Central Manitoulin chastises Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry due to overzealous fencing

CENTRAL MANITOULIN – Council for the Municipality of Central Manitoulin found itself last month debating the fencing decisions made by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) at the ministry’s Forest Street building.

A motion, moved by Councillor Derek Stephens and seconded by Councillor Dale Scott reads that “Council requests that the MNRF reconsider the fencing on Forest Street as the design is reminiscent of a penitentiary and is not appropriate for that location in Mindemoya.”

“I am a big proponent of going against the MNRF,” said Councillor Stephens. “I don’t see why they require a six-foot fence with barb wire. I am against any fencing at that property. I don’t see why they need it.”

“I think the MNRF has a huge property at the fish hatchery in Tehkummah,” supplied Councillor Al Tribinevicius. “If they have a property with a gate, I don’t see why it could be used.” He suggested the fencing was inappropriate for the downtown area.

Councillor Scott asked CAO Ruth Frawley if the municipality has the authority to veto the ministry’s actions at the downtown property.

“I don’t have the answer for that,” admitted Ms. Frawley. “They did, however, ask our opinion on the fence.”

Councillor Shaffer pointed out that the municipal bylaw states that any fence over 1.5 metres in height does require municipal permission.