BARRY’S BAY – Madawaska Valley Township council met on April 16 for the regular meeting.
There, a number of items were discussed, including the possibility of municipalities taking over animal welfare enforcement.
Mayor Kim Love explained that a letter from the solicitor general was received, regarding animal welfare.
Loves said it seems that the solicitor general is looking to find out lower-tiered community capacity to handle animal welfare issues. The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be withdrawing from its role of enforcing animal welfare legislation, which is leaving the province scrambling to find a solution.
“As soon as I see something like this, I see the downloading of an unfunded mandate, very clearly,” Mayor Love said.
Also at the council meeting, a proposed Community Safety Well Being Plan was discussed. The province wants communities in Ontario to have a plan in place by January 2021, and would involve input from police services, education, health, mental health, social services and youth services.
Communities in the County of Renfrew explored this idea, but CAO/Clerk Susan Klatt said it became obvious that developing such a plan should not be the role of lower-tiered municipalities.
Council discussed at length the ambulance restructuring that the province is proposing. The Ford Government has indicated that they intend to merge the 59 ambulance services in Ontario to just 10.
Meanwhile, a new physician recruiter for the Madawaska Valley and neighbours has been announced.
The joint municipal physician recruitment and retention committee is comprised of representatives from and financially supported by the five local municipalities of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan, Madawaska Valley, Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards, North Algona, Wilberforce and South Algonquin.
The physician recruiter works on their behalf to introduce potential physician candidates to the health care community with the goal of attracting them to practice medicine locally.
Look for all these stories and more in the April 24 Valley Gazette.