Barrie City Council rejects adding more to a map listing social service facilities

Councillor Mike McCann wanted to include group homes, homeless shelters, hotels and schools

The kitchen sink and then some was not in the cards for City Councillor Mike McCann.

At Barrie City Council on Monday, McCann tried to amend his original motion from last week that received tentative approval asking staff to map locations of social service facilities within Barrie to assist councillors when they’re required to make decisions concerning locations of any future social service facilities.

He tried to add hotels, schools, addication-related services, mental health services, homeless shelters, group homes, daycares, job training facilities and disadvantaged youth services to the map.

Deputy Mayor and Councillor Barry Ward said he had a bit of concern about the group homes.

“Certainly neighbours know when they’re living beside a group home, but I’m not sure the rest of Barrie has to know where that group home is located.”

Staff said group homes are not something the City would generally map or publicize, but it’s not confidential information.

McCann said for him personally a map would give him a very clear understanding of where everything is so he could make the best decision possible.

“I just think more information right now is prudent. I think this has got to be a strong foundation for a guiding document that anytime we have social services come in to our downtown that we are able to very quickly see where all the services are and to make sure they’re not clumped together or clustered together.”

He likened the map to a fact-finding misison.

Ward said group homes did not need to be put on a map, and suggested it was almost scaring people for no reason, and scaring neighbourhoods and saying ‘Oh, I didn’t know we had a group home in our neighbourhood.’

“I don’t think there’s a reason that people should have to know if there’s a group home in their neighbourhood. I just don’t think it’s important information to know.”

Ward said he’s had examples of NIMBYISM in his own ward about people afraid of facilities opening up and he didn’t want to encourage this.

McCann’s amendment was defeated in a tie vote and his original motion passed.