Collingwood man says positive attitude best way to deal with Parkinson’s

They say laughter is the best medicine.

It sure is for Gerry McComb.

McComb was diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago and has two tattoos on his arms. One says ‘live for today and please smile,’ and the other says “a whole lotta shakin going on.’

McComb believes a positive attitude is one of the best ways to deal with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects motor function.

“I get up every morning and attempt to make six people laugh or smile,” he said.

He said while people associate shaking with the disease, it’s the stress and anxiety that is difficult to deal with.

He said some people will be uncomfortable with him shaking, which is why he tries to make jokes about it and put people at ease.

“If you can get the stress and anxiety under control, you’re halfway there,” he said.

McComb said he retired from the car business last year and has dropped 30 pounds. He tries to get an hour of physical activity a day.

When he was first diagnosed, he wasn’t trying to improve his situation.

“I didn’t do anything for four years,” he said.

The 2018 Parkinson’s Super Walk takes place in Collingwood on Sept. 8 at Harbourview Park. Check-in for the walk is at 9:30 a.m., and the walk gets started at 10:30 a.m.

Residents are encouraged to participate and collect pledges, with all money raised going to Parkinson Canada.

McComb said while it’s important for the general public to get educated about Parkinson’s, he said it’s just as important for people with Parkinson’s to gain knowledge.

He said he’s been going to local meetings with residents diagnosed with Parkinson’s and has learned how to deal with the effects of the disease.

He said he suffered from sweating and had a knot in his stomach, and spent a year getting blood tests only to find out information he was looking for at the meeting.

“As much as you know about Parkinson’s, the average Parkinson’s patient probably knows less,” he said.

For more information, or to register, visit

Blue Mountain employees donate $96,000 to Collingwood hospital

Employees of Blue Mountain Resort presented the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Foundation (CGMHF) with a $96,000 contribution on June 27 that included cash and “in kind” donations.

Blue Mountain Resort has designated CGMHF their charity of choice and staff take part in events and programs that raise money in support of the hospital.

“No matter what you do to stay active, everyone benefits from the services at the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital,” says Tara Lovell, Manager, Public Relations for Blue Mountain Resort. “We are happy to support a community cause that our team not only benefits from but rallies behind.”

For the fourth year in a row, Blue Mountain Resort donated 500 Active Packs to CGMHF to sell to local families. This is one of the most popular springtime programs designed for families to enjoy the wide range of activities available at the resort for one low price.

“This year, the much anticipated passes sold out in record breaking time,” said Jory Pritchard-Kerr, Executive Director of the hospital.

Every penny of the $50 sale price goes directly to CGMHF to help fund medical equipment used to care for the community, and the program spreads valuable awareness about the hospital in the community.

Other Blue Mountain Resort initiatives in support of CGMHF include an annual donation from the Memory Lane Memorial Park and donations from staff events, which are matched by the resort leadership annually.

In addition, the resort  gives $15,000 annually as a pledge to the CGMHF New Age of Care Campaign.

The Collingwood G&M Hospital Foundation would like extend a sincere thank you to Blue Mountain Resort leadership and employees for their growing support and charitable vision.

Stayner artist keeps favourite clothing from landfill

A rip or stain doesn’t have to be the end for a favourite garment.

April Herbert is passionate about keeping things from ending up in the landfill by refashioning them.

Herbert is one of the artists who will be displaying her upcycled work at the on July 15.

Herbert went to high school in Penetanguishene and graduated from Georgian College’s graphic design program, but said the 12 years she spent living in the West Coast community of Sooke, B.C., is where his upcycling passion took hold.

“They’re so green out there,” Herbert said. “Which is why we started this store: to save stuff from the dump.”

Herbert opened Nifty Thrifty in Stayner, selling used furniture, clothing and decor, in June, but her passion for refashioning has been lifelong.

“When I was eight I made a par of denim overalls for one of my stuffed animals,” Herbert said. “I remember being 10 years old and making Barbie furniture out of a bleach bottle.”

Now, Herbert said she tries not to buy anything new.

“That’s really important to me. The thread is second hand. It’s almost 100 per cent recycled, buttons and everything,” Herbert said.

Nifty Thrifty Shop is located at .

New venue for annual Innisfil Makerfest July 14

The senses will be stimulated at this year’s Makerfest event.

Along with all of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) information, the event ties in with Cookstown’s community picnic.

The annual Makerfest is July 14 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Cookstown branch of the Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library.

“It’s a great way to find out about things in the local community,” librarian Melissa Harris said. “We have amazing, talented people here and you can come and see what they make or do.”

This is the fourth annual , which explores the high and low tech worlds of robotics and more.

This year’s event includes a silver jewelry maker, a piñata maker, a virtual reality station, augmented reality colouring, 3D printed remote controlled cards, leather making, entertainment by the Fitzees, precious stone bracelets and library kits like the Lego WeDo, little Bits and Snap Circuits.

Harris noted the change in venue at the Cookstown branch at hosting it for the first time.

“We recently put a smaller version of the hack lab in Cookstown and you are able to check out a skill or go to tinker workshops,” Harris said.

The bonus is the splash pad should be running for this year’s Makerfest.

RECALLS: Children’s jackets, slime kits, flashlights, plus more on this week’s list

Here is our weekly round up of current product recalls. For more details on each, please click on links. Don’t forget to check back next week for new items.


Calikids Inc. recalls — The jackets range from size 2T to 6Y, and are available in blue, pink, red and yellow. Drawstrings on children’s outerwear can become entangled or caught on playground slides, hand rails, school bus doors or other moving objects, posing a significant entanglement hazard to children. The recalled products were sold from March 2016 to July 2018 in Canada.

Genius Premium Craft Boxes recalls — Health Canada has determined the Do-It-Yourself Slime Kits Flubber Slime, Chalkboard Paint Slime and Alien Slime do not meet the Canadian toy safety requirements related to boric acid content. Boric acid can be toxic to children if licked or swallowed. Children are more sensitive to boric acid toxicity than adults. High levels of boric acid ingestion may have long-term effects on a child’s development and their future reproductive health. The recalled slime kits were sold from March 2018 to August 2018.


Koehler-Bright Star recalls — The flashlights are missing an encapsulation on the circuit board component which could allow the flashlight to ignite in an explosive environment, posing a burn hazard and risk of personal injury to the user or bystander. The recalled products were sold from January 2017 to May 2018.

The Uttermost Company recalls Various Types of — The hanging hardware can break, causing mirrors and wall décor to fall from walls, posing an injury hazard to bystanders. The recalled products were sold in Canada between June 2017 and March 2018.

Neo-Image Candlelight Ltd recalls — The recalled products do not have proper hazard labelling as required by the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations, 2001 under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. Improper labelling could result in unintentional exposure to these products and lead to serious illness, injury or death. The recalled products were sold from June 2014 to August 2018 at various retailers.

Jimmy Hack Golf, LLC recalls — The orange ball can detach from the trainer while in use, posing an injury hazard to the user and bystanders. The recalled products were sold from Nov. 2, 2017 to Feb. 1, 2018.

Empack Spraytech Inc. recalls — The products were designed and labelled for professional/trade (GHS) requirements and should have only been sold to industrial clients. The professional grade product, which lacks consumer labelling information, including appropriate warnings, may lead to serious injury or property damage. The affected products were sold from September 2015 to January 2018.

Seabreeze International Corp. recalls certain — In the event of a fault, the safety cut-offs may not operate and allow the heater to rapidly overheat, posing a fire hazard. The recalled products were sold between August 2015 and May 2017.

What’s Going On Here: 110 Fairview Rd. in Barrie

You can see the construction crane towering over Fairview Road from Highway 400.

But that site, located at 110 Fairview, will eventually be home to the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus. Once complete, the facility will house the Barrie Police headquarters, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and Barrie Fire and Emergency Service dispatch communications.

Here are the latest details on the project:

• Last month, a portion of the south slab was poured. Foundation walls and verticals are complete for the first level. And crews are working toward completion of underground mechanical and electrical services. Bulk excavation of the site was complete in April.

• Upcoming priorities for crews include the completion of backfilling and the preparation of second floor formwork for the south slab.

• Officially called Phase 1, the groundbreaking for the $103.3-million project was held in November. The campus is being designed with the flexibility to accommodate the community’s needs for the next 25 years. This first section will include a 179,200-square-foot administrative centre and a separate police vehicle repair garage.

• A second phase, which includes a 48,500-square-foot firearms range and police and fire training centre, was postponed indefinitely by city council as a cost-saving measure last year.

• The first phase of the project will be complete in 2020, with staged occupancy of the finished building occurring through the first few months of the year.

For more, visit .

Jack Contin – Midland mayor

Work at Georgian Bay Islands National Park brought my wife Judy, our daughter Caitlyn and me to Midland 28 years ago — We have never once regretted that move.

Caitlyn is now married to Geoff and they have a beautiful son, Jack. Grandchildren must have been one of the motivators for Midland’s motto, Persequi qualitatem vitea, meaning “in pursuit of quality of life.” It’s that quality of life for all I work to preserve.

I graduated from Trent University with bachelor of arts degree in 1986. I have 25 years in the public service including work with Parks Canada, Environment Canada, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and as the executive director of an Indigenous tourism organization.

Last term as a municipal councillor for the Town of Midland, I forged a commitment to represent the community honestly and openly, as a team player. I am proud of the work I have accomplished.   

A mayor is the leader of the government that is closest to the people and must be inclusive, impartial and respectful.

I plan to enhance relationships with neighbouring municipalities, First Nations and other levels of government to foster prosperity for Midland and hold the line on taxes, while delivering quality services.

I am creative, conciliatory, honest, diplomatic and competent; all traits well-suited for taking progressive action for community benefit.

I firmly pledge to listen to all. Your voice will be heard and respected. I will stand bravely for you and demonstrate honesty and integrity in my judgment. I will work to resolve public safety concerns, housing issues, aging infrastructure and the repositioning of Midland Bay Landing, as well as, ensuring that Midland is both senior and youth-friendly.

I will lead on economic development, inform and consult, protect the environment and promote Midland as a place to invest.

I will work for you to leave a legacy for our grandchildren and future generations.  

Campaign office address: Home — 699 Aberdeen Blvd., Unit 207, Midland, ON, L4R 5P2

Telephone Number:

Social Media:

New walk-in clinics in Barrie and Orillia to help people with addictions

The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is opening new walk-in clinics to better serve people fighting addictions.

Two new rapid access addiction medicine (RAAM) service centres in Barrie and Orillia officially opened on June 25, and a third is set to open in Midland in July.

“People can come and get some help related to their addictions,” explained Angela McCuaig, manager of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s outpatient mental health and addiction services. “That can be anything from some brief counselling, some information about treatment centres, or they might need medication to help them that day with some of their struggles.”

An interprofessional staff consisting of counsellors, nurse practitioners, social workers, and more help identify a treatment plan and connect individuals with community services, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association or local housing supports.

“It’s for any individual or family member who is concerned about their substance use problem, or a family member’s,” said McCuaig. “It’s not a clinic where we keep people long term but we want to provide a place where people can come and get that help right away.”

When people struggling with the effects of addictions decide to seek help, that immediacy is important, McCuaig said.

“When they need to talk to somebody … when they are ready, they want to have somebody available.”

The RAAM services are being offered in response to a spike in opioid overdoes across the province, McCuaig said, noting the North Simcoe/Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), the regional authority that provides funding for health services, received $1.6 million to fund RAAM services in this area.

While June 25 was the official launch, the two locations have been open for a week and the Barrie location has already had one client.

The Barrie RAAM service centre is located 70 Wellington St. W. The Orillia RAAM service centre is located at 169 Front St. S.

If you can’t make it to those physical locations, the RAAM service centres can serve you online through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)

“We want to make sure the people we can’t get here, we can get to them.”

For more information, call or toll free at 1-833-797-3095.

Painting a sound stage to training the military: a look at Tundra Rescue in Stayner

When there is work to be done in a hard-to-reach place, Tundra Rescue offers a simple, cost-effective solution.

The Stayner-based business specializes in rope access maintenance, confined space standby, rescue operations, and developing safety plans for industrial organizations.

Their very niche service takes form in many ways and in many places.

When the Budweiser Stage in Toronto was being repainted, the wall facing the water proved a challenge to access. Tundra Rescue was called in and their rope access technicians were able finish the job within the contractor’s rigid timeline.

They could also be called to scale wind turbines or telecommunications towers. In the case of wind turbines, they are sometimes damaged by lighting or hail, and Tundra Rescue is able to access the turbines to perform repairs.

For those hard to reach jobs, organizations have a number of options. They could use scaffolding, which is time consuming, or they could bring in heavy equipment like a crane or scissor lift, which often proves costly.

Rope is easy to transport and much cheaper.

“Sometimes looking at the simple way to do it, the original way to do something, is the often the most cost effective,” said Brent Stockford, owner of Tundra Rescue. “It’s just another solution to your problem.”

Many manufacturers and industrial projects also rely on the company for their confined space expertise when work needs to be done underground or inside something like an industrial vat.

“The most recognizable Canadian manufacturers that would be out there, we’ve probably worked with them on some kind of industrial safety plan, confined space rescue plan, or rope access service,” Stockford said.

For example, Tundra Rescue has worked with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.

“Quite often they have to go into storage vats to remove a liquid or a chemical that is used in the manufacturing process, so we provide the safe access in and out of those storage tanks,” Stockford explained.

They provide piece of mind for the cleaner, welder, electrician or whoever needs to access that space to complete a job.

In confined space situations, Tundra Rescue provides breathing apparatuses, a safety rescue plan, which is required by the Ministry of Labour, and a supervisor that is trained in advanced paramedicine.

Tundra Rescue, which was founded in 2011 by military veterans, also specializes in the training of other organizations in rope access.

“Today we do training with the OPP, we do it with the Canadian military, and we teach them how to use rope as a tool,” Stockford said. “From repairing airplanes, to jumping out of helicopters to repelling off of buildings, we teach that skill set.”

In 2017, Tundra Rescue was chosen through a public tender process to continue training the Canadian Armed Forces for another five years.

Stockford said he loves his work because of its variety.

“It’s the diversity in each day,” he said. “Every day brings us to a new community.”

Why a heritage forest near Beeton represents ‘first chapter in town’s history’

Residents who have watched over Beeton’s heritage forest for decades will continue to play an important role to ensure the property remains protected for generations to come.

Neal Arbic belongs to the group of 40 volunteers who have maintained the walking trails throughout the forest and lobbied council to protect its natural features and archeological sites.

“We call it a heritage forest because it’s the first chapter in our town’s history,” he said. “It’s the first known place where people lived, the First Nations, and when the Loyalists came to found our town, there were no roads leading there, they took single file trails established by the First Nations. They were very much like the single file trails you still find in the heritage forest today, so we consider it like preserving Beeton’s Main Street. It’s not just a forest, it’s part of our heritage.”

Arbic and other residents were instrumental in convincing council to protect the ravine forest.

They became quite concerned after some preliminary discussions took place about three years ago about designating the property as a dog park.

Now that council has signed off on the plan to donate the town-owned property to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) through a stewardship agreement, volunteers are looking forward to what comes next.

Arbic credited Ward 1 Coun. Marc Biss for championing their cause.

“I’m honoured that Neal and the ORMLT offered me the opportunity to play a role in the donation of this environmentally and culturally significant forest and wetland,” said Biss.

Moving forward, the volunteers will work with the land trust as members of the Heritage Forest Preservation Society, a nonprofit corporation.

“We’ll be signing a stewardship group agreement with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust to look after the lands and follow their directives,” he said. “A big reason why the property interested them was that it already had a built-in stewardship group. They couldn’t afford to take the property without it.”

There’s much more than just trees and trails that make the site so special.

Hundreds of years ago, the property contained a First Nations village of between 300 to 400 people with 30 to 40 longhouses.

The village enjoyed prosperity for some time as a trading route that connected to the Albion Hills Trail.

“They were traders and they found stuff, like a flint, as far away as Pennsylvania, so there was a lot of trading back and forth there,” he said.

The village was abandoned after most of the people were killed during an attack.

“Bodies were left everywhere,” he said. “While there are proper burial sites on the property, there are also scattered remains, so that’s why we always felt this needs to be protected.”

It’s believed the survivors made their way north and joined another nation.

The history of the site isn’t widely known, but information is available at local libraries and there have also been archeological digs in the past.

The first one took place in 1966, and a second, much more elaborate, was done in 1976.

“They discovered a number of things and that’s also what led to the discovery of certain endangered plant species,” he said.

Arbic said the forest couldn’t be in better hands, noting how the land trust will do a baseline study of the property as a starting point.

“They are going to bring in soil specialists, botanists, every type of expert that will go through every acre, examining and taking samples,” he said. “By the end of that, we will know exactly where the archeological sites are, there might be more than one and some that are undiscovered.”