility that it could hop on to other species,” he said.

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NORTH SIMCOE – Bettie Pain of the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers gives a lesson in roller derby to Anna Hartman, left, of the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre and “Battle for the Brave” sponsor Karen Caldwell of Royal Lepage. The second annual fundraiser will take place May 28 at the Tay Community Outdoor Rink in Port McNicoll. Tickets are $5 each (free for children under nine). Fans will enjoy hard-hitting action between the Ghoul Guides and Boneyard Betties. All proceeds will go to the cancer support centre. Visit to purchase tickets. CHECK IT OUT:

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A Barrie police special constable who was “curious” and went into the booking station to view a video which showed a female in the cells using the toilet, has been fired, Postmedia Network has learned. Reliable sources say Ralph Hillyard, a Barrie police special constable for 16 years, was fired and escorted to the door last Thursday – just hours after a judge slammed both the officer and the Barrie Police Professional Standards branch for taking no action. “I find the impugned conduct in the matter was an unauthorized exercise of power. The fact that it was unauthorized, however, was not a concern to supervisory staff,” Justice William Gorewich said in his ruling released to the media on Friday. At least seven times in his 17-page ruling the judge notes the video Hillyard watched was “raw footage” and “ not pixelated.” Gorewich noted the sport of viewing cell videos was commonplace for the sake of “gossip mongering” and curiosity – a conduct he found “egregious.” Hillyard had testified he often watched cell inmate videos and that it was “commonplace.” The woman in the cell, who has asked for anonymity, was a Barrie police special constable who was arrested for drunk driving moments after leaving a party with her co-workers on Christmas Eve 2014. But the judge tossed her impaired charge because it was an abuse of authority on the part of “the state,” as well as an abuse of privacy and integrity. She brought her concerns to lawyer Leo Kinahan. "I was shocked," Kinahan said in a recent interview. "I was honestly stunned. I find it very troubling that this was taking place as an accepted practice by the Barrie Police for no other reason than gossip and pleasure." He said he watched the video that showed his client "calm and polite" as she sat in her cell. "My client was quite possibly at the lowest part of her life, in the custody of her employer, and she is captured in a private, vulnerable moment on the toilet for somebody’s entertainment and pleasure. "My client was relieved of her duties after she was charged, and now she has to endure this humiliation. Yet, it was treated with such disregard by the Barrie Police Service … It’s bizarre … This seems to be OK with them," he added. Kinahan brought an application under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – sections that guarantee an arrested person’s right to be treated fairly with a reasonable expectation of privacy – before Gorewich. “Her privacy rights were thoughtlessly ignored,” said Gorewich, who questioned why Hillyard had not been suspended or reprimanded. The woman says she is “ horribly humiliated” knowing that Hillyard watched her using the toilet in the cells at a low time in her life. After her arrest, she was immediately suspended without pay and later fired from the job she had held since 2004. Now, she says she wants her job back. “I loved my job and I was good at it,” she told Postmedia in an interview on Monday. “I never took a sick day in all the time I was employed there. … I want my job back.” Since her suspension, she had to moved from a house to a basement apartment and has been struggling to make ends meet by waiting tables in a bar while taking corrections courses in hopes of finding another job. “I feel I was fired and discriminated against for reasons I don’t understand. And I was not given the decency or chance to be found innocent until proven guilty by the very officers who are supposed to uphold that law in Canada," she added. Barrie police officials have refused to comment despite several requests for an interview. BARRIE POLICE STATEMENT RELEASED APRIL 4:  The members of the Barrie Police Service recognize our responsibilities for safe guarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On January 18, 2016 the Barrie Police Service was notified by the Crown Attorney’s office that Special Constable Hillyard may have accessed restricted video recording of a female while in custody.  Video recordings of the cell block area are to ensure the safety and security of persons in custody and members of the service. A Professional Standards investigation was immediately commenced. As a result of their investigation it was determined that Special Constable Hillyard’s actions breached Barrie Police Service procedures by accessing and viewing restricted pixilated video recordings of persons in custody. Investigation also revealed that existing security system prevented Special Constable Hillyard from accessing restricted raw or un-pixilated recordings. The Barrie Police Service has implemented enhanced security and approval measures for all video recordings of persons in custody. As of March 31, 2016 Special Constable Hillyard was terminated from the Barrie Police Service. The Barrie Police Service remains committed to serve, protect and enhance our community by providing professional and accountable police service. What Justice William Gorewich said: "I ask whether the public would ever contemplate that this type of behaviour happens within police ranks? … I find that the public would be shocked and would lose confidence in the justice system." "I find it concerning that the issues of privacy and personal integrity of the detainee never occurred to him (Ralph Hillyard), and further, that his actions and actions of others, as he testified to, were tolerated by supervisory staff." "There is no plausible reason for his actions, other than the notion of curiosity he testified to, and his involvement in a matter of gossip that in my view has no place in the dealing with detainees." "The gossip surrounding the applicant in the workplace, in addition to the notion of curiosity, in my view is unprofessional and amounts to egregious police conduct." "Accessing of videos of detainees was commonplace and was practised numerous times, not only by him but as well by many of his colleagues, with the knowledge of the supervisors who did nothing."

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If you’re up for fresh air and flesh-eating zombies, head to Sunnidale Park on Saturday. Two Georgian College event management studies students, Amy Giofu and Kirsten Spencer-Arscott, are hosting the HvZ: Human Survival event on Saturday between noon and 4 p.m. “When I lived in Hamilton, we used to head out to a park behind Sheridan College and have a Nerf war in the forest behind the school,” said Giofu. “We’d get 10 or 20 people out. So we thought it would be great to incorporate a Nerf gun fight with zombies, because they’re so popular right now.” The park behind the Dorian Parker Community Centre will be set up with an obstacle course and target practice warm up and then roll into a large zombie war near the woods, Spencer-Arscott said. “You need to start off as a human and then once you’re hit and you become a zombie, you stay a zombie,” Spencer-Arscott said. How do you kill a zombie? “When a zombie is hit, with either a (Nerf) dart or grenade – a rolled up pair of socks – they are stunned for 15 seconds and can’t move,” Giofu said. Currently, there are 22 tickets sold for $25 each, but the women are hoping more people will show up to help the humans take on the zombies; or become one of the walking dead themselves. The concept started after the two women attended a Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre donor appreciation evening last fall where they learned about children with mental health illnesses. The children had created art to describe their feelings and Goifu said it opened their eyes to what New Path Youth and Family Services of Simcoe County and other social agencies do to help troubled youth. “It hit us hard. We all know someone touched by this. As a society, we’re getting this idea out there, but there’s still so much stigma attached to mental illness. We wanted to do something,” Goifu said. Proceeds will be shared between New Path and the event management alumni scholarship fund. James Thomson of New Path said the money raised will help area children and youth with mental health concerns. “We are thrilled by the opportunity in being chosen by the students as their charity of choice,” said Thomson. Families with older children are invited to attend and the event co-ordinators stress it’s a BYONG or bring your own Nerf gun event. For more information visit www.humansurvival.ca or HvZ: Human Survival Facebook page. Cbrowne@postmedia.com Twitter.com/cherylbrowne1

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Guy Chrartrand, CEO of Collingwood General and Marine Hospital makes a splash as the Blues Brothers tribute diver joins in at the Meridian Polar Dip at Collingwood Harbour Sunday. The absence of icy conditions was met with a pool from the fire department filled with cold water and ice cubes.

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An autistic student who suffered a compound leg fracture while in the care of an educational assistant was likely injured by a direct blow to the leg, according to a medical expert. Dr. Michael Korkola, an orthopaedic surgeon at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, took the stand as the assault trial for Angus resident Corey Stibbard began Wednesday. Stibbard, a Simcoe County District School Board employee, has pleaded not guilty to assault causing bodily harm in relation to a Dec. 4, 2014, incident that resulted in the student, Oro Station resident Riley Dooley, suffering a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg. Korkola was asked to give his expert opinion on how Riley, then 20, could have received the injury while shopping at the Dollar Tree in Barrie’s south end while in the care of Stibbard. He said Riley suffered a fracture across both bones, which required doctors to operate and install a titanium rod in his leg. Korkola said the injury was not consistent with a simple slip and fall, but more typical of a fracture caused in a skiing or industrial accident. “Something like this is usually from a direct blow to the tibia,” he said He continued, saying a blunt hit, like a kick, could have been the cause. “It would take a significant amount of force to cause that,” he said. The hearing began with the testimony of the student’s mother, Patricia Dooley, who provided more insight into her son’s condition and how he ended up in the care of Stibbard. She said her son, who has limited means of communication and following instructions, has been receiving special education since Grade 6 and is currently being home schooled. In September 2014, he was transferred to a special education program offered through Innisdale Secondary School after he became too old to attend class at his previous school. “We thought it was the perfect fit,” she said. She said the transition wasn’t easy for him, as he had to leave behind his friends and teachers he was familiar with. A logbook from the school noted two incidents during which her son showed signs of aggression during two outings in September. “He hadn’t had a lot of incidents before this,” she said. “We figured he was just getting used to the new program and testing the waters.” On the day of the incident, she said her son seemed normal before being picked up for school. “Had there been any negativity or mumbling or showing signs of aggression … I wouldn’t have sent him. He wouldn’t have been in the van.” She confirmed her son was taking two types of medications at the time, one for treating migraines and the other for anxiety. She said migraines can have a big effect on his mood. To deal with the discomfort, she said he tries different things, such as smacking his head on the wall or by placing his hands on his head. Store manager Bob Ronald also took the stand to recount what he saw the morning Riley was hurt. When he initially saw the pair walk past him while stocking shelves at the back of the store, nothing seemed amiss. About five minutes later, he was paged to attend to a situation in the first aisle. When he arrived, he found Riley laying on the floor flat on his back, with Stibbard standing off to the side. “He was making grunting sounds and he was in obvious pain,” he said. He noticed bleeding and rolled up his pant leg to see his injury. “There was a lot of blood, I believe there was a puncture,” he said. When Ronald asked what happened, he thought Stibbard said Riley tripped, but couldn’t recall his exact answer. There were no witnesses in the store who saw what happened. While the store has security cameras, he said they were not recording footage at the time, saying the system had not been set up since he became manager in August. Later that morning, when Patricia arrived at the hospital to see her son, she was joined by Stibbard and another teacher. While in the emergency room, she didn’t inquire how her son’s leg was injured. “I didn’t ask…he was in visible pain and I didn’t care what happened,” she said. The trial is expected to last two more days and will resume April 12.

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SUBMITTED – The County of Simcoe  has created a new in-house legal services department. Zarah Walpole has been appointed director of legal services and Marshall Green as senior legal counsel. As part of the 2016 budget, county councillors approved establishing an in-house legal services team which will provide benefits including improved services, enhanced availability of legal representation, as well as operational and cost efficiencies. The team will also include a law clerk and legal administrative assistant which will be recruited by Walpole as one of her first responsibilities. In addition to serving as senior legal counsel, Green will support the transition and knowledge transfer from external legal services to in-house legal representation.  “After completing a detailed cost benefit analysis, it was determined that in-house legal representation will provide operational and financial efficiencies for the Corporation and our tax payers,” said Trevor Wilcox, general manager, Corporate Performance for the county. “Most organizations and municipalities of our size and scope utilize in-house legal services. We are pleased to welcome Zarah and Marshall to our team and are confident that this model will provide greater efficiencies and ultimately reduce our annual legal costs.”  At the beginning of its current term, councillors considered a business case for creating an in-house legal services department. The county’s external legal costs have trended upwards ranging from $1.6 million to $1.8 million annually, with particular increases in contract, procurement, municipal and property law matters. To complete the new legal department, the county recognized the need to transfer its corporate legal knowledge from its external legal representation at HGR Graham Partners LLP to its new in-house department. To achieve this knowledge transfer more efficiently, the county has entered into a contract agreement with Green, the county’s long-time legal counsel previously with HGR Graham Partners.

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INNISFIL – Two women lost $1,700 after cashing phoney cheques from men they met through a dating website. The women told South Simcoe police the men offered them jobs at a local seniors’ home. When they met with the men, they were given cheques and asked to cash them as a favour, police said. They cashed the cheques for the two men, then discovered the cheques were fake. The two men are described as back, had a small white car and called themselves ‘Zip Recruiting’. Calls to their cellphones go unanswered, police said. 

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Ramara’s Library’s  ‘Fibre Friends’, meet every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Group members are “knitting for a cause” in support of the Green Haven Shelter in Orillia. “Come out and help with making handmade baby/toddler blankets, children’s hats and mitts and dish cloths,” officials noted in a media statement. “No skill necessary, the Friends will be delighted to help get you started.” The club meets in the Vic Howarth Room at the Ramara Centre. New knitters/crocheters are welcome. Ramara Library also presents ‘Skinamarink Storytime!’, beginning April 8 at 10:30 a.m. The program runs Fridays at 10:30 a.m. until May 27 and is for toddlers up to age five.

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PARRY SOUND – It turns out you don’t need a vulnerable sector check to sell ice cream. In March selling cold treats on Parry Sound streets this summer, but included a number of conditions, one of those being a vulnerable sector check for employees. The town already requires checks for those who drive taxi in town. “Mr. (John) Athanasiou did go and try and apply for his vulnerable sector check upon that we got information from the OPP saying that basically the type of work that’s going to be done doesn’t require a vulnerable check to be done,” said Rob Beaumont, town revenue and taxation supervisor at the May 3 meeting. “The regulations aren’t set by the OPP, they’re set with the RCMP and very strict rules…services like what he’s proposing to do don’t qualify for a sector check so they won’t do one.” Under the Criminal Records Act, a vulnerable sector check can only be provided if: the request is made by a person or organization responsible for the wellbeing of a child or vulnerable person; the request is made in the context of a specific application for a paid or volunteer position; the position being applied for is one of trust or authority towards a child or vulnerable person; and the applicant has given their consent in writing. “The town, nor Mr. Athanasiou’s company are responsible for the wellbeing of a child or vulnerable person,” wrote Trevor Pinn town director of finance and POA court services in his report to council. “The position being applied is not one of trust or authority towards a child or vulnerable person, therefore the request for a vulnerable sector check does not meet the requirement. This is different than the current taxi regulations, because individuals enter into the vehicle which is enclosed and therefore the taxi driver/cab company is responsible for the wellbeing of the person and there is trust/authority in that position.” The truck will be circling Parry Sound streets from now until Sept. 30.

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