ward 6

Bear Creek Echo Park Project Postponed

Hi Everyone,
Just a quick update that the Bear Creek Echo Park project has been postponed as wildlife has been spotted in the pond. I have also asked for the fence to be removed as soon as possible as this was affecting wildlife travelling to and from the pond; staff has agreed to do so. They are aware that this is an urgent matter.
A huge thank you to the residents who reached out to me to let me know about the returned wildlife, and an extra special thank you to the resident who rescued two snapping turtles from the fence!
You will receive notice when the project will be up and running again.
Have a great day,
Natalie Harris
Ward 6 Councillor

Racing On Ardagh Road

I have notified the police again tonight about the racing on Ardagh Rd. Please if you are ever able to get licence plates, call the Barrie Police NON emergency line (705.725.7025) and let them know. If you aren’t comfortable with that, please call me and let me know and I will pass the information along. (705.816.5576).

Thank you. I will do everything I can to catch these people.


Please Don’t Blame The Frontline Staff At Long-Term Care Residences For The State The Military Discovered – They Were Expected To Do So Much With So Little!

The recent report on the condition of some long-term care homes in Ontario is maddening. I’m mad first for the residents themselves and their families who trusted that their loved ones were being cared for properly, and secondly I’m mad for the frontline staff.

You may be thinking, “What? How can you be upset for the staff when they were the one’s who were supposed to care for the residents?” Well, I liken the resources these employees have been given to properly care for these residents, to a chef expected to make a 5-star meal with an Easy Bake Oven! (Stay with me here…). The expectations of these, most often part-time, under paid, and overworked staff members is mind-boggling. I know this because I was a paramedic for eleven years in Ontario, and I saw and heard first-hand how difficult it was to be an employee at many of these long-term care homes.

Let me give you a scenario to put this into perspective. (All ACTUAL things I have seen and heard over time in the long-term care world).

An individual who enters the long-term care field is pretty much a compassion queen or king! They go to school to become a personal support worker (PSW) because they want to help people – Plain and simple! There are no luxurious perks to this career, and it is not for the faint of heart. These individuals take care of residents on a daily basis who require ALL levels of care; toileting, personal hygiene, wound care, feeding, deescalating crises, medication administration…and so much more, all the while being exposed to diseases such as COVID-19. They build friendships and bonds with the resident’s and their families…until they can no longer work there because they simply cannot pay their bills with the average (according to payscale.com) hourly rate of $17.87, often part-time shifts only with extremely fluctuating schedules, and little to no benefits. According to Nuevo.ca, you can work as a part-time cashier at Loblaws with no post-secondary education for $15-$25/hour WITH benefits. That must be frustrating to learn as an educated healthcare provider.

These employees are often forced to use well below the minimum number of supplies required for proper patient care standards in order to save money. If they don’t, they are written up. If they are written up, it is often by the manager as to divert the blame from themselves, because if the manager (who at times has zero medical background) gets in trouble by the residence owner(s) they will be replaced – quickly! In fact, a long-term care home in Barrie went through three managers in one year for this reason. (I have very reliable resources for this). In summary, in many of these long-term care homes there is expectations that below-minimum-standards-patient-care will be provided, zero job security, and horrible working morale.

Each PSW is often given a large number of residents to care for; sometimes an entire ward/floor. These residents may have dementia and Alzheimer’s, making them what is called a “flight-risk”, so it is very stressful to have to monitor and care for this number of patients at any given time. The burn-out rate is so extreme – and I can totally see why.

These PSW’s who want to provide the care these resident’s deserve are given little to no resources to do so. So these compassionate individuals leave the career they once loved because quite often their hearts just can’t take it any longer; what a sin. We take some of our most caring Ontarians and set them up for failure. And the devastating ripple-effect of all of this, is found in the recent report from the military.

So when you read the report, please don’t look down on the frontline workers in these residences. Sure, there are bad workers in every field, but this truly is not the cause of the report.

I sure hope that change is finally made! Maybe we should be looking at a not-for-profit model in this field? Food for thought I suppose…and not the food from an Easy Bake Oven; we must do better than that.