Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

On Dec. 9, 2011, the Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) — Local 32, Canadian Federation of Students — at Lakehead University-Orillia will release a petition to bring GO Transit to Orillia. The petition will be circulated throughout the University and Orillia community, calling on local politicians and university administration for support.

The petition says: “We, the undersigned, are students and residents of Orillia who believe strongly in the vital role that accessible public transit plays in helping us make our way to class, home and work.
We are troubled by the lack of accessible and affordable transportation options for people travelling to and from Orillia. Students are particularly impacted, many of whom live in other parts of the province and pay the highest tuition fees in Canada.

We know that affordable, accessible transportation services provided through GO Transit have successfully serviced communities like Orillia, who benefitted economically and in other ways from increased mobility.

We believe that GO Transit should service the Orillia community and call for;
• Orillia City Council to support this call and lobby the provincial government to fund the service expansion;
• GO Transit to commit to expanding service to Orillia;
• The provincial government to fund the service expansion of GO Transit to Orillia

We also call upon these bodies to ensure that students and community members have access to transportation services that bring them to and from Orillia by expanding GO Transit service, strengthening the community and serving as a further means for economic expansion in the city”

To support this petition, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario says the government's energy conservation achievements are substantial, but incomplete. In releasing volume two of his 2010 Energy Conservation Progress Report, Managing a Complex Energy System - Results, Gord Miller says "the government achieved two-thirds of an electricity conservation target that it had set. It's a respectable showing given that Ontario's targets are among the most ambitious in North America".

What concerns Miller more is that the value of conservation seems to have been lost in the public debates over energy, especially when debating electricity prices or building new generating plants.

"The government should step up conservation efforts because it saves customers money, reduces environmental damage, and helps avoid new and often unpopular power plants," Miller says. As the past two years have shown, willing host communities of any type of power plant are hard to find.

The Environmental Commissioner says the Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report shows mixed results in the government's conservation efforts.

•  Ontario's electricity conservation efforts reduced peak demand by 1,750 megawatts (MW) in 2010 due to new programs and initiatives that began in 2005. This is the equivalent to not having to build three new natural gas-fired peaker plants. By investing about $1.7 billion in conservation programs, Ontario saved electricity ratepayers $3.8 billion in avoided electricity supply costs. However, this achievement was only 65% of the 2,700 MW peak demand reduction target that the government had set itself.

•  Energy savings from the conservation programs operated by the province's natural gas utilities performed well against the targets approved by the Ontario Energy Board. These programs were very cost-effective, providing more than $400 million in net benefits and a reduction of 185 million cubic metres in the amount of natural gas used in 2010.

•  There are no results available on the conservation impact of time-of use (TOU) pricing.  The government is only now beginning to measure how people have changed their consumption with the introduction of TOU. The prices, set semi-annually by the Ontario Energy Board, are not based on actual data of how price levels affect customers' consumption. TOU prices should incorporate this real-world information in order to maximize the amount of conservation.

•  There is a risk that electric utilities will not meet their 2014 electricity conservation targets. Not only was there a delay in the province-wide programs delivered by the Ontario Power Authority, but the Ontario Energy Board has been unsupportive of customized-programs that were supposed to be offered by utilities.

The Environmental Commissioner says "I want to impress upon the new Energy Minister, in light of the actions of the Ontario Energy Board and program delays, that immediate action is required if the electric utilities are to meet the 2014 targets that are a condition of their licence. The alternative," says Miller, "is to give them more time." 

For the full report, visit:

Georgian College leads the way in health care education

The Sadlon Centre for Health and Wellness at the Georgian College Barrie Campus is thriving. Now that the doors have opened to students and the public, state-of-the-art laboratories, study areas and community health clinics are buzzing with activity, as Georgian helps prepare Simcoe County’s future health care providers.

The largest expansion in Georgian history, the Sadlon Centre for Health and Wellness spans 172,000 square feet and houses all Health and Wellness programs at the Barrie Campus, along with six community health clinics: Oral Health, Massage Therapy, Georgian College Optical, and in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Georgian Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic. Two additional clinics will open in January, the Spa and Esthetics Clinic and the Harmonize for Speech, Hearing and Language Clinic.

Students are gaining hands-on experience in the community health clinics, getting them a step ahead as they prepare to start their careers in health care.

Third-year Massage Therapy student Joline McAneney knows what a positive impact her time in the new Massage Therapy Clinic will have on her future career.

“The hands-on experience that I get in the clinic is absolutely key for my career,” says McAneney. “It’s amazing to be able to apply the skills we learn in class to a real clinical scenario.”

McAneney dreams of working in a health care facility and eventually owning her own massage business.

“I already have up to five appointments per week with clients, which is great,” adds McAneney.

In addition to providing hands-on clinical experience for students, Georgian is also blazing a new trail by partnering with the Barrie Family Health Team and introducing electronic medical records software training into the curriculum. Students will become accustomed to using a program called Accuro® through Optimed Software Corporation. It will be taught in the classroom and used in the community health clinics. This program is already being used by many health care institutions in the Simcoe County region, so students in programs such as Massage Therapy, Dental Hygiene and Office Administration– Medical will already be well versed in the program before entering the health care workforce.

“Georgian College is the first college in Ontario to partner with a Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic and the Barrie Community Family Health Team, which represents many family health teams,” says Dr. Cassandra Thompson, Dean, School of Health and Wellness. “This is truly an interprofessional initiative, which really supports the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s vision to bring together different health care providers to co-ordinate the highest possible quality of care for patients in our communities.”

Many community members in the Barrie area and beyond are already benefiting from the care provided by students and health care professionals in the community health clinics. Kerry Pinkerton has been a client of the Oral Health Clinic, originally located at the Orillia Campus, for more than a year.

“I like coming to the Oral Health Clinic for my dental care,” says Pinkerton. “It’s a bright, comfortable atmosphere and the students are great. I know they need the experience, so I’m happy to help provide them with that.”

It’s also very affordable for those who may not have access to health benefits.

“I don’t know where I would receive my dental care if not for the Oral Health Clinic at Georgian,” says Pinkerton. “It’s a great price for the services I receive.”

The centre’s $62.5-million price tag was funded by federal and provincial contributions from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, as well as municipal, corporate and individual donors to the college’s Power of Education campaign. The new building will eventually enable enrolment in Health and Wellness programs to double, allowing 3,000 students to be accepted into Health and Wellness programs.

Two of Georgian’s newest programs in the School of Health and Wellness are Esthetician and Pharmacy Technician. An additional program being introduced for fall 2012 is Occupational Therapy Assistant/Physiotherapy Assistant. They will join existing programs such as Opticianry, Paramedic, Personal Support Worker, Practical Nursing and many others.

For more information about the Sadlon Centre for Health and Wellness, community health clinics or Health and Wellness programs at Georgian College, please visit
(November 25, 2011 – Orillia, ON) Lakehead University has a positive impact on the people who live, work, and study in Simcoe County and Central Ontario and is focused on its mission as a comprehensive university committed to excellence and innovation.

That was the message delivered today as Lakehead University launched its 2010-2011 Report to the Community at a gathering of friends and supporters at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club in Orillia.

“Our purpose today is to celebrate the enormous contribution Lakehead University is making on the economic, social, and cultural life of our communities,” says Robert Lamb, member of the Lakehead University Advisory Committee.  “It is vital that people who live in Simcoe County and Central Ontario understand the critical role Lakehead plays in creating jobs and improving our quality of life.”

The 2010-2011 Report to the Community consists of a website and brochure that highlight Lakehead’s accomplishments during Brian Stevenson’s first year as President and Vice-Chancellor (  The Report documents the success of Lakehead students, faculty, alumni, and staff. It also features financial statements, strategic directions, honours and awards, and eight performance indicators such as enrolment, graduation, employment rates, and first generation students, defined as students whose mother and/or father has not obtained a university degree.

“Much of Lakehead University’s research at the Orillia campus is focused on environmental sustainability and is often driven by community needs,” says President Brian Stevenson. “The partnerships Lakehead forges with community organizations, donors, and governments, are crucial to its success as a comprehensive university dedicated to excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, service, and other scholarly activity.”

Lakehead University Board of Governor member Bruce Waite, Orillia-based lawyer and community leader, says he is extremely pleased with how Dr. Stevenson’s initiatives have been received in the community. “This support and enthusiasm will be a catalyst for the development of an increasing number of economic partnerships in the coming years.”

“This year’s Report to the Community, which includes a link to our audited financial statement, demonstrates that Lakehead is accountable to its stakeholders,” noted Stevenson.

Lakehead is proud of its role as a catalyst for economic, social, and cultural development in Orillia and Simcoe County. Last year, there were 972 students enrolled at Lakehead’s Orillia campus, all of them purchasing goods and services from local businesses. The economic impact of the University’s operating expenses on the City of Orillia totalled $16.5 million.

The 2010-2011 Report to the Community website features eight success stories that detail some of the extraordinary achievements of its students, alumni, faculty, and staff. These include the Lake Simcoe Clean Up Fund project that involves and supports many local partners, and Humanities 101, an innovative access program, which will expand to the Orillia campus this year. Each success story is accompanied by a short video featuring two to three Lakehead researchers, students, employers, staff members, and partners.

Will McGarvey, of Shadowbox Learning Services Inc. of Orillia, is one of the many Lakehead University community partners who attended the launch.

“As a local business person, I understand the need for smart growth in our region. By supporting Lakehead, we are contributing to the kind of growth that benefits the entire region.  As a parent and grandparent, I am helping to create the kind of community I want for my children and grandchildren.”

Dr. Chris Murray, assistant professor, general science, provided a brief overview of some of the interesting research opportunities available for students at the Orillia campus.

“The small class sizes at Lakehead provide unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work one-on-one alongside their professors. Our students are fortunate to be involved in research that is relevant and cutting-edge,” says Murray.

Nikki McBride, a third-year Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science/Bachelor of Education student, also gave her perspective, saying “Lakehead University has provided me with outstanding opportunities for learning and leadership.  “I am thrilled to be able to contribute to the vibrant life of this new University campus and would not be able to accomplish as much without the enthusiastic support of the University and the community.”

Lakehead’s 2010-2011 Report to the Community can be read online at


Skyline International Development has broken ground on the new Port McNicoll Yacht Club — a focal point of the ongoing revitalization of the Port McNicoll, Ontario waterfront.

The design for the Port McNicoll Yacht Club reclaims the town’s lost waterfront heritage and will form one of the hubs of a vibrant new redevelopment along nearly 11 kilometres of once inaccessible shoreline. When completed, the Port McNicoll Yacht Club and its associated facilities will be a primary gateway to easy exploration of Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The yacht club’s location has also been carefully positioned on a diverse network of open space linked to broader regional systems, by the Tay Shore Trail and Ganaraska Trail.

Read more: Skyline breaks ground on new Port McNicoll Yacht Club

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