Council Agenda Preview – February 5, 2019

There are too few occasions when I read through a Town of Parry Sound council agenda package and I find that I am smiling. This is one of those rare occasions. The smile is not because an issue I have been supporting is validated. In this case it’s because of a couple of items that are well presented, and enjoyable to read. The first is the letter from Wellington Pub (4.1) and the second is the R&R for a four-way stop at Isabella and Gibson (9.1.1). While not quite up to the standards of a Hemingway, these writers effectively make their point. You will need to access the full council agenda package at the Town’s website (here is a link) and download the PDF file to properly enjoy these agenda items.

There are a number of interesting items on the agenda and the subject of letters and deputations. Like kids in a pool splashing water on each other, members of the public are supporting and opposing the proposed splash pad (4.2, 4.3).

The biggest issue on the agenda is Item 9.2.1 Comment on Seguin Zoning By-law Amendment. This concerns the development of property just across the border from Parry Sound on Oastler Drive. I have cut and pasted below the map image of the proposed property from the council agenda package. This was so expected. With limited commercial property in the Town of Parry Sound and the low taxes of Seguin Township it was just a matter of time before developers looked at this property for retail development. There are restrictions on the type of development that will be permitted, including a limitation to development that requires low use of water as this area will require wells and septic systems. It is also in an environmentally sensitive area bordered by two lakes. Let me suggest that you are looking at the future location of the liquor and beer stores, and possibly a cannabis dispensary. Anyone think that one or more banks might move out there? What about a Ford dealership? Low taxes and lots of parking? At the same time the Town is dealing with additional demands for services from organizations that feel they should not be subject to property taxes. Hmmm! I have also read that the A word is being discussed and proposed to Queen’s Park. The new CAO, and eventually a new Director of Finance, will have a challenge in navigating the new environment. May we all prosper in these interesting times. (I don’t know about anyone else but, I MISS YOU TREVOR! I’m still waiting to see the draft budget.)

Closed Session

d) labour relations or employee negotiations; (Municipal Office Hours during Festive Time); (Shared Services)

e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board; (Personnel Matter); (Planning Matter)


4.1 – Wellington Pub. Response to Parry Air parking concerns on north James Street.

4.2 – Chris McDonald & Erin Cardy. Request for Town application of Canadian Tire Accessibility Grant for Sound Splash Pad.

4.3 – Chantelle & Alexander Distler. Opposition to Splash Pad in Parry Sound.

4.4 – J. Hinchliffe. Property condition at 40 Waubeek Street after construction.

4.5 – Nick Ryeland, President, Park to Park Trail Association. 2019 Funding request of Council for $4,000.00.

4.6 – Karen Ainslie-Clarke. Concerns about snow removal.


5.1 – Rita Orr, Parry Sound Public Library. 2018 Library Highlights, and 2019 Budget and Funding Request.

5.2 – Tammy Pucknell. Water bill charges.

Ratification of Matters from Closed Agenda

7.1 – Non-union Salary increase. That Town staff be directed to apply the traditional category of increase to the 2019 non-union salaries and wages, (i.e. KFHG overall average for anticipated increases including 0% & decreases for the Broader Public Sector on base salary policy), less 0.4% to correct the inflated increase made in error in 2018.

Consent Agenda

8.1.1 – Retail Cannabis Regulations. Resolution. Whereas on January 15, 2019 the Council of the Town of Parry Sound “opted-in” to permit cannabis retail stores; and Whereas the Parry Sound High School Parent Council has requested standards for cannabis retail stores which exceed the Provincial regulations; and Whereas local municipalities have no authority to regulate retail cannabis stores above and beyond the Provincial Regulations.
Now therefore be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound hereby requests of the Province that municipalities in Ontario be given greater regulatory controls over the location, distance separations and numbers of Retail Cannabis Stores within a municipality; and further
Requests that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) permit cannabis retail stores in the Town of Parry Sound provided that:
• Cannabis retail stores are not to be located within 300 metres of schools which exist on the date of this Resolution’s passing;
• Where possible, clustering of cannabis retail stores within 50 metres of another cannabis retail store on the same street will not occur;
• Cannabis retail stores shall not be permitted on residentially zoned lands; and
• Some of the monies allotted on a household basis for allowing cannabis stores should be used towards adolescent treatment of cannabis misuse disorder.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Intersection of Gibson & Isabella Street. Direction. That Council direct staff to create a bylaw to amend the traffic bylaw to include an all way stop at the intersection of Gibson Street and Isabella Street.

9.1.2 – Salt Dock Road Culvert Replacement Update. Resolution. That Council accepts the report regarding additional costs encountered at the Salt Dock Culvert Replacement Project, and that the additional costs be taken from the Salt Dock Reserves Fund.

9.2.1 – Comment on Seguin Zoning By-law Amendment Application. Resolution. The Council for the Corporation of The Town of Parry Sound is generally supportive of Application R-2017-0006-F (Coulter) and regional economic development initiatives, and requests that:
1. The property be rezoned to a site-specific zoning category that only permits the uses which were outlined in the Notice of Public Meeting (being auto uses, outlet retail, call centres, innovative technology-type uses), and that the Zoning By-law Amendment specifically note that municipal water and sewer services will not be provided to the subject property. This is to ensure the natural environment is protected and that any potential developer does not have expectations about the extension of Town of Parry Sound municipal services;
2. The appropriate studies are undertaken and implemented to ensure the protection of the natural environment, which includes the northerly waterbody (Anderson Lake) which is partially within the Town of Parry Sound, or the property be split zoned to ensure these commercial uses do not have a negative impact upon the waterfront environmental functions;
3. The Township of Seguin provide a notice of decision to the Clerk of the Town of Parry Sound.

9.2.2 – Pop-Up Patios. Resolution. That the Council of the Town of Parry Sound supports the concept of Pop-Up Patios (licensed and unlicensed) for the downtown area and further that the Director of Development and Protective Services develop with the DBA a set of Guiding Principles to encourage the establishment of Pop-Up Patios in the downtown area.


10.1.1 – Curbside Waste & Recycling Collection Contract Extension. By-law 2019-6890. Being a bylaw to amend bylaw 2011-6048, to authorize the execution of an extension of the existing curbside waste and recycling collection contract with Waste Connections of Canada Inc. for one year, ending December 31, 2019.

10.3.1 – Trillium Grant Submission – partnership with Rotary for Youth Programming Spokesperson: April McNamara, Manager of Parks & Recreation. By-law 2019-6891. Being a By-Law to authorize the execution of an Ontario Trillium Fund Partnership Agreement with the Rotary Club of Parry Sound for the submission of a Trillium Grant application attached as Schedule “A”
Direction for Direct staff follow-up:
That Council direct staff to prepare a policy on third party grant assistance.

10.4.1 – Dedicated Gas Tax Funds for Public Transportation. By-law 2019-6892. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a Letter of Agreement between the Ontario Minister of Transportation and the Town of Parry Sound regarding funding under the Dedicated Gas Tax Funds for Public Transportation Program.

10.4.2 – Tax Policies – Capping and New-to-Class/New Construction. By-law 2019-6893. Being a By-law to specify the Town of Parry Sound’s Tax Policies, including claw back percentage, capping threshold parameters, minimum tax level for new-to-class/new construction; and to exclude certain properties from the capping program for the year 2019.

10.4.3 Tax Ratios for 2019. By-law 2019-6894. Being a by-law to set Tax Ratios for Municipal purposes for the year 2019.

Fluoride and Windsor


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You may have seen the article by CBC this week about Windsor deciding to return to including fluoride in their water supply after a five year absence. The article does a much better job of discussing the reasons than I can. I wonder if, with time, Parry Sound will come to the same conclusion.

I would like to offer a second reference that is on a related subject – vaccines. It’s related only by the fact hat there are a number of people convinced that they, and their champions, know more than the medical community as a whole. It’s known as the Dunning-Kruger effect and was discussed in a recent Newsweek article.

It will be difficult for Windsor to rationalize reversing their decision of 2013 to remove fluoride from the municipal water system. It will also be costly. But the decision is being made on the basis of expert opinion and real world experience. They have effectively conducted their own clinical trial. It’s a shame that Parry Sound needs to go down the same path. There are false prophets and there are folks who believe they ‘know’ more than the accumulated wisdom of experts. It seems we may have both.


Council Agenda Preview – January 15, 2019


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This week’s council meeting has a number of Closed Session items that are worth noting. I’m most interested in the whole issue of “Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Municipal Election”. Oh boy. This is the same person who suggested that a high-rise development in town should not be approved because there were not enough fire department resources to handle a fire at this new development and one of the existing higher rise developments. OMG – what if we had a fire at all four of the high-rises at Silver Birch, the three high-rises at granite Harbour and the hospital. Oh, and don’t forget the old hospital development. Would one more complex really raise the threat level? Sheesh.

I note the continuing interest and complaints regarding the proposed Splash Pad (4.1, 4.2). My suspicion is that some folks are concerned that a splash pad at Waubuno Beach would delay any potential pool complex. So, putting a stop to the splash pad would be good for a pool complex. It’s a bit Trumpian. The suggestion that the splash pad be constructed at another site makes no sense. There are no other public properties in Parry Sound that have the necessary existing space, parking, supervisory staff (lifeguards) and infrastructure (bathrooms and such) to support a splash pad. Only a pool complex would have the necessary infrastructure if Waubuno Beach can be knocked out. If Waubuno Beach is eliminated, and you really want a splash pad, then you need to support the pool complex. I wonder how many of the people chiming in on the splash pad discussion have really spent time in the public spaces in Parry Sound to realize what alternate options exist. If they had they would recognize there is no real alternative. And if they really want a quiet place to live without the ‘bother’ of visitors and tourists they should move to one of the area municipalities. They could be on a lake, or the bay, and enjoy lower taxes.

There is a resolution before Council (9.2.1) to opt-in and permit cannabis stores in the Town of Parry Sound.

Item 9.2.2 raises a point that has come up before. The Town’s effective subsidizing of regional community social services by hosting a number of tax-exempt resources (public housing, places of worship, social services …) creates a burden on Town services and by extension a financial burden on Town of Parry Sound taxpayers. This resolution acknowledges and accepts the Town’s responsibilities but requests that it be able to more easily address the unreasonable burdens placed upon it by existing legislation.

Closed Session

b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees. (Lay Appointees to Boards)
c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Town`s Input as Interested Third Party to a Land Lease application)
d) labour relations or employee negotiations. (Municipal Office Hours during Festive Time)
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board. (Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Municipal Election)
f) the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose. (Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Municipal Election)


4.1 – Susan Telford. Request for more discussion on location of proposed Splash Pad
4.2 – Colleen O’Hare. Opposition to splashpad at proposed Waubuno Beach location.
4.3 – J. Hinchliffe. State of property after infrastructure work on 40 Waubeek Street easement.
4.4 – Harald Themer. Request for formal permission to use area at 60 Seguin Street for parking.


5.1 – Darrin O’Brien, Gord Harrison. Appeal of municipal taxation on 86 Gibson St.
5.2 – John Myer, Rebecca Pollock. Parry Sound Area Active Transportation Current Priorities
5.3 – Ruth Beattie, Nancy Regan, Parry Sound High School Parent Council. Recommended amendments to provincial guidelines governing retail cannabis stores.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.2.1 – Opt-in to permit Cannabis Retail Stores. Resolution. That Council for the Corporation of The Town of Parry Sound opts-in to permit cannabis retail stores in its community.

9.2.2 – Increasing Housing Supply. Resolution. Whereas the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Hosing has requested comments by January 25, 2019 in regard to Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario consultation document, as part of the Housing Supply Action Plan; and Whereas the Town of Parry Sound supports the goals of this document, being to expand the housing supply in Ontario, increase quality rental housing and enable home ownership; and Whereas the consultation document wishes to expand all housing types, which includes affordable housing; and Whereas Section 3(1)12iii. of the Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. A.31 provides an exemption from property taxation for any land owned by a charitable, non-profit philanthropic corporation organized for the relief of the poor if the corporation is supported in part by public funds; and

Whereas the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) has determined this provision has been applied to certain affordable housing initiatives in Ontario and resulted in a 100% tax exemption for some of these developments; and Whereas these developments still place a demand on municipal services and their tax relief must therefore be recouped from other property owners, resulting in increased taxation; and Whereas this Section of the Assessment Act will adversely impact the goals contained in the Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario consultation document, by creating a negative stigma towards affordable housing and a reluctance to support future affordable housing projects; and Whereas it is very difficult to monitor an exempt development over time to determine if the development has changed its mandate or operations such that it would no longer qualify for the exemption; and Whereas an appeal of MPAC’s decision to exempt a property cannot be appealed to the Assessment Review Board but must be done through a Court Application which can be time consuming and costly.

Now therefore be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound supports increasing the overall housing supply and supports affordable housing projects; and That Section 3(1)12iii. of the Assessment Act which places an unfair tax burden upon municipalities, should be amended such that the local municipality that bears the financial burden should be permitted flexibility and the ability to determine the extent of any financial relief provided in their community; and further That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Honourable Steve Clark, MPP, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Mr. Norman Miller, MPP, Parry Sound – Muskoka, the Director of the Market Housing Branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

9.2.3 – EMS Ambulance Replacements for 2019. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee, the Town of Parry Sound approves the replacement of three ambulances to be delivered in late winter 2019; and That the supplier of record, Crestline, be awarded the contract for the supply of these three ambulances in the amount of $126,578.78 + HST each, with funding from the 2019 EMS equipment reserve fund; and That the upon delivery of the 2019 ambulances, the three being replaced be deemed surplus with two of them being donated to the First Response Teams in McKellar and Argyle, and the third being traded into Crestline for the sum of $10,000.00.



10.3.1 Downtown Business Association/Town of Parry Sound Memorandum of Understanding: Downtown Standard of Care. By-law 2019-6888. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and the Parry Sound Downtown Business Association for Downtown Standard of Care, and to repeal By-law No: 2017-6783.

Council Agenda Preview – December 18, 2018


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I initially thought that the meeting on the 18thwould simply be a public meeting to get public opinion on the retail cannabis stores but it seems to be a full meeting of Council. I provided my written comments to the Town regarding the retail cannabis store issue a month ago. I support the establishment of a cannabis retail store presence in Parry Sound. It seems that it will be some time before Parry Sound might see a commercial presence based on a recent announcement that the Province intends to start with only 25 retail stores. I suspect that Parry Sound won’t be among the twenty-five. The local cannabis black market will be secure for at least another year or two.

The other notable issue that seems to be getting people’s knickers in a twist is the issue of a splashpad. I’ll share my thoughts on this later in the week after I’ve had a chance to hear arguments on the issue at Tuesday’s deputation portion of the council meeting.

An abridged version of the agenda is presented below. Refer to the full agenda package at the Town’s website for a complete agenda with the supporting documentation.

Closed Meeting

b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees. (Appointments to Boards and Committees);
d) labour relations or employee negotiations; (Non-union Salary Schedule); (Personnel Update)
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board; (Assessment appeal/court application); (Planning Matter);

Public Meeting

2.1.1 Public Consultation on Permitting Cannabis Retail Stores in Parry Sound.

2.1.2 Cannabis Retail Stores and the Municipal Option to Permit or Prohibit


4.1 – Julia Mader, Keep Waubuno Green. Request that an alternative location to the Waubuno Beach Park be considered for the proposed splash pad.

4.2 – Colleen Moore, Parry Sound resident. Opposition to proposed splash pad and request to support pool instead.

4.3 – Peter Scotland, Parry Air H.T.G. Parking by-laws in place at lower end of James Street.

4.4 – Jim Marshall, Chair, West Parry Sound District Museum. Request for 2019 contribution of $31,800 from the Town of Parry Sound.

4.5 – Susan Hrycyna, DBA Executive Administrator. Appointment of Directors for term 2019-2022.


5.1 – Julia Mader, Keep Waubuno Green. Request that an alternative location to the Waubuno Beach Park be considered for the proposed splash pad.

5.2 – Peter Scotland, Parry Air H.T.G. Parking by-laws in place at lower end of James Street.

5.3 – Nadine Hammond, Curator/Manager, Museum on Tower Hill. 2018 Museum statistics and 2019 Museum special exhibits

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.2.1 – 2019 Land Ambulance Budget. Resolution. That upon recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee, the Council of the Town of Parry Sound adopts the 2019 Land Ambulance Budget in the amount of $9,734,405.00.

9.3.1 – Recognizing Employer Support of our Volunteer Firefighters. Direction. That Mayor and Council send a letter of appreciation to those employers that permit their employees to respond to emergency calls during work and to those who are self-employed.

9.3.2 – Support the Creation of a Founders Circle in Parry Sound. Resolution. That Council hereby supports the Parry Sound Muskoka Community Networks (PMCN) initiative to create a Founders Circle in Parry Sound by the Town becoming a member at a cost of $1,000 annually.

9.4.1 – General Insurance Renewal and Cyber Insurance. Resolution. That Council hereby approves the renewal of the Corporation’s general insurance policy with BFL Canada at the premium of $283,050 plus tax for the one-year period ending December 15, 2019; and That Council hereby approves the purchase of a cyber insurance policy from BFL Canada at the premium of $12,494.00 for the period from the policy inception date to December 15, 2019.

9.5.1 – Status Update on the Parry Sound Area Cultural and Recreation Master Plan. Direction. That staff be directed to provide a status update on the Parry Sound Area Cultural and Recreation Master Plan as part of upcoming budget deliberations, for consideration of 2019 budget allocation for a revised or new Parry Sound Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan.


10.4.1 – 2019 Interim Tax Levy. By-law 2018 – 6886. Being a By-Law to provide for an interim tax levy, for the payment of taxes, and for penalty and interest at 1 1/4 percent per month for the 2019 taxation year.

Council Agenda Preview – November 20, 2018


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My first thought was to suggest that there was nothing to see here but on reflection a couple things are worth noting. 4.1 & 5.1 concern a warming centre for the homeless and 9.1.1 which concerns the ongoing expansion of the Gardens retirement centre up by Canadore.

Closed Session

(b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees; (Parry Sound Residents)
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board. (Planning Matter) (Assessment Appeal)


4.1 – Petition from Adam Stead. A warming centre for the homeless of Parry Sound. (Ten names on the petition).


5.1 – Adam Stead, resident A warming centre for the homeless of Parry Sound.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Meadow Street Storm Sewer Replacement. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Triton Engineering Services Limited, Council accept the quotation from Tower Excavating for the storm sewer replacement on Meadow Street, in the amount of $99,999.51, excluding HST, this quotation being the lowest quotation of four received.

9.2.1 – Consent Application – B 35/2018 (PS) (M2 Developments Inc.). Resolution. That Consent Application No. B 35/2018 (PS) (M2 Developments Inc.) be supported subject to:
1. The payment of $2,712 for cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication;
2. That the retained lands obtain relief from the Zoning By-law for the 50 units per hectare density cap; and
3. That the applicant be advised that the severed lot may need to be rezoned to permit the intended use (an Apartment Building) as this is outside the scope of a SP 26.88 zone. In addition, parking requirements may be deficient if development proceeds as identified on the Notice.


10.2.1 – St. Andrews Parking Lot Agreement. By-law 2018 – 6877. Being a bylaw to execute an agreement with the Trustees of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church for the use and occupation of 54 Seguin Street, known as the St. Andrews Lot, as public parking lot.

10.3.1 – C.P. Station Lease Extension- Festival of the Sound. By-law 2018 – 6878. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of an agreement between the Town of Parry Sound and Festival of the Sound for the rental of the CP Station.

10.3.2 Partnership Agreement – York Professional Care and Education: Sport Leadership Camp. By-law 2018 – 6879. Being a bylaw to authorize the execution of a Partnership Agreement between York Professional Care and Education and the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound under the Youth Sport Leadership Camp program.

10.3.3 – Deputy Mayor Appointments. By-law 2018 – 6880. Being a By-Law to appoint a Deputy Mayor for the Town of Parry Sound for the 2019-2022 term of Council and to repeal By-Law 2014-6481.

Council Agenda Preview – November 6, 2018


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A light agenda with the proposed development on Louisa Street (10.2.2) probably the issue of most interest. Some quick comments:

4.3 – Intersection of Isabella & Gibson Streets. The suggestion is the installation of 4-way stop signs. My experience would support the suggestion. It can be tricky turning left from Gibson onto Isabella for the reasons noted in the letter.

10.2.2 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/04 – Louisa Street (Acorn Ridge). The council meeting package contains an extensive review of the proposal and the basis for Staff’s recommendation that the rezoning application be approved. Check out the meeting agenda package at the Town’s website for the full report and recommendation.


4.1 – Downtown Business Association. Resignation of Mike Puro from DBA Board.

4.3 – Dan Ball & Gord Knechtel. Intersection of Isabella & Gibson Streets.

Consent Agenda

8.1 – Fluoride in the Municipality’s Drinking Water System. Resolution. Whereas By-law 2016-6619, passed on March 15, 2016, removed fluoride from Parry Sound’s Drinking water until a question could be placed on the Ballot for the 2018 Municipal Election; and Whereas By-law 2018-6802, passed on February 20, 2018, placed the following question on the ballot: “Are you in favour of the fluoridation of the public water supply of municipality?; and Whereas the Municipal Election took place on October 22, 2018 with the following results in answer to the above question placed on the ballot:
Yes – 882
No – 1506
Now Therefore Be It resolved that Council direct the Clerk to notify the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks, the Ministry of Health and the Municipality of McDougall that the majority of eligible electors who voted in the municipal election are not in favour of the fluoridation of the Town’s public water supply and that the Town of Parry Sound will not add fluoride to the Town’s drinking water; and Further that the Director of Public Works be directed to complete a Form 2 – Record of Minor Modifications or Replacements to the Drinking Water System and then a Director Notification Alterations to a Drinking Water System form both to be forwarded to the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1. – Financial Variance Report for Q3 2018. Resolution. That Council hereby receives and accepts the variance report for Q3 2018 (September 30, 2018) in Schedule “A” as attached; and Further that Council hereby approves the expenses for Council members for the period from July 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018, as in Schedule “B” attached.

9.2.1 – Urban Tree Canopy and Native Vegetation Policy. Resolution. That in accordance with Section 270(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25, that the Town of Parry Sound Tree Canopy and Natural Vegetation Policy, as per the attached Schedule A, be adopted.

9.4.1 – Alcohol & Drug Use Policy. Resolution. That Council hereby approves amendment to the Town employee Alcohol and Drug Use policy to prohibit the use of marijuana by employees on Town worksites and during working hours, per the policy attached as Schedule “A”.


10.2.1 – Agreement of Purchase and Sale. By-law 2018 – 6873. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale between Nancy Anne Virtue and the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound.

10.2.2. – Rezoning Application – Z/18/04 – Louisa Street (Acorn Ridge). By-Law 2018-6874. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for Louisa Street (Acorn Ridge Properties Inc.).
Resolution. That the increase in height of 1.6 feet as noted in the Notice of Complete Application and Public Meeting for Z/18/04 – Louisa Street compared to what was noted on the application does not require any additional circulation in accordance with Section 34(17) of the Planning Act.
Direction. That staff be directed to discuss and prepare a Pre-Development Agreement with the applicant for Council’s consideration. This agreement will determine the cost for road and sidewalks improvements and determine if and how a cost sharing can be arranged with the developer.

10.4.1 – New Code of Conduct for Council, Boards and Committees. By-law 2018 – 6875. Being a bylaw to authorize the passage of a new Code of Conduct respecting the behaviour of Members of Council in the performance of their duties and responsibilities as elected community representatives and the behaviour of Local Board/Committee members and to repeal by-laws 2012-6138, 2014-6474 and 2016-6597.

The Vacancy Tax Issue – Seth Godin


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From a Seth Godin blog post earlier this month. It’s worth a read and it’s worth subscribing to his posts. Was he thinking about Parry Sound? No, but if the shoe fits.

Considering the vacancy tax · by Seth Godin, October 9, 2018 

Landlords are notorious for having a bias toward raising the rent. They’re in it for the long haul, they’ve seen downturns before, and while they’re quick to raise rents in good times, they are loathe to lower rents, even if it means sitting with an empty storefront for months at a time.

While this math might be compelling for some landlords, it’s terrible for the cities those buildings are located in.

Empty storefronts deny residents accessible services.

They lead to vandalism and other crime.

And they suck the vibrancy from the neighborhood.

They also deprive the municipality from sales tax revenue, cost jobs and take watchful eyes away from the neighborhood as well.

If we view the ability to have a well-cared for, civil neighborhood as a privilege, it’s logical to consider a vacancy tax for landlords as an incentive for them to lower rents when decreased demand happens because retailers can’t afford the old rent.

It could be something like: For any storefront that’s empty, after two months of vacancy, the landlord has to pay a tax of 20% of the average rent they’d be receiving. All the money would go to neighborhood improvements and policing.

Lower rents create new innovations, which leads to more interaction and more vibrant neighborhoods. And in the long run, it gives landlords an incentive to do what actually generates more of what they seek as well. · by October 9, 2018 · October 9, 2018

Town of Parry Sound 2018 Election Result Reflections


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Some quick thoughts and numbers from yesterday’s Town of Parry Sound municipal election. The only real surprises to be expected was who the two new councillors would be. I picked one with my vote but not the other. I wish both of them the best of luck.

Here are some numbers from the past three elections that suggest a considerable degree of consistency in terms of the vote totals.

These first two tables summarize the total votes cast and the percent of eligible votes cast for 2010, 2014 and 2018. The percent of eligible votes cast for 2018 is an estimate as I do not have the total number of eligible voters for 2018, but the numbers presented will be very close to the actual.

In almost all respects the voting pattern for 2018 was almost the same as for 2010 and 2014. A little more than 50% of eligible voters actually cast a vote. This is a bit disappointing given that it has become much easier for people to vote in the last two elections.

Once again, a large number of votes for Councillors were not cast, an estimated total of 2,800 votes were withheld by folks who voted for the mayoral candidates. Speaking to a couple of voters I found that one voter chose to vote for two councillors only in hopes of helping their chosen candidates. The other person used only 5 of their 6 possible votes because they did not have a good sense of who else to support.

Councillor Votes

In 2018 once again, 1,000-plus votes was the target for any individual hoping to be elected to Parry Sound Council. This was despite a total of 14 candidates in 2018 versus 11 in 2014 and 10 in 2010. Looking at the chart below the distribution of votes is almost the same for all three years. The difference this year was that the number 3 and 4 elected councillors did so with a lower number of votes relative to the earlier years, 1,000 to 1,100 rather than the 1,200 to 1,400 votes of the past. There is a bit of a message there that the candidates need to understand and act upon if they hope to retain the support of the voters.

This election reinforces my observation in an earlier post that the votes to get elected as a councillor in Parry Sound are there to be captured, at least 2,800 by my estimate, without taking a vote from anyone else. But that takes much more good work than can be accomplished solely with social media and an unspecific promise of change.

Council Agenda Preview – October 16, 2018


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There are a surprising number of items on this week’s agenda. None of them are controversial, although several are interesting.

9.3.1– the Request for Quote related to sand and salt provides some insight into how much salt and sand is put down on Parry Sound streets and sidewalks each year. The number is 300 tonnes. That translates to 300,000 kilos (660,000 pounds) or about 100 pounds for every Parry Sound resident. Well, that’s not doing the environment any favours.

9.3.3– Train Whistle Cessation is moving forward with the request to contract with a firm to conduct necessary studies.

9.5.1– Cannabis Legislation is just around the corner and it appears that the Town of Parry Sound is just starting to do the necessary study. I suspect that just as Parry Sound is home to the area beer and liquor stores that we will also be home to a cannabis dispensary. Hmmm, should the requirement that the 3 Bs (booze, banks and bars) be located in the downtown be amended to 3-B and C? Or, since the RBC is moving to the south end and not to the downtown perhaps we can take the banks out of the 3 Bs and simply rechristen the requirement as the BBC rule.

10.4.1– Appointment of Clayton Harris. Our new CAO will be starting this week. I wish him all the best. The Town is in good shape and he can hopefully take us to the next stage. Thanks to Rob Mens for his contributions to getting us to this stage.


4.1 – David Pearce, Supply Chain Officer, Stewardship Ontario. Industry funding for Municipal Blue Box Recycling for the second quarter of the 2018 Program Year – Parry Sound received


5.1 – Amber Gordon, Director of Development, Georgian Bay Forever. Georgian Bay Forever’s Pilot Project: Divert and Capture: The fight to keep microplastics/fibres out of our waters.

5.2 – Parry Sound Seniors Club, Board members Allen Smith, Gurneth Hoddy, Olive Duggan and Hilda Floyd. Requesting an increase in their grant and having a street sign put up advising drivers that seniors will be crossing in this area.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.2.1 – Decommissioned Paramedic Response Unit (PRU). Resolution. That the Council of the Town of Parry Sound authorize the PRU being decommissioned in 2018 be donated to the Kearney Fire Department.

9.2.2 – Land Ambulance Contract. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee the Council of the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound direct staff to enter into negotiations in January of 2019 with the West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC) for a 4-year extension to the Land Ambulance contract, that will address the Value Added aspects of the service being leveraging of paramedics downtime, Community Paramedicine Initiatives and limiting Non Urgent Patient Transportation; and Further that staff report back to Council on the progress of negotiations by the beginning of February 2019 with a recommendation on proceeding with contracted services or preparing to take the Land Ambulance service in house for direct delivery.

9.2.3 – Consent Application. Resolution. That Consent Application No. B 31/2018 (PS) (Halvorson), be supported.

9.3.1 – RFQ – Gravel and Winter Sand. Resolution. That Council accepts the quotation from Fowler Construction to supply, deliver, blend, and stack approximately 300 tonnes of winter sand per delivery in the amount of $17.52 per tonne, for a total amount of $5,256.00, including tax, for the 2018-2019 year, this quotation being the only one received.

That Council accepts the quotation from Fowler Construction for approximately 60 tonnes of Granular A gravel per delivery in the amount of $15.26 per tonne, for a total amount of $915.60, including tax, for the 2018-2019 year, this quotation being the only one received.

9.3.2 – Tender – Snow Removal. Resolution. That Council accept the tender from Adams Brothers for snow removal on town streets during the 2018 fall & winter season and 2019 winter & spring season, including traffic control and labour costs to clear around infrastructure including tree pits and hydrants, as follows:
Tandem dump truck: $95.99 per hour
Wheeled loader: $111.81 per hour
Blower and control unit: $111.81 per hour

9.3.3 – Train Whistle Cessation RFP. Direction. (For Direct Staff Follow-up). That Council direct staff to secure the services of CIMA+ engineering to assess five level train crossings in Parry Sound for the purpose of train whistle cessation as required by Transport Canada, the Railway Safety Act, Grade Crossings Regulations and Grade Crossing Standards; and That staff bring a report back to Council with the results/findings from the engineering assessments and recommendations.

9.5.1 – Cannabis Legislation. Direction (For Direct Staff Follow-up). That the Manager of Building and Planning Services be directed to prepare a report advising on potential Zoning By-Law impacts regarding cannabis.

9.5.2 – Extension of Parking Limits for the Parry Sound Seniors at 80 James Street. Direction (For Direct Staff Follow-up)


10.1.1 – 2018 Debenture. By-law 2018 – 6869. Being a by-law to authorize certain new capital works of The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound (the “Municipality”); to authorize the submission of an application to Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation (“OILC”) for financing such capital works; to authorize temporary borrowing from OILC to meet expenditures in connection with such works; and to authorize long term borrowing for such works through the issue of debentures to OILC.

10.4.1 – Appointment of Clayton Harris. By-law 2018 – 6870. Being a By-law to appoint Clayton Harris as the Chief Administrative Officer/Deputy Clerk and the Alternate Head under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and to amend By-law 2013-6244 and 2015-6568 and to repeal by-law 1998-4000.

The 2018 Race is On – Part 2, What it Takes


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As a follow-up to an earlier post looking at the general numbers of Parry Sound elections, this post looks at what the numbers might be telling us.

The Key to Being Elected? Be known, and respected. You don’t need to be a voter’s first, second, third, fourth or even fifth choice. Being number six on every ballot will not only get you elected – it will make you the top vote getter.

The Numbers – Redux
In a previous post I summarized and offered an analysis of the election results for the past two Parry Sound municipal elections. Here is the link. The key takeaways from that analysis were:

Total Number of Eligible Voters: 4,500 (approximate)
Total Number of Voters Casting Votes: 2,500 (approximate)
Largest Vote Number for an Elected Councillor: 1,700 (approximate)
Smallest Vote Number for an Elected Councillor: 1,000 (approximate)

The bottom line is that to be elected to Parry Sound Council a person has in the past needed to capture about 1,000 votes.

Votes – Used and Unused
Here are estimates related to the votes cast in the past two elections for Parry Sound Council. The table below relates to Council seats not Mayor, and will benefit from some explanation.

Eligible Votes Votes Cast Possible Votes Unused Votes
2010 28,080 11,608 15,366 3,786
2014 27,138 11,028 14,760 3,732

Eligible Votes refers to the number of eligible voters, according to the voting roll, multiplied by six. Six is the number of votes each voter can use to select candidates for Council. You can’t vote for one person six times, but you can vote for up to six separate candidates listed on the ballot.

Votes Cast is the sum of all of the actual votes cast for all of the candidates running for Council in each of the two past elections.

Possible Votes is calculated by multiplying the total number of people who actually voted by six. In 2014 about 2,460 people actually cast a vote. That means there were a total of 14,760 available votes for Council (6 x 2,460). In the end, only 11,028 votes were actually cast for the position of councillor. Some 3,732 votes ‘looking for a candidate’ never found one.

On average, every person who showed up to vote did not use 1.5 of their votes. The average person who actually voted selected between four and five candidates.

Strategic Voting
I have heard the argument that some folks try to get their underdog candidate(s) elected by voting only for them and no one else. The reasoning is that voting for anyone else might unintenionally allow another candidate(s) to accumulate enough votes to defeat your preferred candidates. I don’t think too many people are that strategic in their voting. The average 4.5 votes cast suggests people know who they want and then don’t have an opinion, or even knowledge, of the rest. If there was considerable ‘strategic voting’ that number might be as low as 3 votes per voter.

‘I Know You’ Voting
More likely, in my opinion, is the possibility that you know only four or five of the available candidates and hold them in high regard. You may know a couple of the others, and not like them for any number of reasons. And the rest? You wonder where they came from. Rather than vote your full allotment, you stop at the four or five you know and respect rather than take a chance on an unknown.

Election 2018 – Are You a Name or a Person?
There are a total of 14 individuals running for the position of councillor in Parry Sound. After covering Parry Sound Town Council for about the past 8 years and serving as a volunteer or board member on more than a half dozen local organizations for that same period of time, and regularly reading the North Star/Beacon Star, I recognize only half of the people running for Council. Four of them are current members of Council who I have often spoken with, one candidate I met socially on several occasions, another I met in my role as a member of a community board of directors, and one other I recognize from their running in the last election. Only one of these three made anything close to a positive lasting impression. The other seven are totally unknown to me.

Bottom Line
Want to be elected as a councillor in Parry Sound? Be well known and be known for doing good stuff. With more than 3,000 votes ‘ looking for a home’ you don’t even need to take a vote from someone else to be elected. You just need to be known as a good person. That’s done through years of community participation and the type of work that too often goes unrecognized, until it comes to election time. Getting elected isn’t a project that starts two months before an election solely with slogans and attitude.

In the next post I will outline what it will take to capture one of my two available votes for the position of councillor. The first four are already decided.