Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillors, Hector Thibault, Brian Comeau, Yvon LeBlanc, Eric Pothier, Danny Hill and Carl Deveau
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis, and Tourism Manager, Larry Peach
Presenters: Rick Wallace and Gwen Wilson, St. Mary’s Bay Protectors
1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the proposed agenda be approved as presented.
(b) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest.
3.1 St. Mary’s Bay Protectors – Rick Wallace and Gwen Wilson
Rick Wallace and Gwen Wilson thanked Council for the chance to present their concerns regarding Cermaq’s proposal and open-pen net fish farms in St. Mary’s Bay. (See attached)
The St. Mary’s Bay Protectors are seeking Council’s support in blocking Cermaq’s proposal and preventing any future open-pen fish farms in St. Mary’s Bay. The St. Mary’s Bay Protectors have not sought intervener status and have not presented their concerns to the Aquaculture Review Board. Although not their preferred option, they claim they are prepared to do so should the need arise
Warden LeBlanc thanked the group for their presentation. Citing the need for further information and dialogue with various stakeholders as well as the upcoming community consultation in Saulnierville on this very subject, Council was not prepared to support the group’s request for a motion banning open pen fish farms in St. Mary’s Bay.
4) Staff Reports
4.1 Regional Bid, 2021 Travel Media Association of Canada Conference and AGM – Larry Peach, Tourism Manager
Tourism Manager Larry Peach informed Council of the opportunity to participate in a regional bid to host the 2021 Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) Conference and AGM. The Municipality of Clare is currently a member of TMAC. As a member of the regional host committee, benefits will accrue to the Municipality in terms of funding for fam tours as well as the resulting media articles. YASTA is leading the bid submission process and asking for support from neighboring municipalities, towns, tourism development organizations and the Province of Nova Scotia. The budget for this event (currently in draft form) is expected to range from $150,000 to $200,000. The specific request to the Municipality of Clare is for both a letter of support and a $10,000 contribution. Both the CAO and staff are supportive of this request. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend contributing $10,000 to YASTA in support of the regional bid to host the 2021 TMAC Conference and AGM.
4.2 Financial Update – Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff
The Director of Finance provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)
5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
6) New Business
6.1 Capital Projects 2020-2021
The CAO presented a list of potential capital projects to Council for their consideration, with the goal of determining Council priorities for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. This list is derived from the Municipality’s 5-year Capital Plan, past discussions with Council and new project opportunities which have presented themselves in recent months. The intent is not to finalize a decision at this time but rather to initiate a discussion to be held over the coming weeks in an effort to finalize the 2020-2021 Capital Budget in April 2020.
6.2 WREN Inter-Municipal Agreement
Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and Warden LeBlanc discussed the proposed changes to the new WREN Inter-Municipal Agreement, including a longer term for the WREN Board Members and the revised role/responsibilities of the Liaison and Oversight Committee. Council had no objection to the proposed changes.
6.3 Church Point / Grosses Coques Boundary Line
Councillor Hector Thibault consulted the residents of Bonnenfant Road to get their thoughts regarding the current location of the boundary line between the villages of Church Point and Grosses Coques. These same residents were unaware that the Bonnenfant Road was no longer the boundary line and that it had in fact been changed some time ago by the Nova Scotia Civic Address File (NSCAF). Having now been made aware of this change, the residents of Bonnenfant Road are requesting the boundary line be changed back to its previous location and have signed a petition to this effect, circulated by Councillor Thibault. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend sending a letter to the Nova Scotia Civic Address File (NSCAF) requesting the current boundary line between Church Point and Grosses Coques be changed back to the Bonnenfant Road.
6.4 Appointment of Returning Officer – 2020 Municipal Election
In anticipation of the 2020 municipal election in October, Council must appoint a Returning Officer before March 15, 2020. Pam Doucet has assumed this role in previous municipal elections and is prepared to do so again. Councillor Danny Hill spoke highly of Mrs. Doucet’s efforts during the last municipal election and is prepared to support her appointment. Council agreed and passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Brian Comeau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend appointing Pam Doucet as the Returning Officer for the 2020 Municipal and School Board Elections.
6.5 Letter of Support – Expo d’Art Saint Bernard
Communications Officer Amy Paradis was approached by Nadine Belliveau requesting a letter from the Municipality in support of the Expo’s application to Events Nova Scotia for financial assistance with marketing activities. Expo d’Art Saint Bernard is in its sixth year and in 2019 displayed and sold the works of 26 local artists. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend writing a letter of support for Expo d’Art Saint Bernard.
6.6 Crosswalk – Peter Dugas Road
The CAO read a letter from Nadia Titus (See attached).
Ms. Titus is asking Council to consider the addition of a crosswalk at the intersection of the Peter Dugas Road and Route 1, citing the risk to pedestrians wishing to cross this busy location. Whereas the Municipality does not own either of these roads, it is recommended a letter be sent to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal asking them to investigate this request. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend sending a letter to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal asking them to evaluate the possible addition of a crosswalk in Meteghan, at the intersection of the Peter Dugas Road and Route 1.
6.7 Volunteer Fire Service – Long Service Award (50 years)
At a recent meeting of the Clare Firefighters Association, Deputy Warden Doucet was asked if the Municipality awarded certificates of recognition to volunteer firefighters having served 50 years or more. It does not. Council is however in favor of adopting this practice and passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend awarding certificates of recognition to those volunteer firefighters who have served for 50 years or more.
7) Questions and Comments from the Public
8) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to closed session.
8.1 Rural Internet
8.2 Public Security
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend signing the contribution agreement with Mainland Telecom, as presented on February 5 2018, as part of the phase-one rollout of the fibre optic network spanning 278 kilometres in Clare and reaching an estimated 4,600 residences and businesses.
9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on March 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc to adjourn the meeting at 9:55 pm