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OPP investigate two deaths in Collingwood – Wasaga Beach investigate thefts of firearms from home – Simcoe County Council passes 2019 budget – sale of Collingwood Regional Airport moving forward – these and other stories on this latest News Update from CollingwoodLiving.com – Click to listen

We have added a newscast and a podcast to CollingwoodLiving.com to provide a more up beat, interactive delivery of news and information from Collingwood and South Georgian Bay. Our research told us that people had many online options to read articles but preferred audio podcasts and video reports. We will continue to update the podcast and produce video reports as we investigate topics of interest throughout South Georgian Bay.

Thanks to Dale Patterson’s rockradioscrapbook.ca for providing the audio aircheck clips of Brian Henderson on 1050 CHUM.

Audio files are updated throughout the week so keep checking back to hear the latest news and information updates from Collingwood – South Georgian Bay.


The winds of change blowing about throughout Premier Doug Ford’s provincial government could substantially impact Simcoe County.

Chris Carrier and Trent Gow talk about recent provincial government discussions that could spell change to Simcoe County and to local south Georgian Bay communities.

More episodes at www.talkingpolitics.ca



News Headlines



Two People Dead Following Incident at Matthew Way – One Person Arrested

(COLLINGWOOD, ON) – Officers from the Collingwood and The Blue Mountains detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Crime Unit are continuing their investigation in the murder of two individuals. Their names are being withheld pending positive identification and next of kin notifications.

An altercation occurred at a residence on Georgian Blue (formerly known as Matthew Way) shortly after 1:30 a.m. on January 22, 2019 in the town of Collingwood. It is believed a third person, who fled the scene, accompanied the two deceased individuals to this location. This person has not been identified by police.

As a result, Cameron GARDINER, 57-years-old, of Collingwood, has been arrested and charged with two counts of Second Degree Murder. He is currently held for bail with a scheduled court date of January 29, 2019 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Barrie.

The investigation remains ongoing with the assistance of the OPP Central Region Crime Unit as well as the OPP Forensic Identification Services (FIS) under the direction of Detective Inspector Paula Milne of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch.

If you have any information in regards to this crime, please contact the Huronia West O.P.P. at (705) 429-3575 or Call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477) or submit your information online at www.crimestopperssdm.com if you have any information on this crime or others.



Simcoe County Council Approves 2019 Budget


Simcoe County Council has approved a $548 million budget for 2019. Council approved the budget on Tuesday January 22nd. The 2019 budget focuses on the resources necessary to maintain existing services and service levels in the region, while continuing to invest in infrastructure, Transit, Paramedic Services, Solid Waste Management, and Social Housing.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


Ridership Up on CollTrans Routes

A good news story has taken place over the past few months dealing with public transit.

On Monday night, the Development and Operations Standing Committee received a staff report recommending it be passed to the Mayor and full Council as an update on the transit pilot project and background for consideration of a permanent service enhancement during the 2019 budget deliberations.

The transit task force had approached Municipal Councils in Collingwood, The Blue Mountains and Wasaga Beach to recommended a nine (9) month trial to extend service throughout the areas. The objective was to meet transportation needs mainly for the workforce within the Southern Georgian Bay region.

Colltrans ridership numbers in Collingwood had been slipping prior to the trial period.

The Development and Operations Standing Committee learned that ridership throughout the entire region was up substantially over the trial period.



Fraser Institute School Rankings Released

This year’s Report Card ranks more than 3,000 anglophone and francophone public and Catholic schools (and a small number of independent schools) based on nine academic indicators from results of annual provincewide reading, writing and math tests.

The Institute states on its web site that the act of publicly rating and ranking schools attracts attention, and this can provide motivation. It claims schools that perform well or show consistent improvement are applauded while poorly performing schools generate concern.

Collingwood and area schools received a variety of scores.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE



Bitter Cold – Gusty Winds



High winds sent large waves crashing along the shoreline of Millennium Park on Monday and Sunday mornings.

Bitterly cold temperatures were accompanied by gusty winds causing dangerous wind chill values again on Monday morning (January 21st). While the south Georgian Bay region escaped the heavy snow our neighbours to the south in Toronto, Burlington and Hamilton received, we did not dodge the blast of bitterly cold Arctic air that gripped the province. Collingwood residents woke up to temperatures close to -20 on both Monday and Sunday mornings. Wind chill values were in the -30 to-35 range throughout south Georgian Bay.

fish hut collingwood harbour
The cold weather does have its advantages for winter outdoor enthusiasts. The first fish hut of 2019 has hit the ice in Collingwood harbour.



Collingwood Council To Consider Pre-Budget Approval for Expansion Planning of Water Plant


Collingwood Council will soon consider a report from Brian MacDonald, Director of Public Works, Engineering & Environmental Services asking for Pre-Budget Approval for Engineering Services to complete the Class Environmental Assessment and Detailed Design of the R.A. Barker Water Treatment Plant in preparation to expand the plant.

MacDonald’s staff report notes Development in Collingwood, as well as customer municipalities, continues to increase the water demand.

The Town has seen an increase in the average number of constructed units over the last five years. The development has included smaller industries as well as commercial establishments. Development growth of any variety increases the required demand on the water system.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE STAFF REPORT


More Break-ins Under Investigation in Collingwood

One day following a series of break-ins were reported at businesses in downtown Collingwood, the OPP are investigated additional overnight break-ins in the town.

(COLLINGWOOD, ON) – Officers from the Collingwood and The Blue Mountains detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are currently investigating several break and enters that took place overnight in Collingwood and are asking for the public’s assistance in solving these crimes.

The break and enters, which took place between 12:30am and 2:00am this morning, occurred at two businesses on First Street and one more on Third Street in Collingwood. Investigation is ongoing at this time with the assistance of the OPP Forensic Identification Services (FIS) and the Collingwood/The Blue Mountains OPP Community Street Crimes Unit.

Further details will be provided when they become available.

Police are asking that anyone with information contact the Collingwood/The Blue Mountains O.P.P. at (705) 445-4321 or, to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can submit your information online at www.p3tips.com if you have any information on this crime or any other crime.

Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.00. You can follow Crime Stoppers of Simcoe Dufferin Muskoka or Grey-Bruce on Twitter or Facebook.



Clearview Township To Hold Public Meeting To Discuss New Communication Tower Construction

Clearview Township will hold a public meeting to gather comments from residents regarding a plan to construct a communication tower at 5339 County Road 9. The proposed tower is planned to be 37 metres in height and will be a multi-carrier tower. The public meeting will take place on February 11th at 6:30 at the Clearview Council Chambers in the Township of Clearview Administration Centre at 217 Gideon Street in Stayner.


Sledfest at Edenvale Airport


Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi bundled up and took part in Sledfest

They had to truck in the snow but it was “all systems go” for Sledfest at the Edenvale Airport. Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi (pictured above) bundled up to take part in the popular winter event January 19th and 20th. Snow machines of all types were on display including vintage sleds. Races were organized by class and drew good crowds despite the frigid cold temperatures.



Wasaga Beach looking at all location options for new arena and library

Wasaga Beach Council is going to look into all options in dealing with the proposed construction of a new library and arena for the town. Council has directed staff to look at a variety of sites that could be suitable for the proposed new facilities.

“How we handle taxpayer dollars is vitally important so we need to give careful consideration to where these new amenities should be built,” Mayor Nina Bifolchi said.

The previous Wasaga Beach council had considered building a new arena and library as part of a community hub at Main and Beck streets.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


Collingwood OPP Investigating Overnight Downtown Collingwood Break-ins

(COLLINGWOOD, ON) – Officers from the Collingwood and The Blue Mountains detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are currently at scene of several break and enters that took place sometime overnight in downtown Collingwood.

The break and enters occurred at four businesses located on Hurontario Street between Third Street and Fourth Street in Collingwood. Investigation is ongoing at this time and the OPP Forensic Identification Services (FIS) is expected to attend for the examination of the scene this morning.

Further details will be provided when they become available.


Town of Collingwood Moving Forward With Sale of Regional Airport

Collingwood Regional Airport Sale Moving Forward



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Hockey Day in Collingwood 2019
There was hockey action all day on Wednesday January 16th at Central Park and the Eddie Bush Memorial Arenas during the 5th annual Hockey Day in Collingwood.

Hockey Day in Collingwood

Young hockey players from Collingwood and surrounding area schools got to take a break from the classroom and hit the ice to take part in the 5th annual Hockey Day in Collingwood on Wednesday January 16th. Ten teams took part in the special event that the Simcoe County District School Board promotes as a key outdoor learning experience for the students taking part. Hockey action began early, at 7:00 a.m. as teams from Stayner, Wasaga Beach, Creemore and Collingwood hit the ice at both the Central Park and Eddie Bush Memorial Arenas.

Mayor Brian Saunderson dropped the puck for action between both the girls and boys teams from CCI and Vanier Wednesday evening at the downtown Eddie Bush Memorial Arena. Both games were exciting to watch and were played in front of a large crowd.


Second period action in a tight game between the CCI and Jean Vanier Senior Girls Teams


Boys’ action between CCI and Vanier at the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena



Collingwood Council Votes In Favour of Allowing Retail Cannabis Sales

At the regular meeting of Collingwood Council on January 14th, 2019, council voted to permit cannabis retail stores in Collingwood.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Wasaga Beach has already said “no” to having a retail outlet operate in the town.



Warming Centres in Collingwood


Collingwood, ON [January 16, 2019] – With the extreme cold temperatures currently affecting the Town of Collingwood, the municipality would like to remind the public that there are several facilities available to anyone who needs a comfortable place to stay warm.

Collingwood Public Library (55 Ste. Marie Street)
Open Friday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Open Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Open Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Centennial Aquatic Centre (451 Third Street)
Open Friday 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Open Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Open Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Central Park Arena (85 Paterson Street)
Open Friday 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Open Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Open Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Collingwood Youth Centre (76 First Street)
Note: This is available for youth under age of 18 only.
Open Friday 3:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Open Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Open Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Collingwood Museum (45 St. Paul Street)
Open Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Open Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Open Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



Ray Smith was presented with the Order of Collingwood by Mayor Brian Saunderson and Councillor Mariane McLeod


Wayne Noble was presented with the Order of Collingwood by Mayor Saunderson and Councillor Bob Madigan. Mr. Noble’s presentation was at times emotional and exceptionally meaningful as he accepted the award on behalf of himself and his late wife, Hilda Noble.

New Year’s Levee Sunday January 13th


The Mayor’s New Year’s Levee was held on Sunday January 13th from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Georgian Bay Hotel and Conference Centre in Collingwood. Recipients of the Order of Collingwood were honoured.

Margaret Adolphe, Gail Michalenko, Ray Smith, Wayne and the late Hilda Noble and Sharon Steward received the Order.


Harold Zukerman and Dr. Farrell Anderson received the Companion to the Order of Collingwood.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE 2019 MAYOR’S NEW YEAR’S LEVEE



Remembering Popular Radio Personality Brian Henderson

Former CKBB Barrie – CKCB Collingwood Program Director and popular on-air personality Brian Henderson has passed away. Brian’s radio career began at CKMP in Midland. He then moved on to CKBB radio when it was a part of CKVR-TV in Barrie and he was off to the races. Brian later would spend 27 years with CHUM in various capacities including the morning sports guy, news person and morning show host. He owned the airwaves in Barrie and Collingwood when he worked here. Brian Henderson was one-of-a-kind.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


Two Junior Hockey Clubs Express Interest in Tenancy at the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena

Collingwood, ON [Friday, January 11, 2019] – The Town of Collingwood is pleased to have been presented with not one, but two potential opportunities to once again host a Junior Hockey tenant in the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena.

The Town has most recently been in conversations with a Tier II Junior A proponent, led by Dave Steele, current General Manager and Head Coach of the Stayner Siskins Junior C hockey club. As of Thursday night, a second proponent emerged in the form of a Junior B option led by Terry Geddes, Andy Pritchard, and Paul Jeffrey. Both proponents are immersed in their respective process for securing a team, and both have been provided with a brief overview of a tenancy arrangement, on behalf of the Town, that is subject to Council approval.

Due to the unusual circumstances of receiving interest from two proponents simultaneously, the Town has developed a process for selection. Town staff will be working with Council and the two potential organizations over the next few months to come to a decision and agreement.



Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Gives Green Light For New Collingwood Franchise


The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League has awarded a franchise to Collingwood, confirmed in a letter dated January 9th by league commissioner Greg Best.

Speaking on the Jr B new franchise for Collingwood former Mayor Terry Geddes said the announcement is exciting for the community and comes as a result of close to 10 years of commitment by many Collingwood hockey enthusiasts who never gave up.

“Junior B is a perfect fit for our community. Our legendary history is here and Junior C. There isn’t a hockey fan in Collingwood who does not recall the excitement that the Collingwood Blues brought to the town. This is not a team transfer but a new franchise allowing us to start from scratch.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE



photo courtesy Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain World Cup Audi FIS Ski Cross

A World Cup Ski Cross Event is returning to Blue Mountain this month.

Canada’s Olympic medallists will compete at the 2019 Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup at Blue Mountain from January 23rd to 26th. This event represents the final race before the FIS World Championships held in Utah the following week.

World Cup Ski Cross skiers race head to head down the course negotiating naturally occurring terrain and artificial features including jumps, rollers and high-banked turns making Ski Cross an incredibly exciting spectator sport.

Each heat consists of four racers going head to head, with the aim of finishing first. The top 2 in each heat advance to the next round until just 4 skiers remain. The final heat is a single run where four skiers race to be the first across the finish line for the win.

Ski Cross was first introduced as an Olympic medal sport at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver-Whistler. Canada’s Ashleigh McIvor won a historic Gold medal in the first ever Olympic women’s Ski Cross race on Cypress Mountain. Since that time the Canadian Team has been one of the best in the world with multiple World Cup, World Championship and Olympic medals to their credit.

At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Canada’s Brady Leman won men’s Gold, while Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan won Gold and Silver respectively in the women’s competition.

Spectators are invited to attend the World Cup free of charge to see the top competitors in the world compete right here in our own backyard.

Visit www.bluemountainworldcup.ca for more information.




New Waterfront Units Proposed for The Shipyards

The face of Collingwood’s harbourfront continues to change. Plans have been submitted to the Town of Collingwood for a new group of town homes within the Shipyards development. Described formerly as “The Huronic” the proposed development will consist of 13 new residential units.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE



Clearview Township Missing Person Investigation Remains Open

On April 6, 2012, the Huronia West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a media release asking for the public’s assistance in locating Kelly Coleman who was 34-years-old at the time. The investigation remains open. Coleman has not been seen or heard from since early August 2011.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


Real Estate Sales Down in December 2018 Compared to December 2017

Southern Georgian Bay home sales were down year-over-year in December according to numbers released by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of Realtors.

Residential sales recorded through the MLS® system for the Southern Georgian Bay region totaled 130 units in December 2018.

This was down 8.5% or 12 sales from December 2017.

On an annual basis, home sales totalled 3,049 units in 2018, a decrease of 18.9% from the same period in 2017.

The Southern Georgian Bay region is made up of two distinctive markets. Home sales in the Western Region, which includes Wasaga Beach, Clearview Township, Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, the Municipality of Meaford, and Grey Highlands, numbered 81 units in December 2018 … down 8% or seven sales from December 2017.



Clearview Township Council Votes “No” to Cannabis Retail Outlets at January 7th Meeting

Clearview Township Council has voted “no” to the sale of cannabis in retail stores.

At its regular meeting on January 7th, Township of Clearview Council received report CAO-009-2019 (Recreational Cannabis) and advise the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) by January 22, 2019 that the Township of Clearview does not wish to host cannabis retail stores in their communities at this time.

Clearview Township Staff included a recommendation for Council’s consideration, that Clearview opt-out at this time. The municipality can then undertake additional public consultation and if we consider opting back in, the Township can develop a policy for reviewing applications for comment back to the AGCO.

The Staff Report notes that On December 13, 2018 the Government of Ontario amended Ontario Regulation 468/18 which identifies that at this time 25 retail store licenses will be issued until such time as there are more authorizations issued, no store will be allocated within a municipality with less than 50,000 persons.

The current regulation limits the stores as follows:

1. The Toronto Region may have a maximum of 5 retail stores.
2. The GTA Region may have a maximum of 6 retail stores.
3. The North Region may have a maximum of 2 retail stores
4. The East Region may have a maximum of 5 retail stores.
5. The West Region may have a maximum of 7 retail stores.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STAFF REPORT

Wasaga Beach has also voted “no” to the sale of cannabis in retail stores.



Collingwood Mayor Brian Saunderson welcomes Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean to Collingwood for Rogers Hometown Hockey

Hometown Hockey Celebrated The Good Life We All Enjoy in Collingwood


The Town of Collingwood scored big with Rogers Hometown Hockey’s national broadcast from the town’s main street. Ron MacLean and Tara Slone provided news and commentary that portrayed Collingwood as one of Canada’s most picturesque communities in which to live. From an economic development point of view, Collingwood received a Holiday Gift from Rogers Sportsnet that no advertising campaign could match.

While the event was a huge success in terms of a made-for-television event, there was concern from some downtown merchants who felt that having Hurontario Street between Second and Third Street closed for a number of days hurt retail sales during the most critical selling time of the year.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


First New Year’s Baby in Collingwood


The first baby of 2019 born at Collingwood’s General and Marine Hospital arrived on January 1st at 11:25 p.m.

Our newest citizen is Emmi Mary Dawe. She weighted in at 7 pounds 8 ounces. Emmis is the daughter of Tara and Jason Dawe.



Death at Blue Mountain Village


Officers from the Collingwood and The Blue Mountains detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police and emergency crews were called to Blue Mountain Resort shortly before 3:00 a.m. on Friday January 4th.

The initial investigation found that a 24 year old male attempted to climb the outside wall of a building in the Blue Mountain Village when, at some point, he lost his footing and fell to the ground. He was subsequently transported to an area hospital where he died of his injuries.


OPP Charge More Than 500 Impaired Drivers During Festive Ride Campaign

(ORILLIA, ON) – The Festive RIDE campaign resulted in OPP officers removing 539 alcohol/drug-impaired drivers from roads during Festive RIDE stops between November 23, 2018 and January 2, 2019.

An additional 384 drivers where issued Warn Range Suspensions for having a Blood Alcohol Concentration in the .05 and .08 range.

Officers conducted a total of 10,270 RIDE stop events throughout the province during the campaign, marking the first time the number of OPP RIDE stop events exceeds the 10,000 mark.

During the previous (2017/18) Festive RIDE campaign, the OPP charged 587 drivers with alcohol/drug-impaired driving, issued 366 Warn Range Suspensions and conducted 9,830 RIDE stops.

“I am extremely proud of our officers for their commitment to keeping our roads safe over the holidays. Whether drivers were charged with alcohol-impaired driving, drug-impaired driving or issued Warn Range Suspensions, the bottom line is that our officers took close to 923 impaired drivers off our roads and eliminated the threat they posed to those who were sharing the road with them that day.” – OPP Interim Commissioner Gary COUTURE.

Tragically, there were 42 alcohol/drug-related road deaths on OPP-patrolled roads in 2018.

The OPP is reminding drivers that as of December 18, 2018, police can demand a roadside breath sample from any lawfully stopped driver without first having to suspect the motorist has been drinking.

Under the new legislation, drivers impaired by alcohol now also face higher mandatory minimum fines and some higher maximum penalties.



Mayor Brian Saunderson Issues Challenge In Support of Big Brothers – Big Sisters

Collingwood Mayor Brian Saunderson salutes the people who have played key roles in his life. By paying tribute to his mentors, Saunderson is helping Big Brothers Big Sisters. He challenges mayors from around the region to take part and he has issued a challenge to former Olympians to jump on board.



Janet Leiper, LL.B., LL.M., C.S., Barrister & Solicitor and Superior Court of Justice Associate Chief Justice Frank N. Marrocco

Collingwood Judicial Inquiry Hearings Schedule Announced


In consultation with counsel for the participants, the Inquiry has scheduled the following dates for the public hearings:

Part I (Collus Share Sale) and Part II (Recreation Facility) of the Inquiry:

April 15-18, 2019
April 22-25, 2019
April 29-May 3, 2019
May 13-17, 2019
May 21-24, 2019

Part III (Policy Phase) will depend on completing the evidence in Parts I and II. The target dates for Part III are June 10, 11 and 12, 2019.

In preparation for the public hearings, Inquiry counsel have continued to hold regular meetings with all counsel. The focus of these meetings has been the participants’ ongoing document production, key documents and witnesses. Documents are still outstanding, and the Inquiry has set a deadline of January 8, 2019 for participants to complete this task.

Once all the documents are received, the Inquiry will determine which documents are needed for the public hearings. Counsel to the Inquiry will identify necessary witnesses and prepare statements with those witnesses, so the participants will know what to expect on the hearing days.

Some participants will decline to produce certain documents because of a claim of solicitor client privilege. These privilege claims may require adjudication by an independent decision maker. Inquiry counsel will use this process as required. This will be done before the public hearings.

CLICK HERE to go directly to the Collingwood Judicial Hearing web site.




CollingwoodLiving.com – 2018