Council Reports: August 21, 2006

Confidential/Closed Session; Discussion of Robert Buchkowsky’s July 31 Deputation; Public Meeting About Business Licensing By-Law; Vote By Mail and Use of Tabulators; Cost of Rehabilitation of Tiny Trail Bridges; Site 41 Rally at Queen’s Park; By-Law Enforcement IssuesREPORT ON COUNCILAugust 21, 2006
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 3:35 pm – 9:01 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
All Members of Council present.

CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 6:10 p.m. – 9:01 p.m. with an hour and a quarter interruption for the Regular Evening Meeting.

DISCUSSION OF ROBERT BUCHKOWSKY’S JULY 31 DEPUTATION: This deputation concerned shore ownership issues related to the high water mark, the Boundaries Act, and the Land titles Act & Certification of Titles Act, and former Councillor Robert Buchkowsky’s view that action should be undertaken by the Province and by the Municipality to assert ownership over beach land a) between the high water mark and the water’s edge in Tiny Township where there was “unclear ownership” or b) where there was a “claim that a long period of use has matured into a prescriptive right”. He urged Council to get a legal opinion about the validity of his various suggestions. He also urged Council to undertake a series of actions in relation to the property in Balm Beach where a fence has been erected. After the Agenda was finalized, Mr. Buchkowsky gave members of Council some additional notes, which we have not seen.

Councillor Ray Millar, observed that the supplementary material added nothing new to the discussion, and that the questions raised at the last meeting of Council – as to why it was Council’s responsibility to bring an action and why it should seek legal advice – remained unanswered.

Councillor Peggy Breckenridge noted that the current Council had been identifying shoreline lands in public ownership to ensure that back lot cottagers and inland residents of Tiny have beach access. She pointed to the development of Bluewater Park as an example of work being done for the public good.

Deputy Mayor Paul Maurice observed that since the Province has refused to underwrite mediation, the Township should continue with its current course of action.

Mayor Robert Klug said that mediation was about “use” not ownership and about respect between owner and user. He said that the fence in Balm Beach was a symbol of something that had been taken away.

Councillor Rob Panasiuk observed that it was important to understand a core principal in relation to Mr. Buchkowsky’s proposals. In the supplemental pages, Mr. Buchkowsky had apparently recounted how he had approached various public bodies with questions about Boundary Act applications, about Certification of Titles, and so on, and in each case had been told to get legal advice. According to Councillor Panasiuk, the questions Mr. Buchkowsky posed are not Council’s questions. He himself knows, for example, what “possessory interest” is, and knows that the lines of inquiry proposed are a dead end and the points raised are not tenable. The fundamental question is whether or not a municipality must supply legal education to one of its residents, and the answer is No, that is not an appropriate use of taxpayers’ money. In his view the deputation presented no argument, no new legal perspective, and so there was nothing to review and no need to respond.

However, he suggested that staff prepare a list of the surveys done along the shore to the water’s edge during this Council’s term of office, to ensure access for the citizens of Tiny, surveys that have been registered in Barrie. He instanced the pursuit of the Becking case and the Township’s re-registration of its 2/3 interest in the beach at Cawaja as moves made in the public interest. He said that where Council had been able to assert public ownership, it had done so. As to whether a public path to the water’s edge implied a right to use the beach on either side, he observed that it might mean only that there was direct access to the water and nothing more. It was not the responsibility of the Township to act on behalf of back lot cottagers; it was their responsibility as private property owners to see what rights had been guaranteed to them in their subdivision agreements, and, if those rights were not being observed, to bring an action.

CAO/Clerk, Ruth Coursey, said that the list would be supplied at the next meeting of Council.

PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT BUSINESS LICENSING BY-LAW: At the beginning of the Regular Evening Meeting of Council, members of the public were asked to comment on the proposed draft By-law to Consolidate the Licensing Regulations within the Township of Tiny. This omnibus By-law will govern businesses of all sorts in Tiny Township and Council decided to ask for public comment before itself discussing the proposed draft. Two owners of businesses raised matters of concern to them. Mike Dupuis, Manager of Lafontaine Camping, argued that the requirement in “Schedule A – Campgrounds” for a fire extinguisher for every 10 lots was unnecessary and ill advised for a number of reasons. He also asked that the restriction of occupancy to 14 days per month from October to April was unreasonable with regard to October, a period when many use his campground while viewing autumn colour.

Frank Papadopoulos, owner of the Georgian Grill in Balm Beach, argued that Sunday opening hours should begin at 9 a.m. rather than 11 a.m., that additional thinking should be done about licensing fees for machines in various sorts of businesses to make the outcome equitable, and that more types of stores be specified.

Jack Ellis, one of the directors of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations, recommended three kinds of changes to “Schedule A – Campgrounds” on behalf of FoTTSA:

That the definition of “Recreation Vehicle” not include a mobile home or any recreational trailer that is deemed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) to be a “permanent trailer”

That the typo regarding the frontage of lots be revised to 12 metres (not 32 metres)
And that a new section be added to specify that certain standards of operation be followed. These concern open fires, garbage and recycling, electrical outlets, management presence, an occupancy register, tidiness, quiet hours, pets, and inspections by MPAC and the Township. [The complete deputation is available on under Letters and Deputations.]

Andre Claire, president of the Bluewater Dunes Association, supported the recommendations of FoTTSA and made three additional points:

That the numbers allowed in “Group Camping” be regulated
That agricultural land not be used for storage of trailers or boats
That license fees for trailer parks and campgrounds be based on a careful assessment of costs to the township. He recommended detailed record keeping and inspections.

VOTE BY MAIL and USE OF TABULATORS: The method to be used in Tiny Township for this November’s Municipal Election is vote-by-mail. Tabulators will be used to count the vote, a method that should produce results quickly.

COST OF REHABILITATION OF TINY TRAIL BRIDGES: The all-in cost was $1,289,563, a sum within 1% of budget. Of this, 56.5% was paid by senior levels of government. The Township’s 43.5% came to $560,783. Bridge P3 south of Wyevale, which the previous Council had reconstructed to the design of the original railway bridge, absorbed much of the $590,180 spent by the last Council. The overall cost of the more modestly conceived 10 bridges between Concession 12 East and Overhead Bridge Road (bridges P7 to P16), which this Council had built, was $699,383.30.

SITE 41 RALLY AT QUEEN’S PARK: Councillor Ray Millar announced that some 250 Tiny residents attended the rally, as did the Queen’s Park press and local media. We would add that three members of Council (Deputy Mayor Pierre Paul Maurice, and Councillors Peggy Breckenridge and Ray Miller) attended, and each of them spoke effectively in opposition to the proposed dumpsite. The rally was well organized: four buses got everyone down to Queen’s Park efficiently; signs had been made for all participants to carry; the speeches were to the point.

BY-LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES: Comments made by Ruth Coursey, CAO/Clerk, revealed that this has been a difficult summer for the By-law enforcement. Staff has been pushed and threatened and there has been a general lack of civility. One By-law Officer was assaulted after issuing a parking ticket. People have been hostile and have refused to give their names. There has been more need for assistance from the OPP.

Georgian Bay Mobile Veterinary Services
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Perkinsfield Park pavilion
Sponsored by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit