A just recovery
for Simcoe County

Solutions for a Simcoe County that is fair, sustainable, and resilient.

Invest in People

Create conditions to generate and support local, sustainable, secure jobs.

Invest in Nature

Recognize the role that ecosystems play in supporting our long term health.

Invest in Communities

Seek and facilitate community engagement.

Posts

Our posts include press releases and media statements, as well as in-depth explorations of the recommendations made under each of the principles in detail. These will continue to be updated over time, so make sure to check back!

Climate Change

The Health Crisis of Climate Change

As we all take unprecedented measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we can’t lose sight of an equally urgent public health crisis: climate change.

Climate change has serious consequences for our mental and physical health and, just like COVID, some already-disadvantaged populations are hit harder through no fault of their own. This was one of the most valuable lessons from the pandemic along with:  we all can and must take action toward the common good, our health is tied to that of others, and governments can act swiftly in the face of crisis.  These are all applicable to climate solutions.

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Photo of the edge of a roof with the tops of solar panels showing. Photo by Scott Webb.
Economy

We have one chance to get recovery right

The pandemic made it clear that we need a more resilient and comprehensive public health care system. Governments must make investments that will keep all of us safe, make life affordable, and ensure everyone has access to the health care they need.

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Planning

Which road forward for Simcoe County?

The City of Barrie’s Draft Official Plan has set an unambitious goal of 20% forest cover by 2041. For reference, Toronto’s target is 40%. With land at a premium, growth on the rise, and trees being removed to accommodate that growth, are we even going to be able to replace what is being lost, much less increase our cover?

Planting trees is indisputably one of the more important actions we can take in the fight against climate change. The federal government has committed to planting billions of trees in the coming years. But will any of those trees be planted in urban centres like Barrie? Probably not.

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Green Infrastructure

Death by a 1000 cuts. Is it possible to increase tree cover in Barrie?

The City of Barrie’s Draft Official Plan has set an unambitious goal of 20% forest cover by 2041. For reference, Toronto’s target is 40%. With land at a premium, growth on the rise, and trees being removed to accommodate that growth, are we even going to be able to replace what is being lost, much less increase our cover?

Planting trees is indisputably one of the more important actions we can take in the fight against climate change. The federal government has committed to planting billions of trees in the coming years. But will any of those trees be planted in urban centres like Barrie? Probably not.

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Equality

Silver Linings of COVID-19

At a time when our country is bracing for the second wave of COVID-19, which by many accounts may very well be worse than the first (never mind that many of us are still reeling from the first wave), it is all too tempting to lose sight of the big picture and fall prey to the growing angst and despair gripping our communities.

While in no way wanting to minimize the tremendous upheaval incurred by the global pandemic and the enormous toil it has taken on us, I believe it is vitally important to recognize the enormous opportunity it presents in terms of advancing a truly progressive agenda such as is articulated in the Just Recovery Simcoe movement — be it addressing the spectre of climate change, or the gross inequities unleashing havoc in our communities.

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Health

Lessons from COVID can help with the Climate Crisis

Our communities will experience extreme weather events with infrastructure destruction that impairs healthcare delivery, worsening food insecurity, increased poverty in our most vulnerable neighbours, negative effects on our air and water quality, social upheavals driven by climate crisis refugees and new epidemics from “old “ pathogens like cholera and malaria.

My hope is that all levels of government will use the learning and changes demanded by the COVID crisis to tackle the climate crisis. People in our communities have shown that they can make massive lifestyle changes.

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Our Principles

Invest in People

Prioritize the health and wellbeing of people, ensuring that government, whether municipal, provincial, or federal, acts on behalf of the public interest. 

Government needs to re-establish its role as guarantor of the public interest. This means advancing the interests to benefit the public good when dealing with private interests, and actively promoting transparency and accountability in all decision making.

Invest in Nature

Nature provides the foundation for all that we do.

Ensuring there is a balance in our relationship with nature, that we don’t use more than can be replenished, means that our communities, our economy, our society, can be sustained into the future. 

Investing in a healthy environment is leaving a legacy we can be proud of for future generations.

Invest in Communities

Our communities are where we find meaning and a sense of self in relation to others and the world around us.

Fostering a sense of community helps to weave threads of connection between individuals, drawing out points of commonality, as well as enabling recognition and understanding of the ways in which we are unique, along with the skills, insights, and experiences we are able to offer.

Help create a just and sustainable future.

If you’d like to be a part of this initiative, or have comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.