Mayor's Message - April 15, 2018

Posted on Sunday April 15, 2018

Good Morning all, Bonjour

Well I guess my New Year’s resolution to not shovel snow in April is officially broken !  Personally, I do I hope that this is the last blast and that Mother Nature stops playing games on us. Sooner or later it has to warm up, spring will blossom and we can jump into our warm weather events. Until then floods and weather related issues are a concern and are quite common. Tips about emergency preparedness can be found at our County’s Emergency Management site

It is mid-month once again and time for my monthly Wardens message

Please find below my monthly summary of a very busy and newsworthy four weeks at the County, and a look at all the activity ahead of us for the next month:                 

For this month’s did you know (DYK), I’m sharing details about our recent investment in our area hospitals. Our County Council has stepped up once again with another significant investment in our area hospitals. In late March, we gathered with hospital CEOs to make our 15 year $45 million dollar investment official. This commitment will run from 2017 to 2031, but the County has a long history of funding our hospitals:



Including this $45 million investment, the County has committed $107 million over a 37-year period (1994-2031) to support area hospitals

Funding is not a County requirement, as it is a provincial responsibility, however,  these funds are not only a direct investment in quality health care for our residents but as well an investment in our local communities and our economy.

The funding is allocated by the Simcoe County Hospital Alliance (SCHA). The SCHA is comprised of the 7 area hospital CEO’s (Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, Georgian Bay General Hospital, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Stevenson Memorial Hospital and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care). Jane Sinclair, our General Manager of Health and Emergency Services also sits as a member.

The SCHA Funding Policy guides the funding process and was established to create a single and consistent point of contact and procedure for local hospitals to request capital funding from County of Simcoe municipalities and is intended to prevent duplicate or multiple requests coming to our municipalities.

Annual funding announcements will be made each year as dollar amounts are divided amongst the hospitals. A significant portion of the funds have been dedicated to supporting the redevelopment at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital as well as expansion/renovation efforts at Stevenson Memorial in Alliston


County News:


Age-Friendly Initiative Award

The Government of Ontario recently recognized our efforts to support communities, residents and organizations to adapt to our region’s aging population. We received the 2018 Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award, under the Community Recognition Category, for work completed on the Simcoe County Age-Friendly Community initiative. We released our Positive Aging Strategy in February 2018. The Strategy includes detailed planning framework and recommendations to support regional and municipal governments and businesses in building and strengthening age-friendly communities. We thank the Province for recognizing our vision and approach. For details on the Age-Friendly program visit

Support for SWIFT
The County recently supported a position paper produced by SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc. (SWIFT), regarding Ontario’s increasing digital divide and provided. The paper included an evidence-based case for continued investment in equitable access to ultra-high-speed broadband networks. In particular, the position paper highlighted broadband as a catalyst for innovation, economic prosperity, and global competitiveness. You can view the position paper at

County Ranks Second in Province in Residential Waste Diversion
We continue to be among the very best in the province when it comes to residential waste diversion. The County received second place out of all Ontario municipalities in the just released annual Productivity and Recovery Authority Datacall (Ontario's standardized waste reporting and calculation process) with a 60.7 per cent residential diversion rate for 2016. The County also placed first for diversion in the Urban Regional category. Kudos to our residents for helping us move the meter and increase our diversion rate. Remember, food is not garbage!! Use your organics bin for food waste and other items like tissues and paper coffee cups (no plastic lids).

Investment in Lakehead University
I was joined by fellow County Councillors for an investment announcement to Lakehead University. Our 2018 funding investment is $1 million, bringing the total amount of our contribution to $8.5 million since 2009. We have been extremely supportive of our Lakehead Orillia campus since its inception in 2006.  Our contributions have supported the growth of teaching, community service and research activities on campus, which can be seen through the successes of our students. A big thing for our Council is the fact that the space is creating local capacity for our students. In fact, Lakehead Orillia now has almost 1,300 students and approximately 45% are County residents.

Local Immigration Partnership – #ItStarts Campaign

I’m excited to announce that our Local Immigration Partnership will be working with regional partners to launch their second annual awareness campaign called #ItStarts, which will focus on raising awareness about diversity and multiculturalism in our communities. The program will run from April 23 to May 4 this year, and we will be rolling out the program over the next few weeks.


Community Connections Events

Through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we are hosting a series of community connection fairs in Barrie, New Tecumseth, and Bradford-West Gwillimbury for immigrant residents living in nearby communities.  These Community Connections for Immigrants has a special focus on connecting immigrants with Employment Ontario agencies which are eager to assist immigrants finding work in local communities.  Community Connections will also provide connections to other free relevant community services. The three events are at the following locations: We held our first event in Barrie on April 11 and we have two upcoming events at The Gibson Centre in Allison on April 17 and the Bradford Leisure Centre on May 1 – all events run from 4-8pm.


Upcoming Initiatives                                     


2018 Skilled Trades Expo
Just a reminder that we are calling for local businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs from the skilled trades to participate as exhibitors in the 2018 edition of the Simcoe Muskoka Skilled Trades Expo, being held Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Elmvale Community Arena. The 2018 event will feature two sessions: a student/school session for grades 7/8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a session geared for the general public from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. New this year, the evening event will feature a live Job Fair, which will provide participating businesses an opportunity to meet and interview skilled tradespeople during the event. It’s free to participate as an exhibitor and you can get on board by contacting our economic development office at 


Earth Day at the Simcoe County Museum

Join us on Earth Day (Sunday, April 22) at the Simcoe County Museum to learn about the awesome powers of the sun and much more. Experiment with the unseen light of the sun and learn how you can protect yourself from its powerful rays. Finish the day by harnessing the sun’s energy to cook a delicious treat. Visit for details on new exhibits and monthly activities.


Completed Meetings and Events:

The following is a few highlights from my County meetings over the last month. A formal list of meetings are presented to Council as part of the Warden’s Communications - available at


I contributed to a Food Security Framework Research Interview (to assist with the creation of a County-wide framework to alleviate food insecurity)


I was joined by staff to discuss a planning matter for the Mariposa Hospice Centre in Severn Township


I was joined by Mayor Lehman for the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus Signing Ceremony


I attended the LHIN Health Care Advisory committee meeting.


I was joined by staff and reps from the City of Orillia for the County Services Funding agreement


I went on a hard hat tour of the new Advanced Technology, Innovation & Research Centre at Georgian College. The County provided $5M towards this great project


I attended the Western Wardens meeting in London.


I met with Tiny Mayor George Cornell and Tiny Councillor Cindy Hastings and County staff to discuss the Teedon Pit expansion.


I met with Severn Township Deputy Mayor Judith Cox and Mayor Mike Burkett and County staff to discuss the Mariposa Hospice.


Media Interviews:

I completed a number of media interviews over the past month including a monthly chat with the Peak FM, two discussions with Sunshine Radio about green bin marketing, approximately 8 different interviews with our entire group of media partners about our hospital funding commitment and a Simcoe County feature on Rogers Orillia.



The Town is considering changes to the rules for Temporary Structures under the Zoning By-law.  These structures are typically made of vinyl, tarpaulin, or canvas and supported by an aluminum framework and are also called vinyl carports, temporary garages or plastic tents/sheds.  Currently, Temporary Structures are regulated the same way sheds and detached garages are under the rules for Accessory Buildings (Section 3.22 of the Zoning By-law).  For example, all Accessory Buildings together are restricted to a maximum combined size of 55 square metres (592 square feet) and must be located a certain distance from property lines and other buildings. Temporary structures (for the most part) do not require a building permit given their construction and temporary nature and often property owners are not aware of their requirement to be located in certain areas on a property.   This has resulted in inconsistencies across the community and the Town recognizes that the public would benefit from clear regulation and consistent enforcement.  Town Council is asking for input from on what are appropriate rules and regulations for Temporary Structures.  A survey has been created to obtain input in order to propose new rules and regulations. The survey is 10 questions and should not take more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete but would be extremely valuable in considering possible new rules for Temporary Structures.   We have the Temporary Garages open house in Town Council Chambers this Tuesday starting at 6 p.m. and running until 8 p.m.


Main Street Update

JB Enterprises Ltd. has completed the following work on the Main Street Reconstruction Project over the past week:

Existing Asphalt and Concrete Curb removed from Wolfe Street to just South of Tessier Drive;

Sanitary Sewer By-Pass System is in place from Wolfe Street to just South of Tessier Drive;

Temporary watermain has been placed on the east side of the Main Street from Wolfe Street to just South of Tessier Drive;

Dewatering wells installed along the access road into the Philip H. Jones Pollution Control Plant;

Installation of sanitary sewer has been initiated from the outlet maintenance hole at the Pollution Control Plant (PCP);

Pedestrian fencing has been installed along the sidewalk from Wolfe Street to just South of Tessier Drive;

Installation of Business Notification Signage.

We do thank you for your patience and co-operation during this work.  Should you have any questions or concerns please contact the Public Works Department at 549-7992 or visit the Town of Penetanguishene website at Royal Canadian Legion Penetanguishene



Cancelled for tonight due to inclement weather is  Mayor Gord McKay’s  Mayor’s Mac and Cheese Fundraising Dinner in support of We Are the Villagers at Phil’s Pub and Eatery in Midland. Stay tuned for the new date and time.


Legion Giant Garage Sale on Sunday April 29, 2018 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and you can kick it off with a Pancake Breakfast for only $5.00 , plus there will be live music in the Normandy Room starting at 2:00 p.m.  Join in on a fun-filled Sunday !! Please call Pat 705-549-4126 for more information.


Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton and his wife Heather will host their annual Feast for Learning in support of the Gateway Centre for Learning Friday May 4th at 5:30 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion 196 Queen Street in Midland. If you would like to attend I have attached the details.


The Our Health series continues Tuesday May 8th with Medical Cannabis: Weeding Through the Issues at the Midland Cultural Centre at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free with advanced

registration at Doors open at 7:00 p.m.


On May 10, the Ontario Arts Council will be discussing granting opportunities that are available to individuals working in all arts disciplines, including dance, literature, multi and inter-arts, music, theatre and the visual arts.  Their priority groups include Francophone artists, Indigenous artists and artists living in regions outside of Toronto.  Additional priority groups include artists of colour, New Generation artists and deaf artists and artists with disabilities.  The free information session will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Midland Public Library and has been made available in partnership with the Town of Midland and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to Karen Mealing, Cultural Development Coordinator with the Town of Midland, at or 705-526-4275 ext. 2200.


The 3rd Annual Tay Township Fundraising Dinner in support of Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre is set for Friday May 11th at Oakwood Community Centre in Victoria Harbour. Details are included.


The week to be

Main Street – The following items are scheduled to be completed

Testing and commissioning of the Temporary Water System from Wolfe Street to just South of Tessier Drive;

Continued installation of the new sanitary sewer from the Philip H. Jones PCP toward the Main Street.

Potential Removal of the existing concrete road base from Wolfe Street to just South of Tessier Drive


Anita, CAO Jeff and I meet for our weekly update.  I meet with a resident regarding activity in Bellisle sub-division.



I attend a Poverty to Employment Project Recognition Event in Alliston and attend a meeting in Severn Township to discuss the Mariposa Hospice.

We have the Temporary Garages open house in Town Council Chambers starting at 6 p.m. and running until 8 p.m.



Anyone interested in running for office in the 2018 Municipal Election is encouraged to attend an Information Session this Wednesday at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre from 6:30-8:30 p.m.



I  attend an Organics Marketing Campaign meeting and attend a Town emergency management meeting.   The evening sees me attend the 6th Annual Hospitality Awards Gala in Barrie.



I attend an Affordable Housing Committee meeting and I meet with the new Barrie Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

That is it for today, drive safe everyone, speak to you next week,

Mayor Gerry


Gerry Marshall

Warden County of Simcoe,

Mayor Town of Penetanguishene,

County (705) 726-9300 Ext. 1260

Town (705)-549-7453


This e-mail is sent to citizens of Penetanguishene for their information on my personal thoughts, upcoming meetings and activities in Town.  The views expressed in the Mayor's Message do not necessarily represent the views of Council.    Agendas and minutes for Council and Committee meetings can be found in the Digital Library on the Town's website at  If you wish to be removed from the mailing list, please send an e-mail requesting removal to  and I will be happy to do so.