‘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 […]

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COVID-19 news: Simcoe-Muskoka just had its second-deadliest month of pandemic, but 50,000 vaccine shots given

Normally, crossing the 50,000-vaccine threshold could be seen as cause for celebration. But the milestone comes on the back of one of the deadliest months of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. As of March 7, about 49,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been administered throughout the Simcoe-Muskoka region, through a partnership between the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. An additional 1,000 shots have been given by staff from Newmarket’s Southlake Regional Health Centre to health-care workers in southern Simcoe County municipalities. About 15,500 residents have received both required shots through the health unit agreement. The health unit reported an additional 121 cases of the virus March 8, in its first public update of statistics since Friday. And another death occurred recently — a sporadic case (not tied to an outbreak) involving a 69- to 79-year-old Simcoe County man — bringing the total number of residents to succumb to the virus to 190. The health unit says it recorded 31 fatalities in February — the second-highest monthly number over the last year. Eighty-eight deaths were counted in January. There are about 500 known active incidents, including 18 hospitalizations. Of Monday’s cases, 46 are in Barrie. New Tecumseth (14), Bradford (13), Huntsville (11), Essa and Innisfil (seven), Severn, Springwater and Tay (four each), Midland and Wasaga Beach (three each), Peneta […]

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How 3 Canadian workplaces are planning for return to the office

A number of Canadian workplaces are preparing to launch their back-to-the-office plans for the near future, pending news about the rise in COVID-19 cases and the prevalent Delta variant. While each business or organization is planning for an environment that uniquely suits their needs, the one common denominator is that work life certainly will not be the same as it was pre-pandemic. Here are back-to-the office models for three Canadian workplaces that are either based in or have offices in Ontario. mdf commerce Business type: Technology, Software as a Solution (SaaS) Back-to-the-office model: Hybrid with collaborative spaces Timeline: Mid-September (tentative) At the start of the pandemic, mdf commerce employees were adjusting to work changes through a lens of emergency. But as the months rolled on, not only were employees more comfortable with navigating between home and in-office work in between lockdowns, they were actually starting to enjoy it, Luc Filiatreault, president and CEO of mdf commerce, said. He said the question then became: how would the company do this long term? Mdf commerce’s tentative back-to-work model will be a fair, predictable and flexible hybrid model with decisions made at a team level regarding the days they will book office space and the days team members will work from home. Filiatreault noted that in-office work spaces will be collaborative and shared, rather than assigned, so teams will have to reserve the real estate they need. &ldq […]

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Justin Trudeau makes surprise campaign stop at downtown Barrie pub

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made a quick campaign stop at a popular downtown Barrie pub Aug. 17, bumping elbows and taking photos with patrons. Trudeau, who called an election less than two years into his minority federal government, surprised some patrons when he appeared at the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery on Dunlop Street at about 4 p.m. Linda Stephens said it was “nice to meet” Trudeau, who spoke with her for a few minutes as she was enjoying a beer and some wings. “Regardless of who you support, it’s still historic when a prime minister comes to your community,” she said. “It was an opportunity to address concerns and ask questions.” Stephens said she was pleased there were no hecklers at the campaign stop, which she has seen through the media at other public appearances by Trudeau. “I think there is a way to do things respectively and still have your voice heard,” she said. “It was nice to have a picture with him and have a few words.” Trudeau enjoyed a can of Flying Monkey’s beer as he made the rounds, toasting some of the patrons. Campaign workers for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte Liberal candidate Tanya Saari held signs just outside the pub, while signs supporting Conservative candidates Doug Shipley and John Brassard were visible on the patio at the Queen’s Hotel directly across the street.

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Martin Regg Cohn: Doug Ford helped create a crisis for Ontario’s universities. Now it’s up to him to save them

Bleeding cash, Ontario’s universities are begging for a $500 million cash infusion to stay alive during COVID-19. Cry me a river, you say. Everyone is hurting and many are dying in mid-pandemic. The ivory tower high in the sky may be bottom of the list for heartbreak stories that command public attention — and, in turn, catch the eye of politicians in power. But government never fails to surprise us — for better or for worse, in good times and bad. If $500 million sounds like a lot, consider this unexpected good news from a normally hard-nosed, hard-hearted, hard-headed politician: “The need is real and it is urgent,” the , proceeding to announce precisely that amount in emergency funding just last week, just in time: “They need ongoing operating funding in 2021 and it’s important that we step up and provide more financial relief,” he continued, because the government’s “partners are on the front lines.” Oh wait — wrong ministry, different constituency. Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark wasn’t talking about those universities in need but the municipalities he minds — meaning all those politically connected mayors (yes he was one, once). University presidents aren’t quite so well represented at the cabinet table. Nor do university students — confined to quarters amid COVID-19 — wield the same political clout. But if Ford’s Tories can find a cool $500 million for mun […]

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‘It’s going to be healthier food’: Orillia Lighthouse chef

Dollars dished out by the Ontario Trillium Foundation will support a program that provides nourishment to some of Orillia’s most vulnerable residents. A grant of more than $149,000 will go toward kitchen equipment, the dining room and staffing for’s community meal program at its new community services and supportive housing project. “This grant has allowed needed renovations to be made to accommodate the increase in meal distribution to the community by five times the amount we were able to distribute in our previous facility,” said Lynn Thomas, development and communications manager. Located on Queen Street East, The Lighthouse project features an emergency shelter for men, women and youths, a café and commercial kitchen, and supportive housing where residents experiencing chronic homelessness can stay for up to four years. Included in the recent grant is money for kitchen equipment such as a refrigerator and baking oven, as well as funding for additional cook staff to assist the chef and kitchen manager to organize the meal program for its inaugural year. Chef and food services manager Stu Stark said the new facilities represented a “step up” from the operation that previously served residents through The Lighthouse’s former location on Peter Street South. “It’s going to be better food, it’s going to be healthier food, it’s going to be more nutritious,” said Stark. The money came from the Ontario […]

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“It was surreal:” $1 million lottery ticket sold in Collingwood

With a $1 million lottery win, Nottawa’s David Schnurr is dreaming of a post-pandemic vacation The 61-year-old public servant won the prize in the Feb. 26, 2021 LOTTO MAX MAXMILLIONS draw after buying the winning ticket at NH124 Variety on Poplar St., Collingwood. Schnurr told OLG he plays the lottery occasionally and always gets the Quick Picks.  “I stopped at the gas station on my way home from work to pick up pop for my wife and decided to purchase some tickets,” he said. Schnurr’s wife checked his tickets a few days later using the OLG Lottery App.  “I heard my wife scream my name saying we won,” he said. “In her excitement, she thought we won $100,000. I came to see for myself, expecting to be disappointed, then double checked my numbers to those online. It was surreal” Schnurr said this win will enhance his retirement. “When the pandemic is over, we would like to take a nice trip – maybe somewhere tropical or in a camper with our dogs somewhere,” he said. “It feels like I’m in another place. I keep waiting to turn a corner and go back to normal. Seriously – I just won a million dollars?” he concluded. 

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Here’s what ‘long COVID’ clinics do to help Ontarians with lasting symptoms

Francine Power had been living with symptoms of “long COVID” for 11 months before she was able to get help. Presently, as per doctor’s orders, her days consist of prioritizing how she will use her energy to prevent a future crash. “I can’t physically do everything I need to do as a single mom,” she said. “You just have to pick and choose what you can.” The Oshawa resident initially contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, but was denied testing due to the stringent criteria at the time. But the virus never seemed to go away. Rather, for Power, it continued to evolve into dozens of other symptoms in the months that followed — symptoms that doctors initially shrugged off as GERD, anxiety or depression. Finally, after being hospitalized more than eight times for an elevated heart rate — and dealing with other long-lasting symptoms, including chest pain, coughing, dizziness, extreme fatigue, brain fog, headaches — Power has now been referred to two long COVID clinics. Several long COVID clinics are opening across the province in the coming weeks, in addition to the few that already exist. Currently, those who are experiencing symptoms can access clinics through certain hospital systems, such as University Health Network (UHN), or can opt to attend private programs through specific physiotherapy and rehabilitation organizations. Dr. Angela Cheung is a physician scientist and general internist at UHN who is co-leading the […]

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Ontario revises gathering guidelines, moves three regions into more restrictive framework level

Three regions of the province will move into more restrictive levels of the COVID-19 framework next week, the Ontario government has announced. The province will also introduce new capacity guidelines for certain types of gatherings.  At 12:01 a.m. on March 15, Lambton Public Health will move from the red-control zone to the grey-lockdown zone, Northwestern Health Unit will move from the yellow-protect zone to the red-control zone and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will move from the green-prevent zone to the yellow-protect zone.  These changes follow the activation of an “emergency brake” in the Public Health Sudbury and Districts region that moved the area into the grey zone on Friday. “The latest modelling suggests we are at a critical stage in our fight against this devastating virus, and that the actions we take now will help ensure people stay safe,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health in an emailed statement. “As we near completion of Phase 1 and prepare to rollout Phase 2 of our vaccine distribution plan next month, we urge everyone to continue following all public health measures and advice to help prevent further transmission and protect our health system capacity.” New capacity levels for weddings, funerals and religious services, rites or ceremonies in grey-lockdown zones will also take effect on March 15. Under the new guidelines, these gatherings will be limi […]

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15 clinics in Toronto vaccinate high-priority groups with appointments this weekend

Toronto is working with city hospitals and community health-care partners to administer doses at 15 clinics to high-priority people with confirmed appointments this weekend. High-priority groups in Ontario include people 80 years and older; high-priority health-care workers; Indigenous adults; adults who get chronic home care; and staff, residents and caregivers at senior congregate settings, such as retirement homes. As of Saturday evening 197,155 vaccine doses had been administered in Toronto. held two clinics Saturday to vaccinate about 1,000 people, including hospital and community-based health-care workers, people 80 years and older, those living in congregate settings and in shelters, and Indigenous adults. It also held two clinics on Friday for these groups. Downtown public research and teaching hospital held a mobile clinic Saturday to vaccinate hospital workers. Between three clinics and a mobile clinic on Friday, it vaccinated 1,100 hospital health-care workers and patients and community members who are 80 years and older. In addition, the mobile clinic vaccinated long-term-care residents and staff, people 65 and older living in congregate settings and people living in shelters. , with East Toronto Health Partners held a clinic Saturday and will hold another on Sunday. Saturday’s plan was to deploy teams to a primary care setting to vaccinate approximately 837 people. Those vaccinated will be from the same priority groups targeted at two clinics held Friday. T […]

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