Candidate Questions and Answers
In order to ensure that all candidates receive the same information, if a question is posed of municipal staff, the question and answer will be posted on this page. No question is a bad question if you don't know the answer. It could cost you your seat.
How do we account for the gas we use while campaigning when completing our financial reports?
- The most simple solution would be to determine a mileage rate to use for all campaign related expenses. Track your mileage while conducting election related business and allocate the appropriate rate. This will account for gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
When does the Grant of Permission and Acknowledgement & Consent Release of Personal Information form need to be filed by?
- This form should be filed in the municipal office as soon as possible once you have filed your nomination paper.
The bank didn't want to accept the "Unofficial List of Candidates" as proof that I was running for election and wouldn't let me open an account?
- Staff have provided the following documents to assist with this process. Candidate Bank Account Information and Letter to Financial Institution. Please contact the Clerk if you require an original copy.
Can I put posters on the Community Bulletin Boards?
- Staff have advised candidates who have asked, that they are able to put posters on the community bulletin boards. Technically, this is against the current Elections Signage By-Law. The by-law was created to ensure that "signs" were erected in a controlled manner. When reviewing the by-law, neither staff nor council members noticed or considered the impact of the definication of "signs" which includes the word "poster" and the consequence of not being able to put posters up on the community bulletin boards.
- It is staff intention to propose an amendment to the Elections Signage By-law at the September meeting, which will allow the use of community bulletin boards for election posters. It will be recommended that election posters not be allowed at the Municipal office building as it is also the voting location.
- Update*** It has been brought to my attention that the General Election Policy and Guidelines contradict the Election Sign By-Law as it relates to the use of the Community Bulletin Boards and Road Allowances. As the clerk, responsible for overseeing all aspects of a municipal election, and based on the new information it has been decided that moving forward:
- Posters are allowed to be posted as per the General Elections Policy and Guidelines; and
- Signs are to be erected as per the Elections Sign By-law.
Why do some area businesses receive 208 free garbage tags a year when residents only receive 52?
- The committee formed to review the Waste Management By-Law back in 2011 and make recommendations to council suggested that 52 free tags per week be provided to each household. During discussion, the Council of the day approved that recommendation and further amended the draft by-law by providing the extra tags to business owners to help offset the new costs of paying for waste produced over and above the approved free (1 bag per week) limit. It was an “olive branch” to ease the cost of transition for the owners in suddenly having to pay for garbage disposal.
- Not all business operators receive those extra tags; this error was that of staff in implementing the program. Existing campgrounds and two other businesses have received that number of bags since roll out. Since that time, other business owners have contacted staff who have provided them with an increased number of bags. Some businesses have not contacted staff and in error were never given the increased number of tags.
- Additional information may be located in these documents - Committee Recommendations and Report to Council.
Why do campgrounds only pay residential taxes?
- The Ontario government creates legislation that municipalities and MPAC must comply with in respect to taxation for property purposes. This legislation states that all types of business whose purpose is mainly to provide accommodation is to be taxed at the same rate as residential properties, even though they are earning money from the sale of that accommodation. Sections of properties which provide commercial services are taxed at a commercial rate.
- In every municipality in Ontario, any property which provides accommodation be it a campground, motel, bed and breakfast etc. is taxed at the same rate as residential properties. The overall tax bill of the property may be higher based on infrastructure (buildings etc.) but those taxes will be owing no matter if the business was open, closed, earning a profit or completely vacant. Assessments are based on area, waterfront and infrastructure.
- Some HCM homeowners pay as much in taxes as some of our campgrounds simply due to their location, their size and their accessory buildings.
- In larger centres, hotels/motels are charged business taxes, hotel taxes etc. by the municipalities in which they operate to offset the increased costs of city/town infrastructure including roads, sewage, water, waste, recycling etc. Until the imposition of bag tags and pay for use waste collection, HCM did not collect any extra payments from businesses for any purpose.
- Finally, aside from accommodation businesses, simply because a business is in operation on a property does not mean that commercial taxes are levied. MPAC has rules and policies to follow when classifying properties and regularly reviews physical locations to ensure proper classification is in place. This is not something that is the responsibility of or is completed by the municipality.
Why do people who have camping trailers on their own otherwise vacant property have to pay a "trailer fee" for months that they use the trailer?
- As staff understands it, some decades ago, council of the day was lobbied by campground and motel owners who did not feel it was right for people who owned vacant property to use their properties for accommodation, while they paid little to the municipality in the form of taxes due to low assessed values of vacant property. (Even though these motels/campgrounds only paid residential rates.) Their goal was to ensure that council imposed a fee to offset the costs of municipal services of those people who were using our roads and dumps and not paying much in the way of taxes.
- There was also concern that the businesses were losing income due to people camping on their vacant properties for free. Council of the day imposed the fees at the request of those business owners.
Can I vote a proxy vote even though I am a candidate?
- Yes, even though a candidate, you have the same opportunity to vote as anyone. So long as a proxy form is completed accurately and not signed by the voter prior to being presented to the clerk, the proxy will be valid and you may vote the way the proxy signer has directed you to.
- You can vote, not only for yourself but for any candidates that the signatory of the proxy has directed you to. You can only vote for the persons that you have been directed to vote for.
If I have a proxy vote, can my spouse also vote a proxy?
- Yes, you may vote one proxy vote for a non-relative. If you are voting for relatives as described in the legislation, you can vote for any number of them.
I have someone who wants to vote for me but is not sure that he can because the property is owned by a group?
- So long as the group is not a corporation, the individual can vote as he/they are all owners of the property. If a corporation owns the property, no one can vote unless they are a permanent resident and can vote as a resident.
As a candidate, can I send in an anonymous question to the all candidate's meeting?
- I don't see why not, you are an elector in HCM as well as any other person and your concerns are just as valid.
I have someone who wants to vote for me but doesn't know if he can because he is a member of a MNRF leased camp?
- MNRF lessees are entitled to vote. If they are not already, they must have their name added to the voter's list. In order to have your name put on the voter's list, you have to provide proof of address/residency/ownership. With a lease, the individual's name should be on the lease agreement with the MNRF. There needs to be a paper trail.
- If a member of an association, which is not incorporated, there must be some type of legal agreement which names all members. Each of these people are then permitted to apply to have their name added to the voter's list.
- Members of corporations are not entitled to vote; if the camp ownership is a corporation, there can not be names added to the voter'slist, unless they are permanent residents of the property.
- Note***I am still researching this response and will add more as it becomes available.
Could you please tell me what the mill rate for garbage is on our taxes.
- Ontario municipalities no longer calculate their tax rate as a mill rate.
- The tax rates for Head, Clara & Maria for 2018 are as on the attached by-law. The amount of money that goes towards waste management including recycling is in the attached budget working document prepared prior to Council passing its budget by-law and adopting tax rates for 2018. If you so choose, I expect you can determine a mill rate for garbage from this document however; that is not something that the municipality (or any Ontario municipality) calculates or records. Of a total budget of $1,217,586 (including the Recreation committee and all special purpose grants) waste management costs are budgeted as $66,150 for 2018. (excluded from that are Waste Management wages and payroll expenses as due to privacy and confidentiality reasons, all wages for each department are combined in one account under Admin.)
- Alternately, you can go onto the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website and review the FIR or Financial Information Return which displays the costs of services from one year to the next. You may locate that information here.
- We also post annual financial data on our municipal Financial page at this address although with us being short staffed, it has not been updated recently. We will update as soon as possible.
We would like to know the following;
How much money does Council put into Rec? Events, projects, expenses - i.e. wages
How much of an increase to Liability insurance was needed re the rail bed?
How much grant moneys came in for rec projects (time frame 1-2 years) and how much of Rec's money was used for same?
What is our tax base? How is our tax dollar dispersed; policing, waste management, roads, parks, rec, etc.? Is there a graph or pie chart?
The information you have requested is basically available on the municipal website. The budgets are created to separate spending into categories – generally. Special projects are identified as well. They may be found here - http://www.townshipsofheadclaramaria.ca/departments/administration-finance/ and will be updated shortly to provide for 2016-2018 info. (This may be found by searching the Agenda and Reports to Council pages for Budget documentation as well.)
When it comes to Recreation – the Rec budget is its own entity except for Parks and Boat Launches. On the working documents for 2018 – all funding for the Recreation Department is earned by the Rec committee. Council’s only contribution to the $33,300 is the $2,500 committed to Canada Day.
As for staffing – the Recreation position, beginning in 2018 in July will cost Council $15,000 per year. This position is responsible for recreation as well as general office admin when there is a lull in recreation business including: parks and boat launches, programming, support for the recreation committee, event planning and support, managing the bar and hall rentals, food vendor certificates, water sampling and much more.
Basically for $15,000 per year (beginning in 2019), the community earns approximately the same in profit ($15,000) which over the past 3-4 years has gone into play structures, park improvements, community centre facility improvements, the lending hub etc.. The position pays for itself through rec committee profits which go into the community. Without this support, volunteers could not host the programming they do.
The increase in insurance has not been completed yet as renewal is later this month. The cost from $25 mil to $50 mil will only by $1,500 as recommended by our insurer.
The information about grant money is listed separately on the budget working documents. If you go through them, if not identified in the account name – there will be comments to explain in the definitions column to the far right.
I’m not certain what you mean about what is our tax base? I have attached the most recent documents provided by the County of Renfrew comparing us with others in the County with respect to taxation – showing what we keep, what the county gets and what we must send to the province.
The first chart shows rates across the county and across all tax classes. You will see that ours is considerably lower than most. You need to consider the funding from the Federal government for the base in Petawawa and Laurentian Valley which are our closest comparators.
The second spreadsheet shows the amount of money the municipality will earn and keep from taxation for 2018 for all classes. From residential properties – it is only $129,357. Things would be significantly different without the pipeline. So when people complain about the amount of taxes they pay…this is what stays in Head, Clara & Maria at .00247867%. The amount that is forwarded to the County is .00362193% - more than we keep for our own purposes.
This information hasn’t been updated on our website since 2016 but will be completed today. I have attached 2018’s working document and budget document for review for now.
Is there a document that clearly defines the differences between posters, bulletins, and signs?
No there is not.
Just clarifying some info as I try to collect grant spending re last nights meeting...Account " Recreation Special Projects" and "Rec Expenses" both show $4000 to Canada Day. (From the 2017 Draft Working Document)
Please bear with me as this is Noella’s area of expertise.
The line from below which is in error is the one beside the “Special Projects” account. It should be $4,000 less. You can see beside that notation that there are question marks – I would assume that Noella had to confirm (with me) which account Canada Day was under – made draft notations in both lines and then didn’t remove the incorrect one. We both missed it. Canada Day budget is included accurately in Rec Budget total of $27,775. Council’s $4,000 is there.
Under "Special Projects", the extra $4,000 which was added in error was not recorded as an expense. Expenses amounted to the other grants listed (see below) – although some funds were not received until 2018. This is where the auditor comes in and assists with checking year end to ensure that deferred grants are allocated correctly and shown on the books as owing but not yet received. This is not something that is reflected in the budget but instead in financial statements which are created by the auditor. He ensures that funds are recorded as expensed and received in the appropriate year. Often these grants roll over year end making it a little more difficult to see in budget reports - hence the year end financial statements and accounting adjusting entries as verified by our auditor. Each of these grants will also have final financial reports provided to the grantor which ensure that funds were spent as per their requirements and checked by our auditor.
The other various grants are as follows: $10,884 NHSP (Federal) / $8,000 Seniors Grant (Provincial) / $52,036 Ont. 150-3 OMP Washrooms / $7,700 Ball Diamond - Trillium / $7,250 Playground equip installation / $4,800 Natural Playscape installation. All of these other funds have been received and expensed through various programming but not necessarily at these amounts, as some projects come in under and some on budget. If there are any that are over budget, they are brought to Council’s attention for approval.
Mr Chartrand indicated we had a million dollars in reserves, where does that number show up?
This information was presented to Council in the Report to Council #20/06/18/1001 prior to adopting the 2018 budget:
"HCM has no debt and has reserves totalling $ 830,990 prior to this budget being passed and $918,990 should council follow staff recommendations. Assuming Council adopts the above resolution, there will be zero surplus forecast for 2018 year end."
As the budget was adopted as recommended, reserves now total $918,990.
The reserves sheet was also added last week to the Administration and Finance page on the municipal website at this link.
Office Closure on Thursdays - Township office is closed on Thursdays so staff can get caught up. I'm thinking this would be due to Noella being off, and Crystal needing to work uninterrupted to keep abreast of things. I also am thinking that the Clerk's (Melinda) load would be impacted by the constant need for information and answering complaints so would also need the time to get updated especially for time sensitive items.
We opened up on Thursdays after we opened the new office last year but with Noella off, we are having a hard time keeping caught up while at the same time attempting to learn new processes that neither of us have ever done before.
Winter Access to Mackey Park - I didn't see this one in Q&A so can you tell me what the issue is for this and maybe explain what happened regarding snow barrieres being plowedd up after the locals cleared it out themselves. Why would locals not be allowed to save some taxpayer bucks to do this?
What seems like a simple request, is much more complicated than most people would expect. The simplest explanation would be trespass on municipal property closed for the season. The reasons behind it are much more involved and are outlined below. It may seem at first glance that you are “saving some taxpayer bucks” but as usual, there is much more to consider. Once Council has all the information in front of them, they may make a decision moving forward.
The municipality has a policy which prevents people not employed by or contracted with the municipality from working on municipal property. This is due in part to legislation such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Occupier’s Liability Act, the Municipal Act and the Negligence Act. It also involves the potential for damages and liability under the Highway Traffic Act for roads not properly maintained to legislated Minimum Maintenance Standards.
Staff in 2017-2018 were responding to the situation as per existing Council policy. People are not allowed to work on municipal property AND Jennings Road is only to be plowed to the turnaround at the graveyard. We did not have the authority to ask our contractor to extend his plowing. We were concerned with the issues as per legislation above.
People are concerned with staff making decisions not authorized by Council, yet complain when they follow council policy and direction. We did not have the authority to do anything different. Charges could have been laid for people working on municipal roads without permission.
In the past, there was considerable discussion about the costs of plowing Jennings Road from Mrs. Condie’s driveway to the graveyard to allow access for Mr. VanderHorn and/or the Boy Scouts. Ratepayers did not want council spending their money for things that didn’t benefit them. Staff were in a lose/lose situation, so obtained legal advice and are bringing this situation back to council for direction moving forward as is our job.
If the road was not plowed back in by staff in January, and left accessible, and someone became injured or damaged their vehicle while on municipal property, the municipality would be liable. If the roads were not maintained appropriately, the municipality could be sued and would lose.
In order to correct the situation for the 2018-2019 winter season, staff followed council direction and consulted with the municipal counsel and obtained a legal opinion which I have attached for your information. This was to be brought to the new Council in December for decision – and will.
Legal Opinion Received but not yet discussed at Council.
While out today, a voter and his proxy asked about the form and which boxes are to be completed in advance of election or advanced poll day. They showed me the form with boxes A-C completed and I noted Box D and Box E not completed. They had taken the form to the Municipal Office and were told to take both pages of the form (carbon copy form) to vote. Are the boxes not to be completed in the presence of you along with your signature etc. prior to voting day and Box F at time of voting only, or are all 3 to be done at time of voting.
Another issue is that I noted a witness signature in Box 3 of the carbon copy form your office provided and my form of which I printed off the links you have provided does not have a witness signature on the form in Box C. My form is dated 2018/04.
My apologies for this situation. Front office staff were working with this gentleman on the proxy form last week, and I misunderstood the situation. I was under the impression that there was only one person in the office, the person appointing a proxy. I did not realize that the appointee was also there.
Had I realized that, yes, both gentlemen would have signed the forms and I would have kept one copy. As it is, there is really no problem in that the appointee can simply bring the form with him when he votes, and he can have his form authorized at that time. There will be a qualified individual there to authorize proxies at both the advance poll and on election day. My apologies for my error, however; there is an easy fix.
As to the forms, either will be accepted. The most up to date form does not have a witness signature, the Ministry changes forms routinely. The older form, which we had a supply of does. If someone brings a carbon form with or without the witness signature it will be accepted. From the office, we will use only the newer form from this point forward.
Form 9 – Can they be filled out before voting day?
If you look at the form, it states that the form must be filled out at the voting place. What I have done however; is provided an individual with a copy of the form – explained to him that it has to be filled out there but he could take a copy with him to review to ensure that he understands what he will be required to do at the voting location on voting day.
All instructions on these forms will be printed right on them; the elections personnel will be trained to follow those instructions and to assist voter’s in whatever capacity is required.
Form EL26 and EL15 are they only available at the polls?
EL15 – Application to Amend Voter’s List – Copies are available at the municipal office. You may also find them on our webpage.
EL 26 – Is a form for election personnel to complete. It is a list of electors who have been objected to under paragraphs 2 and 3 of subsection 52(1) of the MEA. It is not normally required.
Any Oath that is required will be provided at the voting place. Election Personnel will be trained to assist in any way necessary to ensure that a voter has the opportunity to vote.
Have we hired a bylaw officer, if so, who has been hired? Was the job posted on our website or any other media?
We have not hired a by-law enforcement officer. Bob Labre has provided this service to us to date. We will begin the process of creating a new position, with a proper job description, training, policies and procedures. Much work must be completed before we get to this position and with elections and Noella being away, we simply have not had time.
Once a job description and position have been created, staff will follow municipal procedure to advertise for and hire for the position. This may be some months in happening due to other demands.
Do we have a noise by-law?
Head, Clara & Maria does not have a noise by-law. We have few by-laws which require active enforcement. Past councils made a conscious decision to not be too restrictive in this rural, sparsely populated area. For years it has worked. With people disrespecting our lack of rules…we will be forced to create more and actively enforce them. This was one of the findings of the stakeholder consultation meetings earlier this year which resulted in ATV and snowmobile by-laws being created.
Who was responsible for the berms along the rail bed in Head, Clara & Maria?
The berms dug along the rail bed were not placed there by this municipality but rather by CP Rail/the County of Renfrew themselves, to keep people from trespassing on the rail bed. The municipality has had nothing to do with these berms.
Is the current council and staff against the trail?
No. The current Council and staff have never said they were against the multi-use trail through the entire municipality nor have they tried to block the trail.
This Council's resolutions and staff reports have expressed concerns with the mismanaged roll out of the trail and with the fact that the County wants to download costs for any detours to the local council, without that council having any say in the matter.
This Council has stated that they will not blindly commit our municipality and its residents to the trail until some major concerns and questions are addressed by the County of Renfrew and their Management Plan.
Many of the current council members, candidates and staff simply want council to have some say in how the trail is developed within our municipality so we can ensure that the best interests of all of our residents and this municipality are protected. One major question is where is the money coming from? To build, maintain and police this trail, now and into the future?
Has the municipal operating budget increased because of staff legal complaints?
As explained in the staff report 20/06/18/1001 a large part of the budget increase for 2018 was due to an increase in legal fees from 2017/2018. A portion of that can be attributed to a mandatory harassment complaint investigation. That complaint was found to be warranted. A workplace has a legal obligation to protect employees from harassment. If it chooses not to; the Ministry of Labour can appoint an investigator on the municipal dime.
The legal expense increase is also attributable to Councillor Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest investigations, council training and unauthorized contact with Municipal legal counsel by a member of council.
Of most importance however; is the fact that the budget has increased basically due to a huge surplus from 2017 and over $100,000, once again, in grant revenues. This money, budgeted for and not used in 2017 for various reasons, is shown as a surplus in 2018. Even though the funds weren't spent in 2017 and are being sent to reserves in 2018 - also unspent - they falsely inflate the budget's bottom line.
Why do we need a by-law Enforcement officer?
Historically in Head, Clara & Maria people could ride snow machines and ATVs pretty much anywhere. Times have changed, and with the possibility of a trail coming into the municipality the numbers of riders will continue to increase. How they travel on municipal roads has increasingly become an issue - travelling too fast, without proper protective gear and not being mindful of homes, children and pets. There have been a number of close calls. With this increased use, there is a need for increased enforcement. A municipality is responsible for the health and safety of its residents and failing to provide for this, will open the municipality to liability.
Current council is set to pass some legally required, common sense By-Laws for ATVs and snow machines. In order to enforce By-Laws staffing is required. We can call the OPP but the municipality is charged for every call the OPP responds to within our municipality. OPP billing for 2018 was approximately $90,000. As a result of complaints received during the stakeholder consultation meetings earlier in 2018, Council decided that it would be prudent to hire a part time by-law enforcement officer to assist in enforcing current and future by-laws.
It has long been shared that HCM is the "wild west" no one cares what you do up there. There are no police, no enforcement of any kind. Council deemed it important to change this for the health and safety of its residents.
A ratepayer has submitted an application to amend the voters list. Someone was in yesterday with a proxy for her but because her name isn’t on the list and it wasn’t signed off on the application to amend I did not commission it. I told him I would get back to her asap on Friday because they will be here Sat for advanced polls. (from a staff member)
Yes, a ratepayer has submitted an application to amend the voters list, and she will be added to the list to be used at the polls in time for opening tomorrow. Actually, her name will appear on a separate list attached to the voter’s list as the original voter’s list has to stay in the form it was approved in at September 1, 2018. Amendments are attached. So you would not find her name on the voter’s list.
There are timelines that must be met and will be. For this reason, people are able to bring their proxies to the polls on voting day to have 1 – them added to the list and 2 – have proxies commissioned. That is what I have recommended to the candidates to tell their voter’s and proxy holders – for this very reason.
You were correct in not commissioning this document until the list is finalized later today for use tomorrow.
Also can he be a proxy for both the husband and wife?
A person is only able to vote a proxy for one individual unless those individuals are related to the proxy holder – e.g. spouse, parents, grandparents, children. In this case – unless there is a relationship I am not aware of – no, he can only be a proxy for one person.
Can I appoint someone who is working the election as a scrutineer?
The short answer is no. One of the main reasons to appoint a scrutineer is to ensure the candidate that the election has been run according to the legislation. If the person you wish to appoint is also working the election, you would think that you would already be satisfied that they will ensure the election is being run according to the rules.
Alternately, a scrutineer might share who has voted and who hasn't at any point in the day. All candidates will receive a copy of persons who voted at the advance poll some time next week.
Does a scrutineer need to be a resident or a ratepayer?
No, a scrutineer does not.
How is it that the harassment report was warranted but the conclusions ultimately rejected in large part by council?
This is a question for debate at the council table; closed session. Not for staff comment.
Can a candidate be his or her own scrutineer?
A scrutineer is someone who takes the place of a candidate during an election to monitor what is going on in the election place. A candidate has every right to be in the polling station before, during and after the election.
If you are in the voting place, you don’t need a scrutineer.
I am still confused about the proxy voting. Many people are saying different things. Do we have to bring the proxy vote to the office ahead of the election to get it signed by someone?
Proxies do not have to be brought to the office ahead of voting day. A table will be set up for that purpose today at the advance poll and on voting day.
You can/may bring them to the office prior to voting day if you choose to. Your choice.
If not, do you foresee a long line on election day at the proxy table???
I have no way of knowing whether or not there will be lineups or a lot of proxies. There are a lot of variables. All election policy rules have been provided to each candidate. Instructions are also on each form. Please ensure all forms are completed properly or they will not be certified. People just need to slow down and actually read what is on the form before filling it out and there will be no problems.
Do we have to have the duplicate copies with us when we present a proxy vote?
You do not need two copies...we are making photocopies for the office copy.
I just wanted to know if it was in fact an criminal offense to remove opposing candidates posters from the Community mail boards. particularly the boards at Boudreau Rd. and Pine Valley Rd.?
I know of one candidate that has had several removed and I would like to avoid the issue.
I had a resident come forward about who is removing the posters and they would like to know what the next step should be for reporting the offender?
The Criminal Code of Canada governs vandalism, theft and other such offenses of which this is likely one. Anyone with any knowledge of this behaviour is directed to their local Ontario Provincial Police for investigation. This is beyond the purview of the municipal office and the Ontario Municipal Elections Act.
As stated in our general policy, as this has happened before in other municipalities….
- "The investigation or prosecution for any acts of vandalism to the posters or campaign material of candidates should be referred to the Ontario Provincial Police by the complainant. The municipality of the United Townships of Head, Clara & Maria, or any of its municipal officers, employees or agents will not be responsible for damage to election signs."
Although not a question, a candidate has asked that I clarify a point concerning the ATV and Snowmobile by-laws which were given a first reading at the last meeting of Council (September 11, 2018) and not yet passed?
The request received was in resonse to a letter to the editor in the North Renfrew Times. It was stated that "Current council passed some basic common sense bylaws for ATV's and Snowmachines". Although it is true that these are basic common sense by-laws, they have only received first reading and will be presented to Council be adopted at the meeting of October 16, 2018.
It should be reiterated that these by-laws are not restrictive in nature but instead are required to ensure safe operation of off road and snow vehicles on municipal roads in a controlled and safe manner.
How is it possible that you state "No, the current council and staff have never said they were against the mult-iuse trail through the entire municipality, nor have they tried to block the trail"
From the audio file of the Oct 17, 2017 Council meeting prior to a vote being taken on the use of the railbed I quote the following: Mayor Reid "I've been against the rail corridor ever since it started. I don't see where snowmachines and Atv's work on a public trail. .."
Councillor Chartrand "I am tired of shoving that trail down my neighbours throat" one of said neighbours being candidate Watters.
As for the assertion that council and staff never tried to block the trail I personally witnessed the results of snow berms being created at every intersection of the railbed and the Municipal roads in Stonecliffe.
It is possible to make the statements referred to due to the fact that individual council members have their own opinions and are encouraged to express them during debate however; the “council” of the municipality, the entity charged with making decisions and providing direction to staff, has never voted to prohibit a multi-use trail through the entire municipality.
Staff reports provide documentation and recommendations and again, have never recommended that council vote to completely prohibit the multi-use trail through the municipality. There are legitimate concerns which should be addressed prior to any decision being made. Staff have and will continue to bring those issues, on any topic, to council’s attention and make recommendations as that is our legislated role.
As for the snow berms placed along the roadsides in Stonecliffe over the 2017-2018 winter season. I am not certain this is a question but I will provide an explanation… Council and the Missing Link Snowmobile Club agreed to re-route the trail for a year until another solution could be determined. As per that agreement the trail on the rail bed was not opened last winter. As there was not proper signage at municipal road crossings, and people were trespassing; staff placed berms to protect vehicular traffic, pedestrians and those trespassing on the trail from injury or danger while crossing municipal roads. The trail was not opened in that section for that season.
The municipality has a responsibility to all residents and the public that it must be seen to be striving to meet.
Each identifies concerns and expresses a desire to work towards a solution which meets all needs and addresses all concerns. None state that Council or staff are totally against the trail but instead lays out a plan for controlled implementation and development of the trail, now and into the future.