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Council Follow-up, week of January 10, 2022

Updated: Jan 6

First full week back of 2022 – happy new year!

General Committee

A presentation from the Housing Affordability Task Force, with their recommendations to the City, followed by a long discussion which, as Councillor Kungl noted, would probably be a great resource for other municipalities.

The issue of renaming the Holly Community Centre "The Peggy Hill Team Community Centre" got a lot of conversation going as well, with many Councillors being taken aback by public opposition to a Community Centre being named after a business, instead of the community. Councillor J.Harris proposed that Heritage Barrie be asked to create an installation at the Community Centre to showcase the history of the Holly Community. (Judging from the continued backlash, though, we're not sure it's solved the problem of perception.)

The final report and recommendations of the Housing Affordability Task Force was then discussed, with Council supporting in principle the Task Force's recommendations, and agreeing to create a dedicated staffing position to expand and oversee all housing affordability initiatives in the city. There was considerable resistance to Councillor Kungl's motion throughout the discussion, but in the end it was approved unanimously, with two additions. The first, proposed by Councillor N.Harris, was that the city give a $20,000 grant to the John Howard Society to fund an overnight warming centre, with a request that the County match the funding. Councillor Thompson objected due to potential liability, and disappointingly, it looked like he might pull some into saying no to this proposal (even though, as noted by the Mayor and staff, nobody has ever sued the City for funding an arms-length social service). The solution finally reached was that the City provide the money to the John Howard Society via the County, so that it would remain under the County's liability. This allowed the amendment to be passed. Councillor Aylwin had another proposal, that the threshold for opening up an emergency warming centre be reduced from the current -30C to -20C. Again, Councillor Thomson fought back, and ended up being the only Councillor who voted against this amendment.

In light of our values and founding principles, Engage Barrie was very disappointed to see that a City Councillor would vote AGAINST allowing people to keep warm overnight in -20C temperatures, which is a significant health & safety risk.

International Relations Committee

Heritage Barrie Committee

Minutes: not available yet

Accessibility Advisory Committee


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