Hospice Orillia is looking to house residential palliative-care services at a local retirement home. "In Orillia, there are no palliative-care or hospice beds," said Sandra Dunham, executive director of Hospice Orillia and Hospice Simcoe. "In our Local Health Integration Network, Orillia is the only place in this geographic area without palliative beds." As a result, one of the only options is to use Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital’s (OSMH) services, which would mean those receiving end-of-life care might not have a private room or staff specializing in palliative care. It is also more expensive, Dunham noted. Jim Fitzgerald, fund development manager at Hospice Orillia, and Dunham presented their business plan to council at Monday night’s meeting. Included in their proposal was the bid to acquire a wing at Champlain Manor to house a five-bedroom residential hospice with full-time services and staff. "They have an ideal set-up where we can have a wing to our own with a private entrance," said Dunham. Having considered other co-location options, including OSMH, Champlain Manor was the most promising, she said. Hospice Orillia is still in the negotiating phase with the retirement home, but the response has been good so far. "They already provide a good deal of palliative care to their residents, and we’ve worked closely to provide support to people dying there," Dunham said. A call to Champlain Manor requesting comment was not returned by press time Tuesday. If the plan comes to fruition, Hospice Orillia will have to raise $2.5 million to cover the operating costs for the first five years, Dunham said. "The province of Ontario typically funds hospices and residential hospices at $90,000 a year per bed," she said, adding the cost to smaller hospices is about twice that amount. "There will be some capital costs, (but) they’ll be minimum. We’ll need to buy five hospital beds and furnishings for the rooms and we’ll need to install a kitchen, but there’s no structural changes that need to be made." Dunham said a decision will have to be made regarding the future of the residential hospice depending on the response from the community. Coun. Pat Hehn, a former hospice steering committee member, said she was delighted to see the organization moving forward. Even though council has not yet been asked for financial support, Hehn was sure gathering donations for the cause wouldn’t be a problem. "I do know that donations for hospice come in extremely well, especially once it’s opened," she said. "When families use hospice, they very often put in the obituaries that they’d like donations to go to the hospice." On average, Dunham explained, people spend about two years dying. The caregiving role isn’t a one-week intensive exercise; it’s a long, drawn-out affair. "If you have no idea when it’s going to end, and you have no support, it’s pretty overwhelming," said Dunham. "People in long-term-care facilities do a really, really great job, (but) that full gamut of support is really needed." email@example.com twitter.com/chromartblog
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Four charitable organizations picked up grant money Wednesday at city hall. The Couchiching Jubilee House received $1,750, the Orillia Youth Symphony Orchestra and Simcoe County Farm Fresh Marketing Association each were given $1,000 and the Simcoe County Elementary Athletic Council got a cheque for $1,004.
An Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing Friday could affect downtown Barrie’s future. The board will hear an appeal of a Nov. 25 city committee of adjustment decision allowing Unique Ink Custom Tattooing to relocate to Dunlop Street West. The relocation is at odds with Barrie’s Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw, which requires a minimum 100-metre distance between tattoo parlours, body piercing parlours, pawn shops or payday loan establishments in the downtown. The committee allowed Unique Ink’s application to locate at 11-15 Dunlop St. W., right beside a payday loan company. “What the committee of adjustment did, by allowing them this minor variance of 100%, they have really made this bylaw sort of defunct,” said Jack Garner, who launched the OMB appeal. “I love this downtown and this bylaw wasn’t just passed in two seconds on the whim of someone. This was worked out and thought out … and it’s a good bylaw,” he said. “It’s a bylaw to encourage a good mix downtown.” Barrie’s committee of adjustment decided, however, that the variance was not significant. “This application falls within the intent and purpose of the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw and is minor in nature and is in keeping with the character of the surrounding neighbourhood,” said the committee in its decision, which is signed by chairman Barrie Vickers. Andrew Batten, who owns Unique Ink along with Jay McKay, says the OMB decision will make or break the business, which remains at 3 Clapperton St. Although the lease there was extended until the end of April, they’re signed up for five years at 11-15 Dunlop St. W. and paying rent there. “We’re definitely out of here the end of April, so if it (the OMB hearing) doesn’t go in our favour, we’re out of business,” Batten said, noting that could change if the Clapperton Street store isn’t rented to someone else. “But if it’s already rented out, there’s nothing we can do. Then we’re screwed.” Batten has said he didn’t know about the zoning bylaw’s distance separation when he began the process of relocating, learning only when applying for a business licence. Unique Ink wants to move from an 800-square-foot store to one of 1,200 sq. ft., one that’s wheelchair accessible and has proper fire exits. Both 3 Clapperton St. and 11-15 Dunlop St. W. are beside payday loan businesses. Unique Ink is allowed on Clapperton because it was there before the 2011 bylaw. It therefore requires a variance to the bylaw to relocate to Dunlop West. Batten said there are approximately 3,000 signatures on petitions – online and paper – supporting Unique Ink’s position. But Garner said this isn’t a matter of public opinion. “Their (Unique Ink’s) request for a business licence is contrary to the bylaw of the City of Barrie,” he said. “No one can say this bylaw was sort of sprung upon people, because it wasn’t. It took from 2010 until 2011 to go through the proper channels, including a public meeting. No one can fault the City of Barrie for not going through the proper process.” The Barrie Downtown Neighbourhood Association (BDNA) had originally wanted a bylaw to prohibit tattoo parlours, body piercing parlours, pawn shops and payday loan establishments there, but city council passed a 100-m. separation bylaw in 2011 instead. BDNA chairwoman Caroline Smith has argued the committee of adjustment decision is a policy change that cannot be authorized through a minor variance, and expressed concern it could set a precedent. Unique Ink’s application is supported by Downtown Barrie BIA managing director Craig Stevens, who has said it will not negatively affect the area. Coun. Rose Romita, who represents downtown Barrie, also supports the application. Garner said he’s unsure if Friday’s hearing will result in a decision the same day. “I don’t really know. It’s really a simple fight, a simple matter, I think,” he said. “Either the chair agrees with what I say or he or she doesn’t, and therefore I would think that a decision can be made right there and then.” But the OMB often reserves decision and releases it well after the hearing date. The OMB hearing is scheduled for Friday, April 1, 2016, at 10 a.m. in the Sir Robert Barrie Room at Barrie City Hall. It is open to the public. firstname.lastname@example.org @BrutonBob
INNISFIL – Familiarity bred arrest for a local man here Wednesday afternoon. The South Simcoe police canine unit patrolling Alcona at 2:40 p.m. spotted a car known to be associated with a suspended driver – one who had been continuously suspended since 1998, police said. When police stopped the car, that man was indeed behind the wheel. A 46-year-old man was arrested and charged with driving while suspended. He has a court date this month.
MIDLAND – Roma Czech, the owner of Dental Hygiene with Roma in Midland, donated toothbrushes and toothpaste for fire evacuees in Fort McMurray, Alta. She also reached out to members of the Tiffin House knitting group to create 30 dolls to accompany the donation.
Shanty Bay resident Raymond Greenhalgh is celebrating after discovering he won the $50,000 top prize playing INSTANT QUEST FOR GOLD CROSSWORD (Game #3213). ??“When I saw that I had won, I just about dropped to my knees,” shared Raymond, while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to pick up his winnings. “I called my mom to tell her the good news but she didn’t believe me until I stopped by her house to show her my winning ticket,” ??said Greenhalg, a landscaper and father of one, plans to build up his nest egg and treat himself to a four-wheeler. ? ? The winning ticket was purchased at East End Variety & Snack Bar on Blake Street in Barrie.
COLLINGWOOD – An area resident was recently defrauded on more than $150,000 reports the local O.P.P. one of two sophisticated frauds that have duped local residents. Officers were contacted recently after an area resident was defrauded of over $150,000. The victim had been in contact with a male via an online dating site, who advised that he was a diamond salesman. The male advised he required funds to purchase diamonds and then import them into Canada generating a profit on the purchase. The victim sent funds overseas for the purchases and later realized, when speaking to friends, that this was a fraud. Officers were also contacted for another fraud where an area resident received a letter with a cheque for $18,000 advising that she had won $600,000 in a contest. In order to receive the remainder of the prize, she would have to send $10,000 cash to an address in British Columbia. The money was sent however the victim soon realized it was a scam and thankfully was able to have Canada Post intercept the envelope a few days later. This serves as a reminder to never send money, or give personal credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust. A request to send money to a foreign country or to someone you have never personally met should be a red flag. As well, you cannot win money or a prize in a lottery unless you have entered it yourself, or someone else has entered it on your behalf. You cannot be chosen as a random winner if you don’t have an entry. Most importantly if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of a scam such the above mentioned incidents, contact your local police service. You can also file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or online at https://www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm
Georgian students who need help with their taxes can get it at the Georgian Tax Clinic. The clinic is staffed entirely by Accounting students who volunteer their time and expertise. More than 20 student volunteers are operating the clinic until April 8 in Room E218 at the Barrie Campus. “This is a great opportunity for students to gain valuable, real-life experience with clients,” says Lianne Smith-Stow, Professor and Accounting program co-ordinator. “They get to practice the soft and hard skills they acquire in the Accounting program, while at the same time provide an important service to their peers.” Students who take advantage of the service can ask questions in a comfortable environment, become more knowledgeable about their individual tax situation and of course, save money – returns are prepared and filed for free. Last year, more than 250 Georgian students accessed the service. The Georgian Tax Clinic is a partnership between Georgian College and the Canada Revenue Agency under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.
Two Simcoe County paramedics displayed their life-saving chops at the National Paramedic Competition this past weekend. Advanced care paramedics (ACP) Julia Young-Williams and Steve Prophet competed against more than 30 teams from Ontario, Quebec and Florida during the event in Oshawa. After rigorous training working together in person — as well as over the phone and through emails and texts — the pair brought home a first-place finish in the ACP division, taking a written exam and working through various simulated emergencies. To secure the win, Young-Williams and Prophet completed a number of tasks, including a heart attack that required multiple cardioversions — a medical procedure by which an abnormally fast heart rate or cardiac arrhythmia is converted to a normal rhythm using electricity or drugs — troubleshooting an electrocution that was complicated by multi-system trauma and an abnormal heart rate, and responding to a skiing accident which included major challenges involving airway management and environmental factors. There were other scenarios as well and the final component featured a collection of tasks performed in two-minute intervals that included medical tasks such as CPR and calculation as well as measuring and setting of intravenous drip rates. "During the competition, organizers created a very realistic environment to allow us to practise our skills in a safe and controlled way," Prophet said. "You have to be creative, utilize the resources at hand and be able to reassess the situation quickly and change gears as required." The county’s paramedic services director and chief, Andrew Robert — who oversees more than 300 paramedics — said he was "extremely proud" of Young-Williams and Prophet. “All our paramedics are highly trained. However, champions such as Steve and Julia, who work hard and challenge themselves make us all strive to be better,” he said. County Warden Gerry Marshall also congratulated the two advanced care paramedics. "This is a true demonstration of the skill, commitment and world-class training exemplified by our entire service," he said. While it’s nice to see their names on the first-place trophy, winning the competition wasn’t as important as the learning process, they said. "After the competition there was a debrief with the other participants which was a very valuable process," Prophet said. "We saw how they approached things and we all learned from each other." "From our perspective, the benefits are the time and preparation leading up to the competition," Young-Williams added. "Over the last few months, we were studying, practising our skills and making sure our knowledge was sharp. We were running through different patient scenarios and trying to prepare ourselves for any challenges that might arise. "We both came home as better paramedics." email@example.com
Barrie is the region’s top competitive city for the manufacturing industry and ranks seventh of 111 cities around the world for business competiveness, according to a new report. READ MORE: The 2016 KPMG Competitive Alternatives report, which ranks international business locations and costs, features Barrie as one of 17 Canadian municipalities. Within Canada, Barrie is also listed No. 3 in the digital services sector, seventh in research and development and eighth in corporate services. “Barrie has undergone a transformation,” said Rod Jackson, CEO of Barrie Chamber of Commerce. “ When we lost our general manufacturers, like Molson, General Tire, General Electric, it forced us to be innovative.” Barrie ranked fifth overall compared to the other featured Canadian cities, and it has the lowest costs of all of them for industrial leasing and facility construction. Barrie also has the second-lowest property tax costs and third-lowest transportation and office leasing fees. As well, the city was listed second within the northeast U.S. and central Canada region. “This is excellent news for Barrie. The people who live and work here know our city has a lot to offer and it’s encouraging to see that others are taking notice,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “To be ranked No. 1 regionally in manufacturing … confirms what many have already discovered – Barrie is a great place to do business.” Although Barrie did “really well” in the KPMG report, Jackson said the city should be cautious about how it uses the information because it comes from “hypothetical” situations. The sectors in which Barrie ranks high may attract new businesses that had not considered the city before, and the report can be used to mine data about new or growing industries, he said. For example, Jackson said he noticed the “very specific and odd” category of advanced battery production and wondered if Barrie could somehow get involved. “It’s a tool for us to use. It’s up to us to make it happen,” he said. Just as the chamber of commerce once pushed trades training, it is now focusing on technology and health care, he added. “The health-care sector — a lot of people think of that as primarily public,” but there are several private companies in the area, such as Southmedic Inc. and Georgian Radiology, creating disposable surgical equipment and doing high-tech manufacturing, he said. Even well-known organizations such as TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal and Cogeco have data technology centres in Barrie that employ “hundreds and hundreds of people,” he said. “We want to focus on (helping) these companies grow because they have the right supply of employees,” he said. Elsewhere in North America, the KPMG report put Montreal at the top overall among 34 major cities, followed by Toronto and Vancouver. The three Canadian cities beat out all U.S. cities. Canada also ranks high in business competitiveness compared to its global comparators. It comes second after Mexico for the lowest labour costs; second after Japan for transportation costs; and third after Mexico and Germany for facility costs. The report found a high U.S. dollar has helped Canada stay affordable, despite rising office real-estate costs and lower federal tax credits. When it comes to corporate income taxes, it found Canada, the U.K. and the Netherlands had the lowest rates overall due to tax incentives to support high-tech and research and development. – With files from Torstar News Services
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