There are a couple of things worth noting in the minutes.

9.4.1 – Municipal Boat Launches.
The boat launches are closed for the foreseeable future in response to COVID-19. I’m not really sure I understand the logic for it. There may be a couple of reasons:
– the authorities genuinely feel that people will congregate at boat launches and that may be a disease vector. That of course could be handled as simply as enforcing some sort of spacing of launches and retrievals.
 – more reasonably, and not probably expressed directly, is the desire to keep people from the more populated areas which have a higher incidence of COVID-19 from infecting relatively isolated populations with limited cases and fewer medical resources (that’s us).
I wonder if the OPP will be patrolling the waters. I don’t believe that you are restricted from boating, you just can’t use public launches. Marinas are also restricted on the use of their facilities for boat launching. If you have waterfront property, you may be in luck. I know that permanent residents who require water access are exempted from this (you need to get home). I don’t really know what the status is for seasonal residents. I suspect they are out of luck. The fines are big enough that no marina wants to get caught supporting non permitted boating activities. In of itself boating isn’t really a major contributor to the spread of COVID-19, it’s the movement of people north that is doubtless the concern.

10.4.1 – Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/20/01 – Additional Unit Amendment (Town of Parry Sound).
This By-law was subject to a request for a recorded vote and was passed 6 to 1.

One thought I have about all of this is that the significant costs being incurred at the senior government level probably means that any dreams of a municipal recreation centre or additional internet access funding for neighbouring municipalities is probably pushed back a couple of years. I hope I’m wrong but COVID-19 will seriously damage the finances of both the private and public sectors for years to come.

Questions of Staff
3.2.1 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry regarding the legality of use of marinas and boat launches during the declared state of emergency due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, Chief Dave Thompson reported that the overriding legislation is the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act under which a number of Orders have been issued; e.g. not congregating in groups of more than 5 people; only essential services being open. Chief Thompson noted that enforcement of orders is the responsibility of the OPP and has also been delegated to Municipal By-law Enforcement Officers with the latter using short form wording fines to issue fines, ranging from $750 to $1000. More serious fines, such as businesses staying open in contravention of the Orders can run up to $100,000. Chief Thompson suggested that it was his understanding the OPP’s enforcement would focus on educating the public to limit the number of people to 5.

3.2.2 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns reported that the gravel and sand gathered by the street sweeper is transported to the transfer station facility and used for on-site uses related to the transfer station and landfill site. With respect to the snow plows, they are kept staged, ready for service in event the winter season is extended.

3.2.3 – In response to Councillor Burden’s inquiry regarding the proliferation of dead or dying red pines at Tower Hill and the potential for a forest fire there, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns reported that after viewing the area, he agrees with that assessment. Mr. Kearns reported that he has identified the property owner where the majority of dead and dying trees are located and will approach that property owner to come up with a plan.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.4.1 – Municipal Boat Launches.

That Council support the recommendation of staff to limit non-essential boat travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and advises the public that effective immediately, the Salt Dock, Waubuno Beach, Champaign St and Mill Lake boat launches will be closed until further notice.

9.5.1 – Request for COVID-19 Confirmed Cases Statistics in West Parry Sound.
Whereas in order to fight the COVID-19 virus in your community it is important to understand the status of confirmed cases in that community; and
Whereas the catchment area for the West Parry Sound Health Centre is only a portion of the area served by North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit;
Now therefore be it resolved that the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit publish statistics that provide the number of confirmed cases and other appropriate information for West Parry Sound and
Further That this resolution be sent to: municipalities in the West Parry Sound Area; the West Parry Sound Health Centre; the Honourable Minister Christine Elliott, Minister of Health; and MPP Norm Miller.

10.1.1 – Charles W. Stockey Centre & Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Art Exhibition.

By-law 2020 – 7036
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with 18 James Street for the rental of wall space for an art exhibit at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts.

10.2.1 – COVID-19 Pandemic – Relief of Penalty and Interest for Property Taxes and Utilities.
Whereas the declaration of a state of emergency by the Province of Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widespread closure of businesses and layoffs or loss of jobs;
Now Therefore be it resolved that the application of penalty and interest on 2020 interim property tax billings be waived for the applicable dates between April 1st and June 30th, 2020; and
Further That penalty and interest on water and sewer accounts be waived between April 1st and June 30th; and
Further That transfer to taxes and the disconnection of water/sewer services on past- due accounts be placed on hold between April 1st and June 30th, 2020; and
Further That non-sufficient funds (NSF) charges be waived for both property taxes and water and sewer accounts between April 1st and June 30th, 2020; and
Further That a by-law be passed to make the above amendments to applicable by-laws.
By-law 2020 – 7031
Being a bylaw to amend various by-laws to provide for temporary penalty and interest relief on taxes, sewer, water and NSF charges due to economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

10.2.2 – Approval of Transfer Payment Agreement – Municipal Modernization Program.
By-law 2020 – 7032
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a Transfer Payment Agreement with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding funding under the Municipal Modernization Program.

10.2.3 – Approval of Funding Agreement – Provincial Gas Tax.
By-law 2020 – 7033
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a Letter of Agreement with the Ontario Minister of Transportation regarding funding under the Dedicated Gas Tax Funds for Public Transportation Program.

10.2.4 – Ontario’s Main Street Revitalization Initiative Transfer Payment Agreement Amendment.
By-law 2020 – 7034
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an Amended Municipal Funding Agreement with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario for Ontario’s Main Street Revitalization Initiative.

10.4.1 – Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/20/01 – Additional Unit Amendment (Town of Parry Sound).
By-Law 2020 – 7035
Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for Additional Dwelling Units (Town of Parry Sound)

10.4.2 – Mutual Assistance Agreement.
By-law 2020 – 7038
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with the Township of Carling, the Municipality of McDougall, the Township of McKellar, the Town of Parry Sound, the Township of Seguin, the Township of The Archipelago and the Municipality of Whitestone for a Mutual Assistance Agreement for a ten (10) year term.