Almaguin Highlands Strategic Plan Implementation Committee

Minutes of Meeting

held Thursday, July 15, 2004

at the

South River - Machar Council Chambers

Present: David Stewart, Don Carter, Leia Halford, Christina Golding, Brenda Scott, Beata Barnard, Glenn Barnard, Kathy Parker, and Martin Parker

Regrets: Catherine Mayne, Kathleen Finley

Resource Persons: Bob Sjonnesen, MNDM

Guest: nil

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order with Christina Golding in the chair.

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

Brenda Scott declared a Pecuniary Interest on the Festival of the Arts fund-raising luncheon as it relates to the Women’s Own Resource Centre.

– nil

Adoption of Minutes of June 17


That the minutes of the meeting of June 17, 2004 be adopted as amended.


Reports from Members and Community Partners


Christian Golding reported she has been invited to join the LTAB Board representing the Almaguin Highlands and has submitted the necessary documentation. The LTAB Executive will be making a decision on July 20.

Mayor, Reeve, CAO and Clerks Meeting

Christian Goldling reminded members of the meeting of the Nipissing SE Action Group on July 22 in the South Himsworth Community Centre and urged attendance.

Broadband Initiative

Christina Golding provided an update on the status of the Blue Sky Net project as provided by Jeff Buell. Blue Sky Net has drafted a letter to by sent to all the municipalities in the southern section of the Highlands by the Chair of AHSPIC requesting support in principle for the Blue Sky Net application to NOHFC.


Don Carter announced that Whitestone is in support of the existing arrangements unless there is outstanding reason to change. Several members noted that an incorporated group would require operating funds which are not grant eligible. A role of the committee was to identify projects and initiatives that existing organizations could implement.

It was agreed to stay with the current arrangements.

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

Bob Sjonnesen reviewed the Rural Economic Development Programme fo the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The funding for the programme is about $20 Million. Projects need partnership which can consist of businesses, municipalities, and incorporated groups. The emphasis now on health and education. There is still funds for community economic development. The major emphasis of the programme is on partnerships. Detailed information is available on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Bob Sjonnesen noted the new NOHFC programme have yet to be decided. They should be announced in the fall. He anticipated there will be a substantial infrastructure component to the programme.

NECO – nil

Blue Sky – nil

Women’s Own Resources Centre

Brenda Scott noted the WORC is preparing a summary of its accomplishments and will be visiting Councils in August. They are looking for financial assistance from municipalities to support the MBDC. The centre has received funding from both South River and Callander.

Brenda Scott announced a book launch in North Bay by Sue Kenney on August 7 with proceeds to the WORC.

Brenda Scott provided an update on the Business Database being developed by the WORC. The work experience has been very beneficial to the people assisting with the project.

Brenda Scott noted that while making phone calls to businesses they found situations where the people need assistance. The Centre has been arranging for the assistance through its mentor programme.


Christina Golding reviewed the status of the new economic development committee in the Municipality of Powassan.

Micro-Business Development Centre

Brenda Scott noted that a major obstacle to economic development is the lack of transportation and day care.

The MBDC acknowledged with thanks the use of Council Chambers in the region for the outreach programme it is offering.

Almaguin Highlands Information Centre – nil

Almaguin Festivals and Events

Leia Halford announced a listing of events in the region is published each Friday in the Almaguin News Marketplace. She has details on 365 events in the region for 2004 with additional ones still being added. The weekly event listing is being sent to Tourism Information Centers, Municipal Offices, and the media. She reviewed how the Festivals and Events website is functioning.

Leia Halford announced that major event for the upcoming South River Festival of the Arts is the celebrity luncheon with Dick Smyth. The eent is a fund-raiser for the WORC. Municipalities in the region have been asked to reserve a table for eight. Support of the event was encouraged.

Leia Halford reviewed the other activities of the South River Festival of the Arts.

Leia Halford noted the Almaguin Music Festival in Sundridge is this weekend and urged attendance.

Almaguin Chamber of Commerce

Brenda Scott noted the Chamber still requires more support for businesses. The cottage drop has been completed.


Don Carter distributed copies of the Hagerman Ratepayers Association directory which has extensive information on Whitestone and community events. He noted the Association pays for the directory and it is an important economic development package for the municipality.

Almaguin Highlands Web Site

David Stewart provided an update on the website. He has linked it to the Festivals and Events site.


Township of Armour – Future Status of Committee, July 11

Municipality of Whitestone – Future Direction of AHSPIC, June 25

Other Business

Burk’s Falls Area

Beata Barnard reviewed the discussion they have had with members of their Council concerning economic development. They noted the support they are receiving and are looking forward to more cooperation.

Youth Activities

Brenda Scott reviewed the presentation at a recent seminar on Youth and Recreation. She noted some of the approaches that were recommended to encourage have youth to become more involved in the community and community groups.

Actions Proposed in Strategic Plan

Don Carter distributed a summary of the actions proposed in the Strategic Plan which identified those which have been completed or work is ongoing. The summary will be reviewed at the next meeting.

Adjournment and Next Meeting

It was agreed the next meeting would be Thursday August 19, 10 a.m. in the South River Council Chambers

The meeting was adjourned.

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