Northeast Town Council Notes

Council turns down cruising coalition membership

The Northeast Town reviewed a request to contribute $2,000 towards a membership for the municipality in the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition (GLCC).

“We are just not in a position to do this,” said Councillor Bill Koehler of the contribution.

“We benefit from the dockage of the cruise ships that come to our port,” argued Councillor Marcel Gauthier. “There are economic development dollars too—other people come here to see the ships and spend money in our municipality.”

Councillor Laurie Cook disagreed, saying she didn’t feel the cruise ships were a benefit to the entire town, just the merchants.

In a recorded vote, Councillors Laurie Cook, Bill Koehler, Dawn Orr, Paul Skippen, Bruce Wood and Mayor Al MacNevin defeated the motion to contribute $2,000 towards the GLCC membership. Councillors Michael Erskine, Marcel Gauthier and Melissa Peters voted in favour of the motion.

Bruce O’Hare of Lakeshore Excursions made a deputation to council earlier in May, requesting that the municipality pay $2,000 towards the $5,000 annual GLCC membership, while his business would pay $1,000, the BIA would pay $500 and the Great Spirit Circle Trail would pay $1,500.

Council donates to Country Fest

Council reviewed a request that was made by Manitoulin Country Fest organizers Craig and Kelly Timmermans at a deputation to council earlier in May.

The organizers were requesting the use of the Rendezvous Pavilion for a Country Fest event raising money for the Manitoulin Centennial Manor, the use of town fences, designating the event one of municipal significance and declaring the week of Tuesday, August 2 as ‘Manitoulin Country Fest Week,’ the use of three dumpsters, the use of table and chairs from the recreation centre, the placement of directional signs on municipal property and the inclusion of Manitoulin Country Fest on the Northeast Town LED welcome sign.

The Northeast Town carried a motion to grant the requests, but the use of the fencing was conditional on it not being needed by the town and being returned on Sunday, August 7 in time for a cruise ship that is scheduled to be coming to the port.

Group insurance

Town CAO Dave Williamson reviewed with council the one bid that the Northeast Town received when they tendered for employee group insurance. The only bid came from Schuster, Boyd, McDonald for $120,861.72. Mr. Williamson explained that this was a nine percent increase over the town’s current insurance, but recommended that council accept the bid. Council carried a motion to accept the bid.

Manitoulin Planning Board budget

Council looked over the final requisition for funding for 2016 from the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB). The Northeast Town’s share of the funding was an interim payment of $19,553 plus an additional $19,887.35.

Mayor MacNevin said that council’s only option if they disagreed with the amount was to appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board, but they needed a reason.

Council carried a motion to accept the requisition request.

Haweater Weekend

Council declared Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31 Haweater Weekend as an event of municipal significance. This year marks the 49th anniversary of the fun-filled weekend.

Archaeological site

Mr. Williamson told council that the Northeast Town would be seeking funding from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to develop the Sheguiandah Archaeological Site. Council carried a motion supporting the municipality’s request for funding for the development of the site.


Mayor MacNevin and fellow Northeast Town councillors who attended the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities conference in Timmins recently reviewed the highlights from the conference with council.

Mayor MacNevin said that in speaking with a representative from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) he learned that the ministry had received the Northeast Town’s request to leave the Manitoulin Planning Board and establish its own planning authority.

Councillor Gauthier commented that it was a quiet year for the conference, but he had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Councillor Cook said that she found a number of the speakers and workshops interesting and especially enjoyed the premier’s forum on Friday evening, while Councillor Erskine said he found Bob Ray’s address very stimulating.

Fire department report

Mr. Williamson explained that Northeast Town Fire Chief Darren Bailey was absent from the community services and public works meeting because he and his department had been busy all day fighting a fire in the Rockville area.

The report for May that council reviewed noted that there were 11 calls for service since the last report, including: a motor vehicle accident on Highway 6 south on April 22, a grass fire on Indian Mountain Road on April 24, a bonfire on Manitowaning Road on April 26, a grass fire on Indian Mountain Road again on April 27, a grass fire on Highway 6 south on April 29, a grass fire on Indian Mountain Road on April 30, a grass fire on Wiingish Mikkan on May 1, a grass fire on Meredith Street on May 3, a lift assist at the Cup and Saucer trail on May 8, a vehicle fire at Bay Estates on May 14 and a carbon monoxide alarm on May 16.

Community services and public works reports

Reid Taylor presented council with the community services report. He said that staff were busy prepping the recreation centre for upcoming events and completing maintenance and painting tasks. He noted that this month at the recreation centre there was a Rainbow Round Up from May 20-22 and that the Manitoulin Sea Cadets have their annual review on June 12.

As for the parks and outdoor areas, he said that the playground equipment has been inspected and that the Low Island washrooms were to be opened May 20. Youth soccer and softball was to start May 24 and adult softball on May 25.

Spider Bay Marina was scheduled to open May 20 and the town docks would be completed by the end of May.

Mr. Taylor also added that the first cruise ship of the year would visit the Port of Little Current on June 6.

The public works report noted that regular road maintenance was underway and culverts were being replaced where needed. Construction was to begin on North Channel Drive this week and the gravel tender closes on May 20.

Several staff members received first aid training and department equipment was working well.

National Police Week

The Northeast Town community services and public works committee recommended a motion to council to recognize the week on May 16 to 22 as National Police Week and thank Island officers for all their hard work.

Water issue notification process

Mr. Williamson walked council through the process if there are issues with town water.

If there is an issue, the Ontario Clean Water Agency and the manager of public works are notified. Depending on the issue, such as the case recently when there was a drop in pressure due to problems with the Little Current water treatment plan generator during the power outage, the Sudbury and District Health Unit (SDHU) is notified.

Staff are rounded up to take phone calls and call the Manor, hospital and restaurants to notify them of the issue. If the SDHU issues a boil water or a no drinking water advisory, the media in contacted and every household in the municipality is notified of the issue. Water is provided to residents at the recreation centre or is hand delivered to people who can’t drive or pick up their own at the recreation centre. After the problem at the plant is rectified, water samples are sent to the SDHU which lifts the advisory if the samples are clean.