(Disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment)

Municipality of the District of Clare
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Meeting held at 1185 Highway 1, Little Brook, NS

PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc; Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc; Councillors, Nil Doucet, Brian Comeau, Philippe Gaudet, Carl Deveau, Danny Hill, and Eric Pothier
Staff: Director of Community Development, Pam Doucet, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, and Communications Officer, Amy Paradis
Presenters: Kathleen d’Entremont-Mooney of the Western REN, Karla LeBlanc of the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, and Nadine Lauren of Y-Reach
ABSENT: CAO Stéphane Cyr

1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the Council meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

2) Approval of the Agenda
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that the proposed agenda be approved as circulated.
MOTION CARRIED           

3) Declaration of conflict of interest
None declared.

4) Presentations
4.1 Partners Supporting Newcomers to Clare – Kathleen d’Entremont-Mooney of the Western REN, Karla LeBlanc of the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, and Nadine Lauren of Y-Reach
Kathleen d’Entremont-Mooney of the Western REN, Karla LeBlanc of the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, and Nadine Lauren of Y-Reach presented services their organizations provide to immigrants and their communities (pdfSee attached).

The Warden thanked the group for their presentation and asked them what issues and challenges new families may be facing that make them want to leave our community. All three presenters highlighted the lack of affordable housing as the biggest challenge newcomer families face; leaving some newcomers no choice but to live outside the Municipality and to commute from as far as Yarmouth. Transportation was also mentioned as a challenge.

The Warden informed the group that the Municipality is leading a Housing Action Plan along with other stakeholders in the region and although solutions may not be immediate, he is hopeful the strategy will yield solutions over the medium to long-term.

Nadine Lauren of Y-Reach thanked Communications Officer Amy Paradis and the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative for the partnership between Y-Reach and the Municipality. This partnership helps keep Ms. Lauren up to date with what is happening in the community and helps them better serve newcomers.

5) Adoption of the Minutes from Previous Council Meetings
5.1 January 20, 2021 – Regular Council Meeting 
MOVED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the minutes of the January 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting be accepted as presented.
MOTION CARRIED

5.2 February 3, 2021 – Council in Committee Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Philippe Gaudet that the minutes of the February 3, 2021 Council in Committee Meeting be accepted as presented.
MOTION CARRIED

6) Business Arising from Previous Meetings
6.1 2021 Tax Sale
At the February 3, 2021 Council in Committee Meeting, staff informed Council that the 2021 Municipal Tax Sale would be postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at that time. Since then, gathering restrictions have been relaxed. Barring any further changes to these restrictions, the Municipality is now planning to hold its 2021 Tax Sale at the Clare Veterans Centre on March 27, 2021. No appointments will be needed. Physical distancing guidelines will be respected.

7) Warden’s Activity Report – Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
The Warden provided a summary of the meetings and events he attended since the last Council meeting.
January 27 – Attended a virtual meeting of the Board of Directors of Université Sainte-Anne.
January 28 – Attended a virtual meeting of the WREN LOC Committee.
January 28 – Attended a virtual meeting of the Mayors and Wardens to discuss the lobster fishing dispute.
January 29 – Attended an advisory committee meeting with SHS Consultants to develop a housing action plan for the Municipality of Clare.
January 29 – Attended a virtual meeting with Cooke Aquaculture to discuss their proposed post smolt facility in Centerville, Digby County.
February 2 – Attended a meeting with Suzanne Saulnier, Executive Director of the CAPENÉ, as a follow-up to their presentation to Council about the state of daycare in Clare.
February 4 – Attended a meeting with Nick MacArthur of Mainland Telecom for an update on the Rural Fiber Optic Internet Project for the Municipality of Clare.
February 4 – Attended a virtual meeting of the Société Édifice Sainte-Marie de la Pointe to discuss the Society’s next steps.
February 12 – Attended an advisory committee meeting with SHS Consultants to develop a housing action plan for the Municipality of Clare.
February 12 – Attended a telephone meeting with Dr. Sara Kirk to discuss our participation in the Tri-County Youth Survey.
February 13 – Attended a virtual meeting of the Board of Governors of Université Saint-Anne.

8) Official Statements from Members of Council
None.

9) Correspondence
9.1 The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard
The Director of Community Development read a letter from the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard (pdfSee attached).

The Warden clarified that this letter is in response to a letter the Municipality sent in October 2020.

9.2 Ron Smith, Tri-County Youth Survey
The Director of Community Development read a letter from Ron Smith for the Tri-County Youth Survey (pdfSee attached).

The Warden spoke with Mr. Smith who advised that this is a pilot project in the Tri-Counties. The group is looking for distribution partners in order for the survey to reach as many youths as possible. The Municipality’s participation would allow it to tailor some of the questions to capture youth sentiment on culture and language in a bilingual survey. Council supports participating in this survey.

9.3 The Honourable Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
The Director of Community Development read a letter from the Honourable Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (NSTIR) (pdfSee attached).

Councillor Deveau commented that we have sent similar requests in the past and have not received a follow-up response. The Warden met with the Area Manager, Pamela Mehlman-Shand, and the Local Manager, Tony Hall, to discuss creating a communication process that would best suit the needs of the Municipality and of NSTIR. Going forward, the Municipality will send its requests to the operational centre and copy Ms. Mehlman-Shand and Mr. Hall on the email.

Ms. Mehlman-Shand and Mr. Hall will be presenting at the Committee of Council Meeting in September to review the work done in the year and to help plan for the upcoming year. This new process should better meet the needs of the Municipality.

10) CAO Report – Chief Administrative Officer - Stéphane Cyr
The Director of Community Development presented the CAO report for the month of February 2021 in the absence of the CAO. (pdfSee attached)

Councillor Comeau asked when Mainland will start connecting residents to their network. The Warden explained that they are hopeful it will be as soon as March 2021.  The current delay is in part caused by Mainland taking added precautions to minimize any negative impacts on the system once Clare is connected.

11) Committee Reports
11.1 Building Permits Report – Councillor Danny Hill

Councillor Danny Hill read the building permit report for the month of January.

January

Year Permits Construction Value Year to Date
2020 6 $ 312,360 $ 312,360
2021 12 $ 570,040 $ 570,040

12)  New Business
12.1 Motion to Refund Taxes – Fire Damage
It is the practice of Council to refund a pro-rated tax amount in the case of fire. Council passed the following motion to move forward with this process:

MOVED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare refund the following tax amount in accordance with the assessment reduction of the Property Valuation Services Corporation for the reason described herein:

Account # Assessment Amount Tax Refund Year Reason
04662865 $17,600 $302.40 2020 Fire Damage

MOTION CARRIED

12.2 Motion to Send a Letter – NS Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Blind Crest Evaluation, Meteghan
The Warden was contacted by a resident in Meteghan concerned about a blind crest when turning right onto the Second Division Road from the Peter Dugas Road, going towards the Meteghan Connector. There have been several near accidents on this section of road and the resident is requesting an evaluation be completed as to its safety. It would be prudent to have the blind crest reviewed by the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Council agreed and passed the following motion:

MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare send a letter to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal asking for an evaluation to be completed on the blind crest near the overpass on the Second Division Road between the Peter Dugas Road and the Meteghan Connector.
MOTION CARRIED

12.3 Motion to Send a Letter – NS Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Speed Limit Evaluation, Meteghan
The Warden was contacted by a resident in Meteghan concerning the speed limit on Highway 1, between the Peter Dugas Road and the Meteghan Connector, where the speed limit increases from 50 km/h to 80km/h. There have been several near accidents in this area and the resident is requesting the speed limit be reduced to 50km/h up to the Meteghan Connector. With the new Villa acadienne being constructed on this section of Highway 1, it would be prudent to have the speed limit reviewed by the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Council agreed and passed the following motion:

MOVED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Philippe Gaudet that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare send a letter to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal asking that a speed limit evaluation be completed to extend the 50 km zone along Highway 1 in Meteghan up to the Meteghan Connector.
MOTION CARRIED

13) In Camera Session
PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to an In-Camera Session.
MOTION CARRIED

Topics discussed:
13.1 Acquisition and Sale of Municipal Property

PROPOSED BY Councillor Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Deputy Warden LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
MOTION CARRIED

14) Date and time of the next Regular Council Meeting
The next Regular Council Meeting will be held on March 17, 2021 at 7:00 pm.

15) Adjournment
MOVED BY Councillor Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m.

Submitted by:
Ashley Hanks
Executive Assistant