New Tecumseth council briefs: Vaccination rollout, lockdown and park lands

·2 min read

On the day another restrictive lockdown was enforced, seniors lined up in blizzard-like conditions to receive a very important poke in their arms

By midnight Feb. 28, New Tecumseth had joined much of Simcoe County in hunkering down against an outbreak of the virulent B117 U.K. variant of the COVID-19 virus.

At council, New Tecumseth’s chief administrative officer Blaine Parkin laid out some of the restrictions, including restaurants must open only for curbside and takeout service, residents are to limit all inside gatherings to household members only, and all township centres, museums, the library and town hall are shuttered.

On the flip side, it was also the day more than 360 seniors walked through the Alliston Memorial Arena doors to receive their first dose of the vaccination that rolled out in 34 regions across the province Monday.

For an update on vaccinations and lockdown requirements, visit https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/COVID-19 or call 705-721-7520.

Park lands — To build on a swamp or on a hill; that was the question asked by Robert Schickedanz at New Tecumseth’s town council meeting Monday night.

Schickedanz’s Walton South Simcoe Residential Development has plans to build a new subdivision adjacent to the West County subdivision in Beeton. Schickedanz suggests parkland set aside for the initial West Country community have a two-metre slope that would not benefit from playground equipment. A small group of residents attended an earlier township committee of the whole meeting to protest movement of the park to a nearby plot of land. Council sent the decision back to staff to review the park, currently zoned environmentally protected and agricultural.

No conflict of interest determined — Deputy Mayor Richard Norcross was found not to be in contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act Monday.

New Tecumseth’s Integrity Commissioner John Mascarin investigated a report that Norcross should have declared a pecuniary interest on a draft ministerial zoning order permitting a new subdivision, as well as in an application made by a second developer last October.

The conflict arose from a concern that Norcross’ wife Robin is employed as a sales representative for several new homes, that could or had been built by the developers.

Mascarin’s report determined Robin had not sold any new homes and only resells homes in the New Tecumseth area. In his report, Mascarin noted, “It is our view that a reasonable elector, having been fully apprised of all the circumstances, would conclude that the deputy mayor’s deemed interest of an indirect nature would not be likely to influence his action … and (it) would be expressly exempted from the requirements Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.”

Council received the report with no further action required.

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance