| Jul 03, 2008

Feature Article - July 3, 2008

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Feature Article - July 3, 2008 North Frontenac Council – June 26/08By Jeff Green

Maguire frustrated with ministry response over Pine Lake

North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire recounted to his Council last week that a long-awaited meeting with Ontario government officials failed to clarify what direction the township should take regarding the proposed Pine Lake development.

Almost exactly two years ago, the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) appropriated the boat launch at Pine Lake, and began clearing it with the intention of establishing a Pow Wow grounds and building a band office.

The AAFN asserted their claim to the land, and said they were planning to pursue the development without seeking any kinds of permits. They also said they would still follow the building code and environmental regulations becaue they agreed with them. “The building code is a good code”, said their spokesperson Bob Lovelace at the time.

An environmental assessment was done, and even though the AAFN has neither asked for nor accepted one, then MNR has issued a land use permit for the development.

North Frontenac Council was looking for guidance, particularly from the Ministy of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as to the township’s own obligations to require a building or entrance permit before the building project begins.

“To get to the short of it,” Maguire told his council after the meeting, “we’re on our own. As far as whether we are going to require building permits or entrance permits or permits of any kind, we’re on our own. As far as whether we wanted to ‘be creative’, as they said, it was made very clear to us that they did not want to deal with this at all.”

Not receiving clarification as to whether the township would be held to the letter of the law by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing left Maguire uneasy. “It was not received very well by us. It wasn’t comforting anyway” he said.

It does help Maguire that there is a lack of clarity as to the legal status of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.

“Justice Thomson clearly said that the AAFN does not have legal standing to assert native rights, but on the other side were ministry positions that they would recognise them, admit that they are recognised by other First Nations, and welcome them to the land claims process. It is hard to square all that.”

Council took no position as to how to proceed should construction commence at the site.

Secession from Frontenac County would be “an incredibly uphill climb”

After discussing the Pine Lake issue, Maguire told council that he took advantage of the fact that a senior official from the Minisry of Municpal Affairs and Housing was on the phone, and mentioned North Frontenac’s intention to explore secession from Frontenac County.

“He said it would be an incredibly uphill climb; number one because the legislation that set up amalgamation said no new municipalities would ever be created,” Maguire reported. “Even if it were possible, the hoops that we would have to go through to satisfy the county and the province would be quite formidable.”

The only option that might be entertained, according to Maguire, would be for North Frontenac to join another county. “It would still be quite a protracted process. It’s quite daunting really,” Maguire said.

On the other hand, a manager from the ministry admitted that Frontenac is the only county with “such a small council, only four members, and he said he could see why it is unworkable,” Maguire said.

Maguire suggested that the township stay the course, but hold off on a planned feasibility study until they have had some further meetings.

Big Gull Lake – Twelve property owners who own island lots on Big Gull Lake received permission to access a dock which they have built on Crown land.

Tappin’s Bay – North Frontenac received an email from the clerk of Addington Highlands Township, Jack Pauhl, informing them that the Mazinaw Lake Property Owners Association has asked Addington Highlands to seek a lease from North Frontenac so the association can develop the launch further.

Council was not receptive.

Councilor Fred Perry, who has dealt exensively with Tappin’s Bay, said, “It’s been over a year since anyone from Mazinaw Lake came to see us about this. If they want to do something they should come here and make a proposal, and follow a process, just like the people from Big Gull Lake have done.”

New recycling plans: Council decided that North Frontenac should pay $50 to become part of multi-township initiative, based in Renfrew, towards recycling. The township currently recycles in Belleville, which is further away, although the terrain is flatter.

“Our main goal was to find somebody who would take our plastic bags, Styrofoam and polystyrene,” said Public Works Manager John Ibey.

The Renfew plant does, and Belleville doesn’t.

Wayne Cole resigns from North Frontenac Council

Wayne Cole, who has represented Ward 2 (the former Clarendon and Miller Township) on North Frontenac Council for the past 18 months, resigned abruptly last Tuesday, June 22.

His resignation was announced at a council meeting on Thursday, June 24, and the township is seeking candidates who would like to stand for the position, which will be filled by appointment later this month.

Wayne Cole resigned just one day after participating, along with North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire, in a conference call with officials from several provincial ministries on the subject of the pending development of Pow Wow grounds and a band office by the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.

At the council meeting on Thursday, North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire reported that the upshot of the meeting with the province on Monday had been that the township is “on its own” in deciding how to deal with issues around building permits in regard to the development.

The News was unable to contact Wayne Cole over the Canada Day weekend for comment on his resignation, but were informed by township staff that he cited personal reasons for stepping down.

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