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Council & Committee of the Whole – February 13 & 15, 2024 – Highlights

February 20, 2024

Council Highlights – February 13 Regular Meeting of Council

Announcements

Councillor Pennell announced Maple in the County happening March 23 – 24, 2024. Residents are encouraged to attend the event and enjoy some pancakes and support local businesses. Click here to learn more about the event.

Councillor Prinzen announced that there will be an upcoming Community Conversation for Bloomfield/Hallowell ward residents happening on February 29. The conversation will take place at the Bloomfield Town Hall (289 Bloomfield Main Street) beginning at 7 pm. Click here to learn more.

Mayor Ferguson has proclaimed February 17 – 25, 2025 as Heritage Week in Prince Edward County. Residents are encouraged to participate in the week-long celebration of County history and heritage that will be sure to both educate and entertain.

Mayor Ferguson proclaimed February 13, 2024, as Canada’s Agriculture Day to celebrate the hardworking people who bring us the food we love and the essential contributions of agriculture to our community.

Presentations

Musical group “The Reasons” receives Civic Recognition Award
Mayor Ferguson presented the local musical group “The Reasons” with a Civic Award in honour of the band’s contributions to the community.

Launch of Prince Edward Family Health Team Community Clinic
Barinder Gill, Executive Director of the Prince Edward Family Health Team (PEFHT) made a presentation to Council on the launch of the PEFHT community clinic. The clinic will be available two days a week: one day in Picton at the Harbourview Clinic and one in Wellington at the Sandbanks Medical Centre. The clinic will connect County residents without a primary care provider to primary care programs and services offered by the family health team. Click here to view the PEFHT presentation.

Accessibility Advisory Committee update to Council
Irene Harris, Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, addressed Council regarding the Committee’s 2023 update. Irene’s presentation and report gave Council a snapshot of the great work that was done by the Committee in 2023. Click here to learn more.

Traffic Advisory Committee update to Council
Kelly McGillvray, Chair of the Traffic Advisory Committee, addressed Council regarding the Committee’s 2023 update. Kelly’s presentation and report gave Council a snapshot of the great work that was done by the Committee in 2023. Click here to learn more.

Comments from the Audience

Don Wilford and Mary Warner both spoke to item 9.4 regarding the verbal update from Mayor Ferguson on the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus highlights. Discussions included environmental concerns with the Enbridge position on the Ontario Energy Board and how the municipality should support the Ontario Energy Board’s decision regarding natural gas.

Items on the Agenda

Council approves the Reserve List of Commemorative Street Names
Council approved the Reserve List of Commemorative Street Names and the revised Commemorative Street Naming Policy. The County’s Street Naming Task Team developed the Reserve List of Commemorative Street Names through extensive public consultation throughout the summer of 2023. 160 public submissions met the criteria of historical and cultural significance, diversity, and inclusion required as part of the reserve list. The purpose of the list is to diversify street names within the County to reflect a broader community heritage. Developers can now choose from this list of names when they are required to name new streets. Click here to learn more.

Resolution from Councillor Roberts seeking Council support for a review of the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program Financial Assistance Rates
Council approved Councillor Roberts’ resolution to seek Council support for a review of the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Financial Assistance Rates. County Council will join the Town of Orangeville to call upon the provincial government for the following:

  • That the province at least double Ontario Works and ODSP rates and index rates to inflation, answering calls already made by the “Raise the Rates” campaign and the “Income Security Advocacy Centre.”
  • Commit to ongoing cost of living increases above and beyond the rate of inflation to make up for the years they were frozen.
  • Commit to jointly work between the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health on the best methods of assessing client needs and then matching those in need to the services they require.

A copy of Councillor Roberts’ resolution will be sent to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association, Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Social Services, the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus, and all Ontario Municipalities.

Click here to read Councillor Roberts’ full resolution.

Resolution from Mayor Ferguson seeking Council support for a comprehensive social and economic prosperity review to promote the stability and sustainability of municipal finances
*Mayor Ferguson too leave of the Chair so he could move this resolution. Councillor Hirsch assumed the position of Chair for this agenda item*

Council approved Mayor Ferguson’s resolution to seek Council support for a comprehensive social and economic prosperity review to promote the stability and sustainability of municipal finances. The Province of Ontario will commit to undertaking with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario a comprehensive social and economic prosperity review to promote the stability and sustainability of municipal finances across Ontario.

A copy of this motion will be sent to the Premier of Ontario; the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; the Minister of Finance; Bay of Quinte MPP, The Honourable Todd Smith, the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus and to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Click here to read Mayor Ferguson’s full resolution.

Other Business

Council received the verbal update from Mayor Ferguson regarding the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) Highlights. Mayor Ferguson will write to members of the EOWC to urge they pause their support position on Enbridge’s request for a motion to review evidence with the Ontario Energy Board and to seek a judicial review of this decision, and the Mayor will urge the members to instead explore the Ontario Energy Board decision and more current, cleaner technologies.

Councillor Braney’s resignation from the Built & Cultural Hertiage Advisory Committee was received by Council. Councillor Grosso has been appointed to serve on the committee after accepting the nomination by Councillor Prinzen.

Councillor Braney’s resignation from the Audit Committee was received by Council. Council appointed Councillor Nieman to serve on the committee in Councillor Braney’s place.

Council approved minutes from previous advisory committees and board meetings.

 

Committee of the Whole Highlights – February 15, 2024

Deputations

Governance Structure Review
Gary Mooney addressed the Committee about the County’s Governance Review Structure. Gary’s deputation urged Council to exclude Council downsizing and ward restructuring from this review. Click here to read Gary’s full deputation.

Comments from the Audience

Four members of the public provided comments on item 6.1 – Governance Structure Review – Terms of Reference. Discussions included personal experiences with previous reviews, the process and outcomes of the past three reviews and the history of the impact of amalgamation on the tax levy, and the creation of a Finance Committee with a mandate to regulate spending.

Items on the Agenda

Governance Structure Review
Ontario law gives municipalities a significant degree of flexibility to establish or change their own ward and council structure.

County staff provided a report to the Committee which details considerations for Council regarding how a potential third party review of the municipal governance structure could be done. Engaging in a review now would allow for any proposed changes to be in place for the 2026 municipal election. The initiative was turned down by Council, and a review will not be taking place.

Council approves Strategic Plan Key Performance Indicators
Council endorsed the 2023-2026 Corporate Strategic Plan on August 29, 2023. As a fundamental part of implementing the Corporate Strategic Plan, staff have worked together across departments to create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which will measure staff’s collective progress towards the objectives and metrics outlined in the Corporate Strategic Plan. Municipal progress towards the strategic objectives outlined in the Corporate Strategic Plan will be reported to Council annually.

Council approved the KPIs to measure the Corporate Strategic Plan objectives for 2024.

The next Regular Meeting of Council will be held on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at 7 pm at Shire Hall, 332 Main Street, Picton. 

The next Committee of the Whole meeting will be held on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 1 pm at the Bloomfield Town Hall.

This summary is not a complete record of the proceedings of the meetings. For the official record, please refer to the minutes in the next Council agenda.  A video of this meeting is available on The County’s YouTube Channel.

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