DRAFT Meeting Minutes – January 16th, 2014

9 a.m. – 12 noon @ Strong Township Office


Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Chantal Perron MacIntosh, WORC; Dave Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc., Karen Insley Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc., Stephanie Booth, Almaguin.com; Hazel Hornibrook, AHAC; Ron Begin, FedNor; Gerry Spooner, FedNor; John Santarossa, EDO Magnetawan; Carole Mantha, MNDM; Shelley Willis, EDO Powassan; Dave Gray, CDO Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Rosalind Hall, Burk’s Falls; Laura McNeice, CAEDA; Carly Hughes, Business Centre of Nipissing/Parry Sound; Jenny Spring, Crowd Around Muskoka-Parry Sound; Steve Munro, Westwind Forestry.


  1. Welcome, call to order ~ Rosalind Hall 9:08 a.m.
    Regrets: Donna Maitland, OTF; Don Carter, Whitestone; Jeff Johnston, KPABA.
  2. Introductions of attendees
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest ~ N/A
  4. Adoption Minutes of November 21, 2013 - Steve Munro 2nd - Merv Mulligan All in favour

Business Arising (AHED Business):  Jenny Spring presented on a new business that has just been launched – Crowd Around Muskoka – Parry Sound is a new Crowdfunding site that has been started in the area.  The site provides an alternative to grants and loans allowing members of the community to either launch a campaign, or support one.  For example, Huntsville currently has a campaign going looking to raise $1000 towards an Apple Orchard Campaign – once $1000 has been raised the Town of Huntsville will put in the rest.  The fruit will be open to the public once the Orchard has been restored.  For more information check out their website at www.crowdaroundmuskokaparrysound.ca

Dave and Karen Stewart discussed possibly launching a campaign on Crowd Around Muskoka Parry Sound, regarding signage for the Almaguin Highlands.  Discussion took place around the table regarding signage for the Almaguin Highlands.  A number of things must be considered, where will the signage go in regards to boundaries, MTO approval, cost of signage – Dave Stewart will begin to look into Cost and Location and bring the information back to the next AHED meeting.  Ron Begin agreed that signage is a great idea for the area however in order to make it more official, the project should be brought up to the Municipal Association Meeting – the next meeting is in April, it should be put on the agenda so someone can speak to it.


  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners


      Laura McNeice/EDO CAEDA

Laura reported that they are very busy at CAEDA.  Monday will be CAEDA’s next workshop in partnership with the Labour Market Group focused on Co-op and Apprenticeships for Businesspeople – this meeting will be taking place at the South River Legion at 7:00 p.m. on Monday January 20th.  There will be a Trade Show on May 10th hosted by CAEDA and Employment North.  There is a meeting scheduled on January 16th (today) hosted by CAEDA in partnership with Employment North and AHSS called Making Connections – the event is giving employers an opportunity to address educators and discuss what skills they are looking for.  Sundridge’s 125th Anniversary takes place on March 22nd, Machar Township’s 125th Anniversary takes place on June 28th.


      Carly Hughes/Business Centre of Nipissing and Parry Sound

Carly reported on the many programs and events coming up with the Business Centre.  Thursday March 6th at the Hampton Inn in North Bay will be an International Women’s Day event “Building Relationships through Leadership” featuring Penny Tremblay.  Tuesday March 4th will be the same event held in Parry Sound at the Log Cabin Inn.  For more information regarding either of these events please contact Carly at carly.hughes@vianet.ca 

The next Lunch n’ Learn event in North Bay will be held on Wednesday January 29th focusing on Year End Tax Planning – please register in advance by contacting The Business Centre.  The next Lunch n’ Learn event in Parry Sound  will be held on Thursday January 30th focusing on All You Need to Know About Insurance – again, please register in advance by contacting The Business Centre.

Free Entrepreneurial Training offered to Aboriginal Youth has been expanded to offer the program to all youth in the area.  Summer Company is also fast approaching – there are 25 spots available for Nipissing and Parry Sound Regions, the deadline for applying is May 23rd, 2014 or until all the spots are filled.


      Steve Munro/Westwind Forestry

Steve gave us an update on the invasive species in the province.  These invasive species are generally carried into the country via pallets.  The Asian Longhorn Beetle has popped up at Pearson Airport in Toronto.  Beech Bark Disease is here in the area – this may cause approximately 90% of Beech trees in the area to die – Steve says they are hopeful that a few trees may be resistant to the disease.  The Western Pine Beetle and Hemlock Wooly also pose some threats to area forests.  The Emerald Ash Borer has been found up near Sault Ste. Marie and in Ottawa it seems that the majority of their Ash trees will probably be lost.  Steve says the best way to avoid transporting invasive species is to leave firewood where it is – do not move it or take it into a campground.  There are pictures online of all of these invasive species, if you find any on your property – let Westwind Forestry know immediately.  There is also a new incentive program available for those looking to replenish tree quantity’s on their property – if you have a minimum of 1 hectare (2 ½ acres), you may qualify to have trees planted on your property for a cost of 15 cents a piece (Coniferous trees, no hard maple).  For more information, please email Steve at stevemunro@westwindforest.ca


      Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre

Moving into the New Year, WORC has a number of programs and events taking place.  Entrepreneurial Skills Training has started in both Burk’s Falls and South River.  Balanced Living will be offered at the end of January and beginning of February.  The next Resource & Business Network meeting will be taking place on Wednesday January 29th at Marc Anthony’s Restaurant in Sundridge, the topic will be Setting Goals & How to Achieve Them presented by WORC.  A Life Skills Training Program will be offered to High School Students directly at the High School in a partnership with Almaguin Highlands – this 10 week program will cover topics such as Time Management, Managing Stress, Household Budget, Banking, Developing Communication Skills, Resume Writing and Job Interview Skills, College Applications, Income Tax.  Showcase Almaguin has been set for February 20th, 2014 to take place at the Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson Arena.  Registration is from 9:00 to 9:30 with presentations commencing after that.  Speakers include Carole Mantha from MNDM, Andrew Farnsworth from Ryerson, Rob Miller of Northland Power, Jerry Janik from Ontario Graphite, Todd Lucier of Northern Edge Algonquin and James Murphy from Explorer’s Edge.  Representatives from area organizations and government agencies have also been invited to set up booths for networking throughout the day.  The advertisement goes out in the Almaguin News on Thursday January 23rd.  Registrations are taking place through the Women’s Centre, an email advertisement and poster will be sent to the AHED committee – please share within your networks and promote the event.  Dave and Karen Stewart offered to supply bottled water for the event – Jessica will ensure there is a booth available for Dave and Karen with Almaguin Highlands Inc.  Presentation Folders are being put together for the participants along with bags donated from the Labour Market Group – if your organization or municipality has any information that you would like included in these bags, please contact Jessica at 705-386-9672 or email jessica@womensownresource.org You can also contact Chantal at info@womensownresource.org for information on any of the events or programs happening through WORC. 

A member of the AHED committee approached Jessica about having the AHED committee meet at area businesses instead of Municipal Council Chambers.  Don Carter and the Municipality of Whitestone hosted the October Meeting at Whitestone Lake Resort and John Santarossa of Magnetawan has offered to host the March meeting at Ahmic Lake Resort.  If anyone has suggestions of a location for the April meeting, please contact Jessica.


       Dave Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.

Dave reported that there will be an OMB hearing coming shortly in regards to the issues at Pegg’s Mountain.  Dave also discussed focusing on projects and development that are sustainable for the region – too many websites pop up for a couple of years and then just disappear for example.


      Stephanie Booth/Business Owner

Stephanie introduced herself to the group, she and her father have run Almaguin.com for approximately 20 years and Stephanie is currently looking at future ways to promote the area.  Almaguin.com features an extensive events calendar, business directory, blog and a snow cam that gives a live weather update.


       Hazel Hornibrook/Almaguin Highlands Arts Council

Hazel began by saying how wonderful it was to see Powassan represented at the table again.  Hazel stated that she was also pleased to see that signage is being looked at for the Almaguin Highlands.  The Almaguin Highlands Arts Council includes many artists from all areas of the Almaguin Highlands, it is a huge network of talented men and women.  This year’s projects will include a new arts directory to be distributed throughout the region; two studio tours, one on the August long weekend, and another being organized in conjunction with the Sweater Weather Tour launched last year; Alex Dufresne Gallery Show; and the hugely popular Artscape Show & Sale.  Hazel will continue to keep us informed.


       Ron Begin/FedNor

Ron briefly discussed the new program delivered through FedNor – Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario Productivity Improvements.  FedNor can help existing Northern Ontario manufacturers upgrade and improve capital equipment used in manufacturing processes, including information and communications technology, to improve their competitiveness and productivity.  Eligible project costs include new equipment purchases, installation of new equipment, training on use of new equipment, upgrading existing production equipment.  Ron also discussed the Youth Internship program delivered through FedNor – the amount has increased from $27,500 to $31,500; up to 90% of eligible costs.

For more information on any FedNor programs, please contact either Ron Begin at ron.begin@ic.gc.ca or Gerry Spooner at gerry.spooner@ic.gc.ca


       John Santarossa/EDO Magnetawan

John reported that he is working with a Toronto-area pharmaceutical company expanding to the Magnetawan area – this could potentially create 20 to 25 jobs. John will report more on this in March or April. The Municipality submitted a FIT application in December for a solar project on the Pavilion roof. John is also working with a developer from Barrie currently looking at new housing in Magnetawan. The school closure is still a pressing issue and John is undertaking research & lobbying on this.  John is currently collecting data for an energy audit and work is underway on the 2014 budget.


       Carole Mantha/MNDM

Carole started by thanking the Showcase Committee for organizing Showcase Almaguin in February.  Carole is currently working with communities on Investment Readiness.  Carole also reported that the Job Creation program’s conditional contribution has been redefined, increasing from $500,000 to $1M

For more information on any of NOHFC’s programs, please email Carole at carole.mantha@ontario.ca


       Shelley Willis/EDO Powassan

Shelley reported that the Municipality website is currently being redone to allow for easier use when navigating the site.  The Municipality has purchased an ad in the North Eastern Ontario Attractions Guide advertising their many festivals and events – the Guide should be out soon.  An Economic Development Day is being planned for May, Shelley will keep us updated.  Winter Carnival will take place the weekend of February 14th, 15th and 16th.


       Dave Gray/CDO Burk’s Fall, Armour, Ryerson

Winterfest is this weekend in Burk’s Falls, you can check it out on Facebook.  Dave gave us a reminder of the 3rd Friday Coffee House which runs from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – there is no cover charge however donations are gratefully appreciated, all donations go toward the Jamboree.  Burk’s Fall, Armour and Ryerson are currently doing an Investment Readiness Study.  Over the next 3-4 months, the South Almaguin Visitor Guide will be published, Municipalities can buy into the guide, event listings can be contributed at no charge.


        Merv Mulligan/McMurrich/Monteith

Winterfest will take place on February 14th, 15th, and 16th.  There will be children’s activities, a senior’s penny sale, a skating party, a dance and a Fishing Tournament on Sunday from 2 – 4 at Doe Lake.  The hockey equipment provided by the National Player’s Association came on Tuesday – all Bauer equipment provided for children ages 6 – 12.  The new covered rink has been an excellent asset to have in the town and is very well used.  Merv also mentioned that Scotia Junction is opening for The Crow Brothers at the Huntsville Legion on February 14th.  Merv agreed that bringing the AHED committee to meet at local businesses is a great idea and might make us more visible in the community.


  1. Correspondence:
  2. In-Camera (if required)
  3. Next meeting date: Thursday, February 20th, 2014 “Showcase Almaguin” @ Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson Arena
  4. Meeting Adjourned @ 12:00 p.m. 1st – Laura McNeice  2nd – Steve Munro

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