Almaguin Highlands Strategic Plan Implementation Committee

Minutes of Meeting

held Thursday, June 17, 2004

at the

South River - Machar Community Centre

Present: David Stewart, Don Carter, Jeff Johnston, Catharine Mayne, Leia Halford, Christina Golding, Cliff Reed, Brenda Scott, Kathleen Finlay, Beata Barnard, Glenn Barnard, Kathy Parker, Gilbert Lane, and Martin Parker


Resource Persons: Bob Sjonnesen, MNDM

Guest: nil

1. Introduction

The meeting was called to order by David Stewart. New participants to the group introduced themselves.

2. Election of Chair


That Christina Golding be nominated as the chair of the Almaguin Highlands Strategic Plan Implementation Committee.


That Nomination be closed.


Christina Golding agreed to become the new chair of the committee. She requested that David Stewart continue to chair the current meeting.

3. Minutes


That AHSPIC does accept the minutes of the meeting of May 13, 2004.


4. Business Arising

Martin Parker reported that the ownership of the website was with AHSPIC but the access was controlled by Almaguin Web Services with an additional person in North Bay listed.

Several persons present noted their municipality required more information on the advantage of incorporation for the committee.

Christina Golding announced that there will be a Mayors Action Committee meeting in the South Himsworth Community Centre on July 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

5. Correspondence

1. Letter requesting Status of MCN

David Stewart reviewed the discussions of the status of MCN and notes there will be an upcoming meeting at Queen's Park.

2. Letter from Ed Hughes; Retirement as Chair and from Committee

3. LTAB: Request for Representative from AHSPIC to Replace Ed Hughes

Christina Golding agreed to fill the vacancy.

6. Reports

1. Broadband Initiative - Jeff Bruell, Blue Sky Net

Jeff Bruell announced that Blue Sky Net has secured a grant of $1 Million for high-speed internet access in the northern part of the region. They are looking at a wireless system. This grant is one of four pilot proj ects in the country. He reviewed the proposed work plan.

Jeff Bruell noted the status of COBRA is unknown at this time. Blue Sky is still pursuing funding options for the completion of the network. Information on the needs and potential customers in the Almaguin Highlands is needed. He noted that from an engineering perspective the existing towers and network is suitable.
Jeff Bruell agreed to prepare a report for circulation to area Councils.

2. Proposal to Incorporate

Don Carter noted that a complete summary of the pros and cons of the two proposals is required by Councils.

Brenda Scott noted AHSPIC can relate to all the other operating groups in the region.

Bob Sjonnesen noted the government grants are generally for municipalities and non-profit groups. The grants will be for specific projects and will not be for operating costs.

3. Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Presentation

Bob Sjonnesen presented a video of the work of the North Bay office of the Ministry.

4. NECO Report

Catherine Mayne announced the NECO Annual meeting is coming up and they are looking for Board Members.

Catherine Mayne announced the hiring of two persons through the Foundation of Rural Liaison for economic development activities in the region.


Brenda Scott reviewed the details of the proposed Tourism Study being undertaken by Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation.


That AHSPIC supports the proposed Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation Tourism Economic Impact Study.


6. Chamber of Commerce

Brenda Scott announced that the Chamber of Commerce annual cottage drop of information for cottagers will be completed shortly.

7. Bernards

The Bernard's thanked the group for being permitted to participate. They would like to become involved with the groups and individuals who are working to advance the area. They reviewed their concerns and experiences.

8. Micro-Business Development Centre

Gilbert Lane stated that there is interest in having the progammes of the Micro-Business Development Centre available in Burk's Falls. Brenda Scott noted they are happy to work with any group. She noted there is an outreach programme currently being offered in Burk's Falls.

9. Whitestone Nursing Station

Don Carter announced that new Whitestone Nursing Station, at Dunchurch, will be officially opened on Saturday. He noted this project was initiated by the ratepayers.

7. Adjournment and Next Meeting

It was agreed the next meeting would be Thursday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m. at the South River Council Chambers.

Meeting adjourned.

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