Newsletter May 2023

It has been another busy month throughout the riding of Simcoe-Grey and at Queen’s Park. It seems as though it has taken forever for the warm weather to arrive, but we closed out the month with brilliant sunshine and more seasonable temperatures. I have enjoyed touring the riding, meeting with business owners, educators, entrepreneurs and friends. We are so fortunate to be able to call Simcoe-Grey home.


Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant for Matthews House Hospice in Alliston

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson met with the team at Matthews House Hospice (MHH) to hear how a $150,000 Capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2022 has made an impact. The grant was used to install a high-level security system designed specifically to ensure people living with mild to moderate dementia and cognitive impairments are safe. The system was required for the new Memory Care and Dementia Day program. The project has been completed and the new program will commence on June 5th.

“This important investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to install a state-of-the-art security system to ensure the safety and security of the patients in the memory care and dementia day program. I want to congratulate Matthews House CEO, Margaret Bachle, and her team of staff and dedicated volunteers for the great work they do supporting people and their families in our community” said Saunderson.


New Wasaga Beach Provincial Park Patrol Boat is now in service

Earlier this spring, the Ontario government announced it had invested $123,000 to purchase a new patrol boat for Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. The objective was to improve the visitor experience at the park and boost local tourism at the world’s longest fresh water beach. The new boat is bigger and better equipped than the previous boat that patrolled the beach waterfront. It also stands out more. Park officials say the boat’s design and lettering provides improved visibility from shore and on the water, important in an emergency situation allowing the patrol boat to be identified quickly by other boaters and those that require help.


Record Setting Hike for Hospice
Ontario Trillium Foundation Funding Announcement

Melanie Case from 95.1 THE PEAK introduced Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson and Debora Bloom Hall from OTF. “I am delighted to announce that we are joined by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) today who will present Hospice Georgian Triangle with a cheque for $116,900” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson.

It was another record setting day for the annual Hike and Bike for Hospice in Collingwood on Sunday May 28th. Perfect sunny weather greeted participants as they hiked and biked along Collingwood streets and trails. As everyone was leaving after lunch it was announced over $188,500. was raised this year. Margo Brandreth was the top fundraiser, at $22,340.

“The work of Hospice Georgian Triangle is made possible by donors like yourselves and funding providers. I am delighted to announce that we are joined by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) today who will present Hospice Georgian Triangle with a cheque for $116,900” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson.

This generous funding has been granted to Hospice through the OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund. “The OTF Resilient Communities fund was designed to build resiliency following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting staff and future operations with human resource management and strategic planning expertise” Saunderson added.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


IG Wealth Walk for Alzheimer’s

I had the pleasure of joining my Provincial colleagues, Minister Doug Downey and MPP Andrea Khanjin, and Federal colleagues, John Brassard, Member of Parliament Barrie-Innisfil and Doug Shipley for the 25th IG Wealth Walk for Alzheimer’s Sunday morning, May 28th, at the Simcoe County Museum.

Over 400 walkers were out on this beautiful day to walk 11,000 steps in support of the 11,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in Simcoe County.

Congratulations to Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County CEO, Ann-Marie Kungl, and her team, the Board and the many many volunteers and sponsors for making this such a great community event. A big shout out and thank you to the hikers who came out and raised the much needed funds to support the 11,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in the region.


Escarpment Corridor Alliance Art Show & Barbecue

I enjoyed attending the Escarpment Corridor Alliance Art Show and Barbecue on Saturday May 27th. The event was held to raise awareness of the Alliance’s mission to protect the escarpment and significant green spaces in the region.


Collingwood Off Road Cycling Association

I had the opportunity to attend the Collingwood Off Road Cycling Association (CORC) event at Highlands Nordic on Saturday afternoon to check out the action.

It was great opportunity to connect with cycling friends and to speak with Benjamin Dasti, Assistant Park Superintendent, and Jason DeHetre, owner of Little Ed’s and CORC member, about trail access in the Pretty River Park.

We will be working with Park Officials, local stakeholders, including cyclists and hikers, to work on trail issues from parking to accessibility and making sure we work collaboratively to preserve and protect our park lands.


Side Launch Brewing Company Re-launch

I had the pleasure of meeting Justin McKellar, President of Equals Brewing Company at the Side Launch Brewing Company Re-launch event. Equals Brewing Company purchased Side Launch last fall and brought back the former logo with a ship to honour Collingwood’s proud ship building history.


The Beer Store Bottle Drive

The Beer Store locations throughout the region including Simcoe-Grey held their annual bottle drives on Saturday May 27th where customers could drop off their empties or make a cash donation to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson met with Sarah Wark – District Manager of The Beer Store, and learned that since 2001, over 20 million dollars has been raised. Wark said donations from the bottle drives continue to make a huge difference in the fight against blood cancers


Simcoe Muskoka Hospital Healthcare Roundtable

It was a pleasure to participate in the Simcoe Muskoka Hospital Healthcare Roundtable with my colleagues, Minister Doug Downey, Minister Jill Dunlop and MPP Andrea Khanjin, with the CEO’s and Board Chairs from the 8 hospitals in the Simcoe Muskoka region; the Georgian Bay General Hospital, the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare, the Stevenson Memorial Hospital, the Soldier’s Memorial Hospital, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, and Waypoint Hospital. Simcoe County also participated as a critical partner and service provider in the healthcare sector.

It was a great opportunity to hear about the successes, opportunities and challenges our hospitals are experiencing. I was very impressed by the level of cooperation and collaboration among our hospitals as they work together to maximize patient outcomes in our region.


Final Victory Lap for the Collingwood Blues

One more victory lap down main street for the OJHL Hockey Champion Collingwood Blues!

It was a bright, sunny day for a championship parade. Junior hockey fans gathered along the downtown Collingwood streets to cheer on the Ontario Junior A – Frank R. Buckland Cup Champion Collingwood Blues on Saturday May 27th.

With the provincial championship fresh in their memories the Blues moved on to battle for the Centennial Cup in Portage la Prairie, losing a tight one-goal game in the quarter final after winning their first two games.

It was an incredible season for the team – a record setting performance on the ice, and off the ice, the establishment of a close emotional relationship with a community that warmly welcomed each player to town, and is now sad to see it all end.

The Town of Collingwood has a proud hockey history, and this Collingwood Blues team can now take its place in the championship section.


Good Shepherd Food Bank – Alliston

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson toured the Alliston Good Shepherd Food Bank on Tuesday May 23rd. MPP Saunderson met with Dave Bradbury and Mike Vear to learn more about the current needs of the food bank and growing demands for its service.

Both Vear and Bradbury talked about the incredible generosity of Alliston and area residents, businesses and corporate outlets. Donations of food, produce and cash are currently meeting the demands of the food bank, but sadly demand continues to grow. Mike Vear said the number of people accessing the Good Shepherd Food Bank has doubled this year when compared to the year before. He said the changing demographics of New Tecumseth have resulted in the food bank having to alter its inventory to provide a proper selection for clients for the large catchment area it serves.


Take your MPP to School Day

It was my pleasure to visit two Simcoe County District School Board schools in Stayner on ”Take your MPP to School Day!

My first stop was at Stayner Collegiate. Principal Kimberlee Hand (pictured above) provided me with a tour of what is one of only two Grade 7 to 12 schools in Simcoe County. I was joined by Brandy Rafeek: SCDSB Trustee and Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) Superintendent Greg Jacobs.

Left-to-Right: SCDSB Trustee Brandy Rafeek, Vice-Principal Amanda Harrison, SCDSB Superintendent Greg Jacobs, MPP Brian Saunderson, Clearview Meadows School Principal Lisa Saunders

My second stop was at Clearview Meadows Elementary School. Principal Lisa Saunders took me on a school tour, along with Vice-Principal Amanda Harrison, Brandy Rafeek: SCDSB Trustee and SCDSB Superintendent Greg Jacobs.


Kingsmere Retirement Residence

I enjoyed visiting with residents of the Kingsmere Retirement Residence in Alliston on Tuesday May 23rd. We met in the theatre and enjoyed a good question and answer session. Thank you to the residents for inviting me to meet with them. It was great to see you all again.

While visiting Kingsmere Retirement Residence in Alliston, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with a longtime family friend, Mr. Chad Bark, and present him with a certificate of recognition. Chad Park is a wonderful man, about to celebrate his 99th birthday!


Collingwood Downtown Farmers’ Market – 20 Years

VIDEO: Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson visited the Collingwood Downtown Farmers’ Market on the Victoria Day Holiday Weekend to recognize the market’s 20th anniversary. MPP Saunderson presented Collingwood Downtown BIA General Manager Sue Nicholson with a certificate in recognition of this accomplishment.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson presented Collingwood Downtown BIA General Manager Sue Nicholson and Farmers’ Market Manager Sam Ball with a certificate on behalf of the Province of Ontario in recognition of the market’s 20th anniversary.


I was pleased to meet with Ali Wines and Caitlin Foisy from Protect Our Winters Canada. Winter recreation/tourism is incredibly important to the Simcoe-Grey economy, as is public transit throughout the region. Protect Our Winters Canada – Collingwood Chapter

Here’s a link for more information about Protect Our Winters Canada:

https://www.protectourwinters.ca/


Haley Park Loretto Funding Announcement

I was pleased to visit Haley Park in Loretto on Friday May 19th to visit the park and to talk about the major improvements that are beginning to take shape. A $498,200 Community Building Fund – Capital stream grant over 12 months, will address a community need by creating accessible parking, paths and entrance, repairing baseball diamonds, installing accessible playground equipment and retrofitting soccer field for year-round use at Haley Park in  Loretto.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE – PHOTOS


A Double Celebration in Downtown Stayner

Every May, Clearview Township residents, community leaders, Legion representatives and visitors to Stayner gather to celebrate the bloom of tulips.  This year, there was something extra to celebrate.

The Stayner Garden Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary.  To mark this historic occasion, and to tie in to Clearview Tulip Days, the club has donated a new fountainhead, shaped like a tulip, and now fully operational, to welcome visitors to Fountain Park in downtown Stayner. The Clearview Tulip Days event holds historical significance as it recognizes the liberation of Holland by paying tribute to the brave Canadian soldiers and their incredible accomplishments in writing an important part of history. Each year the organization receives tulips from the Netherlands.

CLICK HERE TO READ MOREPHOTOS


Breaking Down Barriers Funding Announcement

Breaking Down Barriers Board Chair Tom Crawford, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson, Board Member kathryn Bloomfield, Executive Director Teresa Gal

Breaking Down Barriers, ILRC has been awarded a provincial grant aimed at developing tools and educational resources to raise awareness about the value and benefits of accessibility and help make Ontario open to people of all abilities.

The provincial grant, EnAbling Change Program, supports Breaking Down Barriers’ project “Start the Conversation AODA 2025” recognizing the importance of inclusive and accessible businesses and customer service for all people of all abilities. Breaking Down Barriers has played a vital role promoting and supporting accessibility for individuals with diverse disabilities for 38 years. Under this grant, the business community will have access to resources and guidance regarding their own accessibility concerns and solutions.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


Simcoe Sikh Society

On Sunday May 14, 2023, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural event of the Simcoe Sikh Society at the New Tecumseth Recreation Centre in Alliston.

The event, the Gurmat Smagam, celebrates the Sikh Heritage Month in Ontario (April) and offers Ardas, a prayer for establishing the Simcoe Sikh Society.

It was a wonderful celebration of Sikh culture, faith, music and food. I look forward to working with the Simcoe Sikh Society in Simcoe Grey as they spread their message of peace, diversity and inclusion in our region.


Tottenham Home Show and Artisan Market

I enjoyed attending the Tottenham Home Show and Artisan Market on Saturday May 13th, and catching up with Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall, Town of New Tecumseth Mayor Richard Norcross, Councillor Alan Masters and Quintan Anthony from A&G Concepts Countertops. This year there were over 90 vendors taking part in the expanded event that included face painting, music, entertainment, special guests and a food truck.

Tottenham & Beeton District Chamber Of Commerce


Collingwood Highway 26 West Upgrades

Simcoe-Grey: Collingwood – The Ontario government is providing $2,120,170 to help with the rehabilitation of Highway 26 from Osler Bluff Road to Cranberry Trail West. The funding is being delivered through the Connecting Links program and will help to support the safe movement of people and goods and spur economic growth.


POINT2POINT PODCAST

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson and Professional Public Policy Advisor Trent Gow discuss the Ontario Budget in this edition of the POINT2POINT Podcast.


AROUND THE RIDING PODCAST

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talks about recent events that have taken place in his riding and at Queen’s Park. Thanks for listening!


Trevor’s Roof Repairs in Beeton Ribbon Cutting

Owners Trevor & Robyn Caruana received congratulatory certificates from MP Terry Dowdall and MPP Brian Saunderson

Trevor’s Roof Repairs held the Grand Opening of its new location in Beeton on Saturday May 6th! I was happy to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony and to offer congratulations on behalf of Simcoe-Grey and the Province of Ontario to owners Trevor & Robyn Caruana!

Trevor’s Roof Repairs in Beeton is a full-service roofing company that provides roof replacements & repairs, eavestrough cleaning & maintenance, skylight replacement, chimney removal, soffit, fascia and blown-in insulation.


Ontario Investing in Infrastructure Improvements at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

The Ontario government is investing $123,000 to purchase a new patrol boat for Wasaga Beach Provincial Park which will improve the visitor experience at the park and boost local tourism.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson said this announcement represents welcome news for residents and the tens of thousands of yearly visitors to Wasaga Beach. “This important investment will support the daily operations of this beautiful beach and is recognition of the significance of this incredible Provincial Park” Saunderson stated.

MPP Saunderson said this investment at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park to improve infrastructure supports the purchase of a new patrol boat.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


Stayner Kinsmen Duck Race

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon for the Annual Kinsmen Duck Race at Centennial Park in Stayner.

There was a huge crowd, young and old, enjoying the sunshine and watching the excitement as the ducks made their way down the course.

Congratulations to the Kinsmen and the participants on a great afternoon of racing and making it such a successful fundraising event.


Living Water Resorts Retirement Residence Groundbreaking

VIDEO: I was honoured to be a part of the ground breaking ceremony of Living Water Resorts Retirement Residence in Collingwood. Opening Summer 2024.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson, Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall, Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin and Deputy Mayor Tim Fryer along with other special guests joined owner Larry Law in the ground breaking ceremony.
Larry Law is the Founder and CEO of Living Water Resorts in Collingwood. “It’s always been my purpose to ask – what more can I do for my community?  In my heart, I know this project will make a meaningful contribution to our four-season paradise and the community at large.”

The existing resort property at Keith Avenue and Highway 26 was once a Holiday Inn. Later, it was renovated and became the Cranberry Inn. The transformation of this long-time Collingwood property will feature 129 new rental units dedicated to seniors and retirees.  In addition, there will be 13,000 square feet of amenity space, including dining, lounges and fitness facilities to be used exclusively by Living Water Retirement Home residents.  Completion is anticipated in the summer of 2024.


Tatham Named One of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers of 2023

I was pleased to present Tatham Engineering President Dan Hurley with a Certificate on behalf of the Province of Ontario in recognition of his firm being recognized as one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers for 2023.

Tatham Engineering is a team of multi-disciplinary project managers, engineers, technical staff and industry professionals who have been challenged to provide consulting engineering, design and construction services relating to the fields of Coastal, Land Development, Municipal, Structural (Buildings and Bridges), Transportation, Water Resources, Water & Wastewater, Mechanical and Electrical engineering.


Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County

It was a pleasure to meet with Ann-Marie Kungl, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County. Ann-Marie is known to be a dementia champion, with an extensive resume supporting Alzheimer Society efforts. The Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County is dedicated to providing help for people living with dementia, and their care partners, offering programs and services in communities throughout the County.


During #MentalHealthWeek in Ontario, on Friday May 5th, I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Valerie Grdisa, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association – Simcoe County Branch.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Simcoe County Branch provides a full care system for people dealing with addictions and mental health issues. Dealing with all age groups from youth to seniors, CMHA programs help individuals and families to lead lives filled with meaning and promise, with 250 staff members working from offices in Barrie, Orillia, Collingwood, Midland, Innisfil and soon Wasaga Beach. 
Click here to view the addresses of CMHA offices.


Veteran’s Dinner – Creemore Legion

It was an honour and a pleasure to attend The Tri-Branch (Royal Canadian Legion Stayner , Creemore, New Lowell Legion) Veteran’s dinner at the Creemore Legion. It was a most enjoyable evening and a wonderful tribute to our veterans including special guests Retired Brigadier General, John Hayter, a member of the Grey & Simcoe Foresters, and WWII Veteran Bill Snow, 100 years young!

Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall, Wasaga Beach Mayor Brian Smith, Clearview Mayor Doug Measures, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson
The Beinn Gorm Highlanders with Sheila Stewart

Admiral Collingwood School Virtual Tour of Legislative Assembly

I was delighted to extend greetings from Queen’s Park on Wednesday afternoon (May 10, 2023) to students at Admiral Collingwood Elementary School as a part of their virtual tour of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


Stayner Siskins Win North Conference Final Series

Congratulations to the Stayner Siskins, winners of the North Conference Final Junior C hockey series. The Siskins defeated the Midland Flyers, Orillia Terriers, their long-time rivals the Alliston Hornets in a hard fought series and charged ahead to defeat the Mount Forest Patriots 6-2 at home in front of a packed arena on Sunday April 30th to win the North Conference Finals and earned the right to compete in the Schmalz Cup Final Four Tournament in Woodstock! The

The Siskins lost a hard fought close game against the Clarington Eagles by a score of 2-1 in the semi-finals of the Schmalz Cup tournament.

Congratulations to the players, coaches and volunteers on a fantastic season and Schmalz Cup tournament, you have done us all very proud!


Collingwood Blues Win OJHL Championship

Hockey Night in Collingwood is now in the record books! Congratulations to the Mike Jackson Collingwood Blues for winning the OJHL title Friday night, April 28th, at home in the sold out Eddie Bush Memorial Arena. It took overtime for the Blues to win 2-1 over the Trenton Golden Hawks, taking the best-of-seven Nutrafarms Championship Series four games to one. Mark McIntosh scored both goals for the Blues, including the game and series winner at 2:53 of overtime. Collingwood’s stand-out goaltender Noah Pak was named the OJHL playoff MVP.

The champion Collingwood Blues will now move on to battle for the Centennial Cup with their first game May 11th in Portage la Prairie. The Blues won their first two games but lost in the quarter-finals. Thank you Blues for an outstanding, exciting hockey season.


… give us a minute and we’ll provide a snapshot into the daily life activities of the special people and services they offer here in Simcoe-Grey!

I was pleased to meet with representatives from the Canadian Franchise Association during their advocacy day at Queen’s Park today and discuss the importance of the franchise industry and small businesses in Simcoe-Grey.


It was my pleasure to meet with Fire Chief Kent Readman, representing the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs at Queen’s Park today.

We discussed the current firefighting training & certification framework, mental health & PTSD supports, fire safety education, and the next generation 911 program.


It was my pleasure to speak with the senior leadership team at Ontario Waste Management Association to discuss the challenges in the recycling sector and the present opportunities for proactive change.


Special visit at the #Ontario Legislature today!

Project Arrow demonstrates our world class auto capabilities and innovation. The cars of the future will be built in Ontario by Ontario workers 🚙.

Thanks @APMACanada and @OVIN.

Ontario innovation at its finest!


The final day of a four week rotation for this group of pages at Queen’s Park. Minister Michael Parsa, Deputy Speaker Donna Scully, MPP John Jordan and I want to thank them for their great work and wish them every success as they head home.


It was my pleasure to meet with CIJA and attend their advocacy day at Queen’s Park to discuss fighting #Antisemitism, safeguarding culturally appropriate long-term care and combating food insecurity.

There is no place for #Antisemitism in Ontario!

Thank you Catholic Education in Ontario for meeting with me this afternoon to discuss the great work our government is doing to support students and the importance of publicly funded Catholic Education in my riding and across Ontario.

OCSDA represents Ontario’s 29 English Catholic School Boards that collectively nurture and educate 600K students.

#CatholicEd#OntEd


This week I sat with representatives from @ITCANNews to discuss Ontario’s illegal tobacco issue and ways to tackle the problem.

https://www.imperialtobaccocanada.com/


Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson paid tribute to former Simcoe-Centre MPP Bruce Owen in the Ontario Legislature on Thursday afternoon, May 11th.


MPP Brian Saunderson celebrates championship hockey teams in Simcoe-Grey at Queen’s Park.


MPP Saunderson Addresses Bill 100

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson spoke to Bill 100 in the Ontario Legislature on Thursday May 11, 2023.


Thank you Ontario University Athletics for meeting with me to discuss the association’s economic impact across the province and their commitment.


Meeting with a Grey Cup Champion!

It was a fantastic experience for me to meet former running back and return specialist, Grey Cup Champion, and current General Manager for Toronto Argonauts Football Club of the Canadian Football League at Queen’s Park today.


I enjoyed a wonderful morning attending and speaking at the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects breakfast at Queen’s Park.

Landscape architects are leaders, designing parks which support mental health, recreation facilities for physical health, communities less prone to flooding and a public realm accessible for everyone to enjoy.


I was pleased to meet with members of PeerWorks – Formerly OPDI & Collingwood local, Julian Millman from Simcoe Peer Support, to discuss the importance of the unique mental-health challenges of the post-pandemic environment.

PeerWorks’ mission is to strengthen and promote diverse peer voices in Ontario, through community building, information-sharing, collaboration, advocacy, and education.


I had the chance to speak with current and past athletes, coaches and administrators, and 2 mascots, from the 20 member post-secondary institutions that make up the Ontario Universities Athletics.

https://www.oua.ca/landing/index


CLICK HERE for video reports from the riding of Simcoe-Grey and Queen’s Park with MPP Brian Saunderson.

April 2023 Newsletter
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