Family displaced after Elmvale house fire

An Elmvale family had to find somewhere else to sleep last night (Aug. 21) after a fire broke out in their home. Springwater Township Deputy fire Chief Jeff French said firefighters were called to the Nash Avenue home around 6:30 p.m. after a fire started in the kitchen area. “Four people were (home) at the time and two of them were treated for minor smoke inhalation,” French said. Crews were able to put the fire out and damage has been estimated at $75,000. French said the fire started as a result of an air fryer sitting on top of the stove. “The occupants have been displaced for now, due to extensive smoke that filled the house.”

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IT gets better in Essa Township

Parking tickets dropped on windshields via a bylaw officer’s mobile printer. Dog or wedding licences downloaded to your own computer. A new website. That’s the technological stuff that townships’ dreams are made of. A presentation made to council by Prasanna Gunasekera, of Perry Group Consulting, at the March 3 meeting set the wish list into the realm of reality. “He’s given us a suggested work plan of opportunities,” Lisa Lehr, manager of legislative services, said. “There was a lot contained in his strategy. Anything we do will modernize what we do (now).” Essa is currently spending 1.6 per cent of its budget, or $218,000 annually on its information technology (IT) budget. Gunasekera wants to see an infusion of funding into the town’s IT department of 0.9 per cent or $118,000 to bring it up to the base range of 2.5 per cent for most townships. The Perry Group counts local municipalities such as Bradford West Gwillimbury, Barrie, Innisfil and more than 100 more townships and cities on its client list. “What we have seen is a lot of paperwork that’s not adding too much value,” said Gunasekera. “Processing paper-based technology is not a good use of time. Paperless transitions are more efficient – you can do more with your time.” The provincial Municipal Modernization program allows municipalities to apply for a grant of $250,000 to upgrade their IT departments and electronic systems […]

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Toronto’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts get a shot in the arm from federal and provincial supply news

Toronto leaders welcomed a double dose of good news Friday that should speed up the of Torontonians against COVID-19. The federal government announced , with another 1.5 million doses set to arrive before the end of March, as well as approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Hours later the Ontario government , including a goal of giving a first shot to every Ontario adult by June 20, with extra vaccine flowing to COVID-19 hot spots including Toronto. That news followed concerns in recent days from Toronto Public Health chair Coun. Joe Cressy that the city was being shortchanged on vaccine by a per-capita plan that didn’t account for high COVID-19 levels and the city’s huge health-care worker population at elevated risk of infection. The Premier government’s new plan says some health units will receive “additional doses to also target ongoing hot spots with high rates of death, hospitalization and transmission,” while still prioritizing older residents. “Today’s update is an important and critical adjustment and will serve all of Ontario well going forward,” Cressy said in an interview. “With our nine , we can turn the lights on and go to work the minute supply is available,” delivering 120,000 doses a week, he said, a number that could be “significantly increased” if the clinics run around the clock. The city’s plan also has Torontonians getting vaccinated in hospitals, doctor&#82 […]

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One-day road closure coming up Aug. 17 in Beeton for pipeline project

A one-day road closure is coming up next week in Beeton to accommodate the water pipeline extension project to Tottenham. Dayfoot Street will be closed between Main Street and Prospect Street on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. while construction crews work in the area. If there is bad weather, the closure will be moved to Aug. 18. While driveways to homes are expected to remain accessible during the closure, workers will be on-site to co-ordinate traffic in the event there are any temporary closures or disruptions. Drivers are asked to obey all traffic signage during the closure. The $17.64-million project has been underway since June of last year and is still on schedule to be completed by December. The pipeline won’t be brought online until the spring of 2022. Earlier this summer, Collingwood council passed an interim control bylaw to freeze new development due to capacity issues at its water-treatment plant, which will supply the pipeline. While the two municipalities continue to discuss this issue behind closed doors, New Tecumseth has said this will not impact its plans to supply water to Tottenham. For more details, visit .

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Hefty fines were supposed to help enforce COVID-19 rules in Ontario. But almost a year into the pandemic few have been paid

Only 18 per cent of COVID-19 charges laid in Ontario since March last year had been dealt with by the justice system by the end of January, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fines outstanding nearly a year into the pandemic. Only 990 of the 5,584 charges laid since March 2020 had been dealt with — fines being paid, the charges withdrawn or another disposition — as of January 2021, according to data provided by the Ministry of the Attorney General. Just 100 of 1,027 Toronto charges had been dealt with in the same period. In fact, Toronto had the highest percentage of unresolved charges — 90 per cent — compared to all the other regions and compared to 82 per cent for the province overall. As of January, a total $469,839 in fines had been paid across the province, including $27,620 from Toronto. Hefty fines have been held up by provincial and other officials as a way to help enforce social distancing and other COVID-19 related rules. But a Star analysis of the data shows that few have been forced to pay since an emergency was first declared last year. Though thousands of fines were handed out across the province, the vast majority of people have not yet faced any consequences. “It’s a question of priorities,” said John Struthers, president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, who added that provincial courts that deal with these offences are not running at full steam in the midst of pandemic. “Many people mi […]

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