‘Freedom to be yourself’: Innisfil unveils intersex-inclusive Pride crosswalk

Innisfil Pride president Jake Tucker wishes symbols of inclusivity like the newly installed Pride crosswalk in Innisfil Beach Park were around in his youth.  “If this had been something that was around when I was 13, 14 years old, I feel like it would have been a lot easier,” he said. “A lot of people come here from Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, everywhere, and for them to be able to see it, cross it, they will see that we’re inclusive, we’re accepting. Everybody is welcome.”  The intersex-inclusive Pride flag crosswalk was unveiled at the entrance of the park Aug. 11. “We’re excited to celebrate a milestone in the history of our town as we reveal the first intersex-inclusive Pride crosswalk in Simcoe County, and what we believe to the first intersex-inclusive Pride crosswalk in Canada,” said Mayor Lynn Dollin.  The flag design, by Valentino Vecchietti, incorporates a purple circle against a yellow background, which are the colours of the intersex flag. It includes the red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple bands of the traditional Pride flag. A chevron on the left side includes the white, light pink and light blue of the transgender Pride flag, along with brown and black to represent Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities, as well as individuals living with or who have died of AIDS.  Jennifer Murley, community engagement co-ordinator with the Innisfil ideaLAB and Library, sai […]

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Stayner residents on Sunnidale Street face $33,000 bill for new sewers

Sunnidale Street residents will be looking at a bill of more than $33,700 each as the township moves ahead with sewers to serve the south-west corner of Stayner. In a special council meeting Aug. 18, Watson and Associates consultant Gary Scandlon outlined the financing for the infrastructure project that will help bring sewers to the 80-unit Manortown Homes development on the south side of Highway 26. The $7.8-million work includes a sewer main that would run east along Sunnidale Street to the Manortown property. From Manortown, a pumping station would send sewage back westward through a forcemain, where it would connect to the Stayner sewer system just east of Phillips Street. Pipes on Phillips Street require upsizing, the cost of which would be paid for by the township. The development and municipality would shoulder the lion’s share of the costs. However, existing residents and two businesses on Highway 26 would also be required to share the expense. The township will host a virtual public information centre, likely in September, to gather input on the project and take questions. The municipality should also expect to have more information by that time on options for Sunnidale Street residents on the terms of how they can pay for their share of the costs of the sewer works. The options could include offering a loan with potential terms of 15 to 20 years for residents unable to pay the full amount upfront. The good news for existing residents is they won’t be re […]

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Clearview council backs idea of preserving community halls

Clearview Township council has committed itself to saving all six of the municipality’s community halls. One way or another. Municipal councillors have held two meetings in recent weeks to discuss the future of four of the halls — Nottawa, Sunnidale, Brentwood and Avening — and the range of options to bring the buildings into compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act by 2025. At a special meeting Aug. 5 to review options for the halls in Brentwood and Avening, Deputy Mayor Barry Burton set the path with a motion, in principle, to fund the required modifications to bring the community meeting places up to AODA standards. “I think we need to fix them all,” he said. “We are a township of various communities, and each community is different in its own way, important in its own way, and I think we would have a hard time favouring some halls over others.” It would cost approximately $5 million based on a “modified” scope of renovations to bring the halls in line with accessibility requirements. The costs do not include other renovations such as fire safety and electrical upgrades. The township currently has $1.5 million in reserves for community halls. Treasurer Kelly McDonald said that, based on a 20-year amortization, the municipality would be looking at a $400,000 annual payment to a debenture that would cover the cost of upgrading the halls — or the equivalent of a 2.7 per cent increase in t […]

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Southern Georgian Bay OPP charges three drivers with impaired driving

A 22-year-old Tay Township man is facing impaired-driving charges and a drug charge following an incident in Midland on Aug. 12. A Southern Georgian Bay OPP officer on patrol at 3:30 a.m. observed a possible impaired driver in a King Street parking lot. According to police, the officer followed the driver and stopped the vehicle on Bay Street. A search of the vehicle was conducted and a substance believed to be cocaine was seized. A Tay Township man has been charged with operation while impaired, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, taking a motor vehicle without consent and possession for the purpose of trafficking. The accused was released on a promise to appear in court in Midland on Sept. 23. On Aug. 12 at 9:27 p.m., an officer on patrol in Midland stopped a vehicle on Heritage Drive for a driving violation. A Penetanguishene resident was charged with operation while impaired and with a speeding offence. The accused was released from police custody and is slated to appear in court in Midland on Aug. 26. At 12:58 a.m. on Aug. 7, the OPP communication centre received a call from a concerned citizen reporting a possible impaired driver in a County Road 93 parking lot in Midland. Officers located the vehicle and spoke to the driver. An ensuing impaired-driving investigation led police to charge a Mississauga man with impaired operation. The accused is scheduled to appear in court in Midland on Aug. 26.

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Rama blazes a trail with community-owned cannabis shop

Chippewas of Rama First Nation have entered Ontario’s emerging cannabis market with a community-owned and staffed retail store. Chief Ted Williams said the shop’s recent opening marked a new milestone for the band.   “Rama First Nation has historically demonstrated a willingness to travel new paths in entrepreneurship,” Williams said. “We are happy to have 18 community members employed and training in a new industry.” is located on Rama Road, near the casino, in a new building designed by Orillia architect Roderick H. Young. Touted as a luxury retail experience, the store’s offerings include edibles, vape liquids, oils, and topicals, with products aimed at both cannabis connoisseurs and first-timers, the band said. Due to the pandemic, access to the store will be restricted to a few customers at a time with COVID-19 protocols in place. “We’re very mindful about the health and safety of our community, particularly because we are a First Nation,” said general manager Tracy Beaver. “We’re taking every precaution possible to keep our community safe and protect our employees.” Beaver said the store was envisioned as a destination shopping experience. “Our Budmasters and Budtenders are trained to provide whatever level of service the customer is looking for,” she added. Plans are in place for several Budmasters to earn accreditation as cannabis sommeliers by the end of the year, Beaver sa […]

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Pride crosswalk to be unveiled at Innisfil Beach Park

A new symbol in Innisfil will serve as a reminder that you are free to be proud of who you are.  A Pride crosswalk, a symbol of inclusivity, will be unveiled Aug. 11 at Innisfil Beach Park. Mayor Lynn Dollin and Jake Tucker, co-founder of Innisfil Pride, will give official remarks. Located beside the front gate of the park, the crosswalk sends the message that you can walk proudly in Innisfil knowing that you have the freedom to be yourself.  In the summer of 2021, Innisfil Pride and the Innisfil ideaLAB and Library received permission to use Valentino Vecchietti’s design to paint one of Innisfil’s most popular destinations with colours of inclusivity. It updates the traditional rainbow flag to show the diversity of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. Representatives from the Town of Innisfil, including Dollin, members of council and municipal staff, and representatives from Innisfil Pride and UPlift Black will be there.   For more information, visit . 

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Today’s coronavirus news: Nearly 20,000 Quebec residents vaccinated on Friday; Ontario reports 990 new infections and six virus-related deaths; U.S. Senate greenlights $1.9T virus relief bill

The latest news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available. 8:30 p.m.: U.S. Covid-19 cases increased by about 65,000 Friday, in a week in which new infections declined by 12%. Many states are pressing ahead with reopening — and Senate passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill sets the stage for added support to the economy. But cases and hospitalizations remain high, falling just recently to the levels of the surge last summer. Deaths remain well above that level. Hospitalizations in New York, the state with the highest levels in the U.S., fell to less than 5,000 for the first time since early December. The U.K. is expanding its vaccination program, a signal that it is on track to meet its targets, with about 1.7 million people aged 56 to 59 invited to book an inoculation, the National Health Service said on Sunday. More than 80% of people between 65 and 69 took up the offer. Those aged 50 to 55 are set to be invited shortly. The European Union will ask the U.S. to authorize the export of millions of doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine to the bloc, the Financial Times reported Saturday. 7:30 p.m.: Alberta’s chief medical health officer says there are 341 new COVID-19 cases in the province in the previous 24 hours, and one additional death. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says in a series of tweets that the new cases include 36 which are tied to virus variant of c […]

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‘It does not make sense today’: Wasaga residents step up fight against stored-energy project

A group of neighbours in Wasaga Beach’s west end are gearing up their campaign to fight an energy-storage project more than 50 kilometres from their homes. While TC Energy’s proposed project is west of Meaford, the company has plans to route its transmission cables along the lake bed of Georgian Bay and through a property at the end of Shore Lane, on its way to connect to Ontario’s energy grid in Stayner. In July, TC Energy to proceed on its plans to build a pumped storage facility, which includes using a portion of the 4th Canadian Division Training Centre property west of Meaford. Sara Beasley, a senior public affairs adviser for TC Energy, said the company still needs to “successfully complete rigorous and comprehensive environmental assessment processes to fully understand any potential environmental, health, social and economic impacts, as well as potential impacts on Indigenous or treaty rights or interests and to demonstrate that the proposed project will be in the public interest.” Save Georgian Bay, a citizens group that formed in opposition to the project, said it could have detrimental effects to habitat and wildlife and would cause water turbidity. In Wasaga Beach, signs opposed to the project have started to go up, as residents on the cul-de-sac brace for the immediate impact on their lives. “It’s a money-pumping machine,” said Gerard Dusastre, who lives just down the shoreline from TC Energy’s Wasaga Beach pr […]

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Ministry defers plans to rebuild Hwy. 26 intersection in Clearview to 2023

A plan to install traffic lights at the intersection of has been put off until at least 2023. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation had originally announced construction on road improvements and traffic signals would begin in 2021. However, the now identifies that project as scheduled for the 2023/24 budget year. Simi Ikotun, an issues management co-ordinator with the Ministry of Transportation, said planned project tendering and construction start dates are subject to change based on a number of factors, including changes in overall project schedules, and available capital funding “As a result, the timing for the delivery of some projects across the province, including the signalization of the (Hwy. 26/County Road 96) intersection were adjusted,” Ikotun said. “(The) MTO continues to identify this project as a priority for construction.” Ikotun said the ministry has completed the environmental assessment, and is finalizing the design for the intersection signalization project. She said the utility relocations required for the intersection work are anticipated to begin this fall. The County of Simcoe also has plans to install lights at the other end of . Christian Meile, the county’s director of transportation and engineering, says that work would likely coincide with the province’s project timeline. “The county is still in preliminary discussions regarding improvements to this intersection, including traffic signals,” he said. […]

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