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Newsletter: January 2023

Grand Opening Playtime Casino Wasaga Beach

Pictured above, left-to-right:  Clearview Mayor Doug Measures, Wasaga Beach Mayor Brian Smith, Gateway Communications Officer Carrie Kormos, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson.

Friday January 27th was a special day for the Town of Wasaga Beach as the new Playtime Casino celebrated its grand opening. The new $34.3 million, 25,000 square foot casino and restaurant is now fully operational and will create 140 new, year-round jobs in the community. Mayor Brian Smith cut the ribbon and in his opening remarks, acknowledged that this odyssey began under the watchful eye of former Mayor Cal Patterson. Smith also gave a shout out to former Mayor Nina Bifolchi and her council for their hard work in getting construction of the new Wasaga Beach casino underway.  MPP Brian Saunderson presented a congratulatory certificate from the Province of Ontario to Mayor Smith and Gateway Casino officials.

The Town of Wasaga Beach was presented with its first cheque (pictured above) as a from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, in the amount of $152,138.00. The payment is the Town’s share of the casino’s first quarter (39 days) of operation. In addition, the Wasaga Beach Ministerial Food Bank received a $5,000 donation from the casino.

Meeting with Clearview Township Mayor, Deputy Mayor and CAO

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson continues to meet with Town officials throughout the riding to talk about issues that matter locally, in the riding and throughout the Province of Ontario. On Friday January 27th, MPP Saunderson met with Clearview Mayor Doug Measures, Deputy Mayor Paul Van Staveren, and CAO John Ferguson at the Clearview Administration Centre in Stayner. MPP Saunderson said many topics were discussed including the future of County Road 91 and infrastructure issues throughout Clearview Township.

Sunset Manor in Collingwood To Welcome New Residents in Phased and Coordinated Approach

The Simcoe County operated Sunset Manor in Collingwood has been given the green light to welcome new residents. Based on results of recent inspections, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has lifted the suspension of admissions into Sunset Manor in Collingwood. Admissions of new residents will resume (as of the week of January 30, 2023) through a phased and coordinated approach with the Ministry and Home and Community Care Support Services. The Ministry had ordered a freeze on admissions in June 2021 due to what were determined to be non-compliance issues following a series of inspections.

“This is another important milestone in the redevelopment process and exciting news for area residents who depend on the Stevenson Memorial Hospital for their healthcare needs. CEO Jody Levac, the Hospital Board and the Stevenson Memorial Team are doing a great job working diligently to advance this project to Stage 3 and ultimately get shovels in the ground” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson. 

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Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference

It was a pleasure to attend Rural Ontario Municipal Association alongside Attorney General @douglasdowney and hear from many rural municipalities across Ontario.

Our government is working hard to build a better, stronger and safer Ontario to ensure this is the best place to live, work and do business.

I was happy to join Town of The Blue Mountains Mayor Andrea Matrosovs, CAO Shawn Everitt & Councillor McKinlay at Rural Ontario Municipal Association and discuss local priorities such as health care, attainable housing, red tape reduction and transportation.

The Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) is the rural voice of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). The Association is an integral part of AMO and a number of its Executive Members serve on the AMO Board of Directors. Policy, research and advocacy activities are undertaken by ROMA through AMO.

Redevelopment Planning Continues at Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson visited Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston to close out 2022.  A January 9th Stevenson Memorial Hospital Press Release states that Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning (Kasian), a Toronto-based full-service planning and design firm, has been awarded the contract to design Phase 1 of SMH’s redevelopment project. “We are looking forward to working with Kasian to help bring our vision of a redeveloped hospital for our community to life,” said Mr. Levac in the prepared news release.

“This is another important milestone in the redevelopment process and exciting news for area residents who depend on the Stevenson Memorial Hospital for their healthcare needs. CEO Jody Levac, the Hospital Board and the Stevenson Memorial Team are doing a great job working diligently to advance this project to Stage 3 and ultimately get shovels in the ground” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson.

Prior to Christmas, Hospital President and CEO Jody Levac provided MPP Saunderson with an update on the status of Stage 2 of the hospital’s revitalization application. CEO Levac also gave MPP Saunderson a tour of the facility which was built in 1964. The hospital’s Emergency Department was designed to serve 7,000 patients in a year. Now it serves almost 40,000 patients annually.

Beaver Valley Outreach
40 Years of Outstanding Community Service

I was happy to attend the Beaver Valley Outreach 40th Anniversary Flag Raising Ceremony and to have the opportunity to present congratulatory greetings from the Province of Ontario. The ceremony was held at 12 noon on Thursday January 19th. The wind kicked up right on schedule … perfect weather for flying the flag!

Congratulations to Carolyn Letourneau, Executive Director of Beaver Valley Outreach, past and present board members, staff and the many community volunteers on 40 years of outstanding service to the Town of The Blue Mountains!

In 1983, a small group of women in the Town of The Blue Mountains realized there was a need to offer help in the form of programs, food and clothing to community members in need. Beaver Valley Outreach has grown to be a vital, respected organization within the Blue Mountains community.

Carolyn Letourneau (front row, second from the left) is the BVO Executive Director. Norine Baron (front row, third from the left, in the orange sweater) is an original Board Director and remains an active participant in the day-to-day activities. Carolyn and Norine are two of the many team members that represent the well tuned engine that drives this outstanding facility. The BVO web site states that counting volunteers, program participants and partners, it is estimated that two out of every three Town of The Blue Mountain residents have some sort of connection to BVO. This certainly shows the strength of the organization and generosity of the town residents. 

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Standing Committee on Justice Policy

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario Standing Committee on Justice Policy met at Queen’s Park on Wednesday January 18th, 2023 for the purpose of considering committee business pursuant to standing order 113(A) respecting a possible study related to reform of Canada’s bail system as it relates to the provincial administration of justice and public safety.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson and Professional Public Policy Advisor Trent Gow got together recently to launch the new Point2Point Podcast on MPP Saunderson’s social media platforms.  In the inaugural post Saunderson and Gow discussed the all-important issue of Attainable Housing, Bill 23, and ways for government and developers to work together to build more homes faster. MPP Saunderson made it clear that this issue is top priority.

Celebrating 20 Years in Collingwood

It was my pleasure to recognize Mark and Jane Palmer of Greenland International Consulting Engineers in recognition of their 20th anniversary in Collingwood.
The Greenland Group of Companies (GREENLAND®) is an award-winning engineering and technologies enterprise. It includes private consulting firms, other businesses and internationally renowned research teams that collaborate on civil; environmental; alternative energy; and software engineering projects.

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Meeting with Town of The Blue Mountains Mayor, CAO and Deputy Mayor

Town of The Blue Mountains CAO Shawn Everitt, Mayor Andrea Matrosovs, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson

I was pleased to visit the Town of The Blue Mountains to meet with Mayor Andrea Matrosovs and CAO Shawn Everitt on Wednesday January 11th. We discussed the housing crisis & other local and provincial issues and how the Province and municipalities can work collaboratively to address them.

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All Star Weekend a Huge Success

I was proud to be able to stand at centre ice with Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall, Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin, OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy and Collingwood Blues Owner/President David Steele prior to the Ontario Junior Hockey League all-star game in Collingwood.

Players from all parts of our riding and the province took part in the exciting, high scoring, nationally televised affair.  Collingwood Blues Captain Cam Garvey was selected co-player of the game, helping his team, Team Hyman (North-West), win 9-8 over Team Giordano (South-East) in overtime. Garvey was quoted on the OJHL Facebook page as saying the honour was special.

Meeting with Collingwood Mayor, Deputy Mayor, CAO

Around the boardroom table:
Left – Town of Collingwood CAO Sonya Skinner, Deputy Mayor Tim Fryer
Right – Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson

It was my pleasure to meet with Town of Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin, Deputy Mayor Tim Fryer and CAO Sonya Skinner on Thursday January 12th at Collingwood Town Hall. Our discussion covered many important topics including Provincial funding opportunities, infrastructure funding pressures, asset management planning, affordable housing, Provincial offences enforcement and regional transportation planning.

Parkinson’s Support Group in Wasaga Beach

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson was invited to participate in a regular meeting of the Parkinson’s Support Group in Wasaga Beach on Thursday January 5th. The support group meets in person at the Wasaga Beach Public Library on the 1st Thursday of each month at 12:30 p.m. There was a good exchange on Parkinson’s support concerns and other related issues.

Simcoe-Grey Welcomes Our First 2023 Arrivals

Congratulations to Melissa and Stan Porchia, pictured above, who welcomed a baby boy on January 1, 2023, at 8:01 p.m., the first baby born in 2023 at the General & Marine Hospital in Collingwood.

Congratulations to Kelly and Nick Archibald welcomed a baby boy, Tate, pictured above, on Jan. 2, 2023 at 2:33 p.m. at Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston.

In his January 2023 PODCAST, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talks about his recent visits to hospitals in Alliston and Collingwood, and provides updates on redevelopment applications. MPP Saunderson talks about how communities in his riding will benefit financially from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, a tour he had of a new Alliston elementary school, a tour he had of the new Toronto courthouse, and how his riding is being noticed for being a leader in electric vehicle technology. These stories and more on THE PODCAST.

September 2022 Newsletter
October 2022 Newsletter
November 2022 Newsletter
December 2022 Newsletter