Barrie, ward 6

Potential Legalized Cannabis Store Location In Barrie

Hello!

As you may have seen in the media recently, the old D.O.T. Patio Furniture store located at Ardagh Rd and Essa Rd, could potentially be the site of Barrie’s first legalized cannabis store.

I just learned about this recently myself as I was not notified by city staff, because there was no reason to notify me – this is a commercial building with a completely legal commercial store going into it. I, and the public, are only notified when a re-zoning application is put in.

So, what does this mean right now? Well, the store has been given the green light by the provincial government to be created, but does not have a licence yet. The owner is hoping to receive one early in the new year.

Very strict guidelines must be met in order for the province to approve these locations, including the installation of very advanced security systems.

I have recently been asked by a resident if I, “approve of cannabis”? Well, cannabis is now legalized in Canada – just as alcohol is. So, whether I approve of it or not won’t change that it’s now legally availability. And I think we need to remember that alcohol is statistically far more lethal than cannabis. What I do “approve” of, is being responsible.

I am hopeful that with the availability of government regulated cannabis, that the deaths from street/black-market drugs will decrease. I have lost MANY friends to overdoses and I am very aware of how lethal poisoned cannabis is. But with that being said, not everyone is an addict or alcoholic, and many people use drugs and alcohol responsibly.

I will keep you up to date with any new information I receive about this store! If you have any questions you can email me at natalie.harris@barrie.ca

 

 

Barrie, ward 6

Information About Ardagh Bluffs Maintenance

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Hello! I had some great questions about our beloved Ardagh Bluffs at a recent community meeting and I wanted to share the city staff answers with all of you.

Parks staff have tried to provide you with as much information as possible to answer your inquiry regarding the operations and maintenance of the Ardagh Bluffs Park, which is a provincially designated Area of Natural and Scientific Interest of approximately 500 acres and containing over 17 km of marked trails.

  • We do not have a separate budget line for the park, it is part of the overall maintenance requirements of several activities (e.g. trails maintenance, parks maintenance, forestry operations, etc.). There is a Park plan that was approved by Council in 2007 that has estimated capital and operating costs for elements of its management.
  • As it is a provincially significant natural area with known endangered species present, the only maintenance we complete on vegetation is trailside maintenance, hazard tree removals and some select poison ivy control.  We are looking at developing a city wide invasive species management plan.  If you know of areas within the park where you see invasive species we would like to know about them. Our staff are trained in identifying some of the high priority species and marking them on the EDDS collector APP, but there may be others you have seen in your walks.
  • We annually remove anywhere from twenty to over a hundred hazard trees from around the periphery of the parkland (most often behind residential lots) and will be continuing the ash removals as needed throughout parkland across the city as part of the Emerald Ash Borer program.  Any hazard tree concerns you have can be reported to Service Barrie (Service.Barrie@barrie.ca) for our urban forestry staff to inspect and address.
  • Due to the nature of late successional deciduous forests, fire cycles in this area are in the 1000-10,000 years.  However, Barrie Fire and Emergency Services do have emergency and response plans in place for dealing with both grass and forest fires.   Our dedicated fire professionals have responded to grass fires and small fires within many natural areas across Barrie.
  • There were (6) identified foot bridges from the original Park Plan that were not funded for construction due to competing financial needs, however recent changes in our ability to build our own bridges will make construction and trail improvements more feasible in the near future.

If you have any further questions or need clarification please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards,

Kevin Bradley, B.A., MLA

Manager of Parks & Forestry

Ext. 482

Barrie

Shift Government – Connected Core

Learn More About Connected Core Here

Shift Government is about collaborating with other organizations to expand our impact, and to engage more partners. We are working on a stable of small projects that have a few things in common – they focus on community wellbeing, have root-cause oriented goals, and all involve working with organizations outside of City Hall, such as:

Connected Core
(RVH/Barrie Police/City)
Sliding Scale Mobile Market
(Barrie Housing/National Food Store)
Student / Senior co-housing
(Georgian/TBD)
Barrie Housing Flooring Community Challenge
(Barrie Housing/BDAR)
Health Innovation Week
(MaRS/RVH/LifeLabs – Design Challenge)
Impact Collective
(Furniture Bank/Furniture Link / Redwood Park/ BRIX Makerspace/Community Builders)

This project is super exciting and being done with little staff. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Barrie, opioid

I Am Not A “Coddled Junkie”. Nor Is Anyone. Allow Me To Explain Why.

I got an email today about my recent article in the Barrie Advance. I would like to share this email and my response for educational purposes. Thank you.

When will you people realize that coddling these junkies doesn’t work?
They don’t want help. They are homeless by choice.
There are thousands of OW and ODSP recipients who get free perscriptions of opiates then turn around and sell these pills for thousands of dollars a month.
1 oxy 80 sells for $80.
At 160 pills that’s $12800.00 a month.
These people have all day every day to manipulate the system and get free drugs.
This happens every day in Barrie.
When, are you people going to open your eyes and address the real problem???
You all blow smoke out of your asses but not one of you has the balls to address the real problem.
I invite anyone of you useless city workers to sit on my porch any day of the week and watch this go on.
For once it would be nice to see real action.
I look forward to a reply with a real solution.
So far your words are completely meaningless.
We aren’t interested in your nonsense.
We are interested in a real solution.

My reply:

Thank you for your email. Question: Do you follow my website? (www.votenatalie.ca) If you do, thank you, but you may have missed this post from a few weeks ago: https://thevotenatalie.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/opioid-crisis-efforts-update/

And this post: https://thevotenatalie.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/here-to-help-barrie/

And this post as well: https://thevotenatalie.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/meeting-with-raam-and-mpps/

I almost forgot this post: https://thevotenatalie.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/my-comments-last-night-about-a-supervised-consumption-site/

Oops…and this one: https://thevotenatalie.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/the-barrie-rapid-addiction-medicine-raam-centre/

I also found this one: https://thevotenatalie.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/opioid-town-hall/

Here is a link to the Connected Core Barrie as well: https://m.facebook.com/connectedcorebarrie/

I am here if you have any questions about these posts. But I will not reply to comments that state I am, “coddling junkies”. Or that we are “useless city employees”.

I appreciate the invitation, but I don’t need to sit on your porch to know the effect addiction has on individuals. I saw it first hand behind the scenes, in the living rooms, in the alleys, in the business offices, and in the homes of individuals bringing in every level of income as a paramedic for eleven years.

I’ve held the hands of the dying and heard parents scream in pain. I’ve brought people back from the brink of death with needles in their arms and their children standing by watching. I’ve seen the despair of loved ones who don’t understand the grip of addiction. I’ve hugged children who will be taken into CAS’ custody… after I had to call CAS myself.

I am also a recovering addict myself. And if you don’t mind, I prefer to be called this rather than a, “coddled useless city employee”.

Furthermore, the mayor and I are actively working together to get addiction treatment brought to Barrie. A lot of things are happening behind the scenes to address this crisis. It’s just not public yet.

So now may I ask you a question? What are YOU doing to help with this? I would genuinely like to know. And welcome any constructive feedback.

Sincerely,

Natalie Harris

Ward 6 City Councillor

His reply:

Spoken like an entitled addict. Let’s see, I’ve been woken up to the sound of random gunshots, 7 to be exact. Witnessed a man stabbed to death over his portion of the dope. Watched and reported multiple drug deals that resulted in a slap on the wrist. Spoken to multiple police officers who’s hands are tied repeatedly arresting the same people over and over again. I’ve been robbed. I’ve been assaulted. My home and multiple vehicles have been vandalized. I use the word “useless “ because it is fitting. Nobody forced you to be a paramedic. What you experienced is part of the job. I have worked right beside you and seen my share of death and destruction. So, I will say again, coddling these junkies is not solving the problem. Is parking an ambulance permanently at the Busby Centre the solution? No. Is cracking down on the suppliers a solution?  It’s funny, thousands of people get these drugs from their doctors. They don’t need them. They know the street value. You want to throw millions of dollars at this problem. But not one of you will actually deal with the root cause of this problem. Which brings me right back to the useless part. So your reply, is exactly what I expected. None of you are doing anything but creating a whole new industry.

As to the law abiding citizen, who pay the taxes to support you and this industry, I guess that’s your new job? To take away our rights to live in peace? Your right, their rights are more important than ours?

Thank you for not helping with this problem.

So as it seems, this person did not take the time to click on the links I provided where all of his questions are answered. I always value the perspectives of every individual; we all have different views which are important to consider. But when we don’t take the time to at least consider education that is provided to us, there comes a time when an email chain must cease. I wish this individual well. And if he ever finds himself in need of support as an addict himself, or caring for one in his family one day, I will be here for him.