Newsletter September 2023
Welcome to my September 2023 Newsletter. The leaves are turning and the apples are appearing on market shelves along with fall baked goods, ciders and craft brews. September is a wonderful time to visit all parts of Simcoe-Grey to take in the beautiful colours and visit the many businesses and fall attractions.
Premier Doug Ford announced his government will reverse Greenbelt land swap decision
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is reversing his government’s plan to open up the Greenbelt for development. At a press conference this afternoon, Premier Ford apologized to Ontarians for breaking an election promise. “I want the people of Ontario to know, I’m listening.”
Ford said it was a mistake to open the Greenbelt. “When I make a mistake, I fix it.”
“We’re doing everything in our powers with the proper intentions to have affordable, attainable homes for people in this province. I thank you for your understanding.”
Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson said when his party makes promises they are to be taken seriously, along with delivering on those promises. “The Ontario Auditor General found in her report that the process was rushed. We heard you, we listened and we acted” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson.
Ontario Awarding Victim Support Grant to Nottawasaga OPP
The Ontario government is investing more than $4 million across the province to help support victims and survivors of intimate partner violence/domestic violence, human trafficking, and child exploitation. The funding is being delivered through the Victim Support Grant program and includes $85,420.35 for the Nottawasaga detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police. The Nottawasaga OPP encompasses three townships: New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio, and Essa.
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Ontario Plowing Match
It was my pleasure to join our PC Caucus at the 2023 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo on such a beautiful, sunny day at Bowling Green in Dufferin-Caledon.
The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) is a five-day celebration of agriculture and rural living, the largest event of its kind in North America. Hosting the International Plowing Match – heading into its 104th year – is a collaborative effort of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association and a Local Committee.
Flag Raising Ceremony at Collingwood’s Friendship Gardens
VIDEO: The Town of Collingwood held a Flag Raising Ceremony at Friendship Gardens as a part of a day of special festivities to welcome the Mayor Yamamoto of Katano Japan and 27 special guests from its Sister City.
Collingwood Welcomes Visitors from Sister City Katano Japan
A celebration was held to highlight the twin city relationship between Collingwood and Katano Japan that began in 1981 and continues to grow. Members of the original Sister City Committee were in attendance including Gord Norris, Cathy deRuiter and former Collingwood Mayor Ron Emo.
In November 2019, a Collingwood delegation of about 20 people that included Mayor Brian Saunderson, visited Katano and other towns and cities in Japan.
On this special day, a delegation of 27 people made the return visit to Collingwood. Saunderson, the former Mayor and now Simcoe-Grey MPP, said it had been unfortunate COVID-19 delayed their return visit. “It has been too long and it is great to see you all again” Saunderson said in extending greetings from the Province and residents of Simcoe-Grey to the Katano visitors that included Mayor Yamamoto at the 40th anniversary luncheon celebrating the Collingwood – Collingwood-Katano Sister City relationship.
Beeton Fall Fair 167 Years Young
It is fall fair time again in Simcoe-Grey. This is always a fun time of year. I enjoyed attending the opening of the Beeton Fall Fair, one of the oldest agricultural fall fairs in Canada. Celebrating 167 years the Beeton Fall Fair welcomed family and friends for another great weekend of fun with exhibits, demonstrations, 4-H shows, competitions, food, rides on the midway and more!
National Legion Week
The Royal Canadian Legion is pleased to announce its first National Legion Week taking place this year from September 17-23. The week-long event is designed to help educate visitors about the excellent work their local branch does to serve and support military and RCMP Veterans, and how their branch contributes to the well-being of the community itself. It is also a chance to invite new members, and new volunteers.
Legion Branches are the cornerstone of communities across Canada, and provide one of the largest volunteer bases in the country.
“Legions serve a very important role in our communities throughout Simcoe-Grey” said MPP Brian Saunderson. “They provide support services for our veterans, young and old, promote Remembrance, provide local services and supports and serve as a community hub every day” Saunderson added.
11 Medals for Alliston’s Finn Woolley
It was a pleasure to meet 16 year old Finn Woolley from Alliston. He brought his collection of medals with him including two golds. I was happy to present Finn with a certificate of appreciation of his impressive accomplishments on behalf of the Province and residents of Simcoe-Grey. Finn came home with 11 medals in total from the Ontario Lifesaving Championships held this summer at Saugeen Shores. Woolley, who has spent many years cottaging with his family at Saugeen Shores, is a member of the Saugeen Shores Lifesaving Club. Back home, Woolley is also a member of the Banting Memorial High School swim team.
New Tecumseth Gibson Centre Receives a Seniors Community Grant
The Ontario government continues to invest in its seniors more than ever before by funding Seniors Community Grants across the province, including providing $95,298 in Simcoe-Grey. Seniors Community Grants help seniors stay safe, fit, active, healthy, socially connected, in their community and close to home.
Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson visited the Gibson Cultural Centre in Alliston, a Seniors Community Grant recipient of $25,000 for their Connecting Seniors through the Arts program. “These investments make a big difference in the lives of Ontario’s older adults here in Simcoe-Grey,” said MPP Brian Saunderson. “Staying connected close to home and safely taking part in local life lets our seniors keep active with friends, family and the community.”
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Meet Leora Harwood representing Canada on the D.A.R.E Youth Advocacy Board
Hi, my name is Leora Harwood, and I am honored to represent Canada on the D.A.R.E. Youth Advocacy Board. I’m from Ontario and live in a small town called Alliston, which is a short drive away from Toronto. I am currently in grade 9, and I attend St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School where I am an active member of the swimming team, cross country team, Ultimate Frisbee team, tennis team, fishing club, book club, and the school newspaper. Outside of school I swim, ski, figure skate, play tennis, hang out with friends and work as a lifeguard.
I believe you should always try your best, whether on the court, rink, water or the classroom. Academically, I always try my best and was the valedictorian of my grade 8 graduating class. In elementary school I completed the D.A.R.E program, and without it I would not be who I am today. I hope to spread the message of the D.A.R.E program across Canada, so that everyone can reach their full potential. D.A.R.E. America International
The Grand Parade in Alliston Hits Fundraising Target
It was a pleasure to take part in the Grand Parade in Alliston. I was joined by MPP for Scarborough North & Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho, Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall, Township of Essa Mayor Sandie MacDonald, members of New Tecumseth Council and generous citizens who helped make the event so successful. In fact, the Alliston event boasted the most registered teams in Canada and hit 100 percent of its fund raising goal, $20,000, at the inaugural event!
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MPP Raymond Cho has a special gift for us
VIDEO: Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, Scarborough North MPP Raymond Cho presented a special gift to participants of the Alliston Grand Parade and to a special group of hikers at the Tiffin Centre for Conservation.
Celebrating Accessibility In The Great Outdoors
It was my pleasure to hike on Saturday September 16th with the MPP for Scarborough North & Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, Raymond Cho, along with Ksenia Khan, Director of Programming for Parkbus, her team members and guests, at the beautiful Tiffin Centre for Conservation.
Ksenia Khan was our guide as we explored the many forest trails, stopping along the way to take in the incredible scenery and to pause for quiet reflection. Parkbus connects city dwellers with nature by providing accessible transportation to National and Provincial Parks across Canada.
Parkbus has launched ActiveDays, a community program that offers guided group day hikes. ActiveDays is all about building a passionate outdoor community that’s welcoming to everyone, including newcomers, low-income families, and members of visible minorities.
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Duntroon Cyder House
There are many reasons tourists love to visit Simcoe-Grey throughout all four seasons. Agri-tourism attracts thousands of visitors to our region from all parts of Ontario and beyond, to rural settings where they can explore and experience the many joys of farm life, sample and take home the many unique products grown and created here.
Situated on County Road 124 just north of Duntroon in Clearview is one of the region’s popular destinations, the Duntroon Cyder House. Tim and Kimberly Schneider take great pride in welcoming visitors to the region, and to provide products bursting with local ingredients.
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Ontario Protecting Wasaga Beach Against Gun and Gang Violence
Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson participated in the Standing Committee session on Justice Policy at Queen’s Park on Thursday September 14th. The session focused on 2023-2024 Estimates of the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
York Centre MPP – Ontario Solicitor General Michael Kerzner talked to committee members about recent funding for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) upgrades to OPP detachments in Ontario, including $29,445.00 for Huronia West OPP in Wasaga Beach to improve surveillance and provide greater protection to the rapidly growing community against gun and gang violence. Kerzner told the committee that getting illegal guns off the streets is a top priority.
Fire Services in Ontario Certification Standards
MPP Saunderson asked the Solicitor General to comment on Fire Department Training and Certification.
“Firefighter certification protects the safety of firefighters and the public” Kerzner said. He talked about a new regulation that came into effect on July 1, 2022. “Prior to this there was no new minimum firefighter certification standard in the province. The absence of such a standard meant that firefighters might not have the appropriate training to provide a level of service set by the municipality resulting in potential safety issues for firefighters and the public” Kerzner said. The Solicitor General said Fire Services across Ontario have four years to achieve the certification and for most fire protection service standards and six years for technical rescue disciplines, the mandatory certification process validates training that should already be occurring in Fire Services today.
Honouring Town of The Blue Mountains’ Fire Chief Stephen Conn
Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson presented a Certificate from the Province of Ontario to recognize The Blue Mountains’ Fire Chief Stephen Conn being awarded the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery. Conn was awarded the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery on Thursday, June 22, 2023, by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
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Aenea Lakmaaker from Nottawa Prepares for World Tap Dance Championships
Aenea Lakmaaker is a 13 year old dancer from Nottawa. This spring, Lakmaaker was chosen to join Team Canada Dance, providing an opportunity to represent Canada at the International Dance organization World Tap Dance Championships to be held from September 23rd to 30th in Risea, Germany. Lakmaaker’s home studio is The Dance Room in Stayner.
“I am so excited to go and represent Canada!! Last year I was also on the team and we won Silver in the Children’s division” Lakmaaker said.
MPP Brian Saunderson, a past Olympian, was very happy to not only meet Aenea but to provide pins (as pictured below) to take to the World Championships.
From everyone in Nottawa, Discover Clearview and throughout Simcoe-Grey … Good luck Aenea!
Creedan Valley Care Community Special Presentation
VIDEO: It was my pleasure to attend the annual Creedan Valley Community Pig Roast in Creemore on Wednesday September 13th. It was my added pleasure to pay special recognition to three new friends from Ukraine by presenting them with certificates from the Province and residents of Simcoe-Grey.
To Nadiia Laishchuk, Yevheniia Marchenkova and Olha Marynyak, I express my gratitude for your dedication, work, and sacrifice in contributing to the community by joining the hard working professionals at the Creedan Valley Care Community in Creemore to serve those in need of extra care in supportive living.
Learn more by visiting the Creedan Valley Community website:
“Creedan Valley Community is a warm, vibrant community that is home to 69 people, situated in the tranquil village of Creemore, the ‘little village with a big heart’ in South Georgian Bay on the Eastern boundary of the Niagara Escarpment. We offer a rich variety of programs and activities including fitness programs, rehabilitation, multi-faith services, art, music, and shopping trips, tours, country drives, and other excursions.”
Ontario Junior A Champion Collingwood Blues Continue to Win in Season Openers
The top Junior A team in the province picked right up where it left off after capturing the OJHL Buckland Cup last season by winning both its road opener and home opener. Fresh off a 4-2 win in Brantford against the 99ers, the Mike Jackson Collingwood Blues defeated the Mississauga Chargers 9-3 in their home opener at the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena.
The Blues scored early and often in taking charge of the game in front of a big home crowd, dominating the Chargers in all areas of the game. Team Captain Dylan Hudon scored four times, his third goal, a beauty on a second period breakaway.
Ivy Fall Family Picnic
I was happy to join Ted Woods and Sandy Kursis at the Ivy Fall Family Picnic along with 200 local residents on Saturday September 9th. It was a wonderful community gathering with vintage cars and tractors on display, games and a bouncy castle for the kids, an opportunity to operate a real fire hose, local wares on sale to raise funds for local causes and to help fight cancer in children and free food and drink paid for by the local Orange Lodge.
Simcoe County Suicide Awareness Council Bench Dedication Ceremony
Simcoe County Suicide Awareness Council held a special bench dedication ceremony at Collingwood’s Sunset Point on Sunday September 10th.
Sunday September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is a major public health problem with far-reaching social, emotional and economic consequences.
“Creating Hope Through Action” is the ongoing theme that serves as a powerful call to action and reminder that there is an alternative to suicide. The events on this day are designed to provide hope and offer positive steps to help prevent further suicides.
PODCAST:/the-state-of-a-sustainable-ontario-podcast/ Professional Public Policy Advisor Trent Gow and Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson discuss “The State of a Sustainable Ontario” in this edition of the POINT2POINT Podcast. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Simcoe Peer Support
Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson met with Julian Millman and Dawn Davidson of Simcoe Peer Support, a self help peer support and resource center for people who have or are experiencing mental health and addiction issues, including substance and alcohol abuse.
Simcoe Peer Support has about 1,000 active members. Once a person is a member, they remain a member for life. The door is always open for them to visit again. On any given day the organization provides support to about 15 people.
MORE ON THIS STORY – CLICK HERE
Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care
had the pleasure of touring Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Penetanguishene with Dr. Nadija Sunderji, President and CEO, Heather Bullock, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer and Kristi LaLonde, Communications Officer.
The Centre offers an extensive range of mental health clinical services and supports to all ages from children and youth to seniors and everyone in between from all over our region and Ontario.
Dr. Sunderji and her team do incredible work and I want to congratulate and thank them for everything they do to help those living with mental health challenges and illness.
Alliston Food Bank Continues to Grow
VIDEO: The Good Shepherd Food Bank in Alliston continues to change to stay the same. Now known as the Alliston Food Bank, the operation has had to modify the day to day activities in real time to meet the needs of a fast growing service area.
Earlier this year, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian 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 continue to meet the demands of the food bank, but sadly demand continues to grow. Mike Vear said the number of people accessing the food bank has doubled this year. 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.
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Senior’s Fair By The Bay
VIDEO: A late summer heatwave helped to make an early September waterfront event extra special in Thornbury on Wednesday September 6th. Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson attended the Senior’s Fair by the Bay along the Thornbury waterfront in The Town of The Blue Mountains, to represent the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho.
This type of event provides us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase the vitality and power of our seniors” MPP Saunderson said. “This is a wonderful event for seniors and caregivers here in Simcoe-Grey and more specifically the Blue Mountains to socialize and learn about programs and services available to seniors across Ontario.
MORE ON THIS STORY – ADDITIONAL PHOTOS
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer survivor Lauren Lesage helped raise the flag in front of the Collingwood Public Library on Friday September 1st in honour of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
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Two Simcoe-Grey Hospitals Receive Funding for Emergency Departments
The Ontario government is investing an additional $44 million this year in 165 high volume and smaller emergency departments to reduce wait times and provide people with faster and easier access to timely care close to home.
Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson confirmed both Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston and the General & Marine Hospital in Collingwood/South Georgian Bay will receive funding.
General & Marine Hospital: $1,210,600.00
Stevenson Memorial Hospital : $961,100.00
Rainbow Club of South Georgian Bay Experience Ontario Grant
Professional Public Policy Advisor Trent Gow and Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talk about the report released by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk and the province’s plan to develop on the Greenbelt to address the housing crisis.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST