MNBP Special Council Meeting Minutes (Electronic) April 8, 2020 Electronic Meetings, STAs, Seasonal Staffing

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MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Milt McIver, Deputy Mayor Debbie Myles, Councillor Laurie (Smokey) Golden, Councillor James Mielhausen, Councillor Megan Myles

STAFF PRESENT: Clerk, Mary Lynn Standen, Deputy Clerk, Cathy Addison, Administrative Assistant, Tessa Swanton, Carol Hopkins, By-law Enforcement Officer

OTHERS PRESENT: Nil 

NOTE: In the absence of the ability to vote by a show of hands, in accordance with By-law No. 2018-73, Section 2(dd), Council votes will be recorded for resolutions presented at electronic Council meetings. 

DISCLOSURE OF PECUNIARY INTEREST AND GENERAL NATURE THEREOF

Mayor McIver called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m. and Council members were reminded to disclose any pecuniary interest and the general nature thereof that may arise during the course of the meeting.

Councillor Myles declared a conflict of interest in respect to Agenda Item #3 as “I own/operate a tourist accommodation (hostel) in the Municipality”.

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

Moved by M. Myles Resolution #19-01-2020 Seconded by J. Mielhausen

THAT the content of the agenda be approved as presented. 

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

(The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.)

Carried

ADOPTION OF THE MINUTES

There are no Minutes to adopt for Special Council Meeting No. 20-19, April 8, 2020.

PUBLIC MEETING

There is no Public Meeting for Special Council Meeting No. 20-19, April 8, 2020.

DELEGATION

There is no Delegation for Special Council Meeting No. 20-19, April 8, 2020.

CONSIDERATION OF AGENDA ITEMS

 1. By-law Enforcement Officer Report No. MLEO 20-05

RE: By-law Enforcement Summer Staff

Councillor Myles questioned what regulations by-law enforcement officers would be able to enforce if they were to be hired before May 4, 2020.

Councillor Golden indicated that she had been asked by members of the public what the protocol for handling short term accommodations is in Northern Bruce Peninsula (NBP), as South Bruce Peninsula (SBP) has just recently released its position on regulating short term accommodations during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

By-law Enforcement Officer, Carol Hopkins, advised that municipal by-law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the provisions as designated in the Emergency Management and Protection Act. She informed that two (2) seasonal by-law enforcement officers are willing to commence seasonal employment with the Municipality at any time if they are needed. She further noted that, after speaking with other by-law enforcement officers, she has concluded that the by-law enforcement officers are able to patrol and ask groups congregated in numbers of greater than five (5) people, whom are not from the same household, to separate. Mrs. Hopkins indicated that short term rental accommodation issues need to be forwarded to the OPP to be addressed. In the instance that a group greater than five (5) does not separate after being asked by a by-law enforcement officer to do so, the officer may contact the OPP for assistance. 

Mrs. Hopkins confirmed that by-law enforcement can issue tickets and enforce the closure of Municipal marinas and other public boat launches in the Municipality. 

Mr. Deska, Manager of Community Services, noted that the boat ramps are not to be used; however, some boats have been launched into the Tobermory Harbour. He said that signage has been posted notifying the public that the ramps are currently closed. Mr. Deska also mentioned that he has been in touch with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) regarding the closure of boat ramps.

Councillor Myles asked if it would be possible to amend the recommendation to include a start date prior to the Easter long weekend. She also asked how enforcement staff will be protected and that the decision to hire by-law enforcement staff during the Covid-19 pandemic be included in the next press release.

Mrs. Hopkins informed that both by-law enforcement officers have been trained in health and safety and will be provided with personal protective equipment to wear while working. She said that, while in conversation with other by-law enforcement officers, it was suggested that a warning be issued and if regulations are not abided by at that time, then charges will follow. 

In response to an inquiry from Deputy Mayor Myles, Mrs. Hopkins explained that the current appointment by-law covers all of the applicable staff as no new staff members are being designated and further that there are other Municipal staff appointed by way of that by-law who can assist in enforcement, if needed.

Moved by L. Golden Resolution #19-02-2020 Seconded by D. Myles 

THAT Council receives MLEO Report No. 20-05 as information relating to the return of By-law Enforcement summer staff commencing April 10th, 2020 to October 17th, 2020;

AND THAT Council directs Staff to continue with the hiring of the By-law Enforcement summer staff.

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

(The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.)

Carried

2. Clerks Department Report No. C 20-24

RE: Procedural By-law update – Electronic Meeting Participation for Clerk and Municipal Staff at open and closed Council Meetings, on a trial basis, during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) or until the end of 2020, whichever comes first.

Councillor Myles questioned the duration of the emergency declaration from NBP and at what point will it be required to be extended, or if the Provincial declaration would apply in this instance. 

Clerk, Mary Lynn Standen, commented that the report is a housekeeping task intended to allow the Clerk and Municipal staff to participate in electronic Council Meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Moved by J. Mielhausen Resolution #19-03-2020 Seconded by L. Golden 

THAT Council endorses the enactment of an amendment to the Procedural By-law (being By-law No. 2020-43) at today’s meeting for the purposes of authorizing electronic meeting participation and establishing policies for open and closed council meetings for the Clerk and Municipal Staff, on a trial basis, during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) or until the end of 2020, whichever comes first. 

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

(The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.)

Carried

Having declared a conflict of interest, Councillor Myles did not participate in this portion of the meeting. 

3. Ontario Regulation 119/20, Order Under Subsection 7.0.2(4) – Closure of Non-Essential Businesses relating to Short Term Rentals

(Chief Building Official and By-law Enforcement Officer update regarding said Order)

Mayor McIver advised that he has been in contact with the Mayor and CAO of the Town of Saugeen Shores as well as the Mayor of Municipality of Kincardine regarding the closure of short term rental accommodations.

Councillor Golden said that she has received emails from residents who live on Johnsons Harbour Road, Dorcas Bay Road and Warner Bay Road who have indicated that short term accommodations are being rented to tourists and residents would like to be made aware of who to contact regarding these issues.

Deputy Mayor Myles mentioned that, under Provincial legislation, it states that short term accommodations are not to be operating at this time. Mayor McIver said that the Mayor of Saugeen Shores is looking into this topic further.

Mrs. Hopkins advised that she spoke with the Municipal solicitor and notified him that the Municipality does not acknowledge short term accommodations in the form of a by-law and they are not recognized in the Comprehensive Zoning By-law. She said that she was then informed that by-law enforcement can only ask groups of over five (5) people to separate if they are not from the same family and the OPP can be called to assist. 

Council discussed whether a legal opinion should be obtained regarding the enforcement of short term rental accommodations during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Deputy Mayor Myles stated that she would be in favour of obtaining a legal opinion in order to have a process in place before the long weekend. 

Moved by D. Myles Resolution #19-04-2020 Seconded by L. Golden

THAT Council authorizes the Mayor and Clerk to collaborate and discuss the topic of Short Term Accommodations and if necessary, obtain a legal opinion on same to substantiate the Municipality’s desire to address this matter by way of a Corporate statement to be released before the Easter Holiday Weekend. 

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

(The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.)

Carried

Councillor Myles resumed participation in the meeting at this time.

4. Seasonal Staffing

Mayor McIver asked that information regarding seasonal staffing be prepared by each department and presented at the April 14, 2020 Council Meeting. 

Councillor Myles noted that if deferring the start date on seasonal staff threatens their return, then that needs to be considered when making a decision in this regard. 

Mrs. Standen stated that she had spoken with the Public Works Manager and Treasurer regarding seasonal staff and the Manager of Community Services has the greatest number of seasonal staff. She said that staff can prepare information on this topic and specify where seasonal staff will be working during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Councillor Golden commented that it is impossible to predict the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and the summer season may not be as busy as usual due to the virus. 

Deputy Mayor Myles asked if staff spoke with crane operators regarding the lift dates for boats. Mr. Deska confirmed that there is no issue rescheduling a date at the Lion’s Head Harbour and he will speak with the Tobermory Harbour Master today on this matter. 

Mayor McIver asked staff to prepare information relating to seasonal staffing for the 2020 season to be presented under Other Business at the April 14, 2020 Council Meeting for Council’s consideration. 

OTHER BUSINESS 

Councillor Myles thanked staff for their work organizing electronic Council Meetings through “ZOOM” and for communication efforts to the public in collaboration with the Peninsula Family Health Team. 

In regards to boat launches, Mr. Deska confirmed that boat ramps and marinas are to be closed except in the case where they are providing access to a primary residence. Mr. Deska said that Municipal boat launches throughout the area have been closing in order to limit areas where individuals can congregate and create an opportunity for the transmission of COVID-19. He stated that the closure of boat launches in NBP would deter visitors. Mr. Deska listed boat launches where signage should be implemented relating to their closure. 

Mr. Deska recommended that boat launches be closed and people be encouraged to stay home at this time.

Councillor Myles said that the closures would deter visitors to the area and Councillor Mielhausen suggested this information be included in the next press release.

Councillor Golden mentioned that some locals may launch a small boat despite regulations and there may be some push back on this decision. 

Mr. Deska said that the list of approximately six (6) boat launches is posted on the Municipal website and launches at Lion’s Head and Tobermory are not to be barricaded as directed by the Coast Guard.

Deputy Mayor Myles noted that anyone trailering his/her boat to the launch is considered non-essential travel.

Moved by J. Mielhausen Resolution #19-05-2020 Seconded by M. Myles 

THAT Council supports the closure of the six (6) boat launches named on the Municipal website.

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

(The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.)

Carried

Mrs. Addison, Deputy Clerk/Emergency Management Coordinator, provided the following update regarding COVID-19:

 • a Provincial hotline was established for the public to call if they wish to report any non-essential businesses that are currently operating: phone number is 1-888-444-3659;

 • the Province extended their declaration of emergency to April 13, 2020;

 • Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) directive for Cemeteries to be open 7 days a week for full interments;

 • signage has been posted in the area due to COVID-19 to discouraging gatherings;

 • 238 Municipalities and 59 First Nation Communities have declared an emergency as of April 6, 2020;

 • residents have asked if the Municipality can close Highway 6; however, the Municipality does not have jurisdiction over Highway 6; and 

 • a staff report will be presented at the April 14, 2020 Council Meeting with a more formal update on COVID-19.

Councillor Myles inquired on the closure of public road allowances. Mrs. Addison advised that some road allowances have been posted with signage throughout the Municipality due to complaints of groups gathering in those locations including Julian Drive, Georgian Drive, the Big Tub Lighthouse and Bruce Trail accesses. Mrs. Addison confirmed that the list of closed road allowances would be posted on the Municipal website later today.

Councillor Golden suggested that an exception be made regarding the closure of boat launches for individuals who are fishing to provide food for their family. Councillor Myles recommended that this option be revisited at the next Council Meeting. 

Mrs. Hopkins stated that by-law enforcement can patrol boat launches over the weekend. 

CORRESPONDENCE

There is no Correspondence for Special Council Meeting No. 20-19, April 8, 2020.

READING OF BY-LAWS

Moved by L. Golden Resolution #19-06-2020 Seconded by M. Myles 

THAT the following listed by-law be given 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading and enacted:

2020-46 BEING A BY-LAW TO ESTABLISH SPECIAL PROVISIONS TO AUTHORIZE ELECTRONIC PARTICIPATION FOR THE CLERK AND MUNICIPAL STAFF IN OPEN AND CLOSED COUNCIL MEETINGS, ON A TRIAL BASIS, DURING THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) [AS DEFINED BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) OR UNTIL THE END OF 2020 WHICHEVER COMES FIRST]

2020-47 BEING A BY-LAW TO CONFIRM THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING OF THE CORPORATION OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF NORTHERN BRUCE PENINSULA HELD WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2020

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

(The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.)

Carried

CLOSED SESSION

There is no Closed Session for Special Council Meeting No. 20-19, April 8, 2020.

RECONVENE FROM “CLOSED SESSION” TO RESUME COUNCIL MEETING

There is no Closed Session for Special Council Meeting No. 20-19, April 8, 2020.

ADJOURNMENT 

Moved by J. Mielhausen Resolution #19-07-2020 Seconded by M. Myles 

THAT the meeting adjourns at 10:10 a.m.

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

(The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.)

Carried