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Council Follow-up, week of June 13, 2022

Updated: Jan 6

The misguided proposal to remove protections from an Environmentally Protected Area was mercifully withdrawn. Questions raised about fundraising ethics around the "Heart Barrie" sign, and the number of donors with pending development applications filed with the City. Environmentally friendly incentives for the Ontario Building Code.

General Committee #1

Watch Online: not provided

ABSENT: N. Harris

This meeting was held in camera, as it dealt with a confidential personal information matter, regarding Executive Management Team (EMT) Performance Management.

General Committee #2

ABSENT: N.Harris

This was a rather short meeting, in part because two items for discussion were withdrawn. The first was to add a 3-way stop in Ward 6, but the Councillor who proposed it was absent. McCann's item to further amend the new Official Plan will be discussed in more detail below.

One item that passed on consent we'd like to note: the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority Service Level Agreement. This authorized staff to complete and execute an agreement with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, subject to funding from the province's Streamline Development Fund.

The motion regarding overnight waterfront parking received a couple of minor tweaks from J.Harris, to better address concerns from residents, and was carried unanimously.

The motion regarding speed enforcement cameras in school and community safety zones also received two amendments by Riepma. The first was to investigate the costs and requirements associated with leasing an additional two cameras, and the second was to extend from just elementary schools to include secondary schools. Both amendments carried unanimously.

Withdrawn proposal to remove protections from Environmentally Protected Area / Provincially Significant Wetlands

The latest in McCann's poorly-thought-out proposals was fortunately withdrawn – he had wanted to amend the new Official Plan (which went to the province for approval in February) to re-zone Environmentally Protected and Provincially Significant Wetlands currently designated as Natural Heritage System to a neighbourhood area. We had many concerns with this proposal, as noted in our summary:

  • We have many questions and concerns regarding this Item of Discussion:

    • It has taken several years of work to finalize the New Official Plan, which Council approved on February 14, and has already gone to the Province for final approval – bringing it back, four months after submission, for one small parcel of land is senseless.

    • The specified parcel of land is neither in his Ward, nor anywhere close to his Ward – it's quite inappropriate and disrespectful to push this through himself, rather than work with the Ward Councillor.

    • The requested change is from Natural Heritage System to Neighbourhood Area – essentially, allowing neighbourhood development on what is currently Environmentally Protected Land – this land is currently in an Environmentally Protected Area, and part of Provincially Significant Wetlands, under the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority. Developing neighbourhoods on these lands would be completely irresponsible, and devastating to the environment.

    • In light of the now-published donations to his sign project, the majority of the "$2000" donations being from developers, via the Councillor's company, this brings in a number of questions as to the Councillor's pecuniary interests and personal benefits here, as well as the majority of Sections 5 & 8, and Section 6 of the Code of Conduct.

  • Please note the staff report regarding this proposal:

It appears he read the writing on the wall, as this motion was withdrawn without discussion.

Questions around donations to McCann's "Heart Barrie" sign

Councillor Aylwin raised some of the questions we've all been wondering about. First, asking staff if they will have any follow-up regarding the extra funds raised for the sign, and who they will be donated to? CAO Prowse noted that staff were not involved in the fundraising component of the project, nor the designation of where additional proceeds may go. As he explained, Council had directed the additional funds to be directed to save the turtles and save the beavers programs – though he could not specifically say what programs had benefited – but the rest was left up to McCann. We hate to say "I told you so", but... what was Council thinking???

The second question raised was as to the City's donations policy. Aylwin noted that on the list of donors to the sign, there were developers with pending planning applications in front of the City. Which raised the question for him (and ALL of us!) how this fit in with the donations policy? Does the City allow donations to City projects from developers with pending planning applications? Prowse indicated the policy would allow such donations – which is absolutely unimaginable, yet explains so much – but that as a general rule, the City would not allow such donations at the same time as planning applications, if staff were running the fundraising. [Accountability & Integrity]

– just who has contributed to the sign, and what were they promised in return?

Energy Efficiency Standards in Ontario Business Code

Councillor Riepma noted correspondence from the City of Cambridge on the June 6 Circulation List, asking the province to include tiered energy efficiency standards in the next edition of the Ontario Building Code, adopt a more ambitious tier, and provide authority to municipalities to require increased performance in energy efficiency through tiered Green Development Standards. This item has been referred to the next General Committee – thank you, Councillor Riepma!

Planning Committee

This Committee was three Public Meetings – a zoning bylaw amendment to convert a residential dwelling into a real estate office in Ward 2, a zoning amendment to develop a 21-storey mixed-use building downtown in Ward 2, and an Official Plan amendment, zoning amendment, and draft plan of subdivision for a mixed-use development between Bryne Drive and Highway 400 in Ward 7. The Ward 2 meetings did not have many speakers or correspondence, but the Ward 7 had a handful of each. No votes were taken, as this is an opportunity for the public to speak to the proposals, which will come before Planning Committee at a later date.

Communities in Bloom



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