Mama Milly serves up spicy jerk chicken in Innisfil

Lorna Jarrett has been sharing her love of food with the public for four years, at the Mama Milly booth at the Innisfil Farmers’ Market.

“It’s my passion. It’s my heart. When you love something that much, it’s a joy to share it with others,” she said. “When I give someone the jerk sauce to taste and I see the look on their face, I feel good because I made that.”

The company is named in honour of her mother and mother-in law, and the famous jerk sauce is a family recipe that uses natural ingredients.

The business came about after Jarrett fell on hard times and she started bottling her jerk seasoning.

Next was Jamaican patties, then oats, and now raw oatmeal cookies.

, for orders and deliveries.

An ‘inadvertent’ change: Wasaga revises rules on municipal election campaigning

Wasaga Beach has walked back several changes to its bylaw governing municipal election signs.

Senior municipal bylaw officer Doug Vincent told councillors during a special council meeting  Aug. 2 that changes to the bylaw earlier this year to include advertising were “made in haste,” and in response to new rules established earlier this year by the province for third-party advertisers.

A third-party advertiser is required to register with the municipality, submit financial documents related to spending, and adhere to a spending limit.

Third party advertisers are also required to follow sign bylaw rules.

Activities that do not involve spending money, such as discussions or expressing an opinion about a candidate are not considered to be third party advertising.

Vincent said it was an “unforeseen circumstance … that we inadvertently prohibited any type of political advertising until eight weeks before the election.”

He said his department would only normally get involved to regulate signs, which are not permitted until eight weeks prior to election day; this year’s municipal election date is Oct. 22.

However, he said, there have been social media pages, posters, and advertisements from candidates, and “it was never the intention … to restrict that process, which is the democratic process, by putting a timeline on it.”

Vincent said his department had been following up on complaints, and had asked the parties involved to abide by the rules, and charges were not laid.

He said the oversight was discovered through the investigation of the complaints.

Coun. Sylvia Bray acknowledged she had advertised a campaign fundraising event, and was visited by bylaw officers as a result.

She expressed a concern the changes made to the bylaw previously were “stamping” on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and said council should have had no role in restricting the timing of the campaign period.

Councillors Joe Belanger and Bonnie Smith spoke in favour of keeping the rules as is; Belanger said as far as he was concerned, the bylaw was not being enforced prior to council making the decision to amend it.

“I have personally adhered to the bylaw, and maybe have been disadvantaged because of that,” Belanger said.

Barrie’s unemployment rate remains among the highest in Canada: StatsCan

Barrie has the fourth highest unemployment rate among major Canadian cities, according to the latest jobs report released by Statistics Canada July 6.

The unemployment rate for Barrie hit 6.9 per cent in June, trailing only St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (8.6), Calgary, Alberta (7.7) and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (seven).

However, Barrie’s rate has declined steadily over the last four months — it sat at 8.8 in March, 8.4 in April and 7.4 in May. The city’s jobless rate has been on a roller-coaster ride over the last year, going from one of the lowest in Canada in December 2017 to among the highest only a few months later.  

“Notwithstanding we’re still among the higher rates in Canada, this is the third strong monthly jobs report in a row for Barrie,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said. “Barrie’s unemployment rate … is down by almost a full two per cent in three months.”

About 1,000 new jobs were created in the city in June, Lehman said.

“That’s huge,” he said. “This was actually one of the strongest monthly jobs report we’ve seen in years.”

The federal unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent, up from 5.8 in May. Ontario’s unemployment numbers also inched up, from 5.6 in May to 5.7 in June.

Monitor lizard wrangled in Midland

Midland resident Sheri Williams was shocked to be asked if she had a pet lizard after one was spotted in her backyard Aug. 11.

“l didn’t even know it was out there. Someone knocked on my door and let me know it was there,” Williams said. “To be honest, I was hoping to fall asleep for a nap because my kids were down for a nap.”

But that plan was disrupted when a man knocked on her door and asked if she had a pet lizard.

“I threw my shoes on to take a look, and there was another woman in my
backyard who I didn’t know,” she said. “She was from down
the street and said told me someone riding their bike mentioned there
was an alligator.”

The woman knew Williams had two young kids, so she went to investigate, calling animal control after spotting the lizard in the backyard.

“They didn’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Huronia Animal Control’s Randy Bidan and OPP officers responded to the call. Williams’s dog started barking, waking her two kids who watched from the window as the lizard was captured and put into a cage.

After the incident, Williams learned a monitor lizard is similar to a Komodo dragon.

“They vary in size and eat anything from plants to deer,” she said.

It turns out the lizard belongs to a neighbour.

“The animal control officer didn’t know if the neighbour would get the lizard back again,” she said.

Williams said her neighbour’s yard is completely fenced in and she is unsure how the lizard escaped.

According to Midland communications officer Randy Fee, lizards are prohibited in the town. A bylaw includes a $100 fine if any prohibited animals are found.

However, Fee said, there could be more charges and the town is still investigating the situation.

“They first have to identify the exact species of the lizard to properly assess the risk that was involved with having this lizard as a pet, and it escaping, and then also work with the pet owner in regard to re-homing it.”

Orillia OPP: do you know this shoplifter?

The Orillia OPP have released a surveillance image in the hopes the public will recognize a shoplifter.

On July 25, a woman entered a Colborne Street business and left without paying for items.

The Orillia OPP is seeking anyone who may be able to identify the woman in the picture. If anyone knows who the woman is, they are encouraged to contact the Orillia OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or 705-326-3536.

Debra Edwards — Orillia, Ramara, Severn SCDSB trustee

I am retired and I have the luxury of “time” to devote to serving the public and assisting families and children to navigate the public county education system; a system that can seem difficult and sometimes confusing to connect the dots when assistance is required with educational issues.

I believe all constituents deserve to be represented and I would advocate on their behalf as their elected representation on the Simcoe County District School Board.

I previously served as trustee, vice-chairperson and chairperson on the SCDSB until 2014 when I was defeated in the municipal election (Orillia/Ramara Township).

I am a mother of four adult children and a grandmother to three grandchildren. I profoundly believe in the importance of family values and leaving the world a better place for our young citizens of tomorrow!

Every child has a fundamental right to an education in a safe, secure and sustainably funded school environment that endeavours as a No. 1 priority to align educational dollar resources with programs as equitably as possible.

Simcoe County is diverse and large geographically with area specific needs having both old and new schools, both large and small in size and various enrolments, but all must be served equitably within SCDSB.

Teachers must be supported to maintain a safe work environment in classrooms. The importance of dedicated teachers in our system is essential to student success!

The needs of all students must be planned and provided for. Accountability in both classrooms and the school boardroom is essential to functionality as we will be judged as an educational system by how well our students achieve globally.

School trustees are held both responsible and accountable for how well all of our students learn locally, nationally and internationally as the world has become very challenging. We must prepare our students to strive for academic achievement, as well as help them develop good character traits.

I believe that my knowledge, experience and expertise would be a great benefit to serving the public as I previously served as: member of the First Nations advisory committee, special education advisory committee, Student Alternative Leave Ed program chair/member of bylaw/policy committee, member of both elementary and secondary accommodation review committees, director search committee strategic planning committee/mission statement, governance review /public consultation leadership, and numerous public speaking engagements.



28-year-old man dies in fatal crash on Highway 400 near Tay Township

A 28-year-old Halton Hills man died after his vehicle crashed into the southbound shoulder on Highway 400 on the evening of Aug. 5.

The Southern Georgian Bay OPP were dispatched to Highway 400 just north of Fesserton Side Road shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday. Responding officers, along with County of Simcoe paramedics and the Tay Township Fire Department, attended the scene and located the driver and lone occupant of the vehicle.

Christopher Violo was pronounced dead at the scene.

Members of the OPP traffic collision investigation unit attended the scene to assist in the investigation into the cause of the crash, which closed southbound lanes of Highway 400 until shortly after 9:30 p.m.

An official cause of the collision has yet to be determined.

Ron LePage – Penetanguishene councillor

I am running for Town Council as I care deeply for the Town of Penetanguishene and want to make a positive impact on the future growth and direction of the town. I want to give back to the town in appreciation for the benefits given my family over the last 6 generations as citizens of the area.

I have witnessed the value that strong jobs, strong housing, and strong leadership have on our community and want to be a voice for all three in council. When I say that I am “Committed To Community, Dedicated To Progress,” I mean it. I have been working in healthcare since 1978, and, for the past 21 years, I have been proud to serve as a Registered Practical Nurse at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. I have witnessed the tremendous impact care has on bettering the lives and the health of our community. It is this level of care and passion for our community that I want to bring to town council.

I have a proven track record of leadership experience and giving back to the community through volunteering. I have served as the Vice-President of OPSEU Local 329 at Waypoint for the past six years. I have also served on the Council of the College of Nurses of Ontario for 8 years. My community involvement has spanned a wide variety of organizations including with the Georgian Bay Métis Council, the Villa Care Centre and the The Penetanguishene Centennial Museum Board Advisory Committee. Through all of these experiences I have gained valuable knowledge dealing with budgets, long term planning, and policy development.

I will be a voice for economic development and community revitalization at town council. My core values are built on a foundation of care that will serve you, your family, and the generations to come:

➔ Building local tourism

➔ Advocating for local business

➔ Supporting our senior community

➔ Strengthening housing options for families

➔ Building better roads and direct traffic routes

If you have questions, comments, want to get involved in my campaign, or just share your passion for our community, please contact me; you can visit me online at, email or call .

Thank you for reading; please remember to vote.

Cookstown library displays watercolour work of local artist

Artist Diana Di Giacopo-Robinson has her family to thank for getting back into painting.

“I’ve been an artist since I was a kid,” she said. “My earliest childhood memories are of a desire to paint and draw.”

Now, her water-themed paintings captured on a family trip to Innisfil Beach Park are featured at the Cookstown branch of the Innisfil ideaLAB and Library.

“I’m interested in (the) reflection colours of water,” she said. “I was in love with blue and am still attracted to that colour.”

Displaying her work is an unexpected perk for the Alliston resident, who just picked up her brush a few years ago.

Di Giacopo-Robinson graduated from the fine arts program at York University and worked on canvas and sculpture pieces for a few years, before life got in the way and she put down her brush.

But her husband recently changed careers and encouraged her to return to her first passion.

“He freed up time to watch the kids and I started working vigorously, making one larger-sized canvas a month.”

She is now a member of the South Simcoe Arts Council, adding at least 30 new paintings to her collection — some reflecting time spent with her family.

To learn more about Di Giacopo-Robinson, visit .

Corvette heads to the impound lot for stunt driving in Cookstown

A 44-year-old man’s Corvette is now sitting in an impound lot after police charged him with stunt driving in Cookstown Friday afternoon.

Police were conducting radar enforcement on Church Street around 3 p.m. July 20 when the office clocked the vehicle travelling 122 km/h in the 40 km/h community safety zone.

The driver was charged with stunt driving and speeding over three times the posted speed limit.

His drivers licence was suspended for seven days and his Corvette has been impounded for seven days.

Police are reminding citizens to drive with extra care during heavy congested roadways leading up to the weekend.