Northeast Town Council Notes

Council carries motion to support new brewing company

The Northeast Town council carried a motion to support a request for the approval to manufacture and retail Manitoulin Brewing Company (MBC) products in a step forward to initiate the licence the manufacturing of alcohol through the Alcohol Gaming and Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

MBC Presidents Blair Hagman and Nishin Meawasige presented to council, explaining that their company consists of them, two business partners and brewmaster Mark Lewis.

“We have been working for over a year now to form MBC and create high quality craft beer,” explained the pair. “We have gone through multiple brewing sessions to develop our suites of products as a way to achieve the highest quality and most superb taste. Our beer is exceptional. We are currently in negotiations with a number of private investors, some with experiences investing in other Ontario micro-breweries who are interested in taking a stake in MBC.”

“MBC has formed its business plan with the idea of setting up business in Little Current,” Mr. Hagman and Mr. Meawasige continued. “MBC would like to start up business in the community of Little Current in the summer/fall of 2015.”

The pair explained that council’s approval will help initiate in a “timely fashion” the process to start manufacturing MBC products in Little Current, as it can take up to six months to obtain a manufacturing licence approved by the AGCO.


Manitoulin Family Resources receives $200 donation

Council reviewed a donation request from Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) Help Centre Food Bank’s annual Christmas Food Basket Campaign.

“The MFR Help Centre Food Bank has been providing emergency and seasonal food supports to the residents of Manitoulin and the North Shore regions for 28 years,” states the donation request. “Last year, thanks to the generosity of community members, businesses and organizations, an overwhelming $48,211.31 was raised and resulted in the creation of 332 Christmas food baskets and gifts for families and individuals in need.”

Council carried a motion to donate $200 to the Christmas Food Basket Campaign.

The letter to council noted that if anyone knows of a family in need to please encourage them to call Nancy McDermid or Katie Arsenault at 705-377-5532 ext. 242.

Non-monetary donations may be brought directly to the Help Centre, which is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm and Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm. Monetary donations can be mailed to or dropped off at the office with cheques payable to ‘Manitoulin Family Resources’ and indicated on the memo line ‘Christmas Basket Campaign 2014.’


Mitchell Varey appointed as new bylaw enforcement officer for Northeast Town

The Northeast Town council carried a motion to approve bylaw no 2014-26 to appoint Mitchell Varey as a bylaw enforcement officer in the Northeast Town.

Town CAO Dave Williamson explained that Mr. Varey has been working for the town at the recreation centre and was recently successful in bidding for the bylaw enforcement officer position. He also noted that he will be taking a course in bylaw enforcement.

“I am happy to see a person from our own community filling the spot,” said Councillor Paul Skippen. “He is a very professional young man and will be a real asset to the job.”

Councillor Marcel Gauthier added that he also felt Mr. Varey will do “a great job” in his new role.


Council reaches out to area MPP for Connecting Link support

The Northeast Town council reviewed a letter from Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca responding to council’s questions concerning the Connecting Link funding and the lack of funds to complete the third phase of a project in the municipality.

“While your cost for completed work on your connecting link are not eligible for funding (the Northeast Town had to cover the cost to complete the project it self and sent the bill to the MTO), I encourage your municipality to apply for funding for new projects under both programs (the new Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund and the Small Communities Fund).”

Council decided to reach out to Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha for help resolving the lack of funding for the final phase of the project.


Northeast Town Fire Department report

Northeast Town Fire Department Chief Darren Bailey reported to council on the November calls for service. He noted that there had been a house fire in Sheguiandah First Nation on October 21, a propane leak on Campbell Street on November 8 and a house fire in Rockville on November 13.

“The apparatus and equipment is in good working order,” noted Chief Bailey.


Community services and public works report

Reid Taylor reviewed the community services report with council. In terms of the recreation centre, Mr. Taylor said, “the ice is being used regularly and being maintained, user groups are using the rooms weekly, staff are completing maintenance tasks daily and are finishing floors and painting.”

He also noted that the winter walking program had started and that user group programs and ice rentals are continuing.

As for the marina, “the facilities are all closed for the season and winterized,” said Mr. Taylor, “and the parks and outdoor facilities are shut down and winterized. Both will be monitored over the winter.”

Several councillors asked about the recreation centre’s broken stand heaters. Mr. Taylor explained that they would be up and running as soon as possible and that the town was waiting for a replacement piece to come in from the States.

The public works report noted that winter snow and ice control was well underway and that maintenance and repair was being done as needed on town equipment.

It was noted that the town’s new snowplow (to replace the plow lost in the public works garage fire earlier this year) had blown a fuse on its way to Little Current from Sudbury and had to be taken back to Sudbury, leaving town staff down a plow for last week’s snow storm.

Town CAO Dave Williamson told council that the plow would be repaired and was to arrive on the Island on Friday (November 21).

Many of the councillors commented on the great work town staff did maintaining the municipal roads during the storm.