Municipality of the District of Clare
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc, Councillors, Danny Hill, Hector Thibault, Carl Deveau, Brian Comeau, Eric Pothier and Yvon LeBlanc.
Staff: CAO, Stéphane Cyr; Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis, and Tourism Manager, Larry Peach
Presenters: Hal Theriault, Stacey Doucette and Stéphanie St-Pierre
ABSENT: Deputy Warden Nil Doucet
1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
Councillor Brian Comeau asked that the following item be added to the Agenda:
• 6.4 Update - Chemin de la Montagne Road
The CAO asked that the following items be added to the Agenda:
• 8.4 Ecoparc
• 8.5 Former Saint-Albert Elementary School
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted additions.
(b) Declaration of Conflict of Interest
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked for any declarations of conflict of interest.
3.1 Electric City/La Nouvelle France Society – Hal Theriault and Stacey Doucette
Mr. Hal Theriault and Mr. Stacey Doucette are part of the Electric City/La Nouvelle France Society. The Society was originally part of the Weymouth Waterfront Development Committee but is now its own non-profit organization. The Society’s mandate is to preserve and promote the history of Electric City/Nouvelle France, including the many contributions of the different cultures who worked collaboratively on its development. In order to do so, the Society is planning for the construction of a new interpretive centre in Weymouth and eventually offering guided tours of the original site. The Society is asking Council for $ 5,000 to help develop a business plan as part of their planning efforts for this project.
Council thanked Mr. Theriault and Mr. Doucette for their presentation and indicated that they would take their request under consideration.
3.2 Enhancing the Cultural and Historical Heritage of Acadians in Nova Scotia – Stéphanie St-Pierre
Ms. Stéphanie St-Pierre, Interim Director of the Centre Acadien, is proposing a 3-phase project between Université Sainte-Anne, the Municipality of Argyle and the Municipality of Clare focusing on the creation and presentation of new historical content in the form of a website and app through Historic Nova Scotia, as a means of enriching the culture and history of Acadian communities. This project will compliment the Municipality’s existing tourism product offerings and will likely prove itself an asset for the upcoming CMA 2024 should it be held in Clare and Argyle.
Ms. St-Pierre is applying for funding though Young Canada Works to pay for 75% of the funding required to provide salaries for three students and a supervisor. The remaining 25% would be funded by the three partners. Should the funding from Young Canada Works not materialize, the project will continue but with only one student. Ms. St-Pierre is asking Council for $ 7,897.02 to help fund Phase 1 of this project.
Council thanked Ms. St-Pierre for her presentation and indicated that they would take her request under consideration.
4) Staff Reports
4.1 Financial Update – Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff
Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff provided an overview of the Municipality’s financial position. (See attached)
4.2 Tipping Fees – Rates for 2019-20 – Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff
Director of Finance, Ginette Cheff provided an overview of the Municipality’s current tipping fees as well as the proposed rates for 2019-20. (See attached)
Council decided to defer its decision on the proposed commercial rate increase pending review of the 2019-20 operational budget.
5) Business arising from Previous Meetings
5.1 Human Resources Policy Manual
With the aid of Wickwire Holm, the Municipality has completed the update and modernization of its Human Resources Policy Manual. The CAO and other members of the Management Committee have reviewed the manual and recommended it for Council’s consideration and approval.
The Warden asked for the following changes:
• Section 5 (p. 20) – That the use of search agencies be approved solely by Council (particularly relevant when staffing the CAO position).
• Section 5 (p. 20) – That Council only be involved in the interview process for the CAO. Interviews for senior managerial positions will be conducted by the CAO and a designated representative(s)
• Section 18 (p. 66) – That the CAO consult with the Association of Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia (AMANS) regarding existing policies governing the payout of unused sick leave upon retirement.
The CAO will make the above noted changes and report back to Council at the March 20th Council meeting regarding his discussions with AMANS and its members. No other revisions were requested. Overall, Council was pleased with the new manual.
5.2 Community Representative – Western Regional Housing Authority
Mariette Byzewski has served two consecutive terms on the board of the Western Regional Housing Authority and will be stepping down in March 2019. At the Authority’s request, the Municipality placed an ad seeking candidates interested in filling this position. The ad was posted in the Clare Shopper, Le Courrier and on the Municipality’s social media. A single application was received from Denise LeBlanc, the current Chair of the Municipality’s Police Advisory Board. Council agrees that Mrs. LeBlanc would be a good choice for this position and passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend appointing Denise LeBlanc as the Clare community representative on the Board of the Western Regional Housing Authority.
6) New Business
6.1 Yarmouth Hospital Foundation – Board of Directors
Councillor Danny Hill’s term on the Board of Directors for the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation is ending in June. Although he is eligible for a second term, work obligations are such that attendance at these particular meetings is difficult. Councillor Hill is therefore respectfully requesting another Councillor take his place on this Board. Warden LeBlanc expressed interest in joining the Board. Councillor Carl Deveau requested a larger review of all committee memberships be conducted. Council agreed. The CAO will add the review as an agenda item for the April 3, 2019 Council-in-Committee meeting. A recommendation to the Yarmouth Hospital Board of Directors will be made following this review.
6.2 Terms of Reference – Audit Committee
In keeping with recognized best practices, a draft term of reference for the Audit Committee has been prepared by the CAO. The document has been reviewed by and met with the approval of the Director of Finance, the Municipality’s auditor and the members of the Audit Committee and is now being put forward to Council for approval. Council passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend approving the Terms of Reference for the Audit Committee as presented.
6.3 Request for Funding – Seniors en sécurité
The Municipality received a request from Seniors en Sécurité for renewed funding. Council previously made a three-year funding commitment to the group which expires March 31, 2019. Seniors en Sécurité is an essential part of our Municipality and works closely with the RCMP and Emergency Health Services in offering various vital services to seniors. Council sees tremendous value in the work accomplished by the group and as such, passed the following motion to recommend:
PROPOSED BY Councillor Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend providing a financial contribution in the amount of $37,869 per year, for the next three years, to the Association des seniors en sécurité and that this contribution be adjusted annually in accordance with the previous year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI).
6.4 Update - Chemin de la Montagne Road
Councillor Brian Comeau was driving on Chemin de la Montagne Road and came across five vehicles blocking the road. In light of previous occurrences on this road (and subsequent complaints made), Councillor Comeau called the RCMP to report the incident. The RCMP thanked him and asked that he keep a record of this incident as roads with multiple reports receive more surveillance. Councillor Comeau asked that this incident be mentioned at the next Police Advisory Board meeting.
7) Questions and Comments from the Public
Communications Officer Amy Paradis advised Council that Friday morning at 6:15 a.m., a segment about the students from the École secondaire de Clare and their bilingual stop sign project will air on Radio Canada.
8) Closed Session
PROPOSED BY Councillor Hector Thibault and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to closed session.
8.1 Human Resources – Salary Scale Review
8.2 Southwest Eco Energy Limited
8.3 Volunteer Fire Service – Vehicle Assessment
8.5 Former Saint-Albert Elementary School
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend accepting the proposed municipal employee salary scales, for the three-year period commencing April 1, 2019, and ending March 31, 2022.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Hector Thibault that the Council for the Municipality of the District of Clare recommend adopting the Volunteer Fire Service – Vehicle Assessment Report as prepared by Emergency Management & Training Inc.
9) Date and time of the next Council-in-Committee Meeting
The next Council-in-Committee Meeting will be held on April 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm.
PROPOSED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 pm.