Municipality of the District of Clare
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc; Deputy Warden Nil Doucet; Councillors, Hector Thibault, Carl Deveau, Danny Hill, Brian Comeau, Eric Pothier and Yvon LeBlanc
Staff: CAO Stéphane Cyr, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, and Communications Officer, Amy Paradis
1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the Council meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the proposed agenda be approved as presented
(b) Declaration of conflict of interest
Warden LeBlanc declared a conflict of interest for item 11.4 as he is the Vice President of the Board of Governors of Université Sainte-Anne.
4) Adoption of the Minutes from Previous Council Meetings
4.1 May 20, 2020 – Regular Council Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the minutes of May 20, 2020 be accepted as circulated.
4.2 June 3, 2020 – Council-In-Committee Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the minutes of June 3, 2020 be accepted as circulated.
5) Business Arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Update – Boat Debris, Comeauville Wharf
The dismantling of the boat at the Comeauville Wharf is now complete and except for a few lingering pieces, the debris has been removed. The remaining pieces are mostly metal and in discussions with the owners of the boat, will be removed shortly. The CAO has been liaising with DFO on this file. They continue to monitor the situation closely and will be checking to make sure the remaining debris is removed.
Councillor Brian Comeau asked for an update on the ownership of the wharf. According to the CAO, the wharf is owned by an association which is now defunct. As such, they are no longer overseeing the activities at the wharf. The CAO will continue to explore the ownership issue and how best to prevent similar instances from occurring in the future.
Councillor Carl Deveau noted that Hector LeBlanc has worked hard to clean the wharf prior to this boat’s arrival and is requesting the wharf be cleaned thoroughly by the boat owners, following removal of the debris.
6) Warden’s Activity Report – Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
The Warden provided a summary of the meetings and events the he attended since the last Council meeting.
May 21 – Attended a meeting of the Nomination Committee for the President of Université Sainte-Anne by video conference.
May 26 – Attended a meeting of the Board of Directors of Université Sainte-Anne by video conference.
June 2 – Attended a meeting of the Audit Committee for the CDÉNÉ by video conference.
June 4 – Attended a meeting of the Board of Directors for the CDÉNÉ, with the organization’s auditors, by video conference.
June 4 – Attended a special meeting of the Board of Governors of Université Sainte-Anne by video conference.
June 8 – Attended the pride flag raising ceremony at the Municipal Office to kick off Pride Week.
June 9 – Attended the AGM of the CDÉNÉ by video conference.
June 9 – Attended a meeting of the Board of Directors for the CDÉNÉ by video conference.
June 9 – Participated in an interview with Radio Canada to discuss Pride Week in Clare.
June 16 – Attended the AGM for the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation by video conference.
7) Official Statements from Members of Council
Councillor Brian Comeau wished Alain and Germaine Maillet a happy anniversary as the couple celebrated their 47th anniversary on May 19, 2020. A congratulatory certificate has been sent to the couple.
Councillor Brian Comeau also wished a happy 90th birthday to Bernice Saulnier which she celebrated on June 7, 2020. A congratulatory certificate has sent to Mrs. Saulnier.
Councillor Carl Deveau congratulated Tina Dodman on her new position as the Administrator of the Villa acadienne.
8.1 Nicholas Giacomantonio, President, Cardiac Cycling Society of Nova Scotia
The CAO read a letter from Nicholas Giacomantonio, President of the Cardiac Cycling Society of Nova Scotia (See attached).
Warden LeBlanc and Councillor Brian Comeau have already registered for the virtual event and challenged the other councillors to do the same.
8.2 Grand Réveil Acadien, Louisiane-Acadie
The CAO read a letter from the Grand Réveil Acadien, Louisiane-Acadie. (See attached)
8.3 Tom Smith, Executive Director, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia
The CAO read a letter from Tom Smith, Executive Director of the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia. (See attached)
8.4 Lori Currie, Chief Financial Officer, Housing Nova Scotia
The CAO read a letter from Lori Currie, Chief Financial Officer of Housing Nova Scotia. (See attached)
The CAO reminded Council that there is always some uncertainty with this amount when preparing the Municipality’s operating budget. The issue is timing as the Municipality passes its budget in April however, confirmation from Housing Nova Scotia is only received in June or later. In its 2020-21 operating budget, the Municipality had budgeted $38,000 based on the average billing amount over the past five years. As per the notification from Housing Nova Scotia, this year’s billing increased to $41,440, leaving a budgetary shortfall of $3,440. In speaking with other municipal units across the Province and AMANS, the CAO has indicated that this increase is not exclusive to Clare but rather province-wide. In some instances, the billing amounts have almost doubled and according to Housing Nova Scotia, this expense in expected to continue increasing in the coming years.
9) CAO Report – Chief Administrative Officer - Stéphane Cyr
The CAO presented his report for the month of June 2020. (See attached)
10) Committee Reports
10.1 Building Permits Report – Councillor Danny Hill
Councillor Danny Hill read the building permit report for the month of May.
Year Permits Construction Value Year to Date
2019 15 $ 603,800 $ 3,217,680
2020 26 $1,533,951 $ 3,124,411
10.2 Waste Check – CAO Stéphane Cyr
Members of the Board started the meeting by thanking the waste collectors, environmental depots, transfer stations and landfills in Region 7 for their work during COVID-19. Letters will be issued from the Board.
The Board discussed the possibility of coordinating the implementation of waste collection by-laws in the region to ensure consistency. Most of the municipal by-laws in region 7 pertaining to waste collection were created using a template drafted by Waste Check and tailored to fit the needs of individual municipal units.
The term of the Regional Chair, Leland Anthony, scheduled to finish in June 2020, has been extended until after the October 2020 municipal elections.
In light of the recent focus on COVID-19, there has been no progress on the subject of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by either the Province or NSFM.
The 2020-21 Operating Budget for Waste Check was approved in the amount of $570,732. The Municipality of Clare’s contribution towards said budget is $23,364.
The Waste Check AGM has been postponed until after the October 2020 municipal elections.
11) New Business
11.1 Motion to Approve the 5-year Capital Investment Plan
The Municipality’s proposed 5-year Capital Investment Plan (2020-2024) is an annual document that must be approved via motion of Council and submitted to the Province of Nova Scotia no later then September 1, 2020. The plan itself is subject to change should new project opportunities present themselves or if a decision is made to no longer move forward with a specific project. Council was supportive of the proposed plan and passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Municipality of the District of Clare approve the Municipality’s five-year Capital Investment Plan (2020-2024), as presented.
11.2 Motion to Send a Letter – Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Minister of Environment
Deputy Warden Nil Doucet was contacted by a number of constituents requesting “no littering” signs be placed throughout the Municipality in an effort to curtail the amount of garbage being thrown in ditches and/or dumped illegally. In response to these requests, the Deputy Warden is requesting a letter be sent to the Honourable Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and the Honourable Gordon Wilson, Minister of Environment, for their assistance in initiating this effort. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Municipality of the District of Clare send a letter to the Honourable Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and the Honourable Gordon Wilson, Minister of Environment, requesting the installation of no-littering signs in Clare.
11.3 Motion to Enter into Contract for E-Voting Services for 2020 Municipal Elections
The Municipality of Clare will be offering both e-voting and paper ballot options in the October 2020 municipal election. As was the in the last municipal election (2016), the procurement process to secure an e-voting service provider was led by the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and the terms negotiated as part of this process have been offered to all other municipal units in Nova Scotia interested in offering an e-voting option. The chosen provider for 2020 is Intelivote Systems Inc. In terms of pricing, the cost to the Municipality is $2.45 per elector, for a total contract value of $16,256 plus HST. Both the CAO and the Returning Officer are recommending Council accept the proposal from Intelivote Systems Inc. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Municipality of the District of Clare accept the submission from Intelivote Systems Inc. to provide e-voting services for the 2020 Municipal and School Board Elections for the Municipality of the District of Clare at a cost of $2.45 per elector, for a total contract cost of $16,256.00 plus HST.
11.4 Motion to Approve Funding – Track and Field Facility, Université Sainte-Anne
Université Sainte-Anne is planning for the construction of a track and field facility on its campus in Church Point. The facility will be an asset to students, faculty, and the broader community. The total project cost is 3.5 million. Federal and provincial funding is currently being sought. As per stated program criteria, the community portion of the proposed funding mix must equal 27% of the total project costs or, in this instance, $945,000. Council has previously discussed this proposal and agreed to recommend a contribution of $400,000 to be disbursed over four years. In its deliberations, Council cited the value of such a facility to the community in terms of event attraction, recreational programming, and overall quality of life as its rationale for supporting this project. Consideration was also given to the fact that Université Sainte-Anne operates and maintains both an ice rink and a public pool at no cost to the Municipality. In light of these reasons, Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Municipality of the District of Clare approve funding for the proposed Track and Field Facility at Université Sainte-Anne in the amount of $400,000 and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Operating Reserve.
11.5 “Bienvenue en Clare” Banner Program
Every year leading up to the Festival acadien de Clare, the Municipality installs nearly 200 “Bienvenue en Clare” banners throughout the community. This is a small but important piece of the Municipality’s tourism strategy; one which instills a sense of community pride among many residents. The installation cost incurred by the Municipality is $10 per banner. These are later recuperated via private and/or corporate sponsorships. For this year only, in light of the circumstances and financial hardships surrounding Covid-19, the CAO has decided to absorb these costs within the Municipality’s operating budget and not seek corporate sponsorships. Council agreed with this decision and the importance of these banners.
12) In Camera Session
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to an In-Camera Session.
12.1 Sale of Municipal Property – Ecoparc
12.2 Human Resources
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Eric Pothier that the Municipality of the District of Clare provide housing assistance to Dr. Devon Long in the amount of $54,000, given the very limited inventory of adequate rental properties within the Municipality, and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Operating Reserve.
13) Date and time of the next Regular Council Meeting
The next Regular Council Meeting will be held on July 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
MOVED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 pm.