​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ALEX WALDER, COUNCILLOR HASTINGS HIGHLANDS

This website is being used for Council Work . It is totally funded at my expense. The views expressed are my alone and do not represent the views of the Municipality.  

Jan 31, 2019
                                          
Around the Council Table
Decision on Retail Sales of Cannabis in HH On Jan 16, with a unanimous, recorded vote HH declared that “the Municipality is a willing host municipality for prospective cannabis retail store locations within its jurisdiction”.
Council Orientation on Code of Conduct and Integrity Commissioner On Jan. 11, Mr. Tony Fleming B.A. LL.B, LL.M. Partner, Cunningham Swan Lawyers offered an intensive orientation and opportunity for Q/A about Council’s responsibilities to the establishment of a HH Council Code of Conduct and the appointment and role of an Integrity Commissioner.  
Community Safety and Well-Being Committee On Jan. 14, I attended a regional meeting held in Bancroft’s Club 580 for the 7 North Hastings Municipal elected officials and CAO/Clerks. The principal presenter, Dr. Hugh Russell and Lianne Sauter, Bancroft’s Acting Clerk lead the session and Jeff MacKinnon - New Staff Sergeant of the Bancroft Detachment O.P.P. The attendees were brought up to date of the Provincial requirement for each municipality to initiate in 2019 and pass by 2021 a policy for the CSAW. I find this additional layer of bureaucracy a positive one. Great potential to reduce the call police involvements in non-criminal occurrences, which now consumes 65% of the OPP calls. More details will follow as they emerge.
Jan 16/19 Marathon Council Meeting Many issues were dealt with from 9:00 AM to 6:45 PM, yet some key items had to be rescheduled for future meetings. Some highlights follow:

  • Change to Comprehensive Zoning By-Law was passed to allow “Second Unit Dwellings” but not in Waterfront Residentially Zone. I supported this exclusion for environmental considerations.
  • A rigorous Code of Conduct for HH Council Members that went beyond the requirements of the Ontario Municipal Conflict of interest Act was passed. By the end of Feb/19, an Integrity Commissioner must be appointed to whom the public may address issues of CoC and MCIA violations.
  • Salary Wage Administration Policy was much discussed more information was required. Council amended the Salary Wage Administration Policy as presented and postponed further discussion on the Corporate Wage Grid to the February 20, 2019 meeting.
  • With an eye on the protection of our taxpayers funds, a HH Investment Policy was discussed and passed
  • Additional appointment of Council Members to Committees and Boards were made. Full list may be seen on the HH web site in the “Council” tab.
  • Updates to User Fees were passed. This is a very important source of “non-tax revenue”.

As I mentioned, the above are samples of how we spent 9.5 hrs. Full official minutes can be seen at  https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/69943
Ministry of Municipal Affairs Orientation More orientation meeting… This one was provided by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs on Jan. 17/19 at he Dunganon Community Centre for the elected officials and CAO/Clerks of several neighbouring municipalities. Every Member of Concil and CAO/Clerk Pat Pilgrim and Deputy Clerk Suzanne Huschilt of HH attended and actively participated in these orientation meetings. To my best recollection, I am unable to say the same about some other municipalities.   
Darryl Kramp Our Provincial Member of Parliament attended a Special Meeting of HH Council on Fri. Jan. 25. Prior to the  meeting Council Members had submitted questions on a variety of topics significant to HH.  These may be seen at:  https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/69942?preview=71096https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/69942?preview=71096   Daryl started his answers with the comment that he has "good news and bad news" As all may guess the list of "bad news" was much longer that the "good news". The "bad news" started with a statistic that currently Ontario takes in $40M less per day than in spends. One encouraging "good news" was in his reply to Councillor Gerrow's and my question about Hwy #62. Daryl repeated several times that of the project for our riding the repairs to our stretch of 62 is his "number 1 priorioty". 

ROMA, (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) Conference Sun. Jan 27 to Tues. Jan 29.  I attended a number of sessions. The highlights of some follow. I'd be happy to discuss them in more detail.

  • In Premiere Ford’s presentation he declared that we can count on him to be a partner for Rural Ontario. He and his cabinet members emphasized their willingness to listen and to cut red tape. 
  • Major Bodnar, CAO Pilgrim, Treasurer Stewart and I attended the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) 2019 Conference. On Sun, Jan 27, the four of us were invited to and attended a private meeting with the Minister of Infrastructure, the Hon. Monte McNaughton. Our delegation was one of some 50 to Minister McNaughton and 300++ to other Ministers. We made a strong case for the need for the Province's assistance with the revitalization of Hwy 62.
  • The Ministry of the Attorney General Representatives out lined some of the Next Steps in the role out of the retail sales of Cannabis. By April more retail licences will be issued. 414 municipal jurisdictions opted in and 77 opted out.
  • MPAC presented a very informative session about its role in property assessment and taxation.
  • The session on the changes to Labour Law as it affects Municipal Employees has deep implications for us.
  • I was impressed by the dialogue and commitments to rural areas made by 15 Cabinet Ministers who took part Q and A at a Ministers' Forum.  

All in all a very worthwhile 2 days.

                                      In The Community 
Raging Fire  in Maynooth A devastating and tragic fire totally destroyed a home in Maynooth. Two occupants escaped but their beloved pets, 2 cats, sadly perished. Our Volunteer Fire Service fought the blaze for hours in bitter freezing conditions and was able to contain it with out serious damage to the nearby next door residences. Supporting at the scene were members of our community, United Church congregation, local restaurant, residents and businesses prepared hot meals and sandwiches, Deputy Mayor Hagar arranged for and Mayor Bodnar shuttled the hot food, the nearby Community Centre was turned into a rest and warming venue. Since that day, others set up clothing drop off, local businesses began collecting cash donations, Memories Bakery and Tearoom, the Arlington Hotel and the ANAF (to held on Feb 6/19) held a fund raiser suppers, a GoFundMe account was set up. OUR HEROES ALL!!         
Skate Maynooth is one of the cherished pleasures of winter life in HH. Each Friday evening (ice conditions permitting) 6:00 to 8:00 PM, everyone is invited to a pleasure skate at the Maynooth rink. Skate to music, refresh with hot chocolate, chilly, munchies and enjoy the camaraderie.   
Bridge: (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM in the Library. Always ready to welcome new players. Learn to play, improve your game or help some one to do so.
Save the Date: Feb. 9/19 for the Winter Market  First Indoor Market for 2019. HH Centre Emond Hall 10 AM to 3:00 PM. Come to see and to support our local venders.
Constituency Work  Many of the initiatives with which I become involved are direct results of conversations with constituents. My preferred interaction is person-to-person contact. I can also be reached at 613 338 0028, send me an e-mail awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on facebook Alex Walder. Please accept this invite as a sincere offer to listen and dialogue.