Madawaska Valley Council dealt with a 215-page meeting agenda on Nov. 5. The heavy agenda was partly due to fewer committee meetings during the election period, a backlog of correspondence and the need to brief Council on numerous items.
Update from Mayor Love re County Official Plan Amendments No. 25 (OPA 24)
In brief, the Mayor said County of Renfrew staff were unable to reach agreement with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) on the content and wording of the amendment to the County’s Official Plan (OP). County staff have been informed the Minister will sign OPA 25 as amended by the Ministry on Dec. 24. One example of the terms that County staff tried to amend is Growth Allocations. These are considered a hard cap on growth and in Madawaska Valley adherence to these suggests that the maximum possible population growth (based on 2016 population figures) would be an additional 312 people by 2036.
Other issues include the consent policy, minimum lot size on at-capacity lakes, 300m setback for all capacity lakes, an increase of agricultural areas and Eco-region (6E) throughout the county. Diamond Lake is to be added to the capacity restriction while Bark Lake, Carson Lake and Trout Lake will be designated as near-capacity lakes. There are changes to the maps for deer yards and deer wintering yards while the aggregate maps have not yet been released.
Cannabis appeared repeatedly on the agenda in areas such as by-laws, human resources policy, insurance, correspondence, etc. Mayor Love said she never expected to be saying “cannabis” so often. Council approved a recommendation from CAO Klatt proposing a Cannabis Advisory Group of stakeholders including neighbouring municipalities and community organizations. The task force will report to the respective municipalities’ councils before the deadline of Jan. 22 when municipal councils are required to opt-in or opt-out of pot shops in their municipalities.
Council approved two requests for support (road closure, in-kind and/or monetary support):
- Madawaska Valley Lions Club for the Santa Claus Parade which will start at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 8, then kids can visit with Santa at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre.
- St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation for the annual Tree of Lights ceremony at the Railway Station to start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday Dec. 7.
Award Nominations open:
Council received notices of nomination periods for two awards and directed staff to post the information on the municipality’s website:
- Warden’s Community Service Awards: Deadline to nominate an Individual, For-Profit Business or Not-For-Profit Business is Thursday, November 15.
- Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship: These nomination forms are also due on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Council received reports from Deputy Clerk Gwen Dombroski and Stephanie Plebon, Recreation and Community Development Coordinator, on the excellent response to the municipality’s stand at the Toronto International Snowmobile, Powersports & ATV Show. Dombroski said the Madawaska Coffee was a hit with show attendees and both coffee coupons and the Ash Grove Inn prize draw were successful. Staff also provided reports on the Swim Program and the Railway Station Hallowe’en event. Council thanked staff and volunteers for their hard work.
Residents who did not receive their Vote by Mail kits will be pleased to hear CAO Klatt recommends that MV pay a modest fee for on-going database updates to capture new builds, severances, changes of residence, etc. This should assist in keeping the MV Voters List up to date between elections. Further, she said that if the new Council wants to have Vote by Mail for the next election in 2022 she will be recommending that Advance Polls be scheduled in both Combermere and Barry’s Bay.
Integrity Commissioner reports
MV Integrity Commissioner Guy Giorno presented two reports, one in relation to Councillor Peplinski and one in relation to Councillor Maika, both of which found that neither Councillor had breached the Code of Conduct. Giorno made some recommendations about amending the Code of Conduct. The Current will report in the near future on these, focussing in particular on the length and cost of the investigations.
CAO Suzanne Klatt reported on a proposal from Expertise for Municipalities (E4m2) in order to assist with updating Council’s Code of Conduct and the Procedural By-Law based on recommendations from the Integrity Commissioner. E4m2 can also provide related training for Council and staff.