Not a very busy week, but a very long night at General Committee!
Watch Online: https://youtu.be/lLELL2zfPbo
Engage's Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/general-committee-monday-march-21-7pm
A great presentation on the new Community Energy and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan. Manager of Energy, Adam McMullin was joined by Lucy Duncan and Rosa Yu of the Simcoe County Environmental Youth Alliance, two strong speakers with great ideas who held their own through some vigorous questioning. We hope to see them running for office some time in the future! The Plan was adopted, with the addition of a direction to staff (proposed by Riepma) to look into eliminating the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. Great addition, thank you!
An amendment by N.Harris kept the Needle Collection Kiosk program from being completely tossed out – staff has now been directed to investigate other needle kiosk designs which would only allow needles to be added, rather than be susceptible to collecting other types of garbage instead. This would help in creating accurate "measurables" for a future trial, as the design of the boxes in this first trial seemed to be causing a number of issues. Here's hoping!
The discussion item of asking staff to include the requirements for establishing a Youth Council to be considered by the upcoming Council as part of its Council Committee appointments was carried. This is a great step forward! It was disappointing, though, that when asked about including youth on other City Committees, the mover of the original item, J.Harris, stated that would not be desirable. This is disappointing, as increasing diversity on ALL committees helps increase diversity of experience and opinion in the committee discussions, thus resulting in better decisions that benefit all residents of the city. We would have hoped for more inclusion throughout the City's committees.
Deputy Mayor Ward tried to make an amendment to the Cornerstone Grant proposal to help it make more palatable to Council, but in the end, the motion failed.
Nature Barrie will be invited to make a presentation to the City Building Committee about their desire for Barrie to be declared a Bird Friendly City, before Council makes a decision on whether to endorse the application.
And finally, some questions were raised by Councillor Aylwin – although not solidly answered – around the Heart Barrie sign, most notably who was actually funding the sign through the "Heart Barrie" corporation?
In our opinion, the tone and behaviour of Councillor McCann at this meeting seemed back to being hostile and bullying, especially around the topics of the Needle Collection Kiosks, the Ryan's Hope Breakfast To Go Program, the Cornerstone Grant, and his "Heart Barrie" sign project. In many cases, it was disappointing to see that the Chair failed to step in on some of these instances.
Downtown Barrie BIA
Minutes: not yet available
Engage's Summary: https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/downtown-bia-tuesday-march-22-5pm
A presentation by Kathleen Trainor, Executive Director of Tourism Barrie. The BIA will partner this year with Tourism Barrie for print and signage advertising, specifically a 2-page advertorial in the Adventure Travel Guide, a featured sponsorship in the Tear Map, and the already-agreed-to TODS Signage.
Please note: A Members Meeting has been called for April 6 at 5pm, to approve the new/amended BIA Constitution and Bylaws. BIA members must register in advance to attend. For full details, visit https://downtownbarrie.ca/member-news/downtown-barrie-bia-membership-meeting/
The Board accepted the resignation of Caitlin Patrick, and appointed Daniella Fuda to replace now-Chair Sarah Jensen as Secretary-Treasurer.
The BIA will continue to lease in its current location for another 3 years.
The City will be asked to match the BIA's contribution to the permanent road closure project (i.e., Open Air Dunlop), if the funding application to the Canada Community Revitalization Fund is approved.
Disappointingly, a motion to make the recordings of BIA Board Meetings available to members – much as City Council meeting recordings are available to the public – was shut down. This is very frustrating in terms of accessibility for members. A significant portion of BIA members are not able to attend the Board meetings in person, as they run at a time when they are still operating their businesses downtown. It was argued that members could read the minutes – however, at the time of publishing this follow-up, there are no minutes available on the BIA website for meetings since November. Thumbs down for accessibility, accountability, inclusivity, transparency and engagement!
Town and Gown Committee
Watch Online: https://youtu.be/G1ddWXV7evM