CENTRAL MANITOULIN—The agenda items were completed and Central Manitoulin council members were about to entertain a motion to adjourn when Councillor Derek Stephens apologized for missing a matter referenced in the minutes presented to council from the September 5 Road Committee meeting.
The passage Councillor Stephens was referencing read: “That we direct staff to write to the Ministry of Transportation regarding the Municipality’s displeasure with the paving that was done on Highway 542 west of Mindemoya this August, in which none of the aprons of the interesting municipal roads were paved as committed to in previous years, creating safety concerns for the municipality and further that there appears to have not been any patching of roadway defects before paving was carried out, creating a very unsatisfactory road surface.”
“The highways around our community are a mess,” said Councillor Stephens. “That is what I have been hearing about constantly in the community.”
Councillor Stephens noted that there were a lot of promises made that simply were not, to his mind, followed through on.
“I don’t disagree with what Councillor Stephens is saying,” admitted Clerk Ruth Frawley. She noted that the motion from the Roads Committee did not come forward as a motion to council as it was not put as a recommendation to council, but rather a direction to staff.
“It is all I have been hearing,” said Councillor Stephens, “that the road work sucks.” He suggested that a lot of the municipality’s own gravel sideroads were actually in better shape than the MTO’s highways. “I am very upset with the work the MTO did here,” said Councillor Stephens. He alleged that it appeared that the road was not repaired and leveled prior to repaving and that commitments to pave crossroad intersections was not followed through upon.
Following procedural discussion it was determined that the letter to the MTO should come from council as a whole, rather than simply a letter from staff.