Patrick Bales, The Orillia Packet & Times

Patrick Bales is a reporter with The Packet & Times. A native of Bradford, Ontario (Ontario's Salad Bowl), Patrick's interests include writing, rock and roll, hockey and history - not necessarily in order. He likes the Bruins, the Hip, jukeboxes, Instagram, oxford commas and irony.


Penetanguishene Mayor Gerry Marshall

County warden to run for Liberals in Simcoe North

The biggest difference between what Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall does now and what he'd do if elected MPP for Simcoe North is the number of kilometres he'd put on his vehicle.


Warden makes pitch for university

If a French-language university is set to open in Ontario, what better place than a community where already more than 11% of the population parle français?

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES A row of new homes in Orillia, which helped grow the city’s population 1.9% over the past five years, to 31,166.

Census figures released this week show Simcoe County population increasing overall

Initial census figures released by Statistics Canada this week show Simcoe County’s population has grown 7.5% in the past five years.There are 479,650 people living in Simcoe County, compared to 446,063 in 2011. The county’s population grew at a faster rate than both the national and provincial averages.That’s thanks in-part to municipalities in th

MaryLynn West-Moynes of Georgian College. (Handout - Georgian College / Doug Crawford)

Colleges plead with province for funding

Ontario colleges are reaching the tipping point when it comes to underfunding, according to the president and CEO of Georgian College.

Orillia to host 2018 Winter Games

(SUBMITTED)- The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has announced that the City of Orillia will host the 2018 Ontario Winter Games.

Simcoe Muskoka Catholic school board OKs budget

The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board has balanced its budget for 2016-17, but not without making some significant changes and relying on retirees for some extra help.

SUBMITTED PHOTO MaryLynn West-Moynes, left, Georgian College president and CEO, Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University president and vice-chancellor, and Kathi Wallace, director of education with the Simcoe County District School Board, recently signed a memorandum of understanding focusing on international students.

International students focus of agreement

Bringing more international students to Simcoe County -- and keeping them here for longer periods of time -- has brought the county's public and post-secondary institutions together in a partnership.

PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES Guy Chartrand, chair of the Simcoe County Hospital Alliance, speaks to county council at a recent meeting.

Hospitals seek another decade of funding

The presidents of seven hospitals serving patients in Simcoe County are looking for a renewed commitment from the county government to help serve capital needs.