Minutes of meeting – September 20, 2012

10 a.m. – 12 noon @ South River Village Office


Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Deborah Jorritsma, WORC; Rosalind Hall, Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls; Cole Dault, Perry Township; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Steve Munro, Westwind Forestry; Carol Armstrong, McMurrich/Monteith; Don Carter, Whitestone; Romano Marchi, Employment North; Laura Irwin, Employment North; Jeff Johnston, KPABA; Karen Insley Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Tom and Brenda Freer; John Michels


Regrets: Carole Mantha, MNDM; Hazel Hornibrook, AHAC


  1. Welcome, call to order ~ Jeff Johnston Chair 10:00 a.m.
  2. Introductions of attendees
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest ~ N/A
  4. Adoption of Minutes of June 2012 ~ 1st: Merv Mulligan  2nd: Rosalind Hall
  5. Business Arising (AHED Business)



Moved by: Don Carter Seconded by: Rosalind Hall


WHEREAS the District of Parry Sound Municipal Association wishes to make a submission to the Federal Electoral Boundary Commission at its upcoming Public Hearings on behalf of the member Municipalities affected by the proposed electoral boundary changes for the ridings of Nipissing and Parry Sound-Muskoka;


AND WHEREAS all of the Municipalities in the District of Parry Sound wish to preserve the Parry Sound-Muskoka Riding in it’s current form;


THEREFORE be it resolved that the Almaguin Highlands Economic Development Committee is in full support that the District of Parry Sound Municipal Association make application to the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario to present the views of our Municipalities at the public hearing to be held in North Bay on Tuesday October 16, 2012.


AND FURTHER that this resolution be forwarded to the District of Parry Sound Municipal Association, Norm Miller MPP and Tony Clement MP.


Resolution Carried – All in favour.


  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners


      Rosalind Hall/Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls

Area businesses have met over the last six months in order to form a Chamber of Commerce for Burk’s Falls/Armour/Ryerson, the Chamber is close to being formed.  Two students were hired for the summer to operate the Museum and they had a very busy and fun summer while doing a lot of promotion with local children.  The number of visitors at the Museum has almost doubled since last year and they are open until Thanksgiving. The Community Yard Sale was held on July 22nd and was a great success – residents had the option of being placed on a map for the price of $5.  Rosalind also indicated that the South Almaguin Economic Development Committee meet the first Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Village of Burk’s Falls Town Office – meetings are open.


      Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith

Merv reported a very busy summer with events going on almost every weekend with a lot of tourists in attendance at various events.  The Summer Spectacular was a great success despite the weather with the Steel Orchestra putting on a fantastic show as always.  There will be a Halloween Party at the Community Centre this October with part of the rec trail being used as a “Scary Walk”.  The Township has had difficulty in hiring an Intern, if you know of someone who may be interested, please encourage them to apply.  A survey was recently sent out asking residents for their opinion regarding what should be done with the old school – the concept of a museum was suggested.  The school is presently used by the seniors for a thrift shop.  The Burk’s Falls OPP Station is holding its grand opening this Friday, September 21st – the building will be open to the public from 3 – 5.  Merv also addressed a cause for concern as the Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario is discussing a boundary change which could potentially see a number of Municipalities and Townships lose their Northern Ontario status and be integrated with Southern Ontario as well as a number of  Municipalities and Townships be integrated into the riding of Nipissing.  The effects of this change would be far reaching resulting in negative impacts throughout the region.  A resolution was formed – please see AHED Business.


       Karen Insley Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.

Karen reported that Dave is meeting with Park 2 Park in the creation of a Strategic Plan.


       Cole Dault/Perry Township

Cole reported that the enhancement of the Information Centre is complete other than the new website which will be launching in a week or two.  There has been a number of staff changes as a number of long time employees retire.  The Emsdale Fall Fair was a success.  Soccer is being currently offered and will run through to October – groups for all ages.  The first year of the Farmer’s Market is wrapping up and did fairly well.  Cole reported that it was really a building year and they have received positive feedback from vendors and customers.  There is a very good possibility that the Farmer’s Market will continue next year.  A Historical Book is being printed right now for the Township of Perry, the books will be available for purchase in November with 300 copies already pre-ordered.  The township is also beginning preparations for what will be the 125th Anniversary Celebration with a potential date of July 1st 2013.  Volunteers are needed.  Signage is beginning to go up along the Highway corridor with businesses who had ads before being offered space on the new signage.


       Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre

Jessica reported that the Entrepreneurial Skills Training Course is running again this fall.  WORC has expanded the course to three locations this year: Burk’s Falls, Powassan and South River, the courses have all filled up extremely fast as there seems to be a very high demand this year in Entrepreneurial Information.  The Almaguin Women’s Resource & Business Network meeting for September will take place at Kudos Restaurant in Powassan and will focus on “Understanding Your Retirement Planning Options”.  October’s meeting will be held in Kearney at Edgewater Park Lodge and will focus on “Entrepreneurial Grant Opportunities”.  For more information or to register for a luncheon, contact Deborah at 705-386-9672 or email info@womensownresource.org


       Don Carter/Municipality of Whitestone

Don reported that the Municipality is fighting the decision to remove the post office from Dunchurch and replacing it by installing large postal boxes.  A youth committee is in the initial stages of being formed for the Municipality.  The Recreation Committee has added Baseball to the activities offered.  The Legion continues regular activities, new members are encouraged to come out.  Bingo has finished for the season, it was a great success with a lot of money raised.  The Lions are concerned with membership and are putting a call out for potential members to join.  Labour Day weekend was a big success with plenty of local support.  The Library has won 2 awards and remains encouraging of their trustees to get involved in local community.  The Municipality is almost finished creating a “Welcome to Whitestone Kit” which will be given out to new residents moving to the Whitestone area.  The kit includes information from local associations and area businesses and was a suggestion at a ratepayers meeting.  Don also expressed concern over the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission and a resolution was formed – please see AHED Business


       Romano Marchi/Employment North

Romano discussed the services that are offered through Employment North.  The center is a resource for those seeking employment through computer access, one to ones, resume and cover letter assistance.  They have just launched a new website www.employmentnorth.com  Employment North works closely with businesses in the area connecting employers to employees.  They offer various workshops each month and offer training/summer wage subsidies.  For more information, check out their website or give them a call 705-384-1110


       Steve Munro/Westwind Forestry

Westwind Forestry is responsible for forest management on crown land while working in collaboration with Municipalities in the region.  Steve reported that the Tembec Hardwood Mill is reporting that their supply is starting to equal demand and there are some great markets coming up for Almaguin Forest Products.  Firewood is reported to encompass roughly 1/3 of the local harvest, with most hardwood going to Temiscaming.  Westwind Forestry also facilitates many workshops including numerous regarding invasive species.  Some current invasive species to be aware of include the Emerald Ash Boar which is currently in Ottawa but could make its way North.  Beech Bark Disease which has already been noted in the lower Muskokas and will be further North soon.  The Asian Longhorn Beetle is under control – this beetle is very hazardous to Maple and can wipe out entire forests which could be detrimental to the Maple Syrup harvest.


       Jeff Johnston/Kearney, KPABA

Jeff reported that the Regatta was smaller this year with no street dance or fireworks but the event was still successful.  The Creative Changes Art Show that took place in July was a great success and very impressive – the talent of local artists in our area is astounding.  The Seniors Lounge has received a 20k grant to have the kitchen renovated which will take place over the next few months.  The census results are beginning to come in with significant demographical changes however the numbers do not portray non-permanent/seasonal residents which need to be taken into consideration as well.  There is a new antique shop in Kearney called Nostalgia, it’s fantastic.  The Legion is holding Wing & Darts Night every Friday trying to boost business.  They will be doing a major prep for skidoo season as the legion is located directly on the skidoo trail.  Kearney has the largest Beavers, Cubs and Scouts troop around and as such have had to move to a larger location – Evergreen Heights.



  1. Correspondence
  2. In-Camera (if required)
  3. Next meeting date: Thursday October 18th, 2012 @ The South River Village Town Office









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