Almaguin Highlands Strategic Plan Implementation Committee

Minutes of Meeting

held Thursday, June 16, 2005

South River - Machar Community Centre


Kathy Parker, Micro Business Development and Women's Own Resource Centre; Christina Golding, Municipality of Powassan; Jeff Johnston, Town of Kearney; David Stewart; Sara Keillor, Municipality of Powassan; Barbara Groves, Township of Chisholm; Cliff Reeds, Town of Kearney; Gilbert Lane, Township of Ryerson; Beata Barnard; Glenn Barnard; Julie McDermott, Brenda Scott, Women's Own Resource Centre; Eleanor Sled-Kurrie, Special Events Committee of Burk's Falls, Armour and Ryerson; and Martin Parker, Village of South River


Resource Persons:
Dominique Marleau, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines; Denise Sherrit, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines; Catharine Mayne, NECO; and Uyen Nguyen, Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation,


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

2. Declarations of Pecuniary Interest - nil

3. Deputations

4. Adoption of Minutes

09-2005 Kathy Parker/Barb Groves
That the minutes of the meeting of May 19 be adopted. Carried

5. Reports from Members and Community Partners

1. Terms of Reference
The revised Terms of Reference were reviewed.

10-2005 Kathy Parker/Barb Groves
That the Terms of Reference for the Almaguin Highlands Strategic Plan Implementation Committee be adopted. Carried

2, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Dominique Marleau introduced Denise Sherrit who is the MNDM representative for the southern section of the Almaguin Highlands. She can be reached at the MNDM Office in North Bay.
Dominique Marleau announced that Intake 2 for COMRIF announcement is expected shortly and the criteria will be released at that time.
Dominique Marleau reported that copies of the information packages for the Community Readiness Session are available if anyone wishes a copy.
Dominique Marleau stated the application date for the Summer Job Service has now closed and the budget has been committed.

Catharine Mayne reported on the Local Initiatives Projects Fund. This fund received $50,000 annually from FedNor/Industry Canada. She provided copies of the summary of project approved for 2004/5 along with summaries from past years. The maximum grant is now typically $3,000 although grants can be for up to $5,000. A new application form is in the process of being finalized. She reviewed the projects which have already been approved for this year.
Catherine Mayne announced that he Downtown Artists Incubation Project in North Bay will open on June 17 at 11:00 a.m. and provided background information on the project.

4. FedNor - nil

5. Blue Sky EGC
Uyen Nguyen reported that Blue Sky is conducting a GAP Analysis of the needs of the employers in the forestry, mining, health care, and telecommunications technologies sectors in the region.
Uyen Nguyen announced that Blue Sky Net is still progressing although are about 60 to 90 days behind the initial schedule. They are will planning to install High Speed Internet
in this area. David Stewart noted that Blue Sky needs to stress that High Speed is coming to the area and the region needs to be kept better informed.
Uyen Nguyen thanked the members of their assistance in the recent Power of One Seminar. The proceeds from the South River session will be donated the Women's Own Resource Centre. Brenda Scott noted the impact of the sessions has been far and wide.

6. Women's Own Resources Centre and Micro-Business Development Centre
Brenda Scott noted the programmes they are doing are currently being revised. She noted there has been a lack of response from the municipalities to the MBDC page in the Almaguin News.

Brenda Scott updated the committee on the roundtable discussion with the areas trustee for the Board of Education.

Brenda Scott reported that on Monday night it was announced that South River will not be having an interchange on the proposed by-pass and no signage. She requested support for South River position that an interchange is needed for the future of the community.

Barb Groves suggested a resolution of support be circulated to the municipalities in the region.
Gilbert Lane requested an update on the BR&E programme. Brenda Scott noted the contributions from the Municipalities was insufficient to apply for a grant as the grant only covers 50% of the costs. The municipal contribution is going to a fully page each month in the Almaguin News which deals with BR&E in the Almaguin Highlands and red flag issues. Brenda Scott reported that the WORC has facilitated a funding opportunity for a business in the region and are currently working with another business.

Gilbert Lane requested consideration of hosting a training session in the region. Dominique Marleau responded it could be arranged.

Kathy Parker noted a regional issue is the maintenance of the High School. The drawing of students to North Bay Schools and the Catholic Board is a serious threat. The North Bay High Schools are actively recruiting students from the Almaguin feeder schools.

Brenda Scott announced that the WORC is looking at hosting a round table with representatives of Canadore College in the fall which would deal with improving skills training in the region.
Brenda Scott recommended that the province be requested to reinstate boundaries for schools so drawing students away to other schools is restricted. Christina Golding agreed to draft a letter.

Jeff Johnson noted schools are being slowing removed from small towns. He noted that along with the churches the schools are the backbone of the community. The maintenance of a school in the community is critical and reflect the community and its culture. We should not be removing children from the community.

Brenda Scott noted there is a need to let the members of the Board know there is a need to use the schools for community functions. There appears to be a resistance to using the schools at the school level. Christina Golding noted that if there is no support at the school level that the Board should be approached. This has worked in Powassan.

7. Visitor Information Centers
It was noted that the three Visitor Information Centres along the Highway #11 corridor are now open.

8. Burk's Falls, Armour, Ryerson Economic Development Committee
Gilbert Lane reported that the Steering Committee for Economic Development is meeting with the FedNor representative in order to develop an action plan. He asked if the Intern from Powassan could attend the joint meeting with the Burk's Falls, Armour, Ryerson Special Events Committee. The meeting will discuss what is needed in order to apply for an Intern.

Dominique Marleau noted that the NOHFC has a similar programme as could be of assistance as well.

9. Powassan Observatory Committee
Sara Keillor announced that the committee is recommended Lawlor and Associate as the consultant for the project. The funding applications are being finalized with FedNor and the NOHFC. It is anticipated that work will commence in July.

11. Burk's Falls, Armour, Ryerson Special Events Committee
Eleanor Sled-Kurrle noted the committee held the 3rd Annual Greg Boyes Day. The committee has received a grant from NECO for the erection of a entrance sign at the south entrance to Burk's Falls. A sketch of the sign was circulated.
The next event for the committee is on June 25 - a Country Jamboree/Hill Billy Hoedown. Information was distributed.

12. Almaguin Business After Hours
Julie McDermott reviewed a business networking initiative she has started. There will be after hour meeting to share ideas, network and grow businesses. It was suggested that the meeting be moved throughout the region.

12. Almaguin Highlands Web Site
Jeff Johnson reviewed the discussion held by the ad-hoc committee on the web site.
The committee held a general discussion on the issue at it was a unanimous decision that the ownership of the site has to belong to the Committee and the access codes have to be filed with the committee. The Chair will provide this decision in writing to David Stewart.

6. Correspondence - nil

7. Other Business
- nil

8. Adjournment and Next Meeting
The meeting was adjourned.

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