Jobs, the opioid crisis, homelessness and use of public spaces top of mind as Barrie City Council gets back to business

Regular meetings resume tonight

They continued to work behind the scenes during the summer, just didn’t hold their regular weekly meetings.

That changes tonight when city councillors meet in General Committee.

Among other things, Mayor Jeff Lehman is hoping to address some issues that have taken a back seat to the COVID Crisis, “The focus on COVID, which is necessary, has maybe pulled us away from other issues that are pressing on the social problems or health problems in the community – opioids, homelessness, in particular, and mental health as well.”

Jobs remain a top priority, says Lehman, making sure there are good jobs and careers locally to keep Barrie from becoming a bedroom community.

The mayor also expects there will be a lot of economic pieces on council agendas this Fall the city recovers from the pandemic.

On a more positive note, Lehman thinks COVID has renewed interest in public spaces – parks, sidewalks, the waterfront, Meridian Place, and how we use those spaces. “You’re going to see some new things from us around smaller scale, public space improvements. COVID has put a real focus on what you can do outside because it’s safer, and it creates more room, people can be further apart while still participating.” Lehman also notes it’s a permanent benefit that’s not particularly expensive to improve.