Municipality of the District of Clare
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm
PRESENT: Council: Warden Ronnie LeBlanc; Deputy Warden Nil Doucet; Councillors, Carl Deveau, Danny Hill, Brian Comeau, Eric Pothier and Yvon LeBlanc
Staff: CAO Stéphane Cyr, Executive Assistant, Ashley Hanks, Communications Officer, Amy Paradis and Returning Officer, Pam Doucet
ABSENT: Councillor Hector Thibault
1) Call to Order
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc called the Council meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
2) (a) Approval of the Agenda
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc asked that the following correction be made to the agenda:
- Item 8.3 – Change name from Michel Lefort to Miguel Lefort
MOVED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the proposed agenda be approved with the above noted correction.
(b) Declaration of conflict of interest
3.1 2020 Municipal and School Board Elections – Returning Officer, Pam Doucet
Council has opted to proceed with a hybrid election meaning the Municipality will offer both electronic voting and paper ballot alternatives. Phone and internet voting will be available during the advanced polls and on election day. Paper ballots will be available election day only. Due to COVID-19, increased restrictions have been established for polling stations in order to ensure the safety of both staff and voters. Some of these measures include the hiring of additional staff to clean and disinfect, the installation of shields to protect voters and staff, and strict physical distancing guidelines. In light of these added restrictions and in an effort to ensure public safety on election day, Mrs. Doucet is recommending the Municipality change its previously approved number of polling stations from eight to three as follows:
- Havelock Community Centre for District 2
- Municipality of Clare Office (Little Brook) for Districts 1, 3, and 4
- Meteghan Fire Hall for Districts 5, 6, 7 and 8
Council agreed and made to the following motion to rescind its previous motion from March 18, 2020 regarding polling stations:
MOVED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Municipality of the District of Clare rescind its motion from March 18, 2020 that approves the proposed polling station locations for the upcoming 2020 Municipal and School Board elections.
The Amended List of Electors is an integral part of municipal elections. These lists have now been issued by the Province and will be arriving shortly. A two week period is allowed to review the list. This review must be complete no later than 7 business days prior to the nomination deadline of September 8, 2020 (i.e. August 27, 2020). As such, Mrs. Doucet is recommending the mandatory completion date for the Amended List of Electors for the 2020 Municipal and School Board Elections be set to August 26, 2020. Council agreed and passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Danny Hill and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Municipality of the District of Clare set August 26, 2020, as the date for the completion of the Amended List of Electors for the 2020 Municipal and School Board Elections.
In closing, Mrs. Doucet raised the following two points:
- Campaign schools will be offered free of charge in August (date to be determined) to both current Councillors and residents seeking election in October 2020.
- Residents are free to publicly express their interest in being a candidate and can start campaigning at any time. However, these same residents can only declare themselves official candidates once they file the necessary paperwork for their candidacy with Mrs. Doucet.
Residents interested in offering in the upcoming municipal elections, or those who simply have questions related to the election, are invited to contact Mrs. Doucet at 902-769-2031 or by email at .
4) Adoption of the Minutes from Previous Council Meetings
4.1 June 17, 2020 – Regular Council Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the minutes of June 17, 2020 be accepted as circulated.
4.2 July 8, 2020 – Council-In-Committee Meeting
MOVED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the minutes of July 8, 2020 be accepted as circulated.
5) Business Arising from Previous Meetings
6) Warden’s Activity Report – Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
The Warden provided a summary of the meetings and events he attended since the last Council meeting.
June 23 – Attended a meeting of the Liaison and Oversight Committee of the WREN to revise the intermunicipal agreement in preparation for presentation to Council.
June 29 – Attended a consultation by video conference organized by the NS Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing on accessibility and affordable housing.
June 30 – Attended a meeting of the Société Édifice Sainte-Marie de la Pointe to discuss the report from GATN and the Society’s next steps.
July 1 – Attended the flag raising ceremony at the municipal office for Canada Day.
July 9 – Attended a meeting organized by ACOA and the private sector to discuss the housing challenges in the Municipality of Clare and possible long term solutions to address these challenges.
7) Official Statements from Members of Council
Warden LeBlanc requested a certificate of congratulations be sent to Wayne and Lucie Fougere who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 4, 2020. Council agreed.
8.1 Jason and Melissa Comeau – J & M Foster for Cats
The CAO read a letter from Jason and Melissa Comeau of J & M Foster for Cats (See attached).
8.2 Stacey Doucette and Hal Theriault – Co-Chairs, The Electric City/New France Society
The CAO read a letter from Stacey Doucette and Hal Theriault, Co-Chairs of the Electric City/New France Society. (See attached)
The CAO reminded Council that the Municipality has previously contributed $10,000 towards the completion of the Electric City/New France Society’s business plan. The current request for $2,500 is completely operational which falls outside the Municipality’s stated criteria for its Grants to Organizations program. After much discussion, Council decided to respectfully deny the request.
8.3 Miguel Lefort – Physiotherapist, Clare Physiotherapy Clinic
The CAO read a letter from Miguel Lefort, Physiotherapist at the Clare Physiotherapy Clinic. (See attached)
8.4 Claude Comeau – President, Clare Golf and Country Club
The CAO read a letter from Claude Comeau, President of the Clare Golf and Country Club. (See attached)
8.5 Dwayne Hunt – Fire Service/EMO Coordinator, Municipality of Barrington
The CAO read a letter from Dwayne Hunt, Fire Service/EMO Coordinator for the Municipality of Barrington. (See attached)
9) CAO Report – Chief Administrative Officer - Stéphane Cyr
The CAO presented his report for the month of July 2020. (See attached)
The CAO met with representatives from ACOA and the private sector to discuss the housing challenges in the Municipality of Clare and possible long term solutions to address these challenges. Housing remains a strategic priority for the Municipality. The CAO will provide a more detailed briefing to Council once further information becomes available.
Councillor Carl Deveau asked about the lumber which was dropped off at the Belliveau Cove Wharf. The CAO clarified that these materials are for repairs to the Southern Wharf which also suffered damage as a result of last winter’s storm surges and are fully covered by the Municipality’s insurance.
10) Committee Reports
10.1 Building Permits Report – Councillor Danny Hill
Councillor Danny Hill read the building permit report for the month of June.
Year Permits Construction Value Year to Date
2019 29 $ 1,407,250 $ 4,624,930
2020 35 $ 2,207,019 $ 5,431,430
10.2 Police Advisory Board – Deputy Warden Nil Doucet
The Police Advisory Board met on July 14, 2020 to discuss the recent incident in Meteghan River. Deputy Warden Nil Doucet, Councillor Hector Thibault and the CAO were present. Council has received several calls / comments from the public expressing their concerns. The RCMP is aware of these concerns and reiterated their commitment to public safety. Whereas this is an ongoing investigation, the RCMP continues to monitor the situation closely. The individual in question is facing 13 charges. A court date has been set for August 24, 2020.
11) New Business
11.1 Motion to Approve New Criteria - Community Recreation Assistance Program
The purpose of the Community Recreation Assistance Program is to help residents of the Municipality of Clare offset the costs of participating in recreational programs. In an effort to foster a greater level of physical activity and to aid these groups and/or organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Municipality’s Recreation Manager, Réanne Titus, recommended at the Council in Committee Meeting on July 8, 2020 that the program criteria be amended to include assistance for those incremental costs directly associated to COVID-19, up to a maximum of $1,000, and that these changes remain in effect for the 2020-2021 fiscal year only. The annual budget for this program is $13,000 and traditionally has good uptake. Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19, this year is the exception with no applications and no funds committed thus far. Council agreed with the recommendation put forward by Mrs. Titus and passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Carl Deveau that the Municipality of the District of Clare amend the eligibility criteria for the Community Recreation Assistance Program to include assistance for COVID-19 and that these changes remain in effect for the 2020-2021 fiscal year only.
11.2 Motion to Accept an Agreement – Western REN Inter-Municipal Agreement
The WREN Inter-Municipal Agreement is up for renewal and must be signed by its member municipal units by September 2020. The draft document has been reviewed by members of the WREN Board, the Liaison and Oversight Committee, CAOs, municipal councils and the Province of Nova Scotia. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Municipality of the District of Clare approve the Western REN Inter-Municipal Agreement as presented.
11.3 Motion to Name Road – Chandlers Way
The Municipality received a request to name a private road in Hectanooga. The request respects the current road naming policy in that its bilingual and not currently in use anywhere else in the Municipality. Council passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Brian Comeau and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that the Municipality of the District of Clare name the road shared by the properties PID (Property Identification Number) 30377592, 30377527, 30377618, 30377576, 30377568, 30377550, 30377543, 30377535, 30377519, 30377501, 30377493, 30377477, 30377469, 30377451, and 30377444 as follows:
In English: Chandlers Way
In French: voie des Chandler
11.4 Motion to Purchase Exterior Doors – Clare Health Centre
The exterior doors at the Clare Health Centre (CHC) were flagged as needing to be replaced as part of the annual review conducted by the Public Works Committee. These were included in last year’s capital budget and the downstairs doors were replaced. Due to an oversight, the upstairs doors were not replaced and are currently not included in this year’s capital budget. Therefore, the CAO is recommending the Municipality purchase and install the same doors as downstairs from The Glassman Inc. in the amount of $6,660 plus HST. Council agreed and passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Carl Deveau and SECONDED BY Councillor Eric Pothier that the Municipality of the District of Clare award the contract to replace the exterior doors at the Clare Health Centre to the Glassman Inc. in the amount of $6,660 plus HST and that these funds be taken from the Municipality’s Capital Reserve.
11.5 Motion to Renew Contract – NS SPCA
The 3-year contract with the NS SPCA is set to expire on July 31, 2020. Jo-Anne Lansburg, the Chief Provincial Inspector for the NS SPCA has confirmed that they are prepared to renew the contract for another 3-year term at the current price of $1,800 per month. All terms and conditions, as included in the current contract, will remain unchanged. Over the past three years, the NS SPCA has responded to 84 calls under the Municipality’s Dog By-law and taken in 27 animals. The CAO is pleased with the service received from the NS SPCA thus far and is recommending the Municipality renew the contract. Council agreed and passed the following motion:
MOVED BY Councillor Eric Pothier and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that the Municipality of the District of Clare renew its Dog By-law Enforcement Contract with the Nova Scotia SPCA for another 3-year term.
12) In Camera Session
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Danny Hill that Council proceed to an In-Camera Session.
12.1 Contract Negotiations
12.2 Rural Internet
PROPOSED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet and SECONDED BY Councillor Yvon LeBlanc that Council proceed to the Regular Council Meeting.
13) Date and time of the next Regular Council Meeting
The next Regular Council Meeting will be held on September 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm.
MOVED BY Deputy Warden Nil Doucet to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 pm.