Minutes of meeting

Thursday, March 18, 2010 10:00 – 12 noon

McMurrich/Monteith Municipality Office


Present:  Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Gilbert Lane, Ryerson; Jessica Busch, FedNor Intern WORC; Brenda Scott, Village of South River, WORC; Kathleen Thorne, MNDMF; Mary Anne Love, Perry; John Dunn, Perry; Morley Moore, Whitestone; Pat Aspin Lecour, NECO; Dave & Karen Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Jim Coleman, South River; Jeff Johnston, Kearney; Bill Spinney, Community Business and Development Center;  Krista Hildner, FedNor Intern for McMurrich/Monteith; Mark Urbanski, Magnetawan; Glynn Robinson, McMurrich/Monteith



  1. Welcome
  2. Call to order:  Merv Mulligan, Chair 10:06
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest:  N/A
  4. Guest Speaker: Anna Marie Harris & Meaghan Tutt – The Georgian Bay Country is an initiative of the Parry Sound Area Community Business and Development Centre.  This organization develops programs and initiatives aimed at promoting increased tourism, to facilitate the development of tourism related infrastructure, attractions and events, and to be the voice for the regions tourism sector.  Protection of the environmental characteristics of this area is considered to be essential and an overriding operating principle of the organization.  Their primary focus is on marketing and promotion, industry awareness/advocacy, product development/enhancement, packaging and partnerships.  The Georgian Bay Country visitor center is open all year round aside from New Years Day and Christmas Day.  In 2007, there were over 1.25 million visitors to the Georgian Bay Country area spending over 174 million dollars on lodging, food and entertainment.  26% of these were from the GTA.  In 2008, 41,000 visitors passed through the Information Centre and in 2009 revenue was up by 18% compared to the previous year.  Georgian Bay Country is involved with many local initiatives including the Tourism Summit which takes place twice per year, a weekly vacancy report for all accommodations in the area, and FAM TOUR as well which takes place on the May long weekend on the Island Queen in Parry Sound.  Last year, over 180 people were in attendance.  The Georgian Bay Country is also involved with many committees including the Stockey Centre, G8 Committee, REDAC, Culture in Cash, and the Hospital Foundation.


Following Anna’s presentation, a discussion was held regarding the benefits to being under the umbrella of a chamber and what it could mean for the Almaguin Highlands.  Discussion took place around whether to draft a proposal for funding in order to host a meeting.  Overall the group agreed that the Almaguin Highlands is currently unrepresented by a tourism organization and that this matter needs to be addressed.  Further discussion on the subject is needed.

  1. Adoption of Minutes of February 2010

Moved by : John Dunn  Seconded by : Morley Moore

  1. AHED Business:
  2. Reports from Community and Resource Partners

7.1     Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and Forestry   Sharma

The group met Kathleen Thorne who was in attendance in place of Chetna Sharma and Dominic Marleau.  Projects are moving forward as planned.  Kathleen mentioned that “Citizenship & Immigration” (7.16) Loiselle, who was unable to attend today, have started up the Healthy Communities Program.

          7.2     NECO                                                                                 Lecour

Pat suggested that we meet as a smaller group in a Strategic Planning Session in order to discuss accessing funding to address representation of the Almaguin Highlands.   

          7.3     FedNOR                                                                    Begin

          7.4     Blue Sky                                                                    Buell

          7.5     WORC/South River                                                           Scott

Brenda reported that it is end of the year time at WORC and the office is very busy.  Jessica reported on Carpool Almaguin, there are now parking lots available in South River, Trout Creek, Burk’s Falls, Kearney, McMurrich/Monteith, Whitestone, Perry and Magnetawan.  Interest in Carpooling with Employer’s is starting to pick up with Selkirk Canada Corps taking an interest in the initiative.  Statistics continue to go up weekly.

          7.6     Ontario’s Near North                                               Lagace

          7.7     Township of Chisolm                                               Boyle

          7.8     Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls                                          Lane

Gilbert reinforced the need for representation in the Almaguin Highlands. 

          7.9     Municipality of Whitestone                                                Moore

Morley informed us that they have received a Carpool Almaguin sign and are currently prepping the site to make it usable for parking.  Trail plans in the municipality have been passed and a tender will be going out for the first 7km of the trail system.  Site inspections on the trail are taking place on April 19th.

7.10   Powassan Economic Development Report                                  Olajose

7.11     McMurrich/Monteith                                             Mulligan

The outdoor pavilion is under construction and moving along quickly.  Merv introduced the new intern hired through FedNor, Krista Hildner.

          7.12   Kearney Economic Development                                       Johnston

Jeff reported that the Economic Development Strategic Plan has been approved with the #1 priority being tourism.  The Economic Development Advisory Committee are eager to start implementation.  A trails meeting is being formed to resurrect a committee for trails development and maintenance as trail usage is absolutely critical to the area.  The meeting will include neighbouring municipalities, ATV and Skidoo Clubs, Park 2 Park Trails.  The next meeting will take place on April 29th @ 7:00 in Kearney.  A walk around the trails linking Kearney and Perry will take place around 5:30.

They are also in the process of hiring a treasurer and economic development officer.

7.13     Central Almaguin Economic Development Association           Mahon

7.14   Magnetawan Area Business Association                           Tod

7.15   Westwind Forest Services                                                   Munro

          7.16     Citizenship & Immigration(Culture Health Promotion)        Loiselle

          7.17   Almaguin Highlands Inc.                                                   Stewart

Dave reinforced that further discussion on the representation of the Almaguin Highlands is required.  The municipalities need representation.

          7.18   Municipality of Magnetawan                                            Urbanski

Magnetawan is very supportive of the new Almaguin Highlands Information Centre that is going up and Mark relayed how appreciative the municipality is of all of Perry’s hard work.  The 2010 budget has been discussed with two major stimulus projects coming and a new hire for a community development officer.  Tenders have also been opened for the library/community centre complex.

          7.19   Nipissing                                                                    Negrinotti

          7.20   Almaguin Highlands Council for the Arts                                  Sohm

          7.21   Village of South River                                              Coleman

Jim reported that the bike train will be stopping in South River this year as an extra draw to get southern tourists north.  Jim attended a presentation in Sundridge recently that focused on rooftop solar systems and relayed the information back to the committee.  There are a couple of new businesses in South River including Corner Wines, a brew your own wine establishment and Beer Belly’s Pub which will be opening soon.  Work on the hydro generation plant is ongoing with the completion and opening slated for the end of April.  Saturday March 20th, Scotia Junction will be playing at Renee’s Café.

          7.22   Perry Township                                                      Dunn/Love

The kiosk application for the new AHIC is back in and John reported that they should hear a decision on that shortly.  The centre should be 97% completed in June and fully finished in September.  A new 5 year strategic plan has been approved by council but is still subject to funding.  The proposal for a Carpool Almaguin parking lot was approved.

          7.23   OMAFRA                                                                 Dukhia


8.  Correspondence


9.  In – Camera


  1. Adjournment: 12:00
  2. Next Meeting Date:  Thursday April 15th, 2010


Location:  South River Town Office located at 63 Marie Street @ 10:00 a.m.


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