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Cancellations in Simcoe County and Meaford

COMMUNITY

K-Bay Wrestling has cancelled practice tonight

Town of Innisfil rec programs at Alcona Glen School have been cancelled

Midland Library is closing at 5 p.m.

YMCA Midland’s camp information night has been cancelled

Elmvale Skating club has cancelled tonight’s lessons and sessions

The Township of Oro-Medonte Administration Centre is closing at 3:30 p.m.

The Hurons Gymnastic Club is Midland has cancelled classes

Tonight’s service at Wasaga Beach United Church has been cancelled.

Town of Innisfil offices and all branches of the Innisfil Public Library are closed. Town essential roads, water and wastewater services will be provided.

The SCDSB has cancelled all gym permits

RMA Karate Centres has closed its south location. Students are welcome at the north location

Classes at Maizis Martial Arts Academy in Stayner are cancelled.

The Dance Academy in Barrie is closed.

Simcoe Community Services in Barrie and Orillia as well as Early Years Centres in Barrie and Bradford closed at noon

Blue Mountain Resort has closed all lifts.

All programs from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Pauline Barratt Aquatics in Orillia have been cancelled.

The Orillia Music Studio has cancelled all classes

Moving Art Centre in Barrie will be closed tonight.

The Barrie Literacy Council and the Huronia Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic are closed.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s sexual health drop-in clinic at 80 Bradford St. Barrie is cancelled.

Town of New Tecumseth has cancelled it’s Bounce with Kangoo at 9:30 a.m. class, Fit for Life classes at 10:35 a.m. and 11:35 a.m., the Step It Up class at 9:30 a.m. and Chair Fitness class at 1 p.m.

Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka will be closing at noon today. All program activities scheduled for today have been cancelled.

BUSES

All buses in Simcoe County and Meaford/Thornbury have been cancelled. Schools are open.

SCHOOLS

Georgian College – The Orangeville, Muskoka and South Georgian Bay campuses are closed today. The Orillia and Barrie campuses and Collier St. Employment Centre will close at 1 p.m. Owen Sound and Midland will close at 2 p.m.

All classes and activities the Lakehead Orillia campus are cancelled as of 1 p.m.

The Co-Ed hockey game between the Marchmont PS Mustangs and Guthrie Public is postponed

Willow Landing Character Assembly has been postponed

The Simcoe County Elementary ice hockey program has been cancelled

The Harlem Globetrotters visit to Terry Fox ES has been cancelled

The Huron Park PS Grade 6 after-school numeracy program and the Huron Park PS talent show are cancelled.

The after-school numeracy program at Mundy’s Bay Public School is cancelled today.

Sevenoaks Academy, Meadow Creek Montessori School in Barrie and Hummingbird Montessori School are closed.


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Innisfil mayor blocks vote on market study for $70-million sewer project

The majority of council wanted to debate and vote on a controversial recommendation last night that would have halted plans for a $70-million sewer project to allow more study.

But there was no debate and no vote after Mayor Gord Wauchope used a procedural maneuver to strike CAO Jason Reynar’s Innisfil Heights employment lands report from the agenda.

Led by Coun. Rob Nicol, the majority of council wanted to vote on Reynar’s recommendation to commission a market analysis study to find out what businesses would locate near Innisfil Beach Road and Hwy. 400 if the lands were fully serviced.

But Wauchope ruled the vote would be a repeat of a December decision that already quashed a market study in an 8-1 vote.

Nicol challenged Wauchope’s ruling but needed a 2/3 majority to over turn it, losing the chance to debate the recommendation by one vote.

Councillors Doug Lougheed, Donna Orsatti, Carolyn Payne and Wauchope voted to disallow the debate, stifling any chance to vote on Reynar’s recommendation.

Coun. Stan Daurio called the procedural gamesmanship a “hi-jacking of democracy” and sent a newsletter to constituents today criticizing Wauchope and Lougheed for thwarting debate.

“This was the most disgraceful behaviour I have ever witnessed of a council. Councillor Richard Simpson, Councillor Bill Loughead, Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin, Councillor Rob Nicol and I fought hard on your behalf to convince the four; but it was not enough to defeat this trickery,” Daurio send in the newsletter.

Last night’s vote means a call to tender the project with go out to three companies that have already been shortlisted by InnServices. The tender could be awarded as soon as the end of July with completion by late 2018 or early 2019.

Nicol argued Reynar’s call for a market analysis study was not the same as what council voted on in December because it was based on a January 2015 consultant’s report that was kept from council.

That report, based on 2011 Census data, raised a number of red flags, including Innisfil’s ability to compete with Bradford West Gwillimbury and Barrie, which already have enough fully serviced employment lands to satisfy area job growth targets.

“We’re not looking to stop or slow things down, we just want to look at another study to make sure we get this right,” Nicol said.

Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin voiced her frustration over not being able to debate.

“We need to have a really good debate on this at this table. Everybody’s voice needs to be heard,” she said. “It’s unfortunate we were not able to get it on the floor tonight.”

The mayor’s ruling to quash debate came after landowners implored council to continue to move ahead with plans to have lands on the west side of Hwy. 400 between Innisfil Beach Road and Line 7 fully serviced.

Bruce Barber of Great Canadian Gaming, which operates the Slots at Georgian Downs, said land immediately south of the casino would never be developed without sewer services.

“This recommendation came as quite a shock to us,” Barber said. “We thought everything was on track for 2018. This is an important piece in our long-term development.”

Terry Geddes of developer Cortel Corp. called on council to “stay on track for 2018 and fulfill the commitment that was made to the community and the industry.”

Todd Pierce of Smart Centers, which has property at Innisfil Beach Road and 5 Sideroad, said a proposal for a hotel and gas station is totally dependent on sewer services.

“We’ve not had the traction to proceed but that changed when we told people there was a clear and concrete servicing solution,” he said.

Councillors told the landowners they want to service the lands but fear the $70-million price tag may be too high a price for the municipality to finance. The CAO’s report estimates the borrowing cost would be about $3.5 million a year to finance the project.

Councillor asked developers to contribute to the costs upfront instead of paying development charges to the town after buildings are constructed.

“You are asking the town to front end the infrastructure,” Coun. Richard Simpson said. “I’m not willing to put Innisfil in jeopardy to front end it. I won’t do it on the backs of our ratepayers.”

Coun. Bill Loughead also called on developers to pay for the infrastructure, saying attracting manufacturing/warehousing jobs to Innisfil is far from guaranteed.

“The future jobs are IT, university and college jobs — that’s what’s coming. We are not going to get manufacturing. They can’t even fill it in Barrie,” Loughead said. “I not going to do this at the risk of making Innisfil bankrupt. It’s just not worth it.”

The provincial government approved the employment lands on the grounds that the majority of businesses would bring manufacturing, processing or warehousing jobs.

Daurio lamented the fact the January 2015 report that gives Innisfil’s neighbours a competitive edge was never shown to council.

“We keep getting bits and pieces of information. We don’t get to see the whole picture,” he said. “I can’t roll the dice for $70 million. That could cost water users if we don’t populate the land in a reasonable period — 10 to 15 years rather than 30 years.”

While plans to build the sewer system remain on track with the tender process continuing, a motion calling for developers to provide up front funding will come to the April 20 council meeting.

The motion also calls on council to consider a recommendation to hire a consultant to prepare a market analysis study for the employment lands.

Orillia OPP arrest ‘boxcar’ suspect

Police have arrested a Hamilton man wanted in connection with crimes in Severn Township.

Gregory Boucher has been identified as a suspect in a number of occurrences in the north part of the township, including what police are describing as crimes against “persons and property.”

Orillia OPP had issued a statement and photo Monday night seeking the public’s assistance in locating Boucher.

Police said he was known to travel across the province by hopping aboard railway boxcars.  

Orillia OPP on Tuesday morning reported that Boucher had been located and arrested.

He is charged with trespassing by night, breaking and entering and assaulting police.

Stayner atom squad draws even in Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship

The Stayner Cyclones atom rep team has stormed back in their Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship against Belmont, winning games three and four to draw even in the series.

The atoms doubled Belmont 6-3 on the road, March 19. Ethan Westbrooke earned a hat trick, with Carter Westendorp scoring twice and Ethan Viscomi netting a single.


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In Game four in Stayner the next day, Westbrooke had another hat trick, as did Kaden Taggart, as the Cyclones defeated the visitors, 7-3.

Westendorp had the other marker for Stayner.

The Cyclones will be in Belmont on March 26 for game five. Should the teams play that game to a draw, the sixth and deciding game of the series will in Stayner on March 27.

Back in School!

On Monday, Principal Robert Harrison stood by the front door, welcoming students back to St. Marie of the Incarnation Catholic School.

For the past 6 and a half months, the St. Marie of the Incarnation student body has been accommodated at other Catholic elementary schools in Bradford, with 285 primary students attending St. Jean de Brebeuf, and another 245 students temporarily housed at St. Charles.

While they were in their temporary quarters, their school on Colborne St., built in 1975, was undergoing a makeover. The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board added 8 brand new classrooms, and remodelled the “pod”-style existing building, to create a new self-contained Kindergarten wing with 4 state-of-the-art classrooms, new Main Offices that have a clear view of the front doors, and a new Chapel, that will make it easier for students to live their faith.

“One of the things we wanted to do is to ensure the old and new areas meshed,” Principal Harrison says. Not only has the older portion of the school been repainted, in colours that match the new, construction included the introduction of wider hallways and connecting doors that tie the whole together.

Teachers and parents had a say in the re-design, which includes a new fully-equipped Special Education room, handicapped accessible washrooms, and study space. “There’s always been consultation with the community and teachers,” Harrison says – and the result is a building that feels entirely new and reimagined.

“You don’t get that feeling of ‘old building, new building’.”

St. Marie of the Incarnation School is currently at capacity, with 533 registered students. There are 12 portables on site, now sitting empty – but Harrison doesn’t expect that to last. With all the new homes now under construction in Bradford, and St. Marie the only Catholic school on the east side of Town, “we’re going to have an onslaught” of new students in the coming years, Harrison suggests.

While so much of the emphasis is on the “new”, there is one tradition that has been preserved. When “Marie of the Incarnation School” was built in 1975, medallions that had been blessed were incorporated into the concrete; this time around, the builder has also incorporated blessed medallions into the structure.

Greeting his students, and walking the new hallways, Principal Harrison notes, “It’s been a long journey, but definitely worth the wait.”