Barrie, opioid

My Thoughts On The Discussion At The Barrie-Innisfil Candidate’s Forum Regarding The Opioid Crisis

I was not able to attend the Barrie-Innisfil Candidates Forum. But I was happy to learn from the media that the opioid crisis was (not surprisingly) a topic of discussion. Thank you to all of the candidates for their input and dedication to this topic. With all due respect, at this time, I would like to elaborate on/clarify a few points made by NDP candidate, Pekka Reinio.

“We need to address the opioid crisis,” Reinio said. “It seems like the municipal council is stalling for now, and I don’t know why.” Barrie Today, October 4, 2019.

The municipal council is not stalling with respect to the opioid crisis; I think it is very important to remember that management of the opioid crisis includes MUCH more than the approval of a supervised consumption site. Actions are being taken as we speak by some councillors that address the crisis and call for better fulsome treatment options. In fact, I am having a meeting today in Toronto at Women’s College Hospital, with the META:PHI directors to discuss funding in Barrie and complementing treatment options. I will also be meeting with the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Michael Tibillo, on October 11, 2019, to continue the discussions I had with him, Mayor Jeff Lehman, and fellow councillors at the Association of Municipalities (AMO) Conference in Ottawa this past August.

The NDP candidate said if his party was elected, they would immediatey declare national crisis on opioids, “hopefully freeing some money so municipalities can follow the guidelines of the Simcoe Muskoka (Opioid Strategy), which says we need to have safe injection sites.” Barrie Today, October 4, 2019.

I agree, declaring a national emergency on the opioid crisis, (which I proposed to council early last year), is ideal with respect to securing provincial and federal funds that will save lives. But once again, I think it is very important to remember that the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS) identifies several pillars dedicated to addressing this crisis, beyond harm reduction.

What we have is MORE than an opioid crisis. We have a mental health and addiction crisis. Overall, I have been very much in favour of having a supervised consumption site in Barrie, but I am afraid that the discussion and debate surrounding this has caused some of our community and policy makers to unintentionally under-acknowledge the fact that fulsome treatment is really what is required to make a major change in the opioid crisis.

Any funds available should be used for all of SMOS’s pillars; prevention, treatment and clinical practice, harm reduction, enforcement and emergency management. And when we look at these pillars under a social welfare microscope, these pillars further extend into housing, education and overall health and wellness.

So what does all of this mean to me as Ward 6 City Councillor in Barrie? Well, overall I am so happy that the discussion surrounding the opioid crisis is vibrant among all of our federal candidates. I look forward to working with whomever is elected to tackle this topic and save lives.

Barrie

My Active Transportation Feedback…So Far

I finally got out on my (son’s) bike and toured some of our city, (Mapleview, Yonge, Prince William Way and some side streets), to see what it is like to use the city’s active transportation modes, ie: bike lanes. Here are my findings:

  • I. Am. Out. Of. Shape! – I have to throw that in here! It is a significant enough finding to warrant its own bullet point!
  • Overall I felt quite safe; especially when I was riding on a bike lane;
  • Some of the bike lanes need the gravel removed from them;
  • Some low hanging trees were an obstruction to the bike lane;
  • The bike lane on Mapleview, east of Yonge, was very roomy…at times. There wasn’t a standard width. But, I did feel safer while in a bike lane than while not in one, regardless of the width;
  • Riding behind a garbage truck is not fun! 🙂

I have more areas of Barrie to ride to get the full feel of how we can improve our active transportation infrastructure. Overall, I had a very pleasant ride and look forward to going out again soon.

Barrie, ward 6

New Traffic Calming Measure

City piloting new traffic calming measure to create safer streets

(Barrie, ON) The City of Barrie is piloting a new way to slow traffic on neighbourhood roads. A cardboard cutout of a police officer with a traffic radar gun will be placed at the side of the road on select streets around the city this summer in the hopes of getting the attention of drivers to slow down.

The pilot is an innovative approach that expands on the City’s traffic calming measures and supports Council’s strategic priority of improving the ability to get around. The objective of traffic calming is to create safer neighbourhoods by reducing the speed of traffic. Traffic-calmed streets are intended to improve residents’ quality of life and increase safety for active transportation users. The City’s other traffic calming measures include temporary speed cushions, radar speed advisory boards, road diets and temporary median islands.

To learn more and read the City’s Traffic Calming Policy, visit www.barrie.ca/TrafficCalming.

Barrie, ward 6

Ardagh & Mapleton Townhomes Update

Hello,

I have gathered the following information from city staff about the townhome complex located at Ardagh and Mapleton:

– the Site Plan was registered on Feb 8, 2016 for a 92 unit townhouse condominium development.

– technically the site is still under construction and the City continues to hold significant securities with respect to this property.  We could draw on them, in due course, if the developer does not complete the requirements under the Site Plan Agreement.

– it is not unusual for developments of this size to take this amount of time to complete.

– staff anticipate that the outstanding works will be completed over the balance of the summer.

All of this said, it needs to be acknowledged that this is condominium development and once the developer satisfies the site plan conditions, concerns will be addressed by the board.

As for the boulevard cutting, it is the responsible of property owners (in this case the condo) to cut the boulevards.  If they are not done, we do follow up.  On these roads (collectors/arterial) if no action is taken, staff will cut twice a year.

I will be keeping everyone up to date with any changes. I will be asking to have the boulevard cut asap. Thank you for your patience with this matter.

Natalie

Barrie

Swim Advisory – Minets Point Beach

The purpose of this email is to advise you of the current requirement to post 1 City of Barrie beach. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has recommended that a Swim Advisory be posted for the following beach due to elevated bacteriological results for samples taken on Monday, July 15, 2019:

  • Minets Point Beach

Re-sampling will occur this afternoon with results expected Wednesday afternoon.  Environmental Compliance staff are currently on route to post the Advisory signage at the beach.

Public inquires will be directed to the SMDHU (the overseeing body of this program) as dictated by protocol.