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Stayner student has winning doodle in school board art contest

A Clearview Meadows student has doodled her way to a top prize for her class.

The Simcoe County District School Board will be recognizing 15 winners who have been selected from more than 1,000 entries to the Doogle4SCDSB contest.

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The contest was modelled after the popular Doodle 4 Google competition.

Clearview Meadows Grade 6 student Sophia Vermilyea placed first in the Grade 6 to 8 category.

Kindergarten students to adult learners were encouraged to create a doodle that told the world “What makes me unique” using the letters SCDSB. The doodles could be made from any material: crayons, clay, graphic design, even food and video games. The submissions included an artist’s statement that explained the art piece.

First place artwork from each grade grouping will be featured on the cover of the 2016-17 SCDSB student agenda, and their classroom will receive $1,400 to support the arts. Classrooms of second-prize winners receive $400 for creative projects, and third place winners will get art supply bundles from Brault & Bouthillier Canada and Baldwin School Supply.

“We were inspired by the creativity and spirit of our students. It was a real challenge to choose winners from over 1,000 entries,” says Jamila Monahan, Itinerant Resource Teacher, Arts K-12. “This contest sparks student creativity and helps kids tap into their inner artists to represent who they are in a doodle.”

The winners will be honoured at a special presentation at the SCDSB Education Centre on April 13.

Meaford Tim Hortons celebrates 20 years

It has been two decades of double doubles and Timbits in Meaford.

Meaford Tim Hortons celebrated its 20th anniversary on March 17. The popular restaurant marked the milestone with cake and draws for prizes throughout the day.

Jim and Cheryl Fewster started the restaurant 20 years ago and continue to operate the franchise today.

“It was a brand new building and everything,” Cheryl explained. “We were living in Owen Sound at the time, we kept coming over in the winter to get applications and check the progress. It was winter time and one night we slept at the arena after all the roads were closed.”

Fewster said her husband Jim operated a service station in Owen Sound at the time. They decided to sell that business and were interested in a Tim Hortons franchise.

“We had researched it and Tim Hortons was a good franchise. They were building a new one in Meaford and offered it to us. Owen Sound and Collingwood were all taken,” she said. “Here we are 20 years later.”

At the time, the Fewsters had three small children and a year after opening the store Cheryl said she talked her sister Donna into coming to Meaford to work at the store – 19 years later they continue to work with each other.

Over the years the Fewsters have seen a lot of changes at Tim Hortons.

“Twenty years ago they had just started with bagels. At the time it was pretty much coffee, doughnuts, muffins and then bagels,” she said. “The biggest change has been the amount of products we offer. It’s amazing.”

A Tim Hortons restaurant now features full breakfast and lunch options, multiple kinds of hot and cold drinks and a wide array of baked items.

Two decades after opening the store, Fewster still loves operating the business.

“My customer loyalty and support has been the biggest thing. I couldn’t have done it for 20 years without them,” she said. “And my staff. We have great staff here. We have a lot of long-term staff and I try to make it fun. We have a good group. I always joke I will be in here working with my walker.”

In addition to new menu items the Meaford store has seen a number of changes. At one time, one half of the store was a sealed off separate smoking section. A few years ago the store was also extensively re-modeled.

Pharmacy robber arrested

COLLINGWOOD – A man faces a charge of robbery with violence connected to an incident at Stuart Ellis IDA Sunday afternoon.

Just before 2 p.m., OPP say a man entered the Hurontario Street pharmacy, told an employee he had a gun and requested narcotics medication. He obtained it and fled, police say.

Police got a description of the man, and later that evening he was spotted by an officer patrolling Birch Street, near Sixth Atreet.

A 26-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested and charged. He was held for a bail hearing in Barrie.

Woman struck Thursday night

A woman suffered minor injuries when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing a Barrie intersection on Thursday night.

Just after 8 p.m., the 22-year-old was hit near the waterfront. She was taken to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre with minor injuries.

City police say the driver didn’t see the woman crossing the road. He had been turning left from Bradford Street onto Tiffin Street, heading toward Lakeshore Drive.

A 40-year-old Barrie man was charged with not making a safe turn under the Highway Traffic Act. 

Barrie mayor says budget could mean more infrastructure projects

More infrastructure built for less money spent could be Barrie’s bottom line from Tuesday’s federal budget.

It offers $120 billion for new roads, bridges, building, pipes, etc. in Canadian communities during the next decade. This is about twice the commitment of the previous Conservative government.

The Liberals are also offering to pay half the cost of approved projects, instead of the normal one-third while sharing the bill with municipalities and provinces.

“Yes, that’s a huge change,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “In addition to the increased funding, it also shows the federal government recognizes there needs to be a direct relationship with municipalities in terms of funding infrastructure.”

Lehman said this probably means Barrie can get more infrastructure projects done, depending on federal approval, although Ottawa has balanced the program another way.

“The commitment is rear-end loaded ie. there is more funding in the ‘out years’ of the 10- year plan,” Lehman said. “Given the size of the deficit they are forecasting, I can see why.”

The Liberals have projected a $29.4-billion deficit in 2016-17, followed by a $29-billion shortfall the following year and almost $23 billion in 2018-19.

During the next five years, Tuesday’s budget shows $113.2 billion in red ink, including a $14.3 billion shortfall for 2020-21 – after the next scheduled federal election.

Last year’s Liberal election campaign contained promises of ‘modest deficits’, no more than $10 billion during the course of their mandate, and balanced books by 2019-20.

While that has fallen by the wayside, infrastructure spending remains a key component of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to spur the Canadian economy.

Lehman said Barrie has its wish list ready.

“We submitted a series of priority projects, including a number of projects to clean up Lake Simcoe, a while ago,” he said. “There were also several road projects and fleet replacement and accessibility retrofits for transit.

“But we’ve really been waiting for this budget so we could know what is eligible.”

Lehman has said this list could include pipes and road repair, but also critically needed capacity such as the south-end arterial roads and Highway 400 interchanges.

The federal investments would focus on three areas: public transit, social infrastructure such as affordable housing and seniors centres, and green projects like clean energy infrastructure.

Barrie has an affordable housing strategy, which encourages the development of more housing, provides financial incentives, protects existing housing stock and discourages condo conversion. Its goal is to build 600 new affordable housing units during the next decade.

There is also a third partner in the infrastructure program – the provincial government.

“Given the strong relationship between the two governments, I can’t imagine they won’t (be involved),” Lehman said.

The Ontario government is also getting its fiscal house in order.

Its recent budget forecast eliminates the deficit in 2017-2018, along with shrinking the deficit in the years to come.

For 2015–16, the deficit is expected to be $5.7 billion or $2.8 billion lower than projected.

The provincial government is projecting a deficit of $4.3 billion in 2016–17, and a balanced budget in 2017–18 – while continuing to make investments that stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

All of which means the Ontario government should be able to pay its share of the infrastructure program.

It also means Barrie could reduce the gap on what it spends annually on infrastructure renewal – about $30 million – and what it should be spending, closer to $80 million.

The federal Liberals claim their budget will create 100,000 jobs and boost national economic growth, as measured by gross domestic product, by half a percentage point per year – a huge increase on a $2 trillion economy.

With files from The Canadian Press

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New Horseshoe eatery focuses on great steaks

Steaks are sizzling at Horseshoe Resort’s newly opened Inn Steakhouse.

“We’re serving up a great new dining option for area residents and visitors,” says Horseshoe Resort executive chef Dylan Tulloch.


Opened in December, the Inn Steakhouse features a renovated country resort-style interior and replaces the more formal Silks restaurant.

“It’s been a fun transition for us,” explains the chef. “The Inn Steakhouse offers a much more approachable dining style (than Silks). You can come in for a drink by the fire and then head into the dining room for a fabulous steak dinner.”

Triple-A certified Canadian farm-raised Black Angus beef steaks are the main attraction. “Whether it’s prime rib, striploin or a tenderloin — you are going to get a great cut of meat,” says Tulloch. “To wash it all down, you’ll also get a decent bottle of wine at a reasonable price.”

Beyond steaks, a full range of entrees including fish, chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes are on offer, not to mention fresh salads and tasty appetizers.

“There’s something on the menu for everyone,” he says.

So what makes a great steak?

“A few things,” says Tulloch.  

“If you start with a great cut of meat with good marbling and a great flavour profile, you won’t need to do much to it.”

In short, simplicity is best.

“Most of our steaks are only seasoned with salt and pepper,” he adds.

As for the chef’s personal menu recommendation?

“I’d go for the 12-ounce striploin steak with a cabernet sauce and some crispy fire onions on top, served with a side of fresh vegetables, along with a smoked cheddar and potato terrine. It’s beautiful!”

In between the steak, he’d start with a wedge salad and finish off with either cherry cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding.

On a final note, Tulloch says the Inn Steakhouse “is open for all diners — not just for skiers and golfers, or our hotel guests. We want everyone to come in and enjoy it.”

The Inn Steakhouse at Horseshoe Resort is at 1101 Horseshoe Valley Rd W., Barrie. For more information, call 705-835-2790 or visit

For more food stories by Katherine Elphick, check out the latest edition of GoodLife magazine.

Company looking to develop Strawberry Island revisiting original plans

It appears the company that wants to develop Strawberry Island is heading back to the drawing board.

Sitting as committee-of-the-whole, Simcoe County councillors received an information report from staff indicating TAG Development (formerly Trans American Group) requested the county hold the file in abeyance. Correspondence received from the proponent indicated TAG would like to modify the proposal for Strawberry Island to a “reduced scale.”

That was music to the ears of one person who has fought the development since the beginning.

“It’s a huge relief because right from the start, we thought this development can’t be so big,” said Pam Fulford, who heads the Friends of Strawberry Island organization.

The issue transferred to county council last summer, after Ramara Township council gave its approval to Official Plan Amendment 18, which would see Strawberry Island designated partially "island accommodation" and partially "natural area protection," paving the way for up to 80 residential units. At the time, Ramara Mayor Basil Clarke indicated it was in the best interest of the township to pass the decision-making process onto the county, as final approval would rest with it anyway. If the amendment was denied and a trip to the Ontario Municipal Board was needed, the burden would fall more so onto the upper tier of government.

The amendment record received from Ramara was deemed complete by county staff Sept. 18, giving the county 180 days under the Planning Act to make a decision. Before that time frame expired March 16, the abeyance was requested.

One of the main reasons the proposal could be redesigned was the contents of a letter sent to the county on the file by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority last month. That letter indicated, in the authority’s view, the plan as submitted conformed to neither the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan nor the Provincial Policy Statement.

“We’re on the positive side of things,” Fulford said. “We’re going to be keeping a very vigilant watch on what goes on and try to make sure that the public has some input in the process in the future.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, Clarke sought assurance his township would have some say on what any future proposal looks like as well. He also wondered how long the proponent could sit on the proposal before the file is closed.

“There’s really no specified time frame,” said Dave Parks, director of planning, development and tourism for the county. “We would look for them to move quickly … We hope to have some discussions in the next few months, but they can’t linger this thing on for years and years. One way or the other, they have to let us know.”

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