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Ford touches on business boosts & boundary issues during visit to Simcoe County

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford made an unexpected yet eventful trip to Simcoe County on Wednesday, touching on business boosts and boundary disputes.

First, during his stop in Barrie, Ford met with the team at Matsu Matcor in a closed-door meeting.

Next, the premier travelled to Oro-Medonte for a surprise stop at an event to support PIE Education, an initiative aiding children in need within Simcoe County.

"It's really incredible," Ford said of the endeavour.

Boundary Expansion

The premier also took time to address a politically charged issue regarding the City of Barrie's proposed boundary expansion.

For months, Mayor Alex Nuttall has advocated for the expansion, saying the city is out of industrial land and needs more space to attract new employers.

"He's a responsible government leader, and he needs to expand," Ford said at Wednesday's event.

His remarks come less than a week after the province intervened, appointing a mediator to facilitate negotiations between Barrie, Oro-Medonte, and Springwater.

"We're all working with the province, working together and trying to come up with a solution that respects, certainly, our neighbouring municipalities, but creates a future that's going to increase employment," Nuttall said.

Despite local opposition, the premier emphasized how everyone must get on board.

"It benefits everything. It's not like Barrie's going in there, taking over everything. It's a phenomenal deal to another jurisdiction that may not have the amount of resources that Barrie has, but everyone benefits in the whole area," Ford said.

Residents seeking more information on the boundary dispute can find details on a dedicated page on the Township of Oro-Medonte's website.

Innisfil Groundbreaking

The premier's day continued with a groundbreaking ceremony in Innisfil for DSV's new multi-million dollar commercial development.

The project represents a $200 million investment in a state-of-the-art, 1.3 million-square-foot warehousing facility that is expected to create around 225 jobs.

"I want to thank all the folks from DSV for having confidence in our province [and] confidence in this region," Ford stated at the ceremony.

Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin highlighted the significance of the development, saying, "We are a growing community. There is no doubt about that, and we just have such great geography. We are tight here next to the 400 highway, and also 10 minutes away is Lake Simcoe, so lots for families, so we are building not just of homes but we are also building community."

DSV aims to complete construction by July 2025.

With files from CTV's Alessandra Carneiro

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