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2022-01-06

Wakestock in Collingwood won’t be like Wasaga Beach: organizers

The organizers of Wakestock are confident that the issues that plagued the event when it was held in Wasaga Beach won’t happen if it comes to Collingwood. Todd Elsey and Bill Jones from SBC Media – the company that organizes Wakestock made a presentation to council on Monday to discuss the annual wakeboarding festival. The event is slated to be held at Collingwood’s harbourfront from Aug. 7-9, pending council’s approval. Wakestock is one of five events in the world series of Wakeboarding and features some of the top professional wakeboarders in the world as well as a skateboarding event and a live music. The event was held in Bala from 1998-2001, Wasaga Beach from 2002-2004 and Toronto Island from 2005-2008. The event created a lot of controversy during its tenure in Wasaga Beach as numerous charges were laid during the weekend. Elsey said the reasons for the event move from Wasaga was "disorganized tourism infrastructure, lack of quality hotel rooms," and "the event got a bad reputation from activities outside the venue, by typical beach problems." Jones told The Connection that a lot of the reputation of Wakestock in Wasaga Beach was caused by the press coverage. "We’re a professional, well run event," Jones said. According to the presentation, attendance for the event has been between 9,500 and 15,000, with the largest attendance occurring in Wasaga Beach. Elsey said Collingwood is the perfect site because of the area’s association with "action sports," including skiing, wakeboarding and snowboarding. The plan is to hold the event on the Spit and shuttle visitors to parking lots on either side of town as well as shuttles to hotels in the Blue Mountain resort. Elsey said they will also employ private security team, paid duty officers and a K-9 unit. Counc. Norman Sandberg said he had spoken to officials from Toronto and was told that the event worked because the Island was a contained site. "I see the spit as having a similar-type situation," he said. Elsey said the reasons they left Toronto were the expensive costs and it was difficult for spectators to access the site. He spoke to a majority of council before his presentation and said the Collingwood Yacht Club, the Fire Department and the Collingwood OPP didn’t have any concerns. A majority of concerns from council were related to parking. Council is expected to make a decision next week.

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2021-11-04

Drunk driver crashes on school grounds

A man has been charged with drunk driving for the second time in two weeks, the latest time after crashing into a sign at the front of Tecumseth Beeton Elementary School Friday. The crash happened at about 3:30 p.m., just as students would normally be getting out of school. Friday was a professional development day though, meaning students were not at school. A witness saw the accused drive into the school parking lot, jump a curb and then hit the sign. He damaged his vehicle and attempted and tried to back out of the sign, but his wheels were left spinning on the grass. One witness said he asked the driver if he was injured, but the man seemed disoriented and confused. The driver then ran on foot towards Main Street. The accused was followed by a witness until police arrested him minutes later. The 46-year-old man, formerly of Palgrave, was charged with impaired driving and diving with over 80 milligrams of alcohol in his blood.

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2021-03-19

Guergis now under fire for Alberta mailer

Simcoe-Grey MP Helena Guergis is coming under fire for yet another mailer, only this time it’s in another province. Hot on the heels of the controversy over a constituency newsletter sent out after the election writ was dropped, a columnist for the Edmonton Journal newspaper reported yesterday that Guergis had sent out pro-Conservative mailers to homes in the Edmonton-Strathcona riding. The Alberta riding is the same one that Guergis’ husband, Rahim Jaffer, represented prior to being defeated in the 2008 federal election. In the column by Todd Babiak, some Edmonton residents said the mailer was a waste of money and questioned why it was sent and why it was sent by Helena Guergis, an MP who respresents a riding thousands of kilometers away in another province. The mailer, similar to the ones the Conservatives were sending out prior to the election last year, reportedly raises a question as to which one of Canada’s federal party leaders is doing the best job at protecting the Canadian public during the current economic uncertainty. The column reported there is also a photo of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and gave residents the option to check a box beside the names of one of the four federal party leaders. When contacted by the Herald Guergis’ staff member Val Knight said she was unaware of the mailers. She said they didn’t come out of the Simcoe-Grey constituency offices or from Guergis’ staff in Ottawa. "It would have gone out from the Conservative Party. The only thing that our office sends out is the 10 per center and the householder," she said. Guergis was not immediately available for comment. The original column in the Edmonton Journal can be read by clicking here:

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