New Midland high school won’t be ready for September

The new Georgian Bay District Secondary School will not meet its September opening.

“At this point, the target is not to move into in the fall,” said Sarah Kekewich, manager of communications for the Simcoe County District School Board.

Students will be returning to the old high school in September.

Kim Pickett, manager of design and construction for the board, said a move-in date hasn’t been finalized.

“Once it’s ready, we will make an announcement and have a move-in process. We will try to do that at a school break if it’s ahead of the end of the school year,” she said.

The move will be done all at once, rather than staggered to finished parts of the building.

“We find it less confusing that way,” said Pickett.

The new high school is being built at on what was the athletic field of the old Midland Secondary School.

The Midland school was renamed in September 2016 when students from Midland and Penetanguishene secondary schools were merged and Penetanguishene Secondary School was closed. The name Georgian Bay will stand when the new school opens.

The school will be 12,873 square metres (138,564 square feet) and will accommodate 984 students. The GBDSS website listed the population of the existing school to be 807.

The groundbreaking for the new school was held in early June, 2016 and construction started that September. It was scheduled to open September 2018.

The election of Premier Doug Ford will not affect the construction, said Pickett.

“We were fully approved and funded before we put a shovel in the ground,” she said.

Similar to other new secondary school builds, the new high school will have specialized areas for hospitality and cosmetology and have a double gym.

“It’s going to be more modern than what was there before. The design is making efficient use of space,” Pickett said.

The consulting team includes Allen and Sherriff Architects Inc., DEI & Associates Inc., Stephenson Engineering Ltd. and WMI & Associates Ltd.

Once the school is open, the old building will be demolished, said Pickett.

Collingwood Sailing School continues to make waves

With Collingwood’s attachment to water, it’s no wonder the Collingwood Sailing School has found success.

For about 14 years, the school has been a fixture in Collingwood Harbour every summer.

It was operated by a group of volunteers until 2015, when the municipality took over control.

Quinsea McKenna, who was a participant for several years, is now head instructor.

She said an average of about 20 kids per week participate in the sessions, which run during July and August.

McKenna students learn theory in the classroom beside the grain terminals and then get out on the water to apply the lessons.

The town has a fleet of about nine sailboats with one being paid for through a portion of the proceeds from the 2017 Mayor’s Golf Challenge.

The program is kids ages eight and up and for all skill levels including beginners.

“This is where I learned to sail,” she said in an interview with “It’s a great way to spend the summer.”

The sessions run from 9 a.m., to 4 p.m., and cost $315 for the week. For more information or to register visit or call 705-444-2500.

Two suspects sought following fishing gear theft from Barrie Cabela’s store

Barrie police hope to reel in two suspects after a theft at an outdoor recreation store in Park Place July 28.

The incident occurred at Cabela’s, 50 Concert Way, in the city’s south end around 5 p.m. An employee discovered several pieces of discarded security wrap, which led to an investigation by a loss prevention officer. Video surveillance showed the suspects entering the store and proceeding to the fishing department.

Police report the suspects selected a Lowrance fishfinder, concealed the item in a bag and left the store.

The suspects fled the area in a red two-door sedan, possibly a Pontiac G6.  

The first suspect is described as a man, five-foot-six, with a medium build and short blond hair. He is 40 to 45 years old and has a tattoo on his left forearm. He wore a grey Under Armour brand hat, a long-sleeved grey shirt, blue jeans and flip flops.

A second suspect is described as a 40 to 45-year-old woman, five-foot-five, with a thin build and long brown hair. She wore a grey hoodie and denim capris, and carried a black purse.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact police at , ext. 2634, or . An anonymous tip can also be provided to Crime Stoppers at or by visiting .

Collingwood humane society executive director wins provincial award

The executive director of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society recently won a provincial award.

Sonya Reichel  was awarded the Chair’s Award from the Ontario SPCA. The award, which was presented at the recent Ontario SPCA conference in Niagara Falls, is given out on an annual basis to an individual who goes above and beyond to make an outstanding contribution to animal welfare.

Reichel began working for the Georgian Triangle Humane Society at the end of October 2012.

“The award this year has been given out to an Executive Director who’s performance has been stellar,” said Catherine MacNeill, Chair of the Ontario SPCA Board of Directors.

The Georgian Triangle Humane Society began saving animals in 1999. Since 2012, the Humane Society has more than quadrupled the number of homeless animals placed into forever homes.

Adoptions increased by 31 per cent in 2017 resulting in over 1100 animals finding homes.

“We are thrilled with the progress our organization has made towards our Mission and Vision under the leadership of Sonya. The future is bright as we work tirelessly towards ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of our community,” said David Garner, board chair for the Georgian Triangle Humane Society.

Jasen Cronin — Penetanguishene councillor

My name is Jasen Cronin and I am excited about the prospect of representing the residents of Penetanguishene on council. My entire life has been lived by adhering to two fundamental principles: honesty and integrity. If elected, I guarantee that I will do the right thing, not for me and my inner circle, but for the town of Penetanguishene.

My education and professional career have been centred around the economic (economics degree from the University of Western Ontario) and financial sectors as both a pro trader on Bay Street right up to my current role as a financial adviser with Freedom 55 Financial (London Life). I am passionate about advocating for and protecting/growing the financial assets of my clients. I can assure you that I will carry this passion and discipline into my role as councillor. It is my responsibility and obligation to you, the taxpayer, to protect the public purse. This means that all monies spent on investment, job creation and infrastructure is done with the intent of maintaining a high level of service for current and future generations. It is a priority to allow future generations the opportunity to prosper in their hometown.

The catalyst for my candidacy was my involvement with Preserve and Protect Penetanguishene. We need to develop/grow our community in an environmentally responsible manner.

Our county has many great opportunities for investment and we need to be strategic/selective about the nature of development we invest in.

My campaign office is my basement, 26 Drummond Dr. You can find me on … just search my name. My home number is .

Please take the time to vote on Oct. 22, and check-off the box next to my name.


Jasen Cronin

Joel Plaskett, Hollerado, Ron Hawkins headlining Barrie’s Troubadour Festival

Some big names from the music world will play downtown Barrie next month.

Joel Plaskett Emergency, Hollerado, and Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins are among the notables performing in venues throughout the core during the Troubadour Festival Sept. 21 to 23. The concerts will be held at Donaleigh’s, Homestead Bakery, St. Andrew’s Church, Flying Monkeys and Meridian Place.

In total, nearly 30 musical acts will perform, including Born Ruffians, Zeus, the Weather Station, Land of Talk and Basia Bulat. A songwriters workshop will also be hosted by Mitch Rossell and Dave Turnbull.

The event is produced in partnership with the City of Barrie and Ontario government.

Tickets go on sale Aug. 17 at noon. For more information, including a full list of performers, visit .

Barrie Scouts, Sea Cadets volunteer awarded Canada’s Sovereign’s Medal

Elaine Abram is just trying to raise “good citizens of Canada.”

The Barrie resident has a long history of volunteering for youth-related causes. She’s led Beaver, Scout and Venturer troops, and was the commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 53 Barrie for several years.

Abram was recognized for her effort and given the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers during a presentation at Barrie City Hall recently.

“I enjoy working with kids and mentoring,” she said, the medal in her hands. “It’s so overwhelming to see them grow from the little five-year-olds that I get in Beavers to the 18-year-olds in Venturers. It’s an amazing feeling to see them grow, mature and become leaders in the community.”

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman presented the award to Abram.

“This is not a small honour,” he said, addressing Abram. “The medal pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers. It’s a delight to thank you for your commitment.”

Lehman said youngsters in these programs learn valuable lessons.

“If you’ve ever been out to see the skills the Sea Cadets learn, it’s tremendous,” he said. “It is well beyond learning to sail. They learn all sorts of things, in terms of communication skills and a little bit of discipline.”

Looking for a deal? Kids selling toys in fourth annual Innisfil garage sale

It was a set of Pokemon cards that inspired Tiffany Tremblett to host her first garage sale with the kids.

“My oldest wanted to buy this very specific Pokemon set and it was $80,” Tremblett said.

She encouraged her four-year-old son to save up his chore money and buy it.

But the next morning, her son Dmitri asked to have a garage sale, selling his toys to make a profit.

“I said we could see if other kids want to come and join and have a bigger sale, with more people coming through in the hopes of selling the little things you have,” she said.

Seven families joined in and her son raised $110.

“He was able to buy that Pokemon set and he still has it,” she said.

Three years later, the Kidding Around Garage Sale has grown to include a bake sale and takes place July 14.

“In the past, there have been tables who donated their earnings to charity. There are also tables with boxes set up with free items.”

It takes work to put the event together, but every winter, Tremblett’s kids start asking if they are hosting again.

“One of the biggest benefits for them taking part is the experience and the responsibility portion of it,” she said. “Leading up to it, they have to go through their toys and figure out what they don’t use and what is still in good shape and can be sold.”

The next part is deciding a selling price.

The day before, her family bakes cookies together.

And at the sale, Dmitri is now old enough to be the banker, calculating the change.

“It’s a huge learning experience for the kids. There are a lot of little things that add up.”

But the best part of the sale is to see kids shopping for new items.

“Five minutes before it starts, the kids run from table to table to see what they can buy from each other.”

Tremblett said she’ll keep doing the kids’ garage sale until it’s “not cool” anymore.

The is July 14 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at

French immersion programming in Midland will look a little different this school year

The French immersion program at Mundy’s Bay Public School is going to look a little different come September, as some students will be transitioning over to Huron Park Public School.

The Simcoe County District School Board has decided to operate the French immersion program between the two schools, as neither building has the capacity to handle the ever-growing program. Grades 1 through 4 will stay at Mundy’s Bay, while grades 5 through 8 will be offered at Huron Park.

“At the end of the day what we decided to do was minimize the number of students impacted and minimize the number of transitions for the students,” said Chris Samis, superintendent of programs and special education at SCDSB.

With the French program just advancing into Grade 6, the students in grades 4 and 5 at Mundy’s Bay will transition over to Huron Park for grades 5 and 6. French immersion classes in Grade 7 and 8 will be added as those students advance.

“It is really only a total of about 45 students that will be impacted,” said Samis. “All of them are transitioning together. It is not like we are moving part of a class. The entire class is moving.”

Interest in the local French immersion programming has grown significantly over the past five years. This success forced the school into finding a creative solution.

Last year Mundy’s Bay was bursting at the seams, operating at 124 per cent capacity with 576 students enrolled in a building built for 464. Of those, 139 were in the French immersion and 97 were in extended French.

In October, board officials knew the program wasn’t going to be able to continue to grow in its current location and began searching for options.

“We knew status quo wasn’t an option,” said Samis. “We were already over capacity.”

Huron Park, located just down the road from Mundy’s Bay, operated at 86 per cent capacity last year with two empty classrooms. A total of 354 students were enrolled in a building with room for 404.

After the decision was made, principals from the two schools participated in a number of activities to ensure a smooth transition.