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SCS selection advisory committee

A SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee has been created to advise and support the Barrie SCS applicants — Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch is the lead applicant, and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is the co-applicant — to further explore and review SCS site options in Ward 2 Barrie. Please see the attached Terms of Reference, Boundaries map and Site Selection Criteria for further details.

Please see the linked Terms of Reference for more details on the committee and its membership.

  • Dr. Grdisa and Dr. Simon will present to General Committee of Barrie City Council on Tuesday May 25, 2021 in the first step of seeking endorsement of the 11 Innisfil St. location for a SCS.
  • If successful at General Committee, Barrie City Council would vote on the motion during the Council meeting on May 31, 2021.
  • Letters of support for the 11 Innisfil St location for a SCS will be sought from SCS Advisory Committee members, key stakeholders and the community.
  • Mitigation strategies discussed today will be incorporated where appropriate into the mitigation strategies that will accompany the application to Health Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health.

April 28, 2021

  • Recent consultation findings were shared and feedback was sought from committee members on the 4 proposed SCS site options, to assist the co-applicants with a final decision on a site to be presented to Barrie City Council for endorsement.
  • The co-applicants will make a final decision on an SCS location based on the findings from the community consultation process and the feedback received from the committee membership during the meeting.
  • The co-applicants will be posting a media release announcing the chosen site on May 6th at 1:00 p.m.
  • The following statement will be added to the webpages:  During the site selection process, Linda Loftus (realtor for SCS site search acting in a voluntary role, and SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee member) disclosed the existence of a Financial Interest in the 11 Sophia St. W. property and disclosed all material facts to the Co-Applicants. In an effort to aid the disclosure, Linda Loftus withdrew from providing any further recommendations and contributing to any site selection decision-making processes for the final four proposed properties.

March 3, 2021

  • Upon further consideration and review of the 31 Toronto Street site location, it was found to be the least viable in relation to the original and additional site options and therefore removed from the list.
  • 19 Innisfil St. (also known as 80 Bradford St. Unit 940),192 Bradford St. and 11 Sophia St. West have been added as viable potential options for a SCS in Ward 2 Barrie.
  • An online survey will be available on the SMDHU SCS webpage for people who live, work, own a business or go to school in Barrie to provide feedback on the benefits, concerns and mitigation strategies associated with the concerns of the newly proposed additional potential site locations.  The survey will be available from Wednesday, March 10 to Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Paper copies of the survey are available by calling 1-877-721-7520 ext. 7333.

February 10, 2021

  • A short intensified search for an additional site option(s) is being conducted with the goal of being completed by the end of February. 
  • Planning is ongoing for the virtual community consultation sessions. Community consultation sessions are being planned for the month of April.


February 24, 2021

  • Scoring of viable options identified during the expanded site search was started by the Advisory Committee and will be reviewed further at the next meeting.
  • Planning is ongoing for the virtual community consultation sessions. Community consultation sessions are being planned for the month of April.


January 6, 2021

  • Consultation sessions with Barrie City Council members are nearing completion and a high level summary is pending.
  • BIA provided an update on their hiring of a PR firm to support a clear voice for BIA membership and engagement in the SCS process. They reaffirmed their support for the work of the SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee and their interest in participation.  
  • Updated Terms of Reference were approved and have been posted to the SMDHU SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee page.


January 20, 2021

  • Engagement sessions with the Barrie City Council members are now complete and a summary will be forthcoming, after review by Council members.
  • A short intensified search for a third site option will be conducted based on feedback received from City Council members and from the BIA, as a new SCS Site Selection Advisory committee member.
  • A map will be created based on the original 2019 Site Search Boundaries map, identifying the expanded site selection boundary beyond the historic downtown, with outer limits based on client centred accessibility and a 1 km walking distance from areas of highest EMS call.

  • The results of the online survey are currently being analyzed; the online survey report will be shared at an upcoming SCS Site Advisory meeting.
  • Consultation sessions with Barrie City Council members are being planned; these sessions will seek input on the current site options and sufficiency of those options for proceeding with the community consultation sessions.
  • The survey results and feedback from the consultation sessions with Barrie City Council members will guide the planning for the virtual community consultation sessions.
  • Representatives from the Downtown Barrie BIA have joined the SCS Advisory Committee and will attend meetings moving forward.
  • The results of the online survey are currently being analyzed, a report will follow and be shared once finalized.  In total there were 1200 respondents to the survey on the two proposed sites.
  • Renewed exploration of the 7 site options previously scored by the Advisory committee resulted in no new viable options beyond the original 2 for consultation.
  • Consultation sessions with city council members are now being planned, to seek their input on the current site options and sufficiency of those options for proceeding with the community consultation sessions.
  • The survey results and feedback from the consultation sessions with Barrie City Council members will guide the planning for the virtual community consultation sessions. 
  • The 2 site options were announced October 7, along with the opening of the online consultation survey. Materials describing the site search process are available on the SCS Advisory committee webpage.
  • Results of the online survey regarding the 2 site options will be analyzed after the survey closes on Oct 30
  • City Council deputation planned for October 26th has been cancelled. Instead, at the end of October, City Council will be receiving a written package of information detailing the site selection process and current opioid related data for Barrie. As well, CMHA and SMDHU are seeking to engage with Council on the site options and next steps within the coming month.
  • Based on the online survey results and feedback from City Council members, it will be determined if a 3rd site option will be added to the consultation process, in addition to the 2 current site options. Any additional site option would be considered in accordance with the criteria used by the Advisory committee to date.
  • The virtual neighbourhood consultation sessions will be scheduled once the analysis of the online survey is complete and the site options are confirmed
  • The Advisory committee will be resuming bi-weekly meetings in order to maintain momentum in the site selection and consultation process.


Update to Barrie City Council

On October 30, 2020 Barrie City Council members were provided with an information package detailing the SCS site selection process to date:

 September 29

  • Barrie City Council presentation has been scheduled for October 26th.  Both SMDHU (Dr. Lisa Simon) and CMHA (Dr. Valerie Grdisa) will be presenting to Council.
  • The committee has finalized the two sites (31 Toronto Street (back building) and 110 Dunlop Street West Unit 4) moving forward with community consultations in October-November.  A press release will go out October 7, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. identifying the site locations and initiating the online consultation survey.
  • Optimus SBR Inc. has been hired to facilitate the virtual community consultation sessions, data collection and analysis, and written report of the findings.


September 16, 202

  • The committee has finalized the site selection process and will be moving forward with community consultations in October-November.
  • The SMDHU and CMHA are developing a plan for the public release of the sites chosen for community consultations.
  • A third party consultant has been hired to facilitate the virtual consultation sessions as part of the community consultations, including the data collection and analysis, and report writing.
  • A detailed update will be provided to Barrie City Council during the month of October

Barrie SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee – Monthly Update

August 2020 

  • With the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic it was necessary to put the work of the SCS Advisory Committee on hold temporarily, although behind the scenes work continued by a local realtor Linda Loftus, Broker Squarefoot Commercial Group, SMDHU, and CMHA.
  • Meetings of the Committee recommenced on July 24th with the goal of confirming 2-3 viable options for a SCS/CTS site location, out of potential options that have been identified to date.
  • All members of the Committee recognize the importance of this initiative and are committed to moving forward in a responsible manner to identify viable location options and begin community consultations to inform the application process to both the Ministry of Health and Health Canada.
  • At the Committee meeting on July 24, 2020, the Committee was presented with seven options for consideration as potential sites of a SCS/CTS.  The local realtor we have been working with was instrumental in facilitating the search and in developing a matrix to evaluate the viability of each of the options.
  • At the Committee meeting on August 12, 2020, evaluation of each of the proposed options was initiated based on the site selection criteria.  The SCS Advisory Committee will continue to review and assess the remaining locations at subsequent meetings to identify 2-3 options to move forward with community consultations planned for the Fall.   
  • Communication with the City of Barrie Clerk has taken place to facilitate a formal update to Council on the progress to date and is being planned for the month of October.


August 12 and 25, 2020

  • The committee continues its work to identify potential site locations for the SCS

  • At the committee meeting on August 12, 2020, a review and scoring of proposed site options was started based on site selection criteria.  This process was continued at the August 25, 2020 meeting
  • Scoring was completed for the six possible site locations for a SCS in Ward 2 of Barrie to determine their feasibility and suitability.  The SCS Advisory Committee will continue to review and discuss the higher ranked options, with the goal of identifying at least two to three viable locations to move forward with the community consultations.
  • Potential sites and consultation plans will be shared with City of Barrie Council and the public when the top two to three locations for consultation are finalized
  • The SCS Site Advisory Committee acknowledges the confusion caused by the mis-information that was shared recently with the local media, without the committee’s consent, regarding the locations under review.  The committee has now put steps in place to prevent the sharing of confidential meeting details without committee consensus

July 24, 2020

  • Members of the SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee recognize the importance of this initiative and the need for work to continue in identifying a site and completion of the application process; recognition was  given to the fact that progress may be impacted by COVID-19 as it ebbs and flows
  • Potential site options are being considered, and the SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee will hear more about them from realtor Linda Loftus at a future meeting. Scorecards detailing the potential site options and criteria for the SCS will be completed by Linda Loftus, the two lead agencies (CMHA and SMDHU) and the SCS Community Advisory Committee, to determine the sites most suitable to proceed with community consultation.
  • A Request For Proposal to hire a third party to complete the  consultation process is in progress, with consultations being planned for Fall 2020 once potential sites have been identified.
  • A new date will be requested to present an interim update to City of Barrie Council shortly


April 8, 2020 

  • At the last committee meeting on Feb 24th, the committee members were presented with one site option from commercial realtor Stephanie Maye and a number of site options from commercial realtor Linda Loftus, all options were located in Ward 2 of Barrie. The committee will continue to work through the options presented by the two realtors using the Ministry of Health criteria for Consumption and Treatment Services sites. 
  • In March, Linda Loftus conducted a mail out on the behalf of CMHA and SMDHU to over 400 landlords within Ward 2 to inquire about potential space for lease or rent for a SCS. 
  • At the last meeting, the committee reviewed the mitigation strategies from other operating CTS/SCSs across Canada, and compared strategies that were created based on the January-March 2019 Barrie community engagement and consultations. New mitigation strategies will be created based on this scan of those sites, and will include the feedback from the community consultation report for this application process. 
  • As of the present time, CMHA and SMDHU are actively responding to the current COVID 19 outbreak with the re-deployment of staff and resources to address the needs of the community. Unfortunately at this time, neither organization has the capacity to actively continue the work of this application process. It is with careful consideration that this work will be placed on hold until further notice, and resumed when the situation permits. As such, the Barrie City Council presentation scheduled for April 27th has now been cancelled as of April 2nd, 2020. 
  • Community consultation planning will be placed on hold during COVID-19. Prior to the start of the pandemic, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was posted for third party Facilitation, Analysis and Report writing. SMDHU is currently in the hiring process for this position, with timing to be determined given the COVID-19 response.

City Council Update - January

January 13, 2020

Key Messages

  • SCS Infographic for the landlord information package is in the final stages of adaptation.
  • The planning timeline continues to be reviewed and updated.
  • At this time, it is agreed by the membership that there are no viable municipal properties in Ward 2 for a proposed SCS location.
  • The subcommittee has enlisted the assistance from 2 commercial property realtors to assist with site searches within Ward 2.
  • Community Consultation planning continues, a request for quote (RFQ) is being created by SMDHU to seek out a Facilitator for the community consultation process.
  • The members agreed to postpone the plan to present to Barrie City Council on Feb 10th, to another Council meeting date in April, when it is anticipated that further information on the site search will be available.
  • The members agreed to update the Terms of Reference to extend the committee to September 2020, to accommodate a longer timeline necessary for completion of the committee’s work.

January 27, 2020

Key Messages

  • Realtor Linda Loftus is working on a landlord ‘letter of intent’ on behalf of the committee, and continues to work on site search. 
  • Request made to City Clerk to cancel the Feb 10th presentation/status update to Council and reschedule to April 27th, when it is anticipated that more information will be available.
  • RFP (request for proposal) for a Facilitator for the community consultation sessions to be posted by end of the week on the SMDHU website.
  • Community consultation format for sessions are still being drafted with feedback from the committee.

City Council Update

Key Messages

The SCS Site Selection Advisory committee received the two Barrie Police Reports on the potential impact of a SCS on BPS service delivery. 

The SCS Site Selection Advisory committee is planning for the community consultation which will include:

      • an online survey, open to anyone in Barrie
      • community consultation sessions for Barrie residents and business owners in close proximity to the sites, as well as community organizations. When potential sites are determined, the community consultation process will be implemented.  

      The SCS Site Selection Advisory members received a presentation from safeBarrie on their ideas for the site search. 

      The SCS Site Selection subcommittee is in the process of adapting an infographic from Fraser Health (in B.C.) detailing the services provided by a SCS. 

      Andrea Miller, General Manager Infrastructure and Growth Management from the City of Barrie, attended the SCS Site Selection subcommittee meeting on Dec 16th to provide answers to the SCS subcommittee’s questions related to municipally owned properties available in Ward 2 Barrie, use of modular units on city property and the timeframe required for re-zoning a building. 

      A commercial realtor attended the Dec 16th meeting to gather feedback from the SCS subcommittee members and to conduct a search for potential SCS locations. 

      City Council Update

      Highlights from November 18 meeting

      • CMHA has been identified as the lead applicant for the SCS applications and lead for the operations of the SCS. Co-applicants/Supports still to be determined
      • The SCS Site Search Subcommittee is meeting one hour prior to the SCS Site Selection Advisory every 2 weeks. The subcommittee is in the early stages of engaging potential landlords. An information package for landlords is being prepared.
      • The membership is interested in providing an online survey for all Barrie residents to gather feedback on the specific proposed locations, when they are selected. 
      • The membership is reviewing the Waterloo SCS Community Consultation report to determine whether Barrie will follow the same process.

      City Council Update

      Highlights from October 21 meeting

      • The Committee has agreed on suggested boundaries to guide site search. The boundary map will be posted to the SCS website shortly.
      • The Committee has examined site selection criteria and agreed with the final concepts. The final wording will be brought to the next Advisory Committee meeting for approval.
      • The Site Selection Subcommittee has met and are proceeding to look for viable sites based on the above.
      • The Gilbert Centre indicated that they no longer have the capacity to be the lead applicant. As such, a new lead applicant will be determined.


      Highlights from October 7 meeting

      • The Committee is gathering various sources of data including ED visits, deaths, location of paramedic calls for suspected OD’s, location of found needles, location of harm reduction outreach, needle exchange and naloxone program indicators and others to determine geographic boundaries within which to conduct SCS site search.
      • The Committee is creating a list of site selection criteria based on Ministry of Health guidelines, client and community perspectives, and practical considerations.
      • A subcommittee has been struck to initiate the site search to inform the Committee’s deliberations.

      Highlights from September 23 meeting

      • John Barbaro, Epidemiologist with SMDHU provided a presentation (PDF, 1.1Mb) on opioid related ER visits and deaths in Barrie based on a person’s 6-digit postal code as well as data from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) regarding opioid related calls based on location dispatched to. This presentation can be shared broadly.
      • The committee will continue to collect/share data to inform the SCS site selection process.
      • The committee is beginning to explore how to proceed with community consultation and engagement once a shortlist of potential sites has been identified.


      Highlights from September 7 meeting

      • SCS Site Selection Committee members reviewed and made suggested edits to the terms of reference. These will come back to next meeting for review and approval.
      • A high level overview of consultation and engagement done to date was provided and initial discussion took place regarding these activities moving forward
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