REPORT ON COUNCIL

January 13, 2003

Committee of the Whole 9:05am - 3:57pm

Evening Session 7:00pm - 10:38pm

All members of Council present

 

CONFIDENTIAL/CLOSED SESSION: 2:25pm - 3:56pm

 

VOTE BY MAIL: Tiny is to have Vote By Mail in this year’s municipal election. Some (though not all) concerns raised in the Federation’s deputation (see the Report on Council for December 9, 2002) about Voting Methods and Fairness were alleviated in the discussion about Vote By Mail. Apparently votes mailed later than 10 days prior to Election Day will be accepted as long as they reach the Township Offices in time. Election Day is not the only time when votes may be deposited in a ballot box in the Township Offices: the ballot box will be there throughout the 10 days leading up to Election Day. It is not clear whether the Township Offices will be open for people to cast votes on a weekend day, but that would be helpful for non-residents who fail to mail their vote in time and cannot make the trip to Tiny on a working day.

Where, in the past, the nomination period has ended 30 days before the election (usually a couple of days after Thanksgiving), this fall the nomination period will end 45 days before the election, roughly at the end of September. For the first time, those who use their cottages only in the summer, will know, when they leave Tiny after Thanksgiving, who all the candidates are.

The clerk is to present details of the way the election will be managed in due course.

 

FRANK HUGHES ASKS FOR A WRITTEN LEGAL OPINION ABOUT PHRASES USED BY SAVE THE BEACHES: In a Memorandum dated January 6, 2003, Councillor Frank Hughes challenged statements made by Save The Beaches Inc. that “traditional” use of Tiny’s beaches has pertained “over 100 years” and “the past 200 years.” He observed that Tiny had not been surveyed in 1802; and in 1913, when “the descendants of my wife’s great-grand parents, who had settled on a farm in the vicinity of Dawson Road and the Fourth Concession Road, decided to have a family reunion and a picnic on the beach . . . they went to Wasaga Beach, where it was noted that there were three cottages there.”

He quoted statements about “traditional” and “historic” use, about Crown Patents, about the meaning of the Gibbs v Grand Bend decision – statements that are used by Save The Beaches Inc. to justify assertions about public rights of access to Tiny’s beaches.

Observing that “There is much misinformation, misinterpretation, and rumours in Tiny about the beaches and beach access” Councillor Hughes made a formal request that Council seek a written, legal opinion about a number of phrases used by Save the Beaches.

For the motion, click HERE.

The motion was defeated, 3/2, with Deputy Mayor Gordon Salisbury, Councillor Bob Buchkowsky and Councillor Pierre Paul Maurice voting against and Mayor Bob Klug and Councillor Hughed voting in favour. The three who opposed the motion all mentioned the mediation process and the recommended legal ceasefire and were not deterred when Councillor Hughes explained that the legal ceasefire idea had nothing to do with his request. They also felt that a legal opinion would not be definitive; it would be challenged. Reference was made to an oral legal opinion received in an in camera session when Councillor Hughes was absent.

 

RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY: After Council met with representatives from the Ministry of the Environment, the Simcoe County District Health Unit, and the Severn Sound Environmental Association in October, Councillor Buchkowsky presented a summary of what, in his view, had been learned. At this meeting Councillor Hughes presented a rather different list of observations about swimming water quality and made a series of suggestions – installation of permanent warning signs at locations with high E. coli counts, increasing the rate of septic re-inspections, routine testing of suspect beaches midweek by the Township itself, the testing of shallow water by the Township itself, the commissioning of studies into the sources of pollution, possible use of holding ponds instead of ditches and culverts discharging storm water into the Bay, consideration of the aesthetics of culverts when planning discharge points.

Council directed the clerk to ask the MoE and the Health Unit what their recommendations and plans of action are for Tiny’s recreational water problems during the coming season and to enquire about the study proposal that Severn Sound is preparing. He was also asked to see whether CC Tatham is able to increase the pace of septic re-inspections.

 

PARKS AND REC INSURANCE: Full insurance coverage has still not been achieved for Parks and Rec volunteers because the insurer kept asking for more information. A conference call was arranged, so that the requirements that must be met would be clear to everyone.

 

EXTENSION OF TINY BEACHES ROAD NORTH: Tiny Beaches Road North is to be completed between Concessions 18 and 19, linking Georgian Sands and Georgian Highlands. There has been concern about winter access to Georgian Highlands for emergency vehicles.

 

PROPOSED REZONING OF MAURICE’S POINT (NORTH OF CONCESSION ROAD 14) FROM OPEN SPACE TO RESIDENTIAL: This concerns one of the parkland lots that Council decided to sell in the last year or so. The lot is comprised of the point itself. A number of residents spoke and wrote letters opposing this proposed rezoning. Beach residents drew attention to the fact that the point shifts and changes, was severely diminished in size in high water, and had been, in their experience, entirely under water on occasion. They expressed concerns about the installation of a septic system in such a place. One asked that the decision be deferred until Simcoe County’s shoreline policy is in place, as that policy addresses setbacks on beaches that change and shift. Another questioned Council’s decision to sell a potential shore park.

The applicant’s spokesman admitted that the setback was tight even under current rules, but it was okayed by CC Tatham. Apparently the MNR established the hundred-year storm level on the lot (just how was not clear), and the requisite setback for a septic could just barely be achieved on its inland corner. Council will discuss this at the next Committee of the Whole on January 27th. Area residents who have concerns about the building of another cottage on the point should let the clerk know their views before that date - eevans@township.tiny.on.ca

 

LAFONTAINE SENIORS COMPLEX: A volunteer group in the village of Lafontaine has been engaged in planning this complex for a number of years. It is to serve the francophone community and many of its supporters spoke eloquently in both French and English in its support. It is to be located next to the church in the village, and required only a by-law change as it is within the guidelines of the Official Plan. The necessary by-law was passed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Hughes’ Motion Asking for a Written Legal Opinion about Phrases Used by Save The Beaches

 

WHEREAS Save the Beaches Inc. has widely publicized its version of the decision in the Gibbs v Grand Bend lawsuit, and has suggested that “This [Tiny] Council should acquaint themselves with the real merits of the case”;

 

AND WHEREAS this Council has, on at least two occasions, heard from two lawyers, a different interpretation of the reasons for judgment in the Gibbs v Grand Bend matter;

 

AND WHEREAS the phrase “Reserving in the said lot numbers [Township of Tiny, Lots 18 & 19] free access to the shores of Lake Huron for all vessels, boats and persons” requires some legal clarification and explanation;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council directs the Chief Administrative Officer (1) to obtain a written legal opinion from our real property lawyers regarding the Gibbs v Grand Bend (C.A.) decision; (2) to obtain a written legal opinion regarding the meaning and effect of the phrase “Reserving in said lot numbers [Township of Tiny, Lot Nos 18 & 19] free access to the shores of Lake Huron for all vessels, boats and persons”; and (3) to obtain a written legal opinion or definition of riparian rights and accretion and the effects of same.