There were a large number of items brought before Council as letters, deputations, resolutions and by-laws. It’s worth scanning through the abridged minutes below to understand what was asked and what was decided. None of it was controversial in my opinion.

5.2 – David Sweetnam, Georgian Bay Forever; Rupert Kindersley, Georgian Bay Assn. Results of Water Levels Web Symposium, October, 2020.
The deputation summary is worth reviewing below if you want to get a better idea of where the experts think water levels are headed. Spoiler – it’s up, up and away.

Council Minutes (Abridged)

Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest
1.4.1 –
Councillor Horne Declared Pecuniary Interest on item 9.5.1 being the resolution proclaiming May as Community Living Month in Parry Sound, as Community Living Parry Sound is his employer. Councillor Horne left the meeting for the duration of the item, did not participate in discussion, nor vote on the matter.

Questions of Staff
3.2.1 –
In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry regarding the potential for installation of a security camera at the skateboard park to deal with vandalism, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns reported that while there is currently no such plan for that location, he would investigate further on potential for installation of security cameras and/or lights as a means of addressing the problem.
Mayor McGarvey obtained Council’s approval to direct Mr. Kearns to get costing for this proposal.

3.2.2 – Mr. Kearns responded to Councillor Keith’s inquiry confirming that the Recreation Department puts together an annual maintenance plan and that with the early spring, they expect to be ahead of schedule. Mr. Kearns also noted that while the Champaign St and Waubuno Beach boat launches are open the Salt Dock ramp sustained damage and it will take longer to determine what work needs to be done and how to do it, as the damaged area is in the water.

3.2.3 – Mr. Kearns also responded to Councillor Keith that with respect to staffing, the vacancy in Public Works will be filled shortly, and summer student positions are still in the budget projections although given recent renewed COVID restrictions, hiring has not yet proceeded. CAO Clayton Harris added that summer student hiring at the Stockey Centre is reduced due to lockdown and reduced hours.

3.2.4 – In response to Councillor Borneman’s inquiry, Mayor McGarvey reported that more information is flowing from the Board of Health which he passes on to WPS Area heads of Council, and that there is good attendance at the bi-weekly municipal meetings. Unfortunately, the Board of Health has still declined to report statistics broken down between the east and west sides of the District.

3.2.5 – In response to Councillor Backman’s inquiry regarding assurance that any increases in infrastructure construction costs as a result of supply chain interruptions caused by COVID are reviewed by staff and included in the budget, CAO Clayton Harris reported that generally projects are tendered or go out through an RFP process to get the lowest responsible bid for a job. If the lowest qualified bidder is higher than the budget, staff can consider either scoping back on the work envisioned, or if not possible, come back to Council to request approval for additional funding.

4.1 – Resolutions of Support to prioritize Vaccine Allocation for areas in Phase I.

Lori West, Clerk/Planner, Municipality of McDougall Judith Meyntz, Deputy Clerk, Municipality of Whitestone Jenn Montreuil, Deputy City Clerk, City of North Bay Beth Morton, Clerk-Administrator, Township of Perry Mackenzie Taylor, Deputy Clerk, Township of Carling Andrea Spinney, Deputy Clerk, Township of Seguin Caitlin Haggart, Clerk-Administrator, Township of Strong

4.2 – Vic Fedeli, MPP.
Response to Vaccine Prioritization Request received from City of North Bay.

4.3 – Andrea Spinney, Deputy Clerk, Township of Seguin.
Support for appointment of Jamie McGarvey to the Board of Health.

4.4 – Joanne Demick, Executive Director, Community Living Parry Sound.
Request for Proclamation of May as Community Living Month .
Under flag policy, administrative approval given to the flag flying request; proclamation covered by item 9.5.1.

4.5 – Julie Chiaramonte, Kerri Mutrie, Patricia Hume, Andrea McIntyre, Pat Mastrocola, Barbara Morgan, George & Alice Reed, Susan Beal, Carol Rice, Michael Walton, Susan Ferguson, Gloria Koslowski, Steven Smith.
Individual letters of the same text supporting Council’s position to deny construction of a vehicle bridge over the Fitness Trail.

4.6 – Simon Fecteau, Director of Education, Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario.
Request for support letter for capital funding submission to Ministry of Education to acquire or build the French school Quatre-Vents.
Covered by item 9.5.2

5.1 – Greg Mason, General Manager, Georgian Bay Biosphere.

Community Nominated Priority Places Project.
Greg Mason addressed Council from a prepared presentation, as circulated with the Agenda. Mr. Mason noted that the Community Nominated Priority Places Project is a program that has been running for two years and is set to run for another two, in cooperation with a number of municipalities and organizations along the Georgian Bay coast. The program is funded over 4 years through $2 million federally with matching $2 million raised through other organizations.
Mr. Mason noted the main goals of the program are: to accelerate knowledge generation and collective decision-making for Species at Risk; and to work together for priority ecosystems for biodiversity protection, habitat connectivity, and greater resilience.
Co-applicants in addition to GBB, are Magnetawan First Nation, Shawanaga First Nation and Georgian Bay Land Trust, with upwards of 30 additional partners to the project. The project is overseen by a Steering and Lands Committee composed of the co-applicants, and incorporates traditional ecological knowledge, and truth and reconciliation training. At a core the project seeks to provide adequate information on the locations where there is the greatest threat to species at risk, to prioritize resources to specific regions, as opposed to broad-brush support.
Mr. Mason gave an example of a road ecology project in 2020 whereby turtle nests were removed prior to road work, and the eggs incubated over the summer with about 1000 turtles later released. This was both a successful conservation effort, and cost effective for the municipality, as it did not have to put up permanent fencing estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.
Other means of gathering data to support effective decision making include the app that can be downloaded for people to submit their species observations; and the seven MOTUS Telemetry Arrays installed on the coast to monitor bird, bat and other avian species.
Mr. Mason concluded with notice of opportunities for municipal engagement including road management and ecology approaches; planning policy and process review; education outreach; and cultural and cross-government learning.

5.2 – David Sweetnam, Georgian Bay Forever; Rupert Kindersley, Georgian Bay Assn.
Results of Water Levels Web Symposium, October, 2020.
David Sweetnam and Rupert Kindersley, Executive Directors of Georgian Bay Forever and Georgian Bay Association respectively, addressed Council from a prepared presentation as circulated with the Agenda regarding results of Great Lakes Water Levels Web Symposium held in October 2020.
Key take-aways from the 2020 Symposium include the following:
1. Current management of the Great Lakes system is not deficient, including Plan 2012 which had seen Lake Superior as relatively higher than Lakes Michigan-Huron and had generally attempted to increase flows, though barely and with variability. Since April 2018 the balancing factor has been trying to decrease flows from Lake Superior to Lakes Michigan-Huron. The historic range of water level fluctuations on Lake Michigan- Huron (M-H) is so much higher than the range on Lake Superior (LS) since LS is 39.1% of the surface area of its watershed, whereas M-H is only 31.8% of the surface area of its watershed. M-H watershed is 197% the size of LS watershed. Additionally, M-H receives all upstream inputs from Lake Superior.
2. The solution to extreme water levels does not lie with improved management of the current system.
3. International Joint Commission has no power itself to implement any action.
4. Release of a key research study by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) which identifies that the components method and residuals method used to calculate net basin supply are not “in conflict” – they are measurements used for different purposes and are accurate given current tools available. The Large Lake Statistical Water Balance Model (LLSWBM) reconciles discrepancies between components and residuals methods.
5. Action on specific improvements to the quality and content of water levels data and modelling.
6. Revisit the formation of a Great Lakes Water Levels Advisory body.
With respect to what municipal governments should consider and do, Messrs. Sweetnam and Kindersley advised that:
– it is expected that extreme high water levels could be as much 3 feet higher than the last extreme high by the year 2100, gradually increasing over the next 80 years; and conversely extreme low water levels are only expected to be lower by around 4 inches.
– Wave action, run-up, pluvial and fluvial flooding must be considered.
– Therefore, given the uncertainty for planning purposes, consider raising the high-water mark accordingly to 178.4 meters (585 feet) above sea level, or plan to increase it in increments.
– When making investment decisions on docks, coastal roads/infrastructure, boat launches etc. plan for this expanded range of water levels.
– Primary issue will be ensuring environmental protection at residences – setbacks only effective if high water level is correct.
– The highest impact will be on: septic systems, docks, boat houses and low elevation shoreline structures.

5.3 – Lee-Ann Turner
Request for Town’s Permanent Endorsement to fly Pride Flag annually.
Lee-Ann Turner thanked Council for its approval to fly the Pride Flag for the month of June last year and requested that this year and every year thereafter Parry Sound purchase and fly the Pride during the month of June without requirement for an annual request.
Ms. Turner gave a brief outline of the Pride movement, noted that federally, provincially, and in many municipalities in Ontario, June is dedicated to Pride month as a matter of corporate cultural policy. Ms. Turner suggested that Parry Sound’s commitment to annually flying the flag would send a positive message about the community and so concluded with the request that Town Council commit to June every year as Pride month, purchase the Pride flag and fly it during that month.
Mayor McGarvey obtained Council agreement to have something brought to the next Council meeting to address this.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Update – Key Performance Objectives in Support of the Strategic Plan. Resolution

That Council approve the progress report on the Town’s Key Performance Objectives (KPOs) as set out in Schedule A.

9.1.2 – Sail Parry Sound Funding Request for the Rotary Sunset Trail.
WHEREAS the Town has received a request from Sail Parry Sound for $20,000 for the remediation of the erosion on the Rotary Sunset Trail;
WHEREAS the Rotary Sunset Trail is on the lands leased from the Town by Sail Parry Sound;
WHEREAS the Town of Parry Sound leases the property to Sail Parry Sound for a nominal amount and Sail Parry Sound does not pay property taxes on the leased land;
WHEREAS the lease agreement states that Sail Parry Sound is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the property;
WHEREAS there is a concern that a reconstruction of the trail, rather than remediation is required, involving proper engineering design and construction to complete a safe and lasting trail at a cost greater than the $20,000 estimate provided;
WHEREAS the scope of work has not been clearly defined;
Whereas it is unclear if there are other funding partners, such as Sail Parry Sound, the Rotary Club, etc.; and
WHEREAS the Town has an interest in supporting some reconstruction of the trail, subject to a detailed proposal being provided.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council requests that Sail Parry Sound submit a proposal setting out the work to be done, identify funding from all sources and indicate their intention at the end of the current lease; and further
THAT Council approves the reallocation of up to $20,000 of unassigned funds from the Federal Gas Tax Reserve Fund to the Rotary Sunset Trail rehabilitation; and further
THAT the actual amount of funds to be committed to the project will be subject to the receipt of the above information to the satisfaction of Council.

9.1.3 – Additional funding for external resources to support and move the recreation and culture centre project forward.

Whereas the Optimist Club donated $40,000 to the Town of Parry Sound in 1994 for use towards a recreation centre;
Whereas the Town is the lead applicant in a joint ICIP application on behalf of 7 municipalities and 2 First Nation communities for a recreation and culture centre;

Whereas the timing to address questions/concerns raised during the process and to confirm the support of all partners is critical;
Whereas there is a need to engage external resources in the process;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council authorizes staff to utilize the funds donated by the Optimist Club for the purposes of retaining external resources in support of the recreation and culture project.
CAO Clayton Harris confirmed in response to an inquiry that the current Optimist Club Executive can be contacted to advise them that the money from the 1994 donation is being allocated and spent for its intended purpose.

9.2.1 – 2020 Financial Year End Audit Planning Report.
BDO Engagement Partner and Michelle Yin addressed Council from a prepared presentation that was circulated with the Council agenda. Ms. Bodkin provided an executive summary identifying issues of
materiality (i.e., based on revenues of $690,000 for the year ended December 31, 2020);
timeline (most work to be done in May 2021 with a report back to Council);
fees ($31,500);
and audit risks in the areas of management override of controls,
revenue recognition (i.e., fraud risk),
purchases cut-off (i.e. items after year end and assurance that payables are accrued),
contaminated sites,
and contributed infrastructure assets.
Ms. Bodkin asked if Council was aware of any fraud or had concerns they wanted brought up to the auditor. If any, Ms. Bodkin said that information might change the audit approach, i.e., extra testing in that area. No member of Council brought forward any concern.
That Council receive the Auditor’s 2020 Financial Year End Audit Planning Report as presented by Giselle Bodkin, BDO Engagement Partner.

9.3.1 – 2020 Annual Report – Closure Monitoring Program MacFarlane St. Landfill Site.

That Council receive the 2020 Annual Report – Closure Monitoring Program MacFarlane St. Landfill Site for information purposes.

9.4.1 – Consent Application – B12/2021 (TPS) (Halvorson)

That Consent Application No. B12/2021 (TPS) (Halvorson), be supported.

9.4.2 – Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/20/02 – Oastler Park Dive (John Jackson Planner Inc. on Behalf of Waltmar Inc.).
That a decision on Z/20/02 – Oastler Park Dive (John Jackson Planner Inc. on Behalf of Waltmar Inc.) be deferred as it is premature.

9.5.1 – Declaration of May, 2021 as Community Living Month in Parry Sound.
WHEREAS Community Living Parry Sound has worked to bring people and their communities together for over 58 years; and
WHEREAS Community Living Parry Sound supports people as they develop their capacity to live, learn, work and participate in all aspects of living in the community; and
WHEREAS Community Living Parry Sound helps the community develop its capacity to welcome and support people who have not always had the same opportunities as the rest of us, to participate in their community in meaningful, productive ways; and
WHEREAS the Council of the Town of Parry Sound wishes to urge its citizens to celebrate the inclusion in our community of people who have a developmental disability.
NOW, Therefore Be It Resolved that Mayor and Council declare the month of May Community Living Month in the Town of Parry Sound.

9.5.2 – Letter of Support for Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario.

THAT Council authorizes the Mayor to sign a letter of support for the Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario with respect to its capital funding submission to the Ministry of Education to acquire or build a school for Quatre-Vents in Parry Sound.
CAO Clayton Harris confirmed in response to Councillor Backman’s inquiry, that the School Board rep could be invited to address Council in a meeting to provide an update on the High School reconstruction status.

10.1.1 – Lease Agreement with The Festival of the Sound for use of the Stockey Centre.

By-law 2021 – 7122
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a five-year renewal agreement with the Festival of the Sound for lease of the Charles W. Stockey Centre.
Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.2.1 – 2021 Budget.
By-law 2021 – 7119
Being a By-law to Adopt the Operating and Capital Budget Estimated for the Year 2021.
Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.4.1 – License of Occupation Parry Sound Cruise Line.
By-law 2021 – 7120
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a License of Occupation with Parry Sound Cruise Line for the use of the dock at LT 6-21 PL 154; PARRY SOUND.
Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.4.2 – Chantler Barging Lease.
By-law 2021 – 7121
Being a By-law to authorize the execution a Lease with Chantler Barging Ltd for the use of the property identified as Lot 2 Plan 155 being Part on Plan 42R9587, Lot 3 Plan 166, Lot 4 Plan 166 all in the Town of Parry Sound.
Passed, Signed & Sealed