MMA submitting proposal on new police boards

MANITOULIN – The Manitoulin Municipal Association (MMA) will be resubmitting its proposal to the province on a new policing board model, after several local municipalities decided to partner with neighbouring municipalities to decrease the proposed number of representatives on the board.

“As I’m sure everyone knows by now the option we had forwarded to the province originally was rejected,” said Ken Noland, chair of the MMA, at a recent meeting. “So, I reached out to Cockburn Island, Gordon/Barrie Island and Burpee and Mills, and we are all willing to share one representative on the board. I also talked to Dave Jaggard, reeve of Tehkummah, if his council would consider partnering with Assiginack to have one representative on the board.”

Hugh Moggy, an Assiginack township councillor said that his council has “had discussions about (partnering) with Tehkummah and we have no problem going together for one rep.” 

“Tehkummah (council) is fine with that too,” Mr. Jaggard told the meeting.

“So, we will resubmit our application to the province for the Island police board,” said Mr. Noland. He pointed out that along with Assiginack and Tehkummah partnering, and Cockburn Island, Gordon/Barrie Island and Burpee and Mills partnering, the Town of Gore Bay will have a representative on the police board as will Billings, Central Manitoulin, Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, along with two provincial and two community representatives. 

“We will again go over the numbers and circulate the new proposal for the police board to all the municipalities before we submit the new proposal to the province,” added Mr. Noland. 

As was reported previously, the province rejected the Manitoulin municipalities’ request on the composition of the new policing board model. A letter from the province had indicated the original proposal for the police board (put forward by the MMA) didn’t meet the guidelines so the MMA was looking at ways to bring the number of representatives of the police board down to be in compliance. 

In a letter to the Township of Burpee and Mills dated August 31, Kiran Shahzad, senior policy advisor, community safety and intergovernmental policy branch with the Ministry of the Solicitor General, wrote: “As it stands, the proposed board does not meet the 20 percent community representation and 20 percent provincial representation requirement,” wrote Ms. Shahzad. She explained, “A 13-member board requires that three board members be community reps and three members be provincial appointees (20 percent of 13 is 2.6, round up to three), bringing the total to 15 members. Upon consideration, to maintain consistency and fairness in composition, the ministry will require that the proposed board include the appropriate number of community and provincial representatives meet the 20 percent requirement.”