Minutes of meeting

held on Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

South River Machar Community Centre
South River, Ontario


Present:  Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Gilbert Lane, Ryerson; Stephen Boyle, Brenda Scott, WORC/South River; Chisholm; Hazel Sohm, AHCA; Catherine Mayne, NECO; Ron Begin, FedNor,

Regrets:  Steve Munro, Westwind Forestry Services; Chetna Sharma, MNDM,


  1. Welcome
  2. Call to order  Merv Mulligan, Vice Chair.
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest  NA
  4. Presentations:      Cathy Still, G8 Summit was unavailable and has been asked to re-schedule.


         Hazel Sohm, Almaguin Highlands Council for the Arts

Through her interest in the theatre arts and the Highland Players, she became aware that there was not an arts council in our region, whereas, all of the other regions have one.  In June 2008 the AHCA was incorporated with a 12 member Board and several committees were formed.  Their current goals, along are to publish an arts directory, create a logo, brochure and website.  Their mission is to inform, educate and promote all of the arts events and artists to the public.  There is a membership fee and they are currently meeting at the Sundridge Community Centre on the 4th Monday of every month @ 7 p.m.   For more information contact Hazel @ hazey@xplornet.com or almaguinartscouncil@gmail.com




  1. Election of Officers

Nominations:   Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary

Deferred to February meeting.


6.                  Adoption of Minutes of November 20, 2008.

              Moved by: Gib Lane     Second by:  Stephen Boyle


7.           AHED Business

7.1         IPM 2009 –We have not received any responses to our requests for more information regarding funding structure for tents at IPM.  It was brought to our attention that North Bay has committed only $10,000 to the project and as far as we know, none of our neighbouring communities have committed.   Therefore the volunteer committee has voted to withdraw support for this project.  Brenda will contact the North Bay Astronomy to update.

Motion:  Having had no clear definitive response as to the financial commitment for AHED to participate in the 2009 IPM, we hereby withdraw our offer to participate. 

Moved by: Merv Mulligan   Second by: Gib Lane


8.0                   Reports from Community and Resource Partners

8.1                   Ministry of Northern Development and Mines           Sharma/McGill

8.2                   NECO                                                                  Mayne

Catharine Mayne announced that there is additional funding through the LIP grant now available.  The current list of projects receiving funding has been published.    In June 2008, the Parry Sound District Livestock Co-op Association (PADLCA) commonly known as the South River Auction Barn received $3,000 from NECO to purchase a new scale and for roofing repairs. The Association was formed in 1953 by farmers in the Parry Sounds and neighbouring districts, so they could market their cattle at home. The South River cattle sale was the 2nd largest sale in the province at the time of opening and held that position for a few years. Funding from NECO will enable the PADLCA to continue auction market operations for its members who are local farmers living in the district. The Association supports local agriculture communities as far south as Huntsville north to New Liskeard, east to Mattawa and west to Parry Sound and Verner. In June 2008, the Powassan & District Library received $1,000 from NECO to purchase equipment for employment resource centre. Funding was conditional upon the Library finding the additional $2,000 needed for this project. In September 2008 the South River Railway Station Heritage Centre received $3,000 from NECO for electrical lighting as part of the restoration of the Station. The restoration of the electrical wiring will be used to activate the lighting and electrical system in the waiting room and station office of the former South River CNR Station. The facility is being renovated by a citizen's group in to a Community Heritage Centre. The waiting room and station office are being restored with community donations and a grant from the Benjamin Moore Foundation. This project will reconnect the existing light fixtures to the electrical system and install wall plugs to provide electricity for displays, track lighting for displays and smoke detectors.

All interested in LIP grant applications may contact Catharine @ cmayne@vianet.ca   www.neco.on.ca


8.3                   FedNOR                                                     Begin

Ron Begin reminded us that the Almaguin High School feasibility study will be revealed Monday night , 7 p.m. Highlander Room. AHSS.  The G8 summit is approaching and planning is well underway.   He thought it was a good time to re-engage discussions regarding trails in the Almaguin Highlands and include MNDM along with Jennifer McCourt at Ontario Trails.  FedNor would be supportive of projects that increased trail usage and economic development surrounding them.  Funding would possibly be split 10/45/45 between municipalities, province and federal government.  Signage has become easier to accomplish as requirements by MNR have been lifted somewhat.   Development of staging areas, bilingual or universal signage and marketing/website enhancements would be considered. 


8.4                   Blue Sky                                                     Buell

8.5                   WORC/South River                                            Scott

ROPE programs are underway in South River, Commanda and Emsdale with 14 women participating.  General one to one consultations for business development have increased with some new and exciting businesses looking to establish in our area.   With the increase in demand there is unfortunately little increase in funding for any additional staff, as well, there has been a significant increase in criteria for funding and administration costs have been cut significantly.   WORC is looking forward to meeting the needs of the shifting economy and social fabric over the coming years.

The Almaguin Highlands Community Partners had written to MTO regarding possibility of carpool parking lots near the new Hwy #11 access points.   A letter from Raymond Hong was received directing this type of development to the municipalities.   (letter attached)

8.6                   Ontario’s Near North                                          Ypya                                                           

8.7                   Township of Chisholm                                       Boyle

       Stephen Boyle reported that they have met with FedNor regarding economic development initiatives including the MTO highway development re:  access points.  Chisholm council has written letter to Mr. McGuinty in support of Kay Tod’s letter with respect to the impending closure of the Burk’s Falls Health Centre.  He also reported on the issue of the Almaguin News laying off reports and no longer covering the northern Almaguin region. Note that Letter from Powassan council to Bill Allen, General Manager of the Almaguin News and resolution to have journalist/photographer re-instated for the northern communities is included in attachments.

Motion:   That the AHED Partnership Committee support the Municipality of Powassan’s resolution regarding the Almaguin News’ withdrawal of services.  In addition that we distribute this resolution to all municipalities as it has impact on the economic well-being of the region.

Moved by:  Stehpen Boyle   Second by:  Merv Mulligan

8.8                   Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls                                    Lane

Gib Lane reported that the G8 summit the main topic of discussion at the Muskoka Futures meeting.  He read article containing updated information, the Theme:  Maximizing the longterm opportunities of the G8 Summit.  A full day symposium will be held at Deerhurst Resort that is open to the public.  February 27th   $25 per person until Feb.13th, $35 per person thereafter.   Register online @ www.muskokafutures.ca 


8.9                   Municipality of Whitestone                                 Moore

8.10                 Powassan Economic Development Report                            Cormier

8.11                 McMurrich/Monteith                                          Mulligan

Tower is up and Wireless reception from Rogers is available.  The Trails are open.   Musically, Merv shared that Scotia Junction is currently recording CD – North to Ontario.

8.12                 Kearney Economic Development                                 Johnston

8.13       Central Almaguin Economic Development Assoc.     

                 8.14Magnetawan Area Business Association                     Tod

8.15                 Westwind Forest Services                                    Munro

8.16                 Citizenship & Immigration (Culture Health Promotion)    

8.17                 Almaguin Highlands Inc.                                             Stewart

8.18                 Municipality of Magnetawan                                      Evans

8.19               Nipissing                                                      Negrinott

8.20                 Almaguin Highlands Arts Concil                                Sohm

9.      Correspondence


10.           In-Camera


       11.    Adjournment/ Next meeting date:   February 19, 2009.   10 a.m. – 12 noon

                                                      South River/Machar Community Centre

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