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Council Follow-up, week of February 7

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

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Lots of highlights this week! The Market Precinct Task Force got the go-ahead at General Committee, as well as the new Stormwater Climate Action Fund Program, and Transit Service Guidelines. The Wastewater Asset Management Plan got initial approval at City Building Committee, and will now go forward to General Committee. And the City's new Official Plan also made it through initial approval at Planning Committee, along with an amendment to increase the Affordable Housing target from 10% to 15% for medium- and high-density residential developments.

General Committee



Engage's Summary:

An exciting presentation from the Market Precinct Task Force, with their final recommendations, and their vision for the new Market Precinct, based around the downtown Transit Terminal and waterfront. Keep an eye out for a Staff Memo to Council by the end of March, with the intended timelines and resource requests. Councillor Kungl proposed an amendment to ensure that a community commercial kitchen be included in the design plans. There were a few friendly "tweaks" from Deputy Mayor Ward, Councillors Thomson and J.Harris, and Mayor Lehman, and all voted unanimously to include this. Councillor McCann attempted to introduce another amendment to give preferential treatment to BIA businesses, but after it was made clear that the rest of council saw that as micromanaging of the consultant, did not bring it forward. In the end, the motion to hire a contractor or consultant to prepare the plan for the Market Precinct was approved unanimously, and with much enthusiasm! As Councillor Aylwin noted, the west end of downtown has been struggling, and "this will bring a lot of love" to that end of Downtown Barrie. We're looking forward to seeing this develop!

Approved on consent (i.e., without discussion):

  • Adoption of the Stormwater Climate Action Fund Program, to be introduced in 2023, including updating the water and wastewater billing software, and creating two new dedication positions to implement the program

  • Approval of the new Transit Service Guidelines

  • Approving the 2022 Internal Audit Work Plan, and receiving the 2021 reports

  • Receiving some confidential information to do with affordable housing (a mystery for now!)

  • Approving the guidelines for managing the new Recreation and Sport Community Grant Program

  • Invite Barrie Families Unite to present to General Committee

  • Extend the Town Crier's appointment to the end of 2022

We almost made it through a meeting without a concern, but then we got to the "Announcements" portion of the meeting. Unfortunately, Councillor McCann continues to flaunt Section 11.1, 14.1, 14.2 (and potentially 11.3) of the City's Code of Conduct, as well as the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, using City time and resources to promote his personal pet project (the "I Heart Barrie" sign – which his own website states is self-funded), solicit donations, and make sales – which also go to funding his personal pet project. [ACCOUNTABILITY]

Of further concern is that the motion (referred to on his website) that Council approved to enable this project (21-G-166), the City was ONLY to support this if there were a 100% fundraising commitment of $200,000 by October 10, 2021, with 75% of donations paid to the city by the same date. As this financial condition was not met on time (and, according to his own wording, has still not been met), it is very troubling to see the City go against Council's direction, and not only support this project, but allow him to continue to use City resources to raise money for his personal project, in breach of the Municipal Act, as well as the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

City Building Committee



Engage's Summary:

This was a whirlwind, one-hour meeting, with lots packed