Eight Simcoe County schools report cases of COVID-19

Students are back to school and boards have started to report on positive COVID-19 cases among in-person learners.  The , , (French Roman Catholic), and (French public) report COVID-19 cases for a combined 180 educational settings in Simcoe County. They are reporting cases in eight out of 180 locations.  One case is confirmed at in Collingwood within the Simcoe County District School Board. Date: Sept. 13. There are no classrooms closed. The school is open. One case is confirmed at in Alliston. Date: Sept. 13. One classroom is closed. The school is open. One case is confirmed at in Oro-Medonte. Date: Sept. 13. There are no classrooms closed. The school is open. One case is confirmed at in Collingwood. Date: Sept. 13. There are no classrooms closed. The school is open. One case is confirmed at in Angus. Date: Sept. 13. There are no classrooms closed. The school is open. One confirmed student case at  in Barrie within Conseil Scolaire Viamonde. Date: Sept. 12.  One case is confirmed at in Bradford within the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board. Date: Sept. 10. One classroom is closed. The school is open. One staff member case at in Borden within MonAvenir Catholic School Board. Date: Sept. 10. The school is open. Information about COVID-19 in Simcoe County is available here: . Note from the Simcoe County District School Board: A positive case at a school does not necessarily mean the individual was exposed to COVID-19 at the school. They may have been exposed somewhere else in the community.

Canada Post looking to relocate Penetanguishene post office

The Penetanguishene post office may be moving. Canada Post is looking into moving to a new location in town due to the existing facility at 36 Main St. no longer meeting its needs, according to a release from the Town of Penetanguishene. The municipality issued a notice to residents on Sept. 1, stating that Canada Post will be undertaking a public consultation until Sept. 16, before deciding whether or not to relocate the post office. “Moving to a new location would not cause a reduction in service to the community and would enable the office to modernize and upgrade their service delivery, which would improve the customer experience,” stated the release. Should Canada Post relocate, the new site is expected to be within two kilometres of the current location. Customers would be provided with at least one month’s notice and all postal box customers would retain their boxes at the new location. Anyone who would like to provide feedback is asked to visit or send a letter to: Retail Feedback, 2701 Riverside Dr., Suite N1020, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0B1.

Five memorable quotes from Simcoe North’s federal election candidates

Simcoe North’s federal election candidates had an opportunity to weigh in on the issues of the day during a Sept. 2 forum hosted by the social justice committee at St. Paul’s Centre and organized by Orillia 4 Democracy, an ad hoc citizens group. The five “major party” candidates were invited to participate in the forum, said group member Dennis Rizzo. “The critical element is that the voters have a chance to see their candidates, since door-to-door canvassing and meetings are restricted,” he said. The event was livestreamed by Rogers TV, which intends to replay it throughout the election, organizers said. Here are a handful of memorable quotes from the evening. Liberal Party candidate Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux “Justin Trudeau’s name is not on the ballot here. Mine is, so I will be the one you’ll be voting for in this riding. And I think it’s important because we can represent your interests from the ground up, and I think that’s the way it normally is.” Conservative Party candidate Adam Chambers “I think people are tired of politicians who say they know all the answers — I sure don’t. I think that it’s important that an MP listens, is a good listener, and that is something I will bring to the table.” New Democratic Party candidate Janet-Lynne Durnford “New Democrats are different because we are working people. For our whole history, we have fought for better working conditions and standards that lift everyone up. I am not a politician, but I am someone who cares deeply for this community.” Green Party candidate Krystal Brooks “I’m tired of being ignored and silenced, and I believe that many voters are feeling the same way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: consider voting your voice for the voiceless.” People’s Party candidate Stephen Makk “Freedom is like a muscle — if you don’t exercise it, it withers away. Don’t be cowed by all the negativity and fear being blasted at you by the government, the media and all the petty authoritarians and worriers in your life.”

Future of Clearview halls now in hands of boards, engineering firm

Clearview Township councillors should know the full extent of the cost to fix up the municipality’s six community halls by the end of the year. The township’s general manager of parks, culture and recreation, Terry Vachon, will now work with the six hall boards and the municipality’s consulting engineering firm R.J. Burnside & Associates to review the list of AODA-required renovations, identify any components that can be modified from the township’s Facility Accessible Design Standards and add on any other required renovations to each hall. Those renovations, Vachon said, could include upgrades to kitchens, fire ventilation systems for commercial kitchens, additional outside accessible washrooms and septic tank upgrades. “The proposed timelines to complete the (review) process is approximately three to four months,” Vachon told Simcoe.com. The cost of the review is estimated at $40,000, and was added to the 2021 budget. “We’re going to be as frugal as we can with the costs of engineering,” he said. Council will receive the results by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, and Vachon anticipated the capital costs of renovations would be part of the 2022 budget deliberations. At a meeting on Aug. 30, councillors received the reports on the community halls in Duntroon and Dunedin, the final two to be reviewed. In two special meetings held earlier in August, council received recommendations regarding the halls in Avening, Brentwood, Nottawa and Sunnidale, ranging from adding accessible washrooms and elevators to — in Nottawa’s case — the potential of tearing the building down and building a new facility. It would cost approximately $5 million based on a “modified” scope of renovations to bring all six halls in line with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The costs do not include other renovations such as fire safety and electrical upgrades. Council has already supported a motion in principle to commit to either fixing up or replacing all six halls. Some of the hall boards have committed to fundraising for the upgrades, to varying degrees. The township had been looking for a 25 per cent commitment, but Vachon noted the halls — such as in Dunedin’s case — are “willing to fundraise to the best of their ability,” but coming up with the full one-quarter share would be difficult. Still, council was very much onside to preserve the building in Dunedin. “It’s a lovely hall,” said Ward 6 Coun. Connie Leishman. “I would hate to lose it, so let’s do what we can to save it.” The only question remaining about the Dunedin hall is whether any expansion to the facility will require approvals from the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority. The hall board in Duntroon has offered up some in-house architectural services for their facility.

Coldwater home completely destroyed by fire

No one was home when fire ravaged a house and attached garage on on Wednesday, Sept. 15, said Severn Fire Chief Tim Cranney.  While the building was completely destroyed, there were no injuries. Around 9:30 a.m., responded with three stations to Leisure Court for a reported garage fire, Cranney said, adding it was called in by a passerby.  “Upon arrival, crews found a heavy fire involvement in the garage attached to the structure,” he said.  Severn called for mutual aid; firefighters from Oro-Medonte and Tay arrived to help extinguish the blaze. The home was destroyed. It is not inhabitable, Cranney said. He estimated the loss at approximately $350,000.  The source of the fire is under investigation.