Ontario reports 650 new COVID cases and nearly 200 in hospital, the most since Step 3 reopening

Ontario is reporting another 650 cases and two more deaths, released Friday morning. Ontario has administered 45,748 , with 20,386,811 vaccines given in total as of 8 p.m. the previous night. According to the, 10,686,526 people in Ontario have received at least one shot. That works out to approximately 82.0 per cent of the eligible population 12 years and older, and the equivalent of 71.9 per cent of the total population, including those not yet eligible for the vaccine. The province says 9,700,285 people have completed their vaccinations, which means they’ve had both doses. That works out to approximately 74.4 per cent of the eligible population 12 years and older, and the equivalent of 65.3 per cent of the total population, including those not yet eligible for the vaccine. The province is now including new data that reflects. Ontario is warning that the new process may cause discrepancies between other hospitalization numbers being collected using a different process, and that the data may not match daily COVID-19 case counts. The province’s new data reports 426 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in unvaccinated people, 64 were partially vaccinated, and 103 cases in fully vaccinated people. Again, the province warns the data may not match daily COVID case counts because records with a missing or invalid health card number can’t be linked. The seven-day average is at 518 cases daily, or 24.9 weekly per 100,000. Ontario’s seven-day average for deaths is at […]

Read More

Doug Ford urged to create a vaccine passport before the fourth wave hits

A sharp rise in Ontario’s COVID-19 cases has business groups turning up the heat on Premier Doug Ford to implement a program. Concerned a fourth wave this fall could force a return to public health restrictions with more than 4 million Ontarians still unvaccinated — including kids under 12 not yet eligible — passport advocates maintain the best defence is a good offence. “The last thing anyone wants is to be shut down but that’s what will happen if we don’t use every tool in the tool kit,” Ontario Chamber of Commerce President Rocco Rossi said Monday. “It’s about mitigating risk as much as possible. We’re going to be living with this for a while.” A vaccine passport or certificate program would allow restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theatres, sport and concert venues and other non-essential operations to offer entry only to people who have been fully vaccinated or have a recent negative test result for COVID-19. It makes even more sense now that Canada began allowing fully vaccinated Americans with a negative test to enter the country at land border points on Monday, Rossi added. “The logic is essentially the same.” But it’s difficult for individual businesses to develop and implement their own systems so governments need to take the lead, preventing a cumbersome patchwork that could leave some open to protests and challenges, said Ryan Mallough of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (C […]

Read More

Ontario’s civil servants will have to be fully vaccinated or face regular testing

Ontario’s civil servants and political staff will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — or face regular testing — under a new policy for returning to their workplaces this fall. A memo sent to the 64,000 members of the Ontario Public Service (OPS) on Thursday said anyone refusing to be vaccinated without a valid medical reason must attend an educational session in addition to getting regularly tested for COVID-19. The directive follows Premier Doug Ford’s setting a similar standard for health-care, nursing home and educational workers with a deadline of Sept. 7 for implementation. “Employees will be required to confirm full vaccination against COVID-19. All vaccinated Ontarians have been provided with confirmation of their vaccination status,” said Thursday’s memo from Deborah Richardson, deputy minister of the Treasury Board Secretariat. “This policy is part of our ongoing work to keep the approximately 31,000 employees who are working in-person safe, and to support the safe, graduated and flexible return to OPS workplaces over the next two months for those who have been working remotely.” The cabinet minister who serves as president of the Treasury Board said Ford’s Progressive Conservative government “fully supports” the move. “I want to make it clear that the policy will also apply to ministers’ office and premier’s office staff,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, encouraging ci […]

Read More

Innisfil opens two cooling centres amid heat wave

In response to , Innisfil opened two cooling centres Aug. 11.  These are strictly for people in need of a safe space out of the heat, the town said in a media release. The facilities are air conditioned and free bottles of water are offered. There locations are:  • Innisfil ideaLAB & Library, Cookstown Branch, • Innisfil ideaLAB & Library, Lakeshore Branch, The cooling centres are open on Wednesday, Aug. 11, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Visitors will have to follow COVID-19 safety measures. Each visitor will have their own designated space, access to washrooms and hand sanitizer.  Residents can use Innisfil Transit to travel to Innisfil ideaLAB & Library’s Lakeshore Branch for the flat rate of $4. All other trips will receive $4 off the fare. In addition, the Town of Innisfil provides discounted fares for low-income households. For more information please visit .

Read More

‘I’m not a litigious person’: West-end Collingwood residents prepare for land tribunal hearing

A west-end Collingwood resident feels let down by the town and the planning process as he and his neighbours prepare for the next round at the province’s land planning tribunal. Chris Krolow says the residents in the neighbourhood known as The Forest have put thousands of dollars into legal and planning fees battling a residential project that will abut their properties. “If I had known a subdivision was going behind my home, I would not have bought the house,” he said. “If anyone is supposed to know about the developments (underway), the real estate agents should, and if the agents can’t figure it out, how is the town supposed to expect residents to even know what’s going on? “I’m not a litigious person, I hate that kind of thing. It just eats up time, money and energy.” The history of Huntingwood Trails goes back nearly a decade, after council, in 2012, turned down an application for what was proposed as a 437-unit development. In 2014, the Ontario Municipal Board approved a settlement deal between the town and the developer that would allow a 179-unit project and see 36 hectares of the 49-hectare Huntingwood Trails project turned over to the municipality as environmentally-protected property. However, the developer didn’t file a zoning bylaw amendment and plan of subdivision until just before a five-year window he was granted closed. After the town informed the developer the file would be closed, the developer res […]

Read More

‘It is going to force discussion’: Rama CAO on Chief Island restrictions

Chippewas of Rama First Nation is taking steps to protect Chief Island with twin pieces of legislation that aim to lessen the environmental impacts of boat traffic and preserve the integrity of lands the community considers sacred. Rules now in effect limit the number of boats allowed to moor in the bay, while also authorizing Rama bylaw, security or police to issue tickets to those mooring or accessing the island without a permit. “It’s going to definitely deter any partying that’s been going on in the past,” Dan Shilling, Rama’s chief administrative officer, told Simcoe.com. The band has had ongoing concerns with noise, drinking, and trespassing on the island, as well as waste left behind by boaters at the site that is home to sacred burial grounds. Shilling said Rama’s fire department over the years responded to “many emergencies” in the area of the island, which is located on Lake Couchiching. “How many times did we (respond) to somebody that got hurt or drunk and got hit by another Sea-Doo, drinking and partying in that area?” he said, adding that the cemetery had been targeted by vandals. Non-band members must now obtain a permit for mooring from the Rama Lands Department at a cost of $20 per boat per day, with a maximum of 80 permits issued daily. Non-members will be allowed to access the island for education or reconciliation purposes, accompanied by a Rama First Nation member who is knowledgeable about the i […]

Read More

OPP charge Orillia man in connection to opioid overdose of Wasaga man in 2020

Police have charged a person nearly a year after launching a criminal investigation into the death of a Wasaga Beach man who died from an opioid overdose. The OPP’s Huronia West detachment initiated the probe in late March of last year after a 31-year-old man died from a drug overdose. The victim was found without vital signs March 24, 2020, while officers responded to a call for service at a home on Mary Street in Wasaga Beach. Police have charged George Brazier, 52, of Orillia, with manslaughter. He is set to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Collingwood on March 16. Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact the OPP at or Crime Stoppers at (8477).

Read More

South Simcoe Police say someone drove into Lake Simcoe — again

A 31-year-old Innisfil man faces impaired driving charges after allegedly driving a vehicle into Lake Simcoe, South Simcoe Police Service said.  According to police, on Monday, Aug. 23 around 4:30 a.m., they were called to 10th Line and Purvis Street in Innisfil because a vehicle was in Lake Simcoe. Police said, when they arrived there was a water-soaked vehicle parked on the beach. A 31-year-old Innisfil man has been charged with operation while impaired and operation while impaired — excess blood alcohol.  His licence has been suspended for 90 days and his vehicle impounded for seven days. He was released from police custody with a future court date. Last week, South Simcoe Police Service charged a 23-year-old Springwater man with dangerous and impaired driving after he allegedly drove a vehicle into Lake Simcoe on Aug. 19. Since Friday, the South Simcoe Police Service have charged three others with impaired driving related offences.  Here is the roundup: On Sunday, Aug. 22, around 1:45 a.m., police said they were called to the area of 10 Sideroad and Innisfil Beach Road in Innisfil regarding an alleged hit and run rear-end collision. No one was injured. Police located the vehicle and the driver was arrested for impaired driving.  A 33-year-old woman from Etobicoke was charged with operation while impaired, operation while impaired — excess blood alcohol and dangerous operation. Her licence was suspended for 90 days and her vehicle […]

Read More

Simcoe County housing market is booming, says realtor board

People buying homes in Simcoe County — including Barrie and Orillia — are paying more and home sales are increasing, according to February statistics from Barrie and District Association of Realtors (BDAR). The jump in price and volume not only happened from last February, but even from January to February, the report noted. “This is in part due to seasonality, but the month-over-month sales activity growth within Barrie significantly outpaced the same growth between February 2020 and January 2020,” states the BDAR report. Across Simcoe County, 835 homes sold last month— which is 34 per cent more than the same time last year. The average house price was $744,944, which was 39.8 per cent greater than February 2020. In Barrie, 345 homes sold in February 2021 —  50 per cent more than last year, with an average price of was $709,987. This growth in volume was greater than all of Simcoe County. However, the price of homes in Simcoe County was up overall compared to last year. In Innisfil, 58 homes sold during February 2021, a drop compared to February last year. The average price sold for approximately $874,429 — which is a whopping 76.8-per-cent increase from a year ago. Orillia saw 69 residential units sold during February 2021, up from a year ago, with an average price of $619,435. Essa Township saw 40 homes sold last month, with an average cost of $771,033. This was 66.7 per cent more than the number of units sold during Febr […]

Read More

Court rejects former Tory MPP’s challenge of COVID-19 lockdown measures

A former Progressive Conservative MPP’s challenge of some COVID-19 lockdown restrictions imposed by Premier Doug Ford has been dismissed in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice. The court found Roman Baber, who now sits as the Independent MPP for York Centre, did not meet the legal test for “public standing” to pursue the case. “With our greatest respect to the court, we believe the court erred,” Baber said Friday. A lawyer by training and a prominent member of Toronto’s Russian Jewish community, Baber under his own name and that of a group he incorporated called Lift The Lockdown. Baber said he is considering next steps. He launched the legal challenge in March, saying a limit of 50 people at outdoor gatherings at the time was “heavy-handed,” and violated Charter of Rights guarantees of free association and free expression in hampering the ability to “protest, pray and gather outdoors,” given lower risk of outdoor transmission of COVID-19. The case was heard by Justice J. Vella in May and a written decision was released this week. In part, it said Baber did not have a direct interest in the case, which alleges restrictions hampered activities at the Jewish Russian Community Centre at Rockford. “Mr. Baber does not attest that he is a member of the Jewish Orthodox faith and admits he does not follow the protocols which are at issue in this complaint,” Vella wrote. Baber was in January after he publicl […]

Read More