Bruce County Council:
- authorized the execution of a Master Service Agreement between Bruce County and the Nimble Information Strategies Inc. for the provision of Electronic Data management (EDM) Services
- authorized the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Bruce County and the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- authorized the execution of a MOU between Bruce County and the Municipality of Brockton for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- authorized the execution of a MOU between Bruce County and the Municipality of South Bruce for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- authorized the execution of a MOU between Bruce County and the Municipality of Kincardine for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- authorized the execution of a MOU between Bruce County and the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- authorized the execution of a MOU between Bruce County and the Township of Huron-Kinloss for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- authorized the execution of a MOU between Bruce County and the Town of Saugeen Shores for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- authorized the execution of a MOU between Bruce County and the Town of South Bruce Peninsula for the provision of Emergency Social Services
- established and adopted a Purchasing Policy for the procurement of goods and services for Bruce County
- adopted Amendment Number C-2020-014 to Bruce County Official Plan
- authorized the creation of the Long Term Care Homes Committee of Management
- established Part 5 on Plan 3R-3016, being a 0.3 metre reserve adjacent Bruce Road 13, as part of the public Highway system for Bruce County
- authorized the execution of a five-year agreement with both the Huron Shores ATV Club and the South Peninsula ATV Club to allow club members legal access to County lands
- Grey Bruce Public Health www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca
Grey Bruce Public Health discussed the successful rollout of vaccines and encouraged everyone to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by exercising the 3 W’s - wash your hands, watch your distance (6 feet), and wear your face covering correctly.
New MOU with the Nuclear Innovation Institute
Bruce County’s Executive Committee approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII). The January 2021 NII Innovation Road Map identifies opportunities for innovation, select those with the best opportunities for success and path to implementation, provide a platform for experimentation and collaboration in testing potential solutions and share lessons learned. The NII is home to several programs, including Bruce Power Centre of Next Generation Nuclear, the Environment@NII Program, and the Clean Energy Frontier Program. This MOU will remain in effect until December 31, 2023. A member of County Council is appointed to the NII on an annual basis (currently Councillor Anne Eadie).
Clean Energy Frontier Program MOU
The Executive Committee endorsed Clean Energy Frontier Program and approved the MOU with Bruce Power and the NII. The goal of the Clean Energy Frontier Program is to achieve policy certainty for the nuclear industry in the Bruce, Grey, and Huron region, while encouraging positive perceptions of the region and building a sustainable eco-system of clean energy companies. Activities to date have included developing program infrastructure including brand recognition, creating the website and information bank, and updating the supply chain map. Bruce Power and Bruce County will each provide $55,000 annually. This MOU will remain in effect until December 31, 2023.
Procedure By-law Amended
The Executive Committee approved amendments to the Procedure By-law which include adding next meeting dates to the Council Agenda, renaming the Homes Committee to Long-Term Care Homes Committee of Management, and defining the term of office for the Chair of the Bruce County Public Library Board to be the term of the Library Board.
Economic Recovery: Emergency Business Sustainability Loan Update
The Executive Committee approved the extension of agreements with the Bruce Community Futures Development Corporation and the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation to facilitate and execute the Bruce County Emergency Business Sustainability Loan to September 30, 2021. The Bruce County Emergency Business Sustainability Loan provides low-interest (2.5%) loans to support cash flow and working capital, no principal or interest payments for the first six months of the loan, and loan repayment over five years with flexible repayment terms and no prepayment penalties. Since the launch of the loan, the two Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) have processed a total of 22 loans representing 54% of the total allotted funding for a total of $409,500 out of $750,000 with $340,500 remaining.
Return to In-Person Bruce County Council and Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee approved that the Bruce County Council and Committee meetings would transition to a “Hybrid Approach”, a mix of both virtual and in-person attendance by Bruce County Council, beginning in June 2021. Public access will continue to be available via digital delegation, live steam through the County Website, and after-the-fact as an archived eSCRIBE video through the County Website.
Ombudsman of Ontario Responds to Closed Meeting Review Request
Bruce County’s Executive Committee requested that the information from the staff review of 2016 to 2020 closed meetings be forwarded to the Ombudsman’s Office for review. The Ombudsman of Ontario’s staff reviewed the forwarded information and acknowledged that the County has taken considerable steps to improve its closed meeting practices in recent years. The Ombudsman’s office will not be reviewing the matter further.
2021 Budget Amended for Physical Security Assessment
The Corporate Services Committee approved an amendment to the 2021 budget to increase consulting expenses in the Non-Departmental department by $15,000 to be funded from the Tax Stabilization Reserve. Bruce County is looking at improve accessibility and security in the Council Chambers in Walkerton, along with adjoining rooms, the atrium and front entrance, and the secondary emergency exits and access to the employee-only areas.
2020 Unaudited Financial Statement Review
The 2020 Unaudited Financial Statement Review identified an unaudited year-end surplus of $2,937,817. The Corporate Services Committee approved that $1,750,000 be transferred to the Affordable Housing Program - Creation of New Units reserve, that $250,000 be transferred to a new General Building Reserve, that $294,000 be transferred to a Winter Control Reserve, that $100,000 be allocated to the 2021 costs of a new Project Manager position, and that the remainder of the funds be transferred to the Tax Stabilization reserve as per existing policy.
Buildings Valuation Review for Insurance Purposes
As part of the services offered by the County’s insurance broker (Aon), Suncorp Valuations completed inspections and prepared insurance valuations for 17 County buildings, at no cost to the County. Suncorp valued the assessed assets at $19,679,643 higher than current estimated value. The Corporate Services Committee approved that the insurance coverage for the Jail and Kitchen be reduced to cover only building debris removal and site restoration, that the insurance coverage for all other assessed buildings be increased in accordance with the new valuations, and that the increase in insurance premium for the new valuations be paid.
2021 Budget Annual Disclosure
“Ontario Regulation 284/09 Budget Matters – Expenses” permits a municipality to exclude certain expenses from its budget with the condition that a report be prepared about the excluded expenses and that the report is adopted by resolution. The expenses that may be excluded from the budget are 1) Amortization expenses, 2) Post-employment benefits expense, 3) Solid waste landfill closure and post-closure expenses. The County does not currently budget for amortization expenses. The County intends to move towards budgeting for full amortization expenses over time by increasing the transfers to reserves. The County does budget on an annual basis the current year costs of post-employment benefits but not the entire estimated future liability. The County does not own any open or closed former solid waste landfills. The budgeting of this expense is not applicable.
2021 COVID-19 Recovery Funding for Municipalities
The Government of Ontario committed financial support to Bruce County through the 2021 COVID-19 Recovery Funding for Municipalities program in order to support COVID-19 operating costs and pressures. Bruce County received $501,184. The County’s Senior Management Team will review the grant and the 2021 budget to determine how best to utilize the funds.
2020 Council Statement of Remuneration
The 2020 Council Statement of Remuneration report identifies $288,540.64 in total remuneration and expenses for Council members and Board Appointees for the period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The is a decrease from the statement for the same period in 2019, which totaled $305,150.15.
- Matheson, Don - Alternate: $229.00
- Twolan, Mitch - Warden: $68,023.82
- Buckle, Robert - Councillor: $27,160.99
- Charbonneau, Luke - Councillor: $29,033.01
- Eadie, Anne - Councillor: $28,432.47
- Hammell, Steve - Councillor: $29,107.60
- Jackson, Janice - Councillor: $32,914.76
- McIver, Milt - Councillor: $32,266.26
- Peabody, Chris - Councillor: $31,426.65
- Moszynski, Mike - Library Appointee: $3,342.16
- Dickison, Catherine - Library Appointee: $2,893.77
- Symon, Patricia - Library Appointee: $3,455.15
- McGugan, Ed - Accessibility Advisory: $85.00
- Daykin, Mary Winn - Accessibility Advisory: $85.00
- Jensen, Jessica - Accessibility Advisory: $85.00
Summary of Awarded Tenders - Q1 2021
According to the requirements of the Bruce County Purchasing and Procurement Policy, a “Request for Tender” is issued for goods and services estimated to exceed $75,000. Tenders with no bids received will be re-tendered and sometimes with a scope-change if required. The following summarizes the Tenders awarded between January 1 and March 31, 2021 by all Departments.
- Common room and fire separation upgrades at 83 2nd St., Chesley - Allen Hastings - $131,971
- Lindsay Tract, Ira Lake Road (Forestry Sale) - Liverance Lumber - $90,160
- MHSW Contractor - Photech Environmental Solutions Inc. Operating Expense - $216,750
- Tandem - B&I Complete Truck Centre - $156,780 (does not include plow equip.)
- Reid Bridge - AJN Builders - $1,267,454
- Steffler Culvert Rehabilitation - VanDriel Construction - $730,128
- Blackwell Bridge - VanDriel Construction - $490,319
- CIP Recycling and Culvert Replacements BR# 3 & 4 - The Murray Group - $2,442,626
- Micro Surfacing - Duncor Enterprises - $1,156,348
- Brant Track - 1300 Conc. 12 (Forestry Sale) - Moggie Valley - $40,000
- Pick-up’s (Qty. 2 - ½ Tons) - Larry Hudson Chev. - $34,333
- Pick-up (Qty. 1 - 1 Ton) - Larry Hudson Chev. - $39,345 (does not include fabricated dump box)
- Pick-up Trails (Qty. 1 - ½ Ton) - Larry Hudson Chev. - $38,287
2021 Annual Repayment Limit
Bruce County’s 2021 Annual Repayment Limit (ARL) is $11,136,008 after taking into account the total debt charges of $3,785,782. The ARL shows the long-term debt and financial obligations and also its current debt limit. The 2021 ARL is calculated based on 25% of the 2019 own net source revenues as reported in the 2019 Financial Information Return (FIR). Bruce County is able to borrow an additional $138,779,000 based on the ARL, assuming a 5% interest rate and 20 year debt amortization. Current borrowing rates are well below 5%. Bruce County is currently utilizing only 11.7% of its debt capacity based on the 2019 FIR.
Summary of Purchasing Policy Suspension Approvals - Q1 2021
According to the requirements of the Bruce County Purchasing and Procurement Policy, the approved Purchasing Policy Suspensions will be communicated to Committee. The following summarizes the approved purchases between January 1 and March 31, 2021 by all Departments.
- Purchase of 2 - Power Cots & IV Poles - Stryker Canada - $43,016
- Maintenance Management Software Implementation - Public Sector Digest - $83,350
- Consultant firm to fill a short-term vacancy for Planning Technician - MHBC Planning - Not to exceed $75,000
Saugeen Shores Paramedic Services Facility
The Paramedic Services Committee defeated a recommendation to have a single-sourced consultant (Dawley Engineering from Hanover, with a history of Fire Hall design in communities around Southwestern, Ontario) provide technical expertise. The building of a new Paramedic Services Facility in Saugeen Shores will be tendered following standard procedure.
Long Term Care Homes In Full Compliance
Brucelea Haven (Walkerton) and Gateway Haven (Wiarton) Long Term Care Homes are in full compliance with the Long Term Care Homes Act and all associated regulations. The homes conduct regular audits and Primacare consultants have continued to monitor the Home’s status. Throughout March, Primacare continued to provide contracted assistance and management support to Brucelea Haven and Gateway Haven through the supervision of the Administrators and the provision of expert consulting services to support specific operations. The County’s LTC pandemic response continues to be the priority focus for both homes. At Brucelea Haven, 129 doses of Moderna vaccine were administered on January 27 with the second dose provided on March 2. 210 doses of Pfizer were administered on February 19 with the second dose administered on March 28. At Gateway Haven, all Residents and 13 staff have received second dose of Moderna and 57 staff, 3 residents and 74 essential caregivers received their first dose of Pfizer. The second Pfizer dose is expected imminently for those awaiting it. Both homes continue with protocols for universal eye protection to accompany ongoing universal masking for staff, essential caregivers, and residents. Both homes are using new funding to support social distance, ventilation/AC systems, furnishing/small equipment/water system/plumbing, building envelope and cleaning/sanitation supplies. Bruce County continues to recruit a Director, Long Term Care and Senior Services, as well as a Director of Care at Gateway Haven. Family and Residents Councils are active in both homes and provide an opportunity for both family and residents to have direct discussions with each other and with homes staff. Resident engagement continues. There are 140 residents at Brucelea Haven, with a waitlist of 113, and there are 98 residents at Gateway Haven, with a waitlist of 96.
Home Repair Program Guidelines Enhanced
The Human Services Committee approved the limits for the Home Repair Program Guideline be updated to $75,000 for Income Level, $340,000 for Assessed Value, and $15,000 for Maximum loan amount. The program provides assistance for residents who require home repairs to improve their living conditions or foster independent living.
Social Service Relief Fund Phase 2 Allocation
The Human Services Committee:
- authorized the execution of a Service Agreement between Bruce County and Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey to assist with their COVID-19 Housing Response
- authorized the execution of a Service Agreement between Bruce County and Grey Bruce Good Food Box to provide food security to vulnerable residents
- authorized the execution of a Service Agreement between Bruce County and Victim Services Bruce Grey Perth to assist with their COVID-19 Housing response.
Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative Allocation
The Human Services Committee approved a service agreement addendum for the flow of additional funds to the Canadian Mental Health Association, to hire a Transitional Outreach Worker. In 2020, Bruce County, Grey County, and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Grey Bruce partnered to form a Housing Response Table in response to the increase housing support need. Since then, it has become clear additional support is required to assist residents to remain connected to supports while waiting to find permanent housing. A Transitional Outreach Worker supports individuals and families who are waiting for housing and require connections to various community supports. The Transitional Outreach Worker will also stay connected with newly housed individuals and families to ensure permanent housing solutions.
Special Needs Resource Program
Bruce County Children’s Services continues to work with parents and key community partners to help support the development of children in our region. The Special Needs Resource Program supports the inclusion of children with special needs in licensed child care settings, EarlyON programs, and authorized camps, children’s recreation, and skill building programs. The Special Needs Resource Program is a voluntary program with no cost to parents and caregivers. The program offers 3 levels of service, with the purpose of providing universal inclusion strategies, focused short term consultation services, and intensive individual support when needed. Bruce County Resource Teachers will help link families with community supports and services and assist in planning for a seamless transition to school. Interested in this program for your child? Contact the Special Needs Resource Program toll free at 1-800-265-3005, locally at 519-881-0431, or email email@example.com
Bruce County Home Child Care Program and Helping Families Choose Quality Child Care
Bruce County Children’s Services operates a licensed Home Child Care Program that contracts with Home Child Care Providers to provide high-quality, inclusive, accessible, and affordable child care. Following the introduction of enhanced health and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19, for the child care sector, the program has experienced a reduction of seven (7) Home Child Care Providers. As such, staff are currently implementing a Home Child Care Provider recruitment strategy. Currently, the program contracts with 16 Home Child Care Providers who provide 96 licensed child care spaces across the county. In order to support families in finding licensed, high-quality child care, staff from the Home Child Care and Early Learning Coordination Programs have developed a booklet to help families locate and select child care programs across Bruce County. The Choosing Quality Child Care booklet introduces families to How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years and suggests important questions and considerations for parents when selecting a child care provider to best meet the needs of their child and family situation. An online version of the booklet will be promoted through Bruce County’s social media channels, and a hard copy version will be distributed and available to families at various community locations throughout Bruce County.
Bruce County Housing Corporation AGM
The Bruce County Housing Corporation (BCHC) held their Annual General Meeting on April 1, 2021. The BCHC approved that BDO Canada LLP be appointed the accountants of the BCHC and approved that Grove-McClement & Fischer LLP be appointed as the corporate solicitors of the BCHC. The BCHC approved all acts, by-laws, Resolutions, contracts, proceedings, elections, appointments, and payments enacted, passed, made, done or taken by the Directors and Officers of the BCHC since the date of the last Annual Meeting of the Members of the Corporation. The BCHC authorized the Warden and CAO to sign the Consent of Shareholder to an Exemption from Audit. The BCHC approved the election of Robert Buckle, Luke Charbonneau, Anne Eadie, Steve Hammell, Janice Jackson, Milt McIver, Chris Peabody, and Mitch Twolan as Directors of the Corporation. The BCHC approved the unaudited financial statements of the Corporation for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2020.
Ontario Marine History and Underwater Research Centre
The Museum Committee approved that the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre accept the inclusive marine collection of the late Arthur Amos and supported the creation of an Ontario Marine History and Underwater Research Centre within the Bruce County Archives. For over forty years the Ontario Marine Heritage Committee (OMHC) has been at the forefront of efforts to protect and preserve the province’s marine heritage of which Bruce County places a significant role. The OMHC’s common goals have centered around the preservation, research, and interpretation of marine history and underwater archaeology. Currently there is no institution or archival repository in the province dedicated to this subject matter. With the recent passing of Arthur Amos, charter member of the OMHC, long-time Tobermory resident, business owner, and avocational marine archaeologist and historian, his substantial collection of archival materials regarding Ontario’s marine heritage (including Bruce County) now needs a permanent home. Over the past few years, the Bruce County Archives have become the home to several significant archival donations such as: Peter Schmaltz Collection (Indigenous), Women’s Institute Collection (Community & Women’s Institute Histories), Krug Collection (Krug Bros. Co. and County history), and John Weichel Collection (Marine & Southampton history). These collections not only enhance the archival collection, but also support further development in the areas of research on a variety of topics, genealogy, and our understanding of local history. Expanding the scope of our marine heritage to include provincial marine-related archival matters would have significant benefits.
Weinstein Art Collection Donation
The Museum Committee approved that the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre accept the donation of the art collection of Alan Weinstein. In 2018, the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre had the rare and unique opportunity to host a retrospective of Alan Weinstein’s life’s work in an exhibition titled: The Ontario Studio: Five Decades. This exhibition was a condensed retrospective of paintings and copperplate and relief prints from Alan Weinstein’s Bruce County studio since 1969. Weinstein’s work is extremely relevant to Bruce County and should be included in the Museum archival collection, especially due to its historical relevance. Mr. Weinstein has exhibited widely, is respected in the arts community, and is prolific in the output of work throughout the decades. Mr. Weinstein has approached the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre with a proposal to donate approximately 25% of his collection which is valued based on sale listing at $1.8 million.
Museum & Cultural Centre Update
- Museum memberships continue to recover with more than 50 memberships sold or renewed between January and the first half of March, despite being closed for January and February. Every effort is being made through marketing and promotions to ensure membership sales recover to pre-COVID-19 levels.
- Donations: The Museum’s new Development Officer started on March 15 and is preparing several campaign ideas to meet the budget targets.
- KidZone Spring Break: Excitement is building for Spring Break! Two of the five days are already completely sold out, and there are very few spaces left for the others. At this time, we can accommodate 12 children each day.
- Museum in a Box: We have surpassed our initial sales targets for Museum in a Box, with 21 subscriptions and 10 individual boxes sold. The April box, Let’s Get Down to Earth, will be available for pickup and delivery at the start of next week. This box includes a ton of fun activities to learn more about Earth and maybe even help it out a little!
- Museum Munchkins: The first two of our sold-out spring session Museum Munchkins programs have been a great success. Each Munchkins class has a maximum of 12 children.
- Trailblazers Digital Program: While the exhibit is visiting the Bruce Gallery and without the ability to bring classes in to see it in person, we have embraced the digital approach and recorded a virtual visit. The program features an interview with Fort Papalia, the founder of Kincardine Pride, as well as a video tour of the exhibit. The program finishes with a call to action and some resources, including a selection of books from the Library, to help make your own changes to build a more inclusive community.
- Millstone Conservation: A millstone came to the Museum in the late 1950s that was originally from Shantz’s mill located on Mill Creek in Port Elgin. Collections staff began working with the Exhibit Designer and Kuhl Machine Shop Ltd. to begin a conservation effort on a millstone. Done in the French Buhr style, the millstone is comprised of several smaller fitted stones, held together with a steel band.
- Archives Awareness: The Archives continue to receive archival donations and chronicle community experiences. Archives Awareness Week is focusing on donating, preserving, and accessing photographic images. The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre continues to encourage individuals, organizations, and businesses to submit stories, photos, and videos reflecting their experiences during the pandemic. Explore Online Collections at collections.brucemuseum.ca.
- Ontario Volunteer Service Awards: On March 11, the Museum was proud to have six volunteers recognized during the virtual 2020 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards for consecutive years of service to the BCM&CC. Volunteers recognized included Diana Tripp for 10 years of service, Dorne Fitzsimmons, Claudia Norminton, and Rick Przybyz for five Years, and Youth Aliyah Filsinger and Claire Holland.
- Spring Break Family Fun Days: Plans for March Break have been rescheduled to take place during April Break and will feature three guest performances: The Great Steverino Magic Show, Comets in the Kitchen Science Experiment, and Wild Ontario. The week will also include daily movies with themed activities and individual craft kits. This program and guests are prepared to pivot virtually should it be required.
- Visit Us Online: Check out the Museum online at brucemuseum.ca and bruceremembers.ca. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well.
Bruce County Housing Corporation Updates
The Bruce County Housing Corporation (BCHC) appointed Robert Buckle as President/CEO and Chair of the Board, Janice Jackson as Vice-President, Edward Henley as Treasurer, Donna Van Wyck as Secretary, and Christine MacDonald, Tania Dickson, and Tony Ban as Officers. The BCHC approved all acts, by-laws, resolutions, contracts, proceedings, elections, appointments and payments enacted, passed, made, done or taken by the Directors and Officers of the Bruce County Housing Corporation since the date of the last Annual Meeting of the Members of the Corporation. The BCHC also approved the unaudited financial statements of the BCHC for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2020. The BCHC was informed that the house at 24 MacCaskill, Kincardine, which was part of a regeneration study undertaken in 2016, has been sold for $491,900. The BCHC approved that next Annual Meeting will be held on April 7, 2022.
This publication identifies highlights from recent Bruce County Council and Committee meetings. Bruce County’s Office of the CAO maintains complete agendas and minutes from all Council and Committee meetings, which can be reviewed at www.brucecounty.on.ca/government/agendas-and-minutes