Distinct, separate Official Plan demanded by Northeast Town

Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson agrees it’s council’s right to have unique OP

NORTHEAST TOWN—The Northeast Town community service/public works committee has passed a motion, recommending to council that the municipality direct the Manitoulin Planning Board to create a new Official Plan, specifically for the Northeast Town.

“The point is, we want to have our own Official Plan because we’re not satisfied with the other one,” Mayor Al MacNevin said bluntly. “And we’re entitled to do so.”

“I fully believe it’s more than time to get a plan of our own,” stated Councillor Melissa Peters, who was the driving force behind the move. “The Manitoulin Planning Board has taken three years to come up with a plan that doesn’t reflect NEMI.”

Councillor Peters said she also wanted a motion to clearly state the roles and responsibilities of the Manitoulin Planning Board.

The motion reads that the committee “recommends that the Council of the Corporation of the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands directs the Manitoulin Planning Board to prepare an Official Plan specific to the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands.”

In a previous discussion council decided that whether the Northeast Town remains with the planning board or not, the municipality would still request its own Official Plan.

The Expositor contacted the Manitoulin Planning Board for comment, but was directed to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by secretary/treasurer Elva Carter.

“The Planning Act does enable a municipal council, which is a member of a planning board, to request that the planning board prepare an Official Plan suitable for adoption as the Official Plan of that municipality,” explained May Nazar, senior media relations coordinator with the MMAH.

She explained that the Planning Act states that if a member municipality asks its planning board to prepare a plan suitable for adoption as the Official Plan of that municipality, “the planning board shall prepare a plan suitable for adoption.”

The MMAH would remain the approval authority for any new Official Plan created, Ms. Nazar stated.

Alicia McCutcheon