Council Follow-up, week of April 11
Updated: Jun 11, 2022
Deputy Mayor Ward's first full week as Acting Mayor. A troublesome motion at City Council from Councillors Harvey & N.Harris, which was finally withdrawn, but not before some concerning behaviour and comments.
Circulation List: https://barrie.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=955257&GUID=4DA5598B-39F1-45BD-81A0-1D45E1A45DD9&Options=info|&Search=
Watch Again: https://youtu.be/eplIK9il9wo
Engage Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/general-committee-monday-april-11-5-00pm
Most of this meeting was held in camera, due to 2 confidential items – the 2022 CUPE Negotiations, and a confidential personal information matter, listed in the agenda as "Staff Performance" and in the motion as "Staff Position Review".
Watch Again: https://youtu.be/zXTO1xyz81g
Engage Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/city-council-monday-april-11-7pm
We are, of course, thrilled that Council voted to endorse the "Stopping Harassment and Abuse by Local Leaders Act" – a private members bill by MPP Stephen Blais that would create a process for municipal Councils to remove Councillors who violate workplace violence and harassment policies.
Other matters that carried on consent were the 2022 Busking Program Pilot and Emerging Artists / Musicians Program, and supporting federal funding for a Lake Simcoe Restoration Fund (and asking where it be directed).
As noted in our Council Preview, Harvey & N.Harris's Direct Motion regarding Leaves of Absence of Members of Council (to which Harvey added "and Staff" while introducing) was highly problematic, and appeared to be targeting Mayor Lehman, who was on leave to campaign for the provincial election – which appeared to bring severe partisanship into Council, especially when considering the movers' social media posts about actively campaigning for a different provincial party. With Harvey's addition of "and Staff", as well as some other comments, especially by McCann (who, as noted in our meeting notes, appeared to be supporting this policy in order to silence staff), this motion subsequently also seemed to be targeting the complainant in the workplace harassment / assault case (who is also on leave of absence). This motion also undermined the existing policies, as well as the processes for updating City policies. Staff and other Councillors were, fortunately, able to illustrate why this motion was problematic and discriminatory, that it would hobble the city from doing business if the Mayor (who, with the City Clerk, is signing authority for the Corporation) couldn't sign documents or enter the building, as well as point out the hypocrisy that mover N.Harris had not been subjected to such measures during her leave of absence. After well over half an hour of defending their motion, Harvey withdrew the motion, due to "new information". Thus seeming to confirm our initial impression that the motion was poorly thought out – we are relieved that staff and many other Councillors could see through the issues.
City Building Committee
Watch Online: https://youtu.be/A7SPObp6gRU
Engage Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/city-building-committee-tuesday-april-12-6pm
Presentations on the 2021 Business and Employer Data Survey Project, and the Arterial Optimization Program. Motions now going forward to Council: Adding Heritage Designation to 125-127 Dunlop St. E., and listing 56 William Street as a listed property on the Municipal Heritage Register, and directing Access Barrie to support Bike the Night, funded from Aylwin's expense budget.
Watch Again: https://youtu.be/KfJOcfR6WfM
Engage Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/planning-committee-tuesday-april-12-7pm
This meeting included two Public Meetings for developments in Ward 10 – yet the Ward Councillor was not in attendance, so no questions could be asked on behalf of Ward 10 constituents.
Three Staff Reports were approved on consent. The first on an Official Plan amendment and Zoning Bylaw amendment for 521 Huronia Rd (Ward 9), to allow for a residential development. Secondly, a Zoning Bylaw Amendment for 189 Summerset Drive (Ward 6) for a residential development. And finally, giving authority and clarifying procedure for the removal of a holding symbol on an application.
Seniors Advisory Committee
Watch Again: https://youtu.be/BoJYV2_kPNk
Engage's Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/seniors-advisory-committee-monday-april-11-10am
The committee amended its Terms of Reference – this amendment will be passed to the Finance and Corporate Services Committee for approval next.
To advise City Council and staff on all matters relating to seniors, which impact municipal matters for the City of Barrie.
To provide advice and recommendations to City Council concerning opportunities to make Barrie a more senior friendly community focused on services, roles, and responsibilities within the City of Barrie related to housing, transportation, communications, and civic participation;
To actively seek input from seniors in the community;
To review the Age-Friendly Plan related to seniors’ issues and make recommendations;
To annually develop a workplan, inclusive of a City of Barrie supported Town Hall; and
To annually report on accomplishments
Watch Again: https://youtu.be/KjjxT05RrgE
Engage's Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/heritage-barrie-committee-wednesday-april-13-6-30pm
The committee will be passing a couple recommendations to the City Building Committee: