Join our Newsletter
Email or Call Today! 1-705-721-5000






Member Blog

The Chamber blog is a great place to find out the latest news, see event photos, and get great business tips - send in your good news notices to for inclusion in our Positive Press for Members tag.

RECORDING: Virtual Town Hall featuring Downtown Barrie BIA

Friday, October 02, 2020

Schools are now open, allowing more parents to return to work, and hopefully helping our economy to get back on track. We are, of course, all vigilantly watching to see what impact this will have on the numbers, and continuing our safe distancing practices. As we know, the situation continues to evolve daily, and the task of guiding Canadians through Covid-19 is far from over. The government is still actively seeking input to ensure that needs are met, and to address the issues faced by various sectors and communities.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have truly seen the spirit of Team Canada, as every level of government has come together to ensure that Canadian families and businesses are helped through the economic implications of COVID-19. They have announced supports, listened to feedback, and then made adjustments to meet the needs of Canadians. The cooperation of all involved has made the decision-making process faster than we've ever seen before.

Meetings like this are a critical part of communicating with our local elected officials, ensuring that they are able to represent our community's needs in regional, provincial, and national discussions. Barrie area elected officials have been invited to give an update and then answer your questions.

Virtual Town Hall with MP John Brassard, MPP Doug Downey, City of Barrie Deputy Mayor Ward for updates and Q&A. Kelly McKenna also joined this panel to give us an update on Downtown Barrie, the challenges they've been facing through Covid, their priorities for recovery, how the merchants are doing, and what to expect in the coming months.


-----00:00 WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS MODERATOR: Todd Tuckey, Barrie Chamber President PANEL: •John Brassard, MP Barrie - Innisfil •Attorney General Doug Downey, MPP Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte •Deputy Mayor, Barry Ward, City of Barrie •Kelly McKenna, Downtown Barrie BIA •Paul Markle, Barrie Chamber of Commerce

-----00:05 UPDATES •00:05 - John Brassard, MP Barrie - Innisfil •00:11 - Attorney General Doug Downey, MPP Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte •00:16 - Deputy Mayor, Barry Ward, City of Barrie Kelly McKenna, Downtown Barrie BIA

-----00:22 Q&A 00:22 - Daycares are excluding children who are asymptomatic if any household member has a cold. Parents are still expected to pay for the missed days. It took 4 days for our results to come in and I was unable to work but still was required to pay for missed days until our negative test results came back. The SCDSB says asymptomatic children are able to attend. Why is this not the same case for daycares?

00:25 - Are we able to access the change rooms for swimming pools at city facilities yet? With the weather getting colder, leaving the pool damp won’t be possible for much longer

00:25 - Kelly - Have the downtown businesses seen any uptick in sales with pedestrians?

00:26 - The CECRA has now ended, and many Canadian businesses were unable to access the funding because of the way it was structured. Are there any plans to set up new funding programs with direct access for those tenants whose landlords did not or could not participate?

00:33 - What do you think the Christmas season in Downtown Barrie might look this year? Are many of the downtown stores online so that we can still shop there if we can’t go in person? 00:36 - Last weekend there was a huge car rally in Wasaga, and some of the participants commented on media that they didn’t care about the fines they might face. Are there going to be stricter penalties for this type of activity? Perhaps impacting their licenses if it’s a car rally?

00:37 - With the numbers climbing in other areas, will any regional closures also include travel restrictions so that there isn’t spread to the regions that are still open?

00:44 - Are there any marketing plans in the works to make Barrie a desirable travel destination when it is safe to do so? Tourism dollars can add a new revenue stream for small businesses.

00:48 - Any progress on improving rural access to reliable internet? The limits on access to this tool for businesses and students is creating disparity in potential for success

00:51 - With Thanksgiving approaching many families will be getting together. Will fines be given?

00:54 - Do you think the province or the city will put in Halloween restrictions for trick or treating, or will it likely be more along the lines of strong recommendations?

-----00:55 CLOSING COMMENTS •00:46 (during Q&A) - John Brassard, MP Barrie - Innisfil •00:55 - Attorney General Doug Downey, MPP Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte •00:56 - Deputy Mayor, Barry Ward, City of Barrie •00:57 - Kelly McKenna, Downtown Barrie BIA

Bell Invest Barrie TD Canada Trust Barriston Law LLP Ontario Chamber of Commerce Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chamber Executives of Ontario