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Community Safety and Well-being Committee concerns

Updated: 2 days ago

At last week's General Committee meeting, an amendment to staff recommendations on the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan Committee added "Safe Barrie" to the committee - EBO and our members have great concerns over this addition, among other issues

Please see our "editorial comment" on Brandon Rhéal Amyot's post for further background.

This Committee's structure will be finalized at City Council on Tuesday (TOMORROW) - please reach out to your Councillor and urge them to reconsider this change to staff recommendations.

Thank you to Christine for sharing her letter with us, below.

Christine Nayler, contributing member

Dear Mayor Nuttall and Members of Council,

Re: Community Safety and Well-being Committee concerns.

I am writing to express my concerns about the structure of the Community Safety and Well-being Committee as set out at your General Committee meeting and set to be presented for approval on June 4th.

My concerns are as follows:

I was very confused and concerned as to why Safe Barrie, a community group formed to oppose a Supervised Consumption Site in  Barrie would be given a seat on this committee. City council has already approved this site as has Health Canada.  We are now just waiting on provincial approval.  I would like to know what is the purpose of Safe Barrie being included on this committee? How will they contribute to the Safety and Well-being of our community? 

I would like to know how they were selected to be on this committee? What was the process of deciding who to invite to be on this committee and who issued the invites?

As someone who provides direct boots on the ground support to some of our most vulnerable residents; those living with mental illness, substance use issues and experiencing homelessness I can think of many other amazing community groups and organizations more worthy of a seat on this committee.

As a Barrie resident who has been directly impacted by the toxic drug crisis having lost my son Ryan and then my nephew Josh, both residents of Barrie to toxic drugs I can tell you that Safe Barrie is a group that makes vulnerable residents feel anything but safe. They fuel fear and stigma and seek to divide our community through an US vs Them narrative.

If this committee is to live up to its purpose and mandate then there needs to be representation from our most vulnerable and marginalized populations and there needs to be space for people with lived experience on the committee.  It is not enough to just give them a seat at the table, for the committee to truly be effective their voices must be valued and heard.

As a community leader who is very active in our City I would love to see a Community Safety and Well-being Committee that truly represents our community, by making space for representatives from the communities and populations that will be most impacted by the decisions it makes.


Reverend Christine Nayler

Co-founder and Director of Ryan's Hope 


Engage Barrie Organization encourages our members and guests to contribute blog posts on a variety of topics that fall under our "equitable, empowered, engaged" umbrella, in the hopes of sharing a variety of perspectives and experiences. Please be aware that the views and opinions expressed by our blog contributors do not necessarily reflect any official position of Engage Barrie Organization.



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