Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community


Chief_Beazley_PhotoThe South Simcoe Police Services Board is pleased to announce following an extensive search process that Richard (Rick) J. Beazley will be appointed as the Service’s next Chief of Police. The position became vacant with the departure of Bruce Davis following his retirement on January 1, 2012. Chief Designate Beazley takes over effective Monday, April 16; an official change of command ceremony will take place prior to the regular Board meeting on that date.
Chief Designate Beazley has had an extensive policing career, which began in 1975 with the Winnipeg Police Service. His career has included uniform patrol, Homicide, Forensic Identification, Professional Standards, Services and Administration and work within the Crime Division. In April of 2000, he joined the Strathroy-Caradoc Police Service as Deputy Chief and in January of 2009, he was appointed Chief of Police.
The Chief Designate studied science at the University of Winnipeg and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Western University. He also holds accreditation as a Certified Municipal Manager and is a Member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP), Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and the Canadian Identification Society (CIS). He is active in the OACP as a sub-committee member and was formerly on the Forensic Services Advisory Committee, Office of the Chief Coroner. Chief Designate Beazley has also lectured on policing issues at the Ontario Police College and at Fanshawe College.
Chief Designate Beazley’s appointment is a culmination of a search conducted by the Police Services Board which started in October 2011. Board Chair Lori Boudreau had this to say about the process and the selection:
“We had 27 initial applicants from across the province. With the assistance of a steering committee composed of two Chiefs of Police, a Town CAO, and two Board members, we short listed 8 applicants and then subsequently brought the top three candidates forward for a second round of interviews. The process also included the requirement to provide a written paper addressing the top 3 priorities for the next 18 months of the South Simcoe Police Service.
As part of the approach, the Board listened to the community by soliciting input on what they wanted to see in the new Chief of Police. In the end, we saw Chief Designate Rick Beazley as
the best fit to lead the South Simcoe Police Service. There is no question the service is facing a challenging period with requirements to reduce costs and deal with the effects on service staff of a recently commenced OPP costing exercise. I am confident Chief Designate Beazley is up to this challenge and will prove to be an excellent leader. I am excited to have him on board.”
Both town councils will have an opportunity to be introduced to the new Chief at their council meetings in the first week of April. “The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the council meetings and the swearing in ceremony,” stated Boudreau.
“Chief Beazley’s professionalism, strategic thinking, vision, sound operational experience and ability to build relationships have prepared him for the challenges ahead as he leads the South Simcoe Police Service. I look forward to working with our new Chief and have every confidence that he will provide the leadership our community is seeking from its police service,” said Barb Baguley, Mayor of Innisfil.
"Throughout the interview process, Rick Beazley exhibited all the qualities we were looking for in our new Chief. He is a great communicator who will challenge all members of our police service to rise to their potential and expand their skills. He is a man who commands respect and will be open and accessible. Our new Chief has a strong record in finance, succession planning and is unfazed by the challenges currently facing our service. He will serve us well," commented Doug White, Mayor of Bradford West Gwillimbury.
Board Vice Chair, Sharon Villani, has no concerns about the future of the South Simcoe Police Service and “is confident that Chief Beazley is the ideal candidate to lead our dedicated officers and civilian members through a temporary blip in the history of our Service. I’m very excited about being a part of this new era and welcome Rick and his family to our communities.”

Thanks to an enthusiastic and generous audience and a mystery donor, the Orillia Vocal Ensemble and special guest, Lance Anderson, were able to augment the bank account of the Lighthouse Christian Ministries at a special fundraising concert on March 4 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Orillia.
By the time donations from the audience and the choir were added up, the total was over $1900. However, at the concert, it was announced that a special anonymous donor had come forward who was willing to match all funds donated at the concert; so the total cheque taken to the Lighthouse by the OVE was $3812. This money will really help out with the Lighthouse’s soup kitchen and men’s shelter.
The OVE would like to thank St. Andrew’s Church, Marshall Martin, Lance Anderson and all the volunteers for all of their help and support. Also the OVE would like to thank special concert sponsor Davenport Subaru for covering the costs of the concert, and special theme song sponsors Dapper Depot and Fred Smith State Farm for sponsoring the choir’s newly written theme song, which premiered at this concert.
The OVE is proud to be making a difference for Orillia area charities, and looks forward to their Sir Sam Steele Day concert, June 24 at the Opera House, which will be in support of the Orillia Museum of Art and History.
photo L-R- OVE President Roger Andrews and OVE Music Director Roy Menagh present the cheque to Lighthouse Managing Director Tim Tanton at the concert.

Ontario's Environmental Commissioner pointed to the shorter ice fishing season on Lake Simcoe as proof that the provincial government must improve its strategic plan for dealing with the impacts of climate change.

"Climate change is one of the defining issues of our age, and it's already having an impact on our lives," Gord Miller said a report called Ready for Change? The report, released March 7, 2012, is an assessment of Ontario's climate change adaptation strategy.

Climate change threatens thousands of tourism and recreation jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the tourism industry, Miller said, pointing out that the ice-fishing season on Lake Simcoe has been getting shorter for the past two decades, and the lake hasn't completely frozen over this year.  Skiing and snowmobile touring have also been harmed by warmer temperatures.

He also noted that:
• First Nations communities in the north, such as Attawapiskat, are worried about the continued safety of winter ice roads that bring in needed supplies. Northern Ontario faces more rapid and extensive changes to its climate than the rest of the province.

• In July 2009, Hamilton got 109 mm of rain in two hours — one of the biggest bursts of rain on record in Canada. Insurance losses were between $200- and $300-million.

• Following unprecedented rainfall in Peterborough in 2004, floods swept through the downtown, causing more than $112 million in damage.

Miller said the province must take the lead in helping local communities and municipalities adapt to climate change.

"I understand the Ontario government faces fiscal challenges right now," he said. "But the costs of adjusting to climate change in the future will only continue to increase if we don't take action now. The government itself has indicated that the cost of extreme weather events could rise to $5.66 billion per year by mid-century."

Miller said the Ontario government is facing challenges in developing plans to further reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, but is doing a lot better with its strategy to adapt to climate change. "We need actions to both reduce emissions and adapt to the changes — they are complementary."

While endorsing the government's plan, Climate Ready, Ontario's Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan, 2011-2014, the Environmental Commissioner pointed out there are gaps in its strategy to limit the damage that will be caused by fiercer and more frequent ice storms, heavy rains, and heat waves.

The Commissioner's report says the government must improve its strategic plan by prioritizing the actions that are needed, setting specific targets and timelines, identifying dedicated funding, and outlining the responsibilities of key government ministries.

"For example, despite the importance of our energy distribution and transmission system," says Miller, "the Climate Ready Plan released in 2011 does not identify any actions to be taken by the Ministry of Energy. This concerns me because scientists are predicting an increase in devastating ice storms, like the one that toppled power lines and transmission towers and caused blackouts in 1998. And the long-term decline in Great Lakes water levels could reduce electricity generation capacity by more than 1,100 megawatts."

The Environmental Commissioner's full report, "Ready for Change? An assessment of Ontario's climate change adaptation strategy"can been seen at

First winter Bald Eagle, with Nigel Shawphoto_5_web


Simcoe County Banding Groups’ chairman and Master bird bander, Nigel Shaw, is pictured here with one of Lake Simcoe’s biggest raptor, a young Bald eagle.

Shaw says it was born in the spring of 2011. This is evident from the plumage of the bird. It has retained its feathers from the summer, and they are quite sun-bleached, and worn. He speculates that it quite possibly be from one of the nests on Lake Simcoe.

Over the past few years, Bald eagle numbers have been on the rise. The pair that nests in Cook Bay has been there for at least the past four years. They have been successful in raising young most of those years.

Bald eagles were a regular bird for the Barrie Christmas Bird Count. The birds were foraging the ice edges and shorelines for washed up fish or other edible debris. They have also been sighted feeding on the geese and ducks that were wounded during the hunting season, and couldn’t leave with the big flocks.

As the lake completely freezes, they disperse into surrounding areas, feeding on any dead things they find. A road-kill deer can sustain a few eagles, coyotes, crows and ravens through the hardest part of winter. As more and more sighting occurred during other seasons, it became evident the eagles were nesting on Lake Simcoe.

The numbers of eagles in Ontario are steadily on the rise, enough that a few years ago they were removed from the Endangered List.

The Simcoe County Banding Group will continue to monitor these, and other Lake Simcoe birds. Most species that nest on or around Lake Simcoe are doing well. All species have population fluctuations — it is part of the natural cycle — but with constant monitoring, the peaks and lows can be recorded over a few year period.

Shaw has been running workshops demonstrating the bird banding and research in the Simcoe County region.  

For information on the work in which the Simcoe County Banding Group is involved, please contact Nigel Shaw at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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