REPORT ON COUNCIL
November 28, 2005
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 a.m. – 6:46 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:02 p.m. – 7:56 p.m.
All Members of Council present.
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 1:46 p.m. – 2:22 p.m. and 6:29 p.m. – 6:46 p.m.
ORAL SUBMISSIONS FROM LOCAL HOSPITALS AND PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE: On November 14, Council heard a presentation by the CEOs of our two local hospitals, Carol Lambie and Gordon Key, and at this meeting Dr. Pam Chart and Garry Morehouse made a presentation on behalf of the North Simcoe Physician Recruitment Fundraising Committee. The latter pair made the case for municipal support ($10,000 per year for three years in the case of Tiny Township) of attempts to attract doctors, speaking about the importance of family physicians to a community.
When Councillor Ray Millar observed that most of Ontario suffers from a shortage of doctors and asked whether municipalities might be wise to pool their resources and work collaboratively to increase the total number of physicians in the province, his question was answered in a partial way. He was told that the licensing of physicians trained outside of Canada is being addressed, though not quickly enough. Deputy Mayor Paul Maurice felt that health care is a provincial responsibility and one that municipalities should not assume, lest the province download even more responsibilities. Councillor Rob Panasiuk supported this view, but observed that he might support the idea of matching funds raised by community based fundraising. Questioning from Councillor Peggy Breckenridge produced the information that the Province has never funded physician recruitment; the shortage of doctors is a recent phenomenon.
BLUEWATER BEACH MANAGEMENT PLAN: Prepared by Meridian Planning Consultants, Planning Partnership, and AMEC International, this was based on two workshops, one attended by 140 residents on August 27 and the second by 80 on September 24. From the August 27th workshop emerged the sense that Bluewater Park “should be retained as a low intensity, passive use environmental management area” primarily for the use of local residents. Environmental management was seen as including protection and enhancement of the dunes (through wind breaks, boardwalks, defined walkways and plantings, and through keeping ATV’s and snowmobiles out of the area). The need for good stewardship was stressed.
Grounded in the needs and desires expressed in the two workshops, the report made a series of recommendations about the Beach Area; Fore Dune Restoration; Wetland Restoration; Back Dune Restoration; Management Protection; and Cottage Management, and another series of recommendations about how to proceed in the short and long term. The Bluewater Beach Management Plan is available on Tiny Township’s website – tiny.ca – under Community Info; Public Notices; Draft Bluewater Report November 2005. Council will discuss the proposed Management Plan in January.
NEW COMPREHENSIVE ZONING BY-LAW AND SCHEDULES: Nick McDonald of Meridian Planning presented the major changes made to the draft By-law since the version of May 5, 2005. These are listed in a letter, which he wrote to Roger Robitaille, Manager of Planning, which is available along with the By-law text and schedules (maps) on – Tiny.ca – part way down the list on the left of the website’s opening page, directly under the calendar. Residents are urged to read the By-law and to look carefully at the schedule for their area. At this stage, Council is not willing to make policy changes but has said that it is glad to hear about typos and errors that might be corrected before the By-law is formally passed at the first meeting in January.
EXOTIC ANIMAL BY-LAW: Council passed an Animal Control By-law, forbidding the keeping of a specified list of animals everywhere in the Township, and imposing regulations about the keeping of other specified animals. For the full text of the By-law see tiny.ca; Government: By-laws; Exotic Animal By-Law 05-101.
ENCROACHMENT BY-LAW: After the Township’s Encroachment By-law was updated on June 14th, 2004, it quickly became apparent that flexibility was required in many situations, particularly “encroachments within unopened/public road allowances, laneways, parks, blocks, and waterfront Township-owned properties.” Where public safety is an issue (staff decides whether safety is at issue, but the owner-encroacher has the right of appeal to the CAO and/or Council), then it must be rectified “within a schedule that is suitable to both the Township and the owner.” Where safety is not an issue, an encroachment agreement may be an option, and the circumstances and fees (increased substantially) of this are spelled out in the By-law. The 20 encroachment agreements currently in place are to be terminated as of January 1, 2008, though in some circumstances they may be renegotiated under the new rules. For the full text of the By-law see tiny.ca; Government: By-laws; Encroachment Policy.
PARKING STRATEGY INFORMATION: Council will be discussing parking arrangements from Concession 1 to Concession 18 along the western shore, plus those at Chemin du Loup in Thunder Beach during the early months of 2006. In preparation, Ruth Coursey, Clerk/CAO had provided Council with a report describing the evolution of shore parking arrangements since 1999 when Planning Partnership prepared the first Parking Strategy.
FEDERAL GAS TAX REVENUE: Small municipalities get an allocation per capita, which in 2005 will amount to $88,088 for Tiny Township, for a designated list of infrastructure improvements. Tiny will use the money to surface a number of roads.
GEESE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: A task force is being set up to develop a comprehensive Geese Management Program in North Simcoe. Councillor Peggy Breckenridge has agreed to serve. A volunteer is also needed to represent Tiny Township on this task force. Anyone who is interested should contact Councillor Breckenridge at 705-549-8717.