We, the undersigned, residents and community members of Simcoe County, are calling on local leaders to implement a sustainable, just recovery from the COVID crisis. We must make our communities more resilient, equitable and better prepared to withstand future crises, including the emerging impacts of the climate crisis.
People’s health and wellbeing must be the central focus in all of our current and future decisions and planning. We require more than investment in a robust healthcare infrastructure since only 20% of health outcomes are related to it. The other 80% of our health outcomes result from the social, economic, and natural environments in which we live and work. These conditions can absolutely be changed by our policy and planning choices.
In light of this, we ask that three principles – Invest in People, Invest in Nature, and Invest in Communities – be applied to municipal decision making. Specifically, we request that council direct staff to ensure that any recovery plans, related committee work and community improvement projects reflect these principles. We outline the principles and provide suggestions for achieving each below.
Invest in PeopleCreate conditions to generate and support local, sustainable, secure jobs:
Move toward an Index of Wellbeing to measure our communities’ prosperity.
Invest in NatureRecognize the role that ecosystems play in supporting our health:
Increase access, where appropriate, to natural areas to foster a deeper connection with nature and encourage the mental health benefits nature provides:
Invest in CommunitiesSeek and facilitate community engagement and give a greater voice to marginalized and racialized people:
Create communities that are equitable by design:
We all want to live in healthy, prosperous communities. We believe that the aforementioned principles provide a clear path towards this goal for the residents in Simcoe County. In the coming months, we will continue to engage with our respective partners to further identify and refine these recommendations.
We look forward to communicating with you further to improve our community’s equity, safety, inclusivity, and sustainability which increases our collective health and wellbeing.
Barrie and District Association of Singer-Songwriters
Barrie and District Labour Council
Barrie Families Unite
Bradford Women’s+ Group
Concerned Citizens of Ramara
CONTACT Community Services
$15 and Fairness Barrie
Friends of Simcoe Forests
Friends of Strawberry Island
Grace United Church
Grilled Cheese Social Eatery
Hope Cafe Records
Huronia Meditation Group
Innisfil District Association
Living Green Barrie
New Tecumseth Climate Action
Redwood Park Communities
Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition
Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness (SCATEH)
Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition
Thomson Architecture, Inc.
Provincial and National Signatories
Climate Strike Canada
Council of Canadians
Ontario Headwaters Institute
RAVEN – Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs
Wellington Water Watchers