Barrie woman wins $100,000 after buying Encore ticket

Grabbing a lottery ticket at the Shoppers Drug Mart on Essa Road in Barrie proved lucky for Cheryl Ryerse. She ended up matching the last six of seven numbers in a Lotto 6/49 Encore ticket from the May 12, 2021 draw. She has now claimed her $100,000 prize. Ryerse participated in a virtual prize claim process as OLG is limiting the number of in-person prize claim appointments. Adding Encore to a ticket costs an extra dollar, with 22 ways to win.

Temporary health facility at Collingwood Legion to close

A temporary medical facility set up at the Collingwood Royal Canadian Legion to handle overflow from the hospital during the pandemic is being wound down. The Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has operated the 18-bed Alternate Health Facility (AHF) in the legion’s Normandy Room since December 2020. The facility was used for patients who required transitional care or an alternative destination of care whose acute care needs have been met, but required transfer to rehabilitation, long-term care, a retirement home or other post-acute care services. According to a news release from the hospital, a review of the facility’s utilization has been undertaken, and effective Sept. 1, the hospital will not transfer patients to the AHF. Any remaining patients will be transitioned back to the hospital by Sept. 10. “As the economy continues with its reopening, the Collingwood Legion is looking to resume regular operations, and the hospital’s lease is expiring on Sept. 30,” the hospital stated in a news release. “CGMH recognizes the impact of the pandemic on our team and resulting challenges with Health Human Resources,” said hospital president and chief executive officer Norah Holder. “The opportunity to move valued team members back to the main site will provide some support in alleviating this issue. We look forward to their continuation as part of the CGMH team.” She added: “Operating the AHF was a tremendous team effort and we would like to thank all team members that were involved.”

Road closures schedule for City of Barrie, including Wellington St E

Barrie’s road work is ongoing throughout the year. Many of these projects will result in road closures for extended periods of time. Listed closure times are subject to change due to weather and other factors. Wellington St E : The City of Barrie Sanitary Crew requires a Full Road Closure on Wellington Street East between Oak Street and St Vincent Street, beginning at 7:00AM on Thursday, August 26, 2021, to 4:00PM on Friday, August 27, 2021, to repair a sanitary sewer lateral. No thru traffic. Due to unforeseen circumstances the full road closure will be in place over night and is tentatively scheduled to be completed by 4:00PM on Friday, August 27, 2021. Reid Dr : Eisses Brothers Excavating and their sub-contractors require a full road closure on Reid Drive between Caplan Avenue and Mapleview Drive West, beginning at 7:00AM on Wednesday, September 08, 2021, to 7:00PM on Friday, September 10, 2021, to perform site servicing works related to the construction of an industrial building. Detour route: Reid Drive – Mapleview Drive West – Veteran’s Drive – Caplan Avenue Collier St : The City of Barrie Horticulture Department requires daily partial lane shifts on Collier Street between Owen Street and Mulcaster Street from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, on Friday, August 27, 2021, to perform horticulture median maintenance. Grove St E : Four Brothers Construction and their sub-contractors require a full road closure on Grove Street East between Davidson Street and Bothwell Crescent. Beginning at 7:00am on August 23, 2021, to 7:00pm on October 29, 2021, tentatively, to perform construction works related to the Sophia Creek Culvert Replacement. No thru traffic. Detour route: Grove Street East – Davidson Street – Rose Street – St Vincent Street – Grove Street East Mapleview Dr E : Condrain Group and their sub-contractors requires Alternating Lane Closures/Restrictions/Shifts on Mapleview Drive East between St. Paul’s Crescent and Royal Jubilee Drive, beginning at 7:00AM on July 28, 2021, to 7:00PM on September 03, 2021, for works relating to the widening of Mapleview Drive East. As you enjoy your drive through Barrie, try out some of these useful apps: 1. Gas Buddy is an app that provides live gas prices at any gas station to help you save money 2. Waze is a traffic and navigation app that reports live road information including accidents and hazards 3. Roadtrippers is a must-have for when you plan your next road trip; it helps you discover local diners, tourist attractions and even tourist traps! This list of road closures and restrictions is updated as new closure details are provided. Source: This story was auto-generated with information provided by the .

Coroner report challenges police theory Gravenhurst man Justin Evans died by suicide

WARNING: Some readers may find the content of this story disturbing. A coroner’s report detailing the autopsy of the body of Justin Evans has ruled the 22-year-old’s death as undetermined and reveals new evidence into what could have happened to the Gravenhurst man. The post-mortem was performed May 21, 2021 by the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, at the edge of a swamp in a wooded area that borders Muskoka Mobile Home Park where he lived. He had been missing since Dec. 12, 2020. The cause of death is listed as “unascertained.” OPP have said and Evans’ family said police told them he took his own life. DECOMPOSITION RESULTS IN UNDETERMINED FINDINGS In the report, released to Evans’ mother Jaime Wise and shared with Metroland, investigating coroner Dr. Scott Whynot determined that due to advanced decomposition of the head and neck area the cause of death could not be determined.  “The postmortem scavenging artefacts to the neck and chest area may have obscured some injuries that could have been fatal,” the report said. Evans’ body was found May 19, lying face up, “partially submerged” in water and “partially entangled in tree roots at the side of a pond,” the report details. He was identified through dental records. Located with the body was a “bag of grassy appearing substance” and an “empty case of headphones,” the report said. Two “superficial, likely non-fatal” wounds were found on the left forearm, each 7.5 centimetres in length, located on the radial side of the wrist, cutting tendons but no major blood vessels, according to the coroner. On May 22, the day after the post-mortem, the report states a “rusted Exacto knife” was retrieved from the water near where the body was found. “The possibility of drowning also cannot be excluded,” the report said, adding no significant natural disease was identified and toxicology testing conducted by Dr. Liza Boucher was “non-contributory.” A CT scan found no further injury to the body. REPORT DETAILS NEW EVIDENCE A narrative of the history of the case is included in the coroner’s report, citing “a neighbour had committed suicide and in an audio suicide note seemed to take responsibility for Mr. Evans’ disappearance, though did not give any specific details regarding his death or the location of his body.” In a second reference to the incident the report states that, “a neighbour committed suicide and in an audio suicide note he said: ‘I am responsible for Justin’s death’.” Metroland has confirmed through Evans’ family and multiple residents of Muskoka Mobile Home Park that Lucas Ulbinas lived next door to Evans. Among a list of evidence included in the report are items taken from Ulbinas’ home, Evans’ home and a shed located between the two where “significant amounts of blood” were found in December 2020. An online obituary states Ulbinas, a Hamilton native, died Jan. 6, 2021. in connection with the case. The charge has not been proven and . Wise and her family are somewhat relieved at the report’s findings; . The report states “there was no known history of suicidal ideation.” “The mental anguish that they’ve put us through,” she said of the police suicide theory, “it just breaks you on the inside.” “There’s so much that (police) are never going to be able to answer,” she added. The phone number for the branch is The adult crisis line in Muskoka is and the children’s crisis line for those 18 and under is The Kids Help Phone number is

MPP who refuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 says he won’t seek re-election

The from Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative caucus for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination says he won’t run in next June’s provincial election as an Independent — and he will be allowed into the legislature, despite efforts to have him barred. Already banned from running for the PCs, Rick Nicholls (Chatham-Kent—Leamington) said it would be difficult to be effective and get attention for issues in the legislature without being a member of a political party. “What can I do? I’m only one person, an Independent in a sea of 123 other MPPs,” Nicholls, 70, told the Star. “I’d be last in line for all the scrums.” Nicholls was dismissed from the PC caucus Aug. 19 after Ford set a deadline for his MPPs to be vaccinated or provide a doctor’s note with a legitimate medical exemption. “It’s sad. It’s disappointing,” said the veteran of 10 years at Queen’s Park. “I’m still waiting for the premier to call me. They said he would.” Despite full approval of COVID-19 vaccines by Health Canada, and the fact that more than five billion doses have been administered around the world, Nicholls said he considers them “experimental” and that people who have received vaccinations are “sheep.” Slightly more than 75 per cent of eligible Ontarians over age 12 are fully vaccinated, including 70 per cent in the Chatham-Kent public health unit. While Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca has when the fall session begins on Sept. 13, Speaker Ted Arnott said that is unlikely to happen. “In my view, the imposition of a vaccination mandate on MPPs would have the foreseeable effect of conflicting with MPPs’ rights to enter the precinct to preform an discharge their parliamentary duties and responsibilities,” Arnott said in a letter to the Liberals. “I believe that following public health guidelines and other steps that have been taken here at the legislative assembly have successfully allowed the assembly to meet without any instances of on-site transmission or contracting of COVID-19,” he added. “I will continue to direct that measures be taken to guard against COVID-19 going forward.” New Democrat MPP Peggy Sattler has asked other parties for a meeting to discuss pandemic protocols and a mandatory vaccination policy for the fall session. When the session begins, Nicholls will face removal as deputy speaker because he is no longer affiliated with the PCs. , Christine Mitas of Scarborough Centre, was allowed to remain in caucus after producing a note of medical exemption. Every other sitting MPP has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter:

Cocaine, oxycodone pills, hunting knives and swords seized from Midland motel: OPP

A Midland resident faces drug a weapon charges following a search warrant at a Midland motel on Sept. 14, said Southern Georgian Bay OPP. According to police, a search warrant was executed at a motel at 7:20 p.m. as part of an investigation. Police allegedly seized a quantity of cocaine, oxycodone pills, Canadian currency, hunting knives and swords, along with drug paraphernalia. A 54-year-old Midland resident is charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of oxycodone for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, and possession of weapon for dangerous purpose. The accused was released from police custody with a Nov. 4 court date. A 29-year-old Cedar Point resident was also charged on an outstanding warrant for fail to appear contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada. Anyone with information on drug or property related investigations is asked to contact the OPP at , or by calling Crime Stoppers at. You can submit your information online at

Crisis to catastrophe? Collingwood affordable-housing advocate paints grim picture

The affordable-housing situation in Collingwood and the south Georgian Bay region is looking grim, as the number of people who need a place to live is quickly outpacing the number of units available. “If we have a crisis today, we have a catastrophe tomorrow,” Marg Scheben-Edey, a member of the town’s affordable-housing task force, told council’s strategic initiatives committee Sept. 7. The task force will be reporting to council later this year with recommendations to address the need for affordable housing, based on data and research by the task force’s three subcommittees focused on policy, property, and financing and funding. The committee is currently reviewing a first draft from its consultants on that research. “It’s shocking to see all the numbers there in black and white,” she said. “What’s really clear is that any solutions (to create affordable housing) have to incorporate partnerships with all sectors in order to create a common vision of affordable housing, both rental and ownership. “It’s also very clear that we as a municipality have a very strong, vested interest and need to be invested in the vision to accomplish anything going forward.” An Ottawa study found that for every unit of affordable housing created, seven were lost — an experience Scheben-Edey said was being seen locally. A lot of that is to do with market conditions, Scheben-Edey said, as property owners sell to take advantage of the hot market, or drastically increase the rent if a tenant leaves. “Tenants are being displaced at a phenomenal rate,” she said. “It’s really evident from the public input that we are rapidly losing more affordable-housing units than we could possibly create.” This has a ripple effect through the economy, as the workers needed in the community in the future won’t be able to afford to live here, she said, adding the housing needed for those workers “doesn’t include the backlog and the erosion that we are currently experiencing.” Scheben-Edey is also the chairperson of an ad hoc task force associated with the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness and focused on the south Georgian Bay area. That committee has conducted a survey that has drawn more than 400 responses. It asked respondents about their challenges in finding affordable housing in the region, and the responses were both gripping and heart-rending, Scheben-Edey said. When the survey asked respondents what their options were, the No. 1 response was to move out of the area, as whatever employment was offered locally was not enough to pay the bills — especially rent. Scheben-Edey said one respondent was in so much despair about their housing predicament that they were considering suicide. Reading from the comment, Scheben-Edey said the person was facing options of “debt, working three jobs, or moving my family to a one-bedroom apartment.” Even some business owners are considering closing, or moving elsewhere, she said, because the housing situation is causing a labour shortage.

‘It’s been tough’: After 18 months, popular Wasaga seniors’ club ready to reopen

For Maria Thompson and Sharon Matthews the reopening of the Prime Time Club has been a long time coming. “Several groups want to start up as soon as possible,” said Thompson, the club’s president. “Anybody that I personally have talked to are (asking), ‘when is the club going to open?’,” Matthews added. “ A lot of our members are people who are on their own (and) they need that social gathering.” The club, which serves more than 700 seniors — those over the age of 50 — with a variety of activities, including fitness classes, billiards, darts, shuffleboard, and more, has been shuttered since mid-March of 2020. The club at 1724 Mosley St. is closing in on 35 years of operation. On Sept. 7, after 18 long months, the club housed at the front of the Wasaga Beach RecPlex will be ready to open its doors again — carefully. It’s been provided a monthly newsletter for its members, but it’s not the same as meeting face-to-face, Thompson said. While one must be older than 50 to be a member, the majority are in their 80s, said Thompson. Some are even into their 90s. The annual cost to be a member is $20. To take part in an activity, members pay an additional toonie per event. The executive has worked through the guidelines set by the town and the health unit, and developed a set of protocols for groups to use the facility. It will mean wearing masks, and gloves if so desired, and a strict regimen of sanitizing high touch surfaces such as tables, chairs and doorknobs. Group conveners will be responsible for cleaning the facility once their activity is done. Being double vaccinated will also be a must, Thompson said. “The conveners were quite adamant about that,” she said. Some programs won’t be starting up immediately. That includes some fitness programs, as the club is looking for an appropriate instructor. Anyone interested in the position can contact the club. Some members, said Thompson, would visit several times a week. On Saturdays, the club would hold a social drop-in when members could play cards, darts, and have a drink and some snacks. “It’s just somewhere for them to go, and a lot of those single people that do come out, they come out and enjoy a little drink,” Matthews said. “You can tell when you’re here that this is very important to those people.” The club will likely start the Saturday socials right away, but without the snacks and drinks due to pandemic restrictions. And while the executive has continued to meet, virtually, it’s also been difficult not being able to take part in social activities face-to-face, Thompson said. “It’s been tough, it’s been tough not having the activities going on and just wondering about everybody, and when it’s going to end,” she said. “I see a lot of them (have been able to) keep in touch, but it’s been tough.” For more information, go to , or call . Story behind the story: As more activities and organizations begin to open up in the pandemic, wanted to connect with the executive at Wasaga Beach’s Prime Time Club about the impact of reopening, and what it means to its members.

‘IMMEDIATELY STOP USING’: Major recall of 9,000 dog bowls sold at PetSmart after multiple injuries reported, triggering Health Canada warning

Health Canada is warning dog owners about a major recall involving dog bowls. This recall involves the Top Paw Double Diner Dog Bowl sold at PetSmart. The product is a set of two dog food bowls that are elevated off the ground on a metal base surrounded by a rubber gasket. A paw print is embossed on the front of each bowl, according to the Sept. 1 The SKU number is 5270098 and UPC 73725775404; both are located on a sticker on the underside of the bowl.  “The rubber gasket on the bottom of the affected product can come off, leaving an unfinished edge, posing a laceration hazard,” Health Canada said. As of Aug. 15, the company has received no reports of incidents or injuries in Canada. In the United States, the company has received 3 reports of incidents involving humans, where the rubber gasket on the bottom of the product came off, exposing an unfinished edge, causing laceration injuries. The company reported that 9,419 units of the affected product were sold in Canada and 89,434 units were sold in the United States from March 2017 to June 2021. The recalling firm is PETM Canada Corporation, based in Burlington. “Consumers should immediately stop using the affected product and bring it to any PetSmart retail store to obtain a full refund,” Health Canada said. For more information, consumers may contact PetSmart’s customer service by phone at 1-888-839-9638 between 8 am and 9 pm EST or visit . Here’s a photo of the recalled product

Ontario universities are bolstering mental health resources for the fall, but students say barriers to access persist

For university and college students, exercising resilience during the pandemic has been difficult. Online classes, isolation, dwindling job prospects, financial stress and the fear of itself have all weighed heavily on their psyche — and many were already struggling with mental health issues and heightened stress before 2020. Some students are now gearing up for a return to campus and in-person learning in the week of Sept. 9, for the first time since the pandemic emerged. But how are Ontario universities preparing to meet the physical and mental health needs of students on campus after a year of them being away, especially as worries increase over the Delta variant and mounting pandemic-related stress? “I have seen a lot of students taking leaves and dropping out because they are unable to cope with the demands of school when their mental health has already been so gravely impacted by the pandemic,” said Michele Foster, a clinical psychologist and co-director of the Toronto Psychology and Wellness Group clinic. “It’s important for schools and professors to be as flexible as possible,” Foster said, adding resilience isn’t as strong as it used to be for many students. Several surveys and studies during the pandemic have shown the mental health impacts suffered by university and college-aged students. According to a on Canadians’ mental health, conducted between September and December of 2020, young adults aged 18 to 24 were three times more likely than older adults to report symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. At the University of Toronto, faculty and students are implementing on campus after a , which homed in on gaps in accessing care, as well as a “culture of academic excellence” that needs to be balanced with student well-being. These efforts follow four deaths by suicide of U of T students since 2018, including the death of a first-year mathematics student in November 2020, a few months into the pandemic. Elsewhere, universities have increased the number of counsellors and health professionals on campus in time for September. Both the University of Waterloo and McMaster University created an on-call clinician role for responding to urgent mental health calls on campus. At Queen’s University, new health-care staff will be hired for the fall, including a registered dietitian, an occupational therapist and additional family physicians to support students, and a wellness adviser for racialized students. “Demand for support and service has been rising for several years; across the sector, we have all been doing our best to respond,” said Cynthia Gibney, the executive director of Student Wellness Services at Queen’s. These additional measures are welcomed by students who lived and studied through the pandemic, but some say the key lies not only in making sure resources are available, but making sure students know about them. “A lot of my peers were never told of any of these mental health resources or accessibility services,” said Jan Lim, a recent U of T graduate who completed her last year during the pandemic. “Our frosh leaders didn’t share resources with us, our registrars didn’t share them with us, so we were left to our own devices.” This year, the University of Toronto launched across all three campuses after years of advocacy for implementing such a resource in place, Lim said. She anticipates it will be a big help in at least letting students know where and what type of health care and therapies they can access on campus. But through a recent research project, in which Lim — a physiology and anthropology student — surveyed peers in December 2020 about their experience trying to access health services on campus before and over the course of the pandemic, other barriers to accessing care became apparent. “People were reporting that during the pandemic, it was very difficult to access mental health services from the school, and it was very difficult to communicate mental health struggles to teaching assistants or to professors,” Lim said, adding that pre-pandemic problems got worse. Lim said some students who tried to access intensive psychotherapy or psychiatry services through the university, which were moved online or over the phone due to COVID, were still experiencing “extremely long” wait times, up to four months. “Even this year, they said that the wait to see a specialist is months unless I wanted to pay out of pocket,” a third-year international student in social sciences told Lim. “During that wait time, there have been no checkups,” Lim added. Others have raised issues about the length of time between sessions. One student at U of T’s Mississauga campus that was interviewed by Lim for her research said “there weren’t enough appointments available, and were at least a month apart.” In response to these concerns, U of T said students at all three campuses are able to access 24/7 support through the university’s , a phone and chat service that rolled out in early 2020, and that students can reach out to this resource as they wait between appointments. For international students who couldn’t make it to Canada because of COVID-19, some have reported not being able to access virtual care through U of T despite their status as a student. “I was told that they only offer counselling services for students in Toronto,” a first-year student from New Delhi told Lim. The university said this barrier for international students outside of Canada exists because of regulatory provincial bodies for psychologists and psychiatrists, which limits the scope of their practice to individual provinces. “This is beyond our control,” a U of T spokesperson said, adding that students outside Canada can still access support through their Student Support Program, which offers help in 146 languages. Another issue Lim found was the lack of academic accommodation for students experiencing stress from mental or physical health issues, and who wanted assignments or tests deferred. She said she hopes this will be remedied this school year, as pandemic-related stressors are bound to continue. “Communicating that knowledge (of mental health concerns) to educators at the university who often have a more direct role in the student experience will be really important,” she said. “I truly believe that if professors and teacher assistants have an increased awareness of individual struggles that students go through, they will be more compassionate.” Lim said she’s proud to have graduated from U of T, but the results of her research and years of student mental health advocacy have left her “consistently disappointed.” She added the problems aren’t unique to the university, but are rather part of a larger, global need to prioritize the mental well-being of students across campuses. Through her experience working with and treating post-secondary students, clinical psychologist Foster said another helpful way universities can increase access to mental health resources for students is by offering more online group therapy programs focused on developing coping mechanisms and emotional regulation. “Offering something like that doesn’t take a ton of resources,” Foster said. Currently, U of T does offer group therapy for students experiencing anxiety and depressive symptoms. Lim said U of T has made promising changes regarding mental health resources, but added on-campus health services, both mental and physical, must be as effective and accessible as possible, especially for international students or those whose families aren’t in Toronto. “There are a lot of students who don’t have family doctors in the city, so they’re reliant on the Health and Wellness Centre to refer them to services such as psychology or psychiatry. If students have to wait a long time for help, she said, “it can be very damaging.” If you are thinking of suicide or think someone else may be, there is help. Call your or go to the emergency room of your local hospital. through the government of Canada. You can connect to a at 1-833-456-4566 and at 1-800-668-6868. Nadine Yousif is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering mental health. Follow her on Twitter: