Minutes of meeting

held on Thursday, June 18, 2009 10:00 – 12 noon

South River Town Office, 63 Marie Street


Present:  Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Gilbert Lane, Ryerson; Brenda Scott, WORC/South River; Jeff Johnston, Kearney; Morley Moore, Whitestone; Kay Tod, Magnetawan Business Association; Jeffrey Dickerson, South River

Chetna Sharma, MNDM; Ben Brzezynski, MNDM; Jay Aspin, TradeNorth Ontario; Kirk Micallef, Almaguin Lumber.


Call to order Merv Mulligan, Chair

Declaration of Pecuniary Interest NA

6.     Adoption of Minutes of May 21, 2009  

Moved by: Morley Moore      Second by:  Jeff Johnston

7.           AHED Business

              Guest Speaker:  Jay Aspin TradeNorthern Ontario – Biomass

We are part of a region that has been designated as the Biomass Belt.   It encompasses Sudbury, West Nipissing, East and West Parry Sound, Huntsville and Gravenhurst.  This is a vast resource base that the MNR has commissioned to be studied in Ontario.  50% of Ontario’s biomass is in this belt.  As a consultant with Trade Northern Ontario examination of value added opportunities is underway.   Trade Northern Ontario is a federally supported initiative to promote international business and import/export for SME businesses.  European visitors are amazed at the alternate energy opportunities available to us naming the area the ‘Saudi Arabia of biomass”.  A Biomass network group began meeting early this year on a monthly basis in the hope that they can move as quickly as possible to bring this green energy to the market.  A seminar ‘Emerging Opportunities with Wood Pellets was held and 141 people attended proving the level of interest in this field.  Nipissing University has launched the Nipissing Biomass Innovation Centre to act as a catalyst in this region for project development.   Five demonstration projects will be located in the region and an application to the Community Adjustment Fund has been submitted for this endeavour.  Grant Forest Products has committed to being the primary pellet producer.  The production of pellets is primarily for long distance and shipping and transportation purposes and wood chips for local consumption. Biomass development is being considered as an alternative driven by economics and the price of oil   A Canadian manufacturing firm has sold more than 5000 wood pellet stoves in this year to date.  Quality Hardwoods in Powassan is fully supported by wood pellet heat.  On June 25th there will be a Biomass meeting in the Mayor’s Conference room at City Hall.


8.0     Reports from Community and Resource

8.1                   Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Sharma/Brzezynski

Chetna introduced summer student Ben and went over the new Northern Ontario Entrepreneur program which is a grant of up to $125,000 or 50% of total costs whichever is less.  Enterprise North Job Creation is for private firms.   It is split between loan and grant for eligible costs that have been expensed up to 50% to 1 million dollars.  Example:   $1000 eligible costs = 50% or $500 which would be $250 grant and $250 loan.

8.2                   NECO                                                                  Mayne


8.3                   FedNOR                                                     Begin

CAF review team is looking at the submitted applications for project approvals.  G8 announcements continue to be made.


8.4                   Blue Sky                                                     Buell

8.5                   WORC/South River                                            Scott

WORC is currently interviewing for a FedNor Intern Project Manager position.  A submission to the CAF has been made for Carpool Almaguin a joint project with the Almaguin Highlands Community Partners.   Bill Spinney, Parry Sound CF, will be sharing this project information  with the Northern Economic Development group.  The Village of South River received $65,000 G8 funding for community improvements and beautification.

8.6                   Ontario’s Near North                                         Ypya                                                            

8.7                   Township of Chisholm                                       Boyle

8.8                   Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls                                    Lane

Gib Lane reported that construction is underway for the new Tim Horton’s in Burk’s Falls.  Next Tuesday there will be an OMB wetland study meeting at 10:30 at the area.  The Landowner’s Association in southern Ontario is addressing issues with MPAC.  Re:  Wood pellets – the costs need to become more competitive to interest people in converting.

8.9                   Municipality of Whitestone                                Moore

Jennnifer McCourt, Discovery Routes, toured the bush with committee, flagging trails and waterways and taking pictures for their grant applications.  The economic development committee has distributed 15,000 brochures to Chambers of Commerce, Information Centres, etc. 

8.10                 Powassan Economic Development Report        

The Love Lake committee is undertaking a species study and upgrading their business plan.                  

8.11                 McMurrich/Monteith                                          Mulligan

Council is waiting for the tenders for the construction of the pavilion.  Intern application to FedNor has been made.   Turtle Crossing signs have been acquired through the MNR Adopt A Pond program and will be posted in appropriate locations.

8.12                 Kearney Economic Development                                 Johnston

Jeff Johnston distributed the What’s Happening In Kearney calendar of events and brochures and they were very well received.  BCF funding for road upgrades from Hwy 518 to Beaver Lake has been received.              

                     8.13Central Almaguin Economic Development Assoc.     

                 8.14Magnetawan Area Business Association                     Tod

The 5K, 10K and ½ Marathon are set for Sept. 12th and is being sponsored by the Running Room.  Kay advised that Ken Turner, Woodland Echoes is hosting an information session regarding developments from Greg Sorbara’s round table and has extended invitation to Brenda to attend.   This will be Friday, June 19th at 1 p.m.

8.15                 Westwind Forest Services                                    Munro

8.16                 Citizenship & Immigration (Culture Health Promotion)     Loiselle

8.17                 Almaguin Highlands Inc.                                             Stewart

8.18                 Municipality of Magnetawan

8.19               Nipissing                                                      Negrinotti

8.20                 Almaguin Highlands Council for the Arts                            Sohm

9.      Correspondence

10.           In-Camera

       11.    Adjournment:  Motion:  Jeff Johnston 2nd Kay Tod

Next meeting date:   Thursday, September 17, 2009

NOTE:  Location:  To be announced.   Guest Speaker:  Michael Lawley, Muskoka Tourism

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