Minutes of meeting - March 15th 2012

10 am –12 noon @ Trout Creek Community Centre


Present: Kay Tod, Perry Township: Cole Dault, Economic Development Officer, Almaguin Highlands Ontario Inc: David Stewart (&RTO 12) and Karen Insley Stewart

(Healthy Almaguin too), Powassan :Tiffany Ramsay: Economic Development Officer, South River& CAEDA; Jim Coleman McMurrich/Monteith Twp.: Merv Mulligan,

Westwind Forestry: Steve Munro, FedNor; Ron Bejin, MNDM: Tara Hamilton, Ryerson; Rosalind Hall, Women’s Own Resource Centre: Kara Mitchell (& AHED Secretary),

KPABA: Jeff Johnston; (& AHED Chair), Almaguin Highlands Arts Council: Hazel Hornibrook

Regrets received: Don Carter -Whitestone

1) AHED business: 

1.1  Additions, edits & / approval  of  agenda – Rosalind 1st,  Merv 2nd, all in Favour

1.2  Adjustments & approval of last meeting minutes -RTO 12 –revision to this section

provided by David Stewart  - adjustment to Terms of Reference section and whether action item of  looking into Liability was missing from minutes discussed, no revision commonly found required

-Motion to accept minutes with these revisions / comments; Kay Tod,  2nd Steve Munro

1.3  Showcase Almaguin Committee –update from March 9th.

Showcase Committee meeting(where summary of feedback from Showcase 2011 event was discussed and applied to these decisions);

Chosen Theme; Growing Green by Stimulating Local Trade (will seek word-smithing input for branding of this early in the process of planning)

Objectives; (1) Identify and share opportunities for economic development relevant to stimulating local and environmentally sustainable trade within Almaguin~ to feature existing opportunities and new ones with great potential (such as buy-local initiatives that are working in imilar regions)

(2) Provide an effective forum for networking. Goals discussed to meet this objective include:

-include a follow-up strategy in planning that will more widely distribute resources and information (eg. directory of local business & services), address feedback and priorities set in  workshop portion of event in following up AHED meetings.

-more widely distribute promotion for the event, engage more people in planning stages leading up to the event  -strive to meet or exceed participant levels of Showcase 2011 of 100 people

Timing: Fall 2012, Mid Nov. / Late Sept. –these options to be sent to AHED contacts for an online poll that will help determine, along with potential funding support the final dat es. -Time of week: Wed / Thurs suggested as best for business attendance

Location;  - AHSS discussed and not being available during week –unless PD Day available  - South River Community Centre identified as of great potential, central, once timing set we can look into availability.

-Budget & Key Partners discussed at the meeting, interest from W.O.R,C. to act again as lead organization for management of finances and human resources expressed, to be confirmed at upcoming meeting as project develops and follow-up inquiries with potential funders are made.

-Showcase Planning Committee will meet after regular AHED meetings over lunch at local restaurants (stimulating local trade as we go ).

1.4  Transportation -focus of future AHED meeting?

Chair intro: Accessible public transportationis of great need in all our municipalities. Many organizations see public transportation as a part of their area of interests & / responsibilities. How do we get this moving? Put together a project team ? Host an AHED meeting focused on this ?

-discussion  -challenge of logistics in rural areaaddressed &$ -Parry Sound, for eg.,did recent survey about keeping up their established transit and people did not support increase in taxes to maintain -if there was a strong business case for a regional bus, industry could meet this need   -is it viable for a business to fill in gaps such as Ontario Northland or Hammond for eg. ?

-all 3 levels of governments have responsibilities for supporting public transportation that we can draw on to hurdle start-up / initial risk challenges for private industry-bus system between communities for what purposes ? what needs ?-rather than meeting all needs look to meet some, the most important / unaddressed -there are good international examples eg. of Prince Edward County offers continuous 90 minute loop

-maintaining and expanding Carpool Almaguin & Volunteer driving service organized by Eastholme and subsidized by social services -$.41 / km provided to drivers taking people to medical appointments

-Hwy 11 corridor may seem the easiest place to start / key route for asharedbus system - those townships outside of could organize their own routes accessing this

-in Ontario’s Northern Growth Plan –transportation was one of 2 prioriti es  -MNDM does also provide strategic planning supports, 3-6 months from now could help with facilitation of strategic meeting around this 

-feasibility study discussed –pro’s and con’s brought up –assessing best options and gaining buy-in through that, businesses would need their own -WORC with community partners conducted a survey of East Parry Sound in 2007&8 that assessed transportation needs, that was used in decision to launch Carpool Almaguin –getting the summary of this distributed, considered and potentially updated discussed

-Invite Social Planning Council Leadership (also presently studying needs in the region, including Transportation in the north of Almaguin ) group to present @ May AHED meeting, work towards Sept. as a meeting focused on transportation inviting all key players such as businesses
- ask for invite of AHED rep at their April 18th meeting

-April 27th = District Municipal meetingwhich may be other venue where transportation is addressed

2)  Round Table reports of Attendees

Cole / PerryTownship:

-  Almaguin Highlands Info Centre –upgrades being completed, flatscreens getting installed and ipads for public and travelers to link with regional info on-line

-  Proceeding with farmer’s market,Fridays, June –Sept. 10 am -2 pm, still looking for vendors, getting application process established

-  Strategic Plan –getting back from planner next week

Karen - Healthy Almaguin

– letter read (that has been sent to partners); Unfortunately this project is stalled despite strong interest and support by various municipalities and organizations. The structure of Healthy Almaguin and insurance were not found suitable to Healthy Communities Grant it sought for core-funding -South River comment; municipality would provide insurance but fund determined the project had to be of a committee of council which was not feasible in the timelines for this fund or structure designed to date. All funds collected to date have been returned.Non Profit Organization (NPO) with suitable mandate and liability insurance or municipalities partnering through AHED or CAEDA sought to carry project forward, build on support, documents and processes already in place.

David: RTO 12

-  program providing gas coupons for visitors to area during spring season has been launched ( info. sent through AHED network in week b4 meeting)

-  Park to Park Trail -made arrangements with Perry to be able to have parking for vehicles at the AH Info. Centre

Powassan / Tiffany

-  MOPED (Powassan Economic Development Committee) will be doing an    advertising campaign to be put together this year and rolled out next year in North Bay to attract young families to visit and reside within Powassan
-  Anna Gibson Allageous – now CEO For Powassan Area Family Health Unit,  have nurse practitioners, doctor and looking for patients
-  Those who don’t have a doctor, need to register with Health Care Connect to let province know re.shortage –can be done on line , just need health card

South River / Machar Township –Jim Coleman

-highway signs installed
-got grant to buy water meters for central system, looking to conserve and effectively communicate opportunity with residents
-have outdoor event planned for July 15th -18th at Tom Thomson Park, focused on outdoor pursuits, looking for vendors
- train station has been structurally strengthened


 – had presentation from Friends of Mikkesew Park, looking to boost interest and involvement, perhaps from “bottom up”
-  there is growth showing from highway changes, purchase of properties alongside new exits of Highway bypasses -old ski hill for eg. has been purchased and being developed

Arts Council -Hazel

-  hope to distribute new Directory by May 24  -struggling to find participating residents / representatives from most Northern and Southern portions of Almaguin region
-  future goals to develop artists/ gallery tours
-  have done Showcases of Artists works in the past, concerned about name conflict with AHED event, may be switching to sale
-  advocated for keeping AHSS a key part of community development

Westwind -Steve

- recently at Georgian Bay biosphere reserve conference,  impressed with presentations and resources available there through the Ontario Environment Network on business sustainability - strong and recommended resource
- biosphere career day coming up
- winter ended quickly for operators, some planned allocations of Pine were not removed
- Westwind continues to look at developing biomass / Energy options in

McMurrich/Monteith Twp  - Merv

-  have applied for funding for new building their Sr’s residence, have been denied last year but trying again

-  Fishing tournament on Family Day weekend worked out well

-  Community Centre is getting well used , including programming during the day, such as yoga & indoor walks

FedNor / Ron

-  waiting for budget from Federal Gov. to come out this spring, expect cuts across the boards

-  have been working withMagnetawan, have applied for assistance in recovering downtown post fires –have provided 10% portion towards these efforts
-  CAEDA –looking at getting community economic development officers into place sometime in next year
-  supporting job development at Graphite mine with Kearney
-  & Cambium expanding their workforce from 3 to 30

MNDM /Tara

-  also in partnership with FedNor on above projects
-  collaboration of CAEDA recognized as great
-  Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is under review, expect some program changes in new fiscal year, there are more applications than in past year, very competitive
-  Summer Job Service is launched, open until April 30th, $2 / hr wage subsidy for youth (municipalities not eligible)
-Summer Experience Program of Ont. Gov. was also mentioned –Min. wage subsidy for summer employment that provides training -March 23 = deadline for applications through Grants Ontario

Ryerson  - Rosalind

-  working on intern application to develop Strategic Plan for Amour/Ryerson/Burks Falls
-  Federation of Northern Municipalities conference will be May 9 -11th in North Bay, highly recommended as professi onal development and networking, northern communities issues & opportunities are often relevant to our area
-  Discussion re whether Almaguin is considered as “North” politically and ongoing forums for input resulted

Kay – member of Trillium grant review team for Muskoka / P.S. /Nipissing

-  Interested applicants should call Program Manager Donna Maitland in North Bay first , consultation is key to success
-  conference next week in Toronto will set priorities for funding –please let Kay know of input on what are our greatest needs are for this area

Kearney -Jeff

-  seeking Treasurer and economic development officer since David Hunks moved 
-  will approach town of Kearney to send rep. to AHED
-  KPABA, will email newsletter –Tues. 21st 7pm at United Church in Emsdale
- will be putting out a summer season guide, welcomes advice
- Discussion re updated Almaguin Highlands Map

Whitestone –(Correspondence from Don Carter)

Our municipality’s Recreation Committee held its first annual February Family Day on community centre grounds in Dunchurch. There was skating in the open air arena, sleighing, snowsculpturing, traditional refreshments with the evening featuring folk music.  The committee is concluding a series of personal and family-matters public sessions in March. Our library will be having a St Patrick`s Day children`s activity afternoon this Saturday.  The Whitestone Rod and Gun Club held its 6th Annual Fishing Derby early in March at the Whitestone Lake Resort with over 200 taking part.
Residents and visitors have until recently been encouraged to cross-country skiing and walking using our recently opened walkways at the Whitestone and Clear lakes trails.
Our local Legion continues to promote its winter activities primarily euchre, darts, horseracing games and monthly meat draws.
Meantime Council is trying to negotiate with Canada Post to try to keep our post office.

W.O.R.C. – Kara

- 2 sets of well-enrolled Entrepreneurial Skills Training coursesare winding up at the end of March, several small businesses to start or be improved with support of these -next 10 week session will be in Sept., in 2 Almaguin locations, waiting lists started
-upcoming Almaguin Women’s Resource & Business Network luncheon, Wed. March 28th (thanks for distributing posters) focused on Marketing through Social Media – resulting discussion; some of WORC’s programs are women-only so they can be accessible learning place for the full diversity of local women, including those who have faced violence from a man and are seeking economic independence –as in other parts of the world, Almaguin women bring the benefits of these programs to better the lives of their entire families and communities.
-resources sought to better service our clients; (1) sample good quality response to municipal tender for micro-business such as park maintenance &(2)lists / updated ones of what businesses / industries are considered in demand / most viable in our region such as those NOHFC funding would consider –discussion resulted in these being a part of Municipal Strategic Plans, collating these sections being potential collaborative project of one of the economic development interns

3) Next Meeting: 3rd Thurs: April 19th   

-Rosalind will look into booking a Burk’s Falls location


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