Council Preview

By John Swartz

Monday’s Orillia council meetings start at 2 p.m. with a public meeting on planning matters. The property at 175 Oxford Street might be better known to people as Regent Park United Church. In 2018 the congregation merged with Westmount United Church and no services have been held there since.

Regent Park United Church

Recently the building has been used as a Montessori summer school and Camp Couchiching has an office there. The zoning by-law amendment applicant, Kindred Works, was established by the United Church of Canada to convert their properties falling out of use to housing developments.

They want to build 48 one and two bedroom units assembled in 3 blocks of townhouses, along with a child care center and will retain the community garden on the 1.7 acre site. Fourteen of the units will be classed as affordable units and the rest market value.

This project is their 7th housing development in Canada (mostly Ontario with one of those being in New Brunswick). They have 10 other projects in planning stages, mostly on the GTA and others in Eastern Canada.

The developer plans 30% of the units to be accessible and the property will have 50 parking spaces. Staff say the child care centre may be removed from the site plan in order to get the project off the ground, with the intention to redesign the centre and add it back in by an amended site plan later on. There is no reason given why this is this case.

Regular Council Meeting

Council will start the regular meeting at 4 p.m. and the first order of business is a deputation by Alyssa Wright of Women of Simcoe Say No. She will speak about and request council to endorse the province’s Bill 5, Stopping Harassment and Abuse by Local Leaders Act. The group wants municipalities’s support because they say current legislation does not provide sufficient recourse for workplace harassment.

The private members bill would, “permit municipalities to direct the integrity commissioner to apply to the court to vacate a member’s seat for failing to comply with the municipality’s workplace violence or harassment policies.”

After the report from last week’s committee meeting is dealt with, the next item is to move into a closed session to discuss a generating opportunity presented by the Orillia Power Generation Corp. There is no accompanying documentation about what the opportunity is.

A notice of motion from Mayor Steve Clarke and councillor Tim Lauer proposes to waive grants policy which excludes government agencies and sports groups from receiving grants in order to then approve a grant of $1,250 to the Simcoe County Elementary Athletic Council for their wrestling tournament in April, 2023. This has been done for 5 previous tournaments held at Rotary Place.

The council meeting can be watched live on Youtube.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; Images Supplied)


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