Northeast Town Council Notes

Fire department

Northeast Town Fire Chief Darren Bailey reported that there had been three calls for service recently including an assist with a brush fire in the Otter Lake area on May 19, a fire alarm on June 11 at the Manitoulin Health Centre and a bush fire in the Perch Lake area.

Mr. Bailey commended the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) on their work with the water bomber helping fight the Perch Lake fire. He also noted that there wouldn’t be a charge to the municipality other than for the ground crew from 10 am to 2 pm (even though they stayed the night) because they were already in the area and it was a first response.

Mr. Bailey also stated in his report that there had been 28 calls for service so far in 2016 and that a few members of the department attended an auto extraction training session along with other members from across the Island with Paratech Rescue representatives.

Community services and public works

Reid Taylor presented council with the community services report for June. He said the recreation centre staff was busy prepping for upcoming events and completing maintenance tasks.

“The Sea Cadet Review and Little Current and District Fish and Game dinner went very well,” said Mr. Taylor of two events recently held at the recreation centre.

For parks, Mr. Taylor said that youth sport programs were completed by June 30 and that the trails, parks and washrooms were being inspected and maintained regularly. He added that the Northeast Town Community Picnic is being held on Sunday, July 10 at Low Island.

“Spider Bay Marina is operating and seeing increased business each week,” said Mr. Taylor. “The Port of Little Current is open and seeing more traffic each week.”

Mr. Taylor said that there were two rendezvous that would be visiting the port—one on June 28 and the second on July 21.

He also noted that cruise ships would be visiting on June 28, July 7, July 13, July 20 and 21.

The public works report noted that grading and the placing of calcium on roads was underway and that culverts were being replaced where needed.

The report also noted that roadside grass cutting was underway and that operations at the landfill were going well. The new half-ton truck has arrived and the Highway 6 crossing (culvert) will be starting shortly.

Councillor Mike Erskine suggested posting bear alert signs next time there is a bear at Low Island Park, referring to an incident of a bear at the park in June when the park had to be shut down until the bear moved on.

Building controls

Council was presented with the building controls report for June. The report stated that there had been 22 permits issued to date and that another three applications had been submitted and are under review.

“The total value of construction to date is $2,890,636 with total building permit revenue of $34,780.53,” the report stated.


Council approved the transfer of $31,249, representing one-time funds received in 2015, to the working capital reserve account. Council also carried a motion authorizing the town to withdraw $97,235 out of the working capital reserve account to cover the 2015 operating deficit.

Canada Day

The Northeast Town council contributed $1,900 to the Little Current Business Improvement Area that the town received through Celebrate Canada for Canada Day events and activities in Little Current.

Turtle sign

Council reviewed a letter from Joan Bell requesting the installation of a frog/turtle/snake sign on Limekiln Road and Townline Roads.

“In previous years I have seen the endangered Blandings turtle on that road near the little wetland area,” wrote Ms. Bell in her letter to council. “The annual road mortality is contributing greatly to the decline of reptile and amphibian species throughout Ontario including Manitoulin.”

Council carried a motion to authorize the placement of a frog/turtle/snake sign at the intersection of Limekiln and Townline Roads.

Vankoughnet Street

The Pastoral Council of the Gateway to Life Church requested council that “appropriate signage be installed on the existing street signs to identify and direct worshippers to our church,” said the letter to council from Pastor Philip Hovi. “We request that signs be installed in two locations at the corners of Vankoughnet and Highway 6 and Vankoughnet and Highway 540. If there is any charge for this service, please advise us of the particulars.”

In a recorded vote, councillor Michael Erskine, Marcel Gauthier, Bill Koehler, Dawn Orr, Paul Skippen, Bruce Woods and Mayor MacNevin voted in favour of the motion while councillors Laurie Cook and Melissa Peters voted against it. Council carried a motion authorizing the placement of the two signs.

Speed limit reduction

Council received a letter from Bruce Hatton of Tamarack Lane in Little Current requesting that the speed limit be reduced from 60 km/h to 40 km/hr due to the use of the road by young children, seniors and cyclists.

In a recorded vote, councillor Michael Erskine, Marcel Gauthier, Bill Koehler, Dawn Orr and Mayor Al MacNevin voted in favour of the request, while councillors Laurie Cook, Melissa Peters, Paul Skippen and Bruce Woods voted against it.

The motion was carried, reducing the speed limit on Tamarack  Lane as requested.

Mobile snack cart

Council approved a request for Kohyn and Saraya Eshkawkogan and Kyleigh Biedermann to operate a mobile lemonade/snack cart on municipal property with proof of liability insurance in the amount of two million dollars.

The small mobile cart would sell freezies, candy bags and lemonade.

Autism therapy

Council carried a motion “supporting the town of Shelburne’s motion to have the government amend its policy on Autism Spectrum Disorder to allow all children on the current waiting list to receive the IBI services promised to them, to remove the age limit from IBI therapy, to ensure oversight by professionals and parents based on the development progress criteria and milestones and to adopt a direct funding offering model in lieu of the current direct services offering mode.