Minutes of meeting

held on Thursday, September 17, 2009 10:00 – 12 noon

McMurrich Monteith Town Office, Sprucedale


Present:  Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Gilbert Lane, Ryerson; Brenda Scott, WORC/South River; Jessica Busch, FedNor Intern WORC; Jeff Johnston, Kearney; Morley Moore, Whitestone; Kay Tod, Magnetawan Business Association; Jeffrey Dickerson, South River, John McDermid, Kearney Business Owner, Mary Anne Love, Perry; John Dunn, Perry;  Jan McDonnell, MNR; Michael Lawley, Muskoka Tourism; Ron Begin, FedNor  Regrets: Stephen Boyle, Chisholm; Chetna Sharma, MNDM; Catharine Mayne, NECO.

  1. Welcome
  2. Call to order  Merv Mulligan, Chair  10:05
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest  NA

4.         Guest Speakers:  Jan McDonnell, MNR & Michael Lawley, Muskoka Tourism

Jan McDonnell MNR – Wetlands.   Jan showed a slide show that informed the audience of how the wetlands are a diverse and productive eco system providing habitat for a great variety of species that can live nowhere else.  They provide not only hydrological but social and commercial benefits also, including those to wetland tourism, which includes the development of interpretative trails and boardwalks such as those being developed in McMurrich Montieth. 


Michael Lawley, Executive Director, Muskoka Tourism.  Muskoka Tourism has proposed a Parry Sound, Muskoka, Algonquin Park Destination Marketing and Management Organization (DMMO) be implemented.   Their feeling is that Muskoka is a much better ‘product’ fit with Parry Sound, Algonquin Park, than their current DMMO.  The Sorbara Report, on behalf of the Province of Ontario, triggered their response to the DMMO issues Sorbara had raised.  Considering the impact the new harmonized tax will have on tourism, $100M, Muskoka would like our East Parry Sound councils to consider the option of this new DMMO and if in favour, by council resolutions, support the 3% solution (re-investing the 3% increase in tax on accommodation to support all new DMMOs in Ontario).  Also brought to our attention was the website ‘Locals Know’ a website launched by the Federal Government and featuring favourite locations sent in by local residents.  He encouraged residents to send in their photos creating a grassroots inventory of existing things to see and do in the Almaguin Highlands.


5.        Adoption of Minutes of June 18, 2009            

Moved by: Kay Tod Second by:  Jeff Johnston


6.           AHED Business:  Turtle Crossing Signs are up in Sprucedale  They can be viewed on Stisted Road and road north from the Sprucedale Hotel passing the Turtle Pond.


7.0     Reports from Community and Resource

7.1                   Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Sharma/Brzezynski

7.2                   NECO                                                                  Mayne


7.3                   FedNOR                                                     Begin

Open for applications, Minister of Industry was in Bracebridge in August announcing FedNor and CAF funding including project approvals for McMurrich/Monteith, Village of South River and Women’s Own Resource Centre.  Jennifer McCourt, Discovery Routes has an application in for Trail Development $230,000 FedNor and $90,000 RED, 10% will be through municipal contributions.

7.4                   Blue Sky                                                     Buell

7.5                   WORC/South River                                            Scott

WORC has received approval of the Carpool Almaguin Project and an outline of the goals and milestones for the call centre/website over the next few months was handed out.  Jessica Busch was introduced as the new FedNor Intern and she will be training as the Program Manager and handling the carpool project development along with Brenda.  The ROPE self-employment workshops are running, 2 in South River and 1 in Emsdale.  The WORC website has all events, workshops and links to partners for more information.

7.6                   Ontario’s Near North                                         Ypya                                                           

7.7                   Township of Chisholm                                       Boyle

7.8                   Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls                                    Lane

Gib Lane reminded that the International Plowing Match is next week.  A movie is being shot in Burk’s Falls and at Midlothian Road, Screaming Heads. Many locals have found work as extras, catering, etc.  The Burk’s Falls Coalition meeting is Sept. 28th  7 p.m. at the Legion and they’re signing petitions to present to Norm Miller at Queen’s Park in an attempt to halt the Dec. 1st closing.  The Axe Lake ratepayers have appealed to the OMB as they agree that Wetlands are provincially significant and development reflect this.

7.9                   Municipality of Whitestone                                Moore

They are refurbishing the skating pavilion and upgrading the change rooms to include heat; the community hall will also have an addition to the front and upgrades to the bathrooms.  Other projects include Hwy 520’s 5 km upgrade; A grant for trails and they are just waiting for MNR approval; enlarging landfill site and fencing/security.  They have changed the summer operation hours to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate those who work during the day.; 9 km of the Bunny Trail construction is nearing completion.

7.10                 Powassan Economic Development Report        

An Intern is being hired that will work 60% recreation and 40% Love Lake Project.  They are waiting for the Anglers and Hunters to present their business plan and are hoping to be shovel ready by next year.       

7.11                 McMurrich/Monteith                                          Mulligan

Very busy in township, they are waiting for permits fro MNR for the Park 2 Park Trail .  Burk’s Falls Library set-up a bookshelf in the township office entry and people are using it and replacing with book exchanges of their choice, it is becoming very popular.  An MNR electric fence at the landfill will protect bear diets.  The scavenging is affecting the reproductive rate of bears, foxes, etc. and has become a concern.

Cell service from Bell and Rogers is available.  The ribbon cutting at the wetland trails has been postponed as the rains have raised the waterlevel and boardwalk construction had to be suspended.  Roads projects include a ‘slurry’ top on roads south.  Cyclists are using the Stisted Road to travel all the way to Huntsville.

The Building Canada Fund covered skating pavilion project is underway and it will allow for summer use as well, including housing the Farmer’s Market.  An application for an affordable seniors housing complex of 8 – 10 units has been submitted.  Their FedNor Intern will be assisting in upgrading their office IT procedures.  Scotia Junction has a new CD and they will be performing on October 17th at Renee’s Café.

7.12                 Kearney Economic Development                                 Johnston

Jeff introduced John McDermid who is recently retired from Bell and is interested in opening a Health & Workplace Safety Consultation business.  Kearney, under the G8 funding, will be proceeding with Hwy. 518 upgrades and beautification projects.

                     7.13Central Almaguin Economic Development Assoc.     

                 7.14Magnetawan Area Business Association                     Tod

The 5K, 10K and ½ Marathon had 55 registrants.  The Dean Martin Tribute fundraiser was very successful.  Bursaries for the high school and improvements to senior/handicap access will benefit.  Retail businesses have experienced a downturn this summer. 

7.15                 Westwind Forest Services                                    Munro

7.16                 Citizenship & Immigration (Culture Health Promotion)     Loiselle

7.17                 Almaguin Highlands Inc.                                             Stewart

7.18                 Municipality of Magnetawan

New CAO has been hired.  The Build Canada Fund will be used for a new library and presentations have been made to council to expand concept to include healthcare practitioners. 

7.19               Nipissing                                                      Negrinotti

7.20                 Almaguin Highlands Council for the Arts                            Sohm

7.21               Perry Township                                                    Dunn/Love

Welcome to Perry representatives from Chair Mulligan.  Construction is to begin on the new AHIC next week.  It will include multiple kiosks, WiFi, etc.  A video of the new buildings architecture was shown and it is very impressive with beautiful approaches from the Hwy accesses.

7.22                 Village of South River                                        Dickerson

The South River Railway Station has received CAF project funding for upgrades including foundation work that will allow the building to house the museum, gallery and a School for the Arts.

8.      Correspondence

9.             In-Camera

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

Next meeting date:   Thursday, October 15, 2009,  10 am – 12 noon

Location:  South River Village Office, 63 Marie Street, South River

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