Wollaston Lake Home & Cottage Association is dedicated to the residents (both permanent and seasonal) who try to perpetuate the pristine environment and crystal waters in and around Wollaston Lake.  Any recommendations or ideas that will assist the WLHCA executive committee to protect the environment of Wollaston Lake should be sent to:    wlhca.news@gmail.com      

Update of Recent Information Regarding McBride Pancon Mine in Limerick Township

The Pancon-McBride mine in Limerick could impact the environment, economic well-being and quality of life in Wollaston Township as well as Limerick Township. Wollaston shares a roadway with the mining area, along Old Hastings Road and many waterways and wetlands flow back and forth between townships. Additional disruption would be caused by an increase in noise and traffic from large trucks and earth moving machinery.  Two deadlines are fast approaching for the mine. The mining Exploration Plan registered with Ministry of Energy, Northern Development Mines (MNDM) by geologist Mr. Derek McBride expires May 6, 2019. To register opposition to the Exploration Plan one must contact the MNDM by April 9th. The Exploration Phase would necessitate removing large areas of topsoil which would cause damage to the fragile ecological balance. The WLHCA executive is drafting a resolution to state WLHCA’s opposition to the development of the mine. We also hope others in Wollaston Township will oppose the development of the mine and participate in groups to prevent its development. One way to voice your opposition to the mine would be to follow the recommendations made by Monika Nikopoulos of the

LACC (Limerick Area Conversation Coalition. She has requested that those concerned should write letters and sign the petition against the mine. https://lacc835094750.wordpress.com  (see number 3.)

Presentation to Limerick Council by Group of Local Lake Associations Monday, March 18th, at the Limerick Community Centre

A task force of a group of the local area lake associations which include Limerick Waterways Ratepayers Association, Tri-Lakes Conservation Group, Shawano Ratepayers Incorporated, Thanet Lake Cottagers Association, Wollaston Lake Home and Cottagers Association, and Steenburg Lake Community Association, led by Pat Stallaert, President of Steenburg Lake Association addressed the Limerick Council on Monday, March 18th, at the Limerick Community Centre. The goal was to present arguments and concerns to the Limerick Council outlining the opposition to the mine by the local lake associations. It was hoped that Pat Stallaert’s presentation would persuade the Limerick Council to draft a resolution to voice Limerick’s opposition to the mine to the Ministry of Energy Northern Development and Mines. To assist the Limerick Council to create a resolution, a version of a draft resolution was developed by Pat Stallaert assisted by the group of local Lakes.

Pat’s presentation was successful and was well received by Limerick Council. The council adopted and edited the wording of the resolution to reflect the needs of Limerick Township. They passed a resolution in Council to reflect their opposition to a mine in Limerick Township. Christine Drost of Bancroft Times attended the meeting and will report in next week’s paper. Representatives from local lakes (Tri-Lakes, LWRA, and SLCA) were there to support the presentation.

Request from Monica Nikopous for Letter Writing Campaign to Stop the McBride-Pancon Limerick Mine

Dear Community,

It's time once again to call upon the community to help bring awareness of opposition about the McBride Project mine in Limerick Twp to the attention of the government bodies that regulate it.

The mining Exploration Plan registered with Ministry of Energy, Northern Development Mines (MNDM) by geologist Mr. Derek McBride expires May 6, 2019. A press release regarding this will also be articled in the Bancroft papers. 

LACC (Limerick Area Conservation Coalition) is appealing to the public to write and/or email MNDM stating your concerns in opposition regarding any further mining explorations to be received at MNDM by the deadline of April 8, 2019. 

Majority of the community are vehemently opposed to any mine undertakings at this site. Strong community appeals to MNDM could effectively terminate any further mining activities on this site thereby preventing the irreversible environmental devastation. 

Kindly write and/or email MNDM stating your concerns in opposition to all mining explorations and activities regarding the McBride Project. To date, MNDM has been very insightful and approachable and have responded timely. Please ensure correspondence is considerate, respectful and factual. One hand written letter is equivalent to 1000 emails. 

LACC website Letter Writing Tips and Help:

www.minestoppers.com.

Please note that LACC is not against mining as it provides a necessary resource. LACC is opposed to this location because of the negative wide spread environmental and socioeconomic impacts of this mine. 

Please write and/or email your concerns to BOTH gentlemen:


Mr.Tony Scarr

Regional Supervisor Southern Ontario
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (MNDM)
933 Ramsey Lake Road, Floor 6
Sudbury ON P3E 6B5
Email: tony.scarr@ontario.ca

 

Hon. Greg Rickford

Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
99 Wellesley St W, Whitney Block 5th Flr Rm 5630
Toronto, ON, M7A 1W3
Email: greg.rickford@pc.ola.org


Spring Update from WLHCA 

WLHCA has been very proud of our association with The Land Between and being part of their Blue Lakes project. They have just posted information about upcoming plans and directions. It is gratifying to see such valuable work to promote the environment.

 
Peggy Stewart

President WLHCA

Click here for The Land Between Newsletter

WLHCA Update -  February 7, 2019

Two articles have recently been posted in local newspapers that you may want to read. The first is about a police investigation of the municipal election in Wollaston last fall. In the Belleville Intelligencer. The second is regarding two of Wollaston Staff who have given exemplary service to Wollaston Township resigning unexpectedly. If you want to respond to WLHCA about the articles you can contact us at WLHCA.news@gmail.com.

Peggy Stewart

President WLHCA

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											Belleville Intelligencer					Homepage

OPP probes township election

Luke HendryLuke Hendry 
More from Luke Hendry

EXCLUSIVE:
Police open fraud
investigation;
no suspects named

 

October’s municipal election in a township south of Bancroft is now the subject of a police fraud investigation, The Intelligencer has learned.
The Oct. 22 election in Wollaston Township resulted in an almost total change of the local council and an ongoing controversy. The rural township, which includes the hamlet of Coe Hill, lies just west of Highway 62.
Concerns range from questions about voter eligibility to allegations of improper handling of ballots. Police confirmed in October they’d begun gathering information and on Tuesday said a formal case is now open.
“There is a fraud investigation ongoing at this time,” Bancroft OPP Const. Phil Regamey told The Intelligencer Tuesday afternoon.
No charges had been laid as of Tuesday, said Regamey.
Several detectives of the Madoc-based Central Hastings OPP crime unit are handling the case, he said.
The date at which it became a fraud investigation wasn’t immediately available Tuesday. Regamey said it’s not known when it could end.
“It’s going to probably take a while. It’s following the documents and speaking with – usually – many, many witnesses.”
Regamey said police investigations of elections do not occur “very often” and he was unaware of any other investigations of local elections in recent memory.
He said major cases would be investigated by the OPP anti-rackets branch but the branch was not currently involved in the Wollaston case.
Rachel Widakdo, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, wrote in a Nov. 1 e-mail that courts, not the ministry, enforce the Municipal Elections Act.
“The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing does not have a role in investigating elections or in determining penalties,” Widakdo wrote.
“Under the Municipal Elections Act, municipal clerks are responsible for determining the results of the election and making this information available as soon as possible after voting day,” she wrote.
“Questions or concerns regarding a local election should be directed to the municipal clerk.
“If an individual wishes to seek legal advice on options for further action, they should speak with a lawyer,” Widakdo added.
Township treasurer Verna Brundage, who had served as acting clerk and acting returning officer – but who was away on election night – told The Intelligencer in October she had “no qualms” the results were handled “in a proper manner.”
The role of acting returning officer on election night fell to township administrator Dylinna Brock.
“There was nothing unusual” about the township’s election process, Brock said Oct. 30.
When contacted Tuesday about the police investigation, she said she had no comment.
Barb Shaw received 657 votes to defeat incumbent reeve Graham Blair, who received 583. Michael Fuerth placed third with 220.
Shaw said Tuesday she had contacted Bancroft OPP prior to election day about one issue.
“My concern specifically related to last-minute additions to the voters list,” she said.
“Leases were signed toward the end of the campaign. That then added people to the voters’ list. Those people then cast ballots,” Shaw said.
“This was a very concerning situation that I noticed before election day and I did what I thought was the responsible thing to do, which was to bring it to the attention of people who could determine if this was an issue” and follow up as needed, she said.
“When you report something that is upsetting and is challenging … it’s a very uncomfortable place to be.”
The OPP’s Regamey confirmed Shaw’s complaint led at least in part to the investigation.
“That’s why it was looked into and then the crime unit decided to open an investigation into it,” he said.
Regamey added it was unclear how many election-related complaints police had received; some callers had called regarding issues unrelated to the investigation, he said.
Graham Blair, who after 15 years in municipal politics was unseated by Shaw, said a fraud investigation wasn’t surprising.
“I know that there was definitely some unease in the municipality about voters who perhaps weren’t perhaps properly qualified to be voting,” he said Tuesday.
“Approximately 26 per cent of the voters in Wollaston Township were campers,” Blair said, referring to about 700 voters whom he said owned units at two seasonal campgrounds. One campsite had five voters, he said.
“My feeling is that we have a council that is really not representative of the community.
“I’m in the process of writing a letter to Municipal Affairs to see if I can get some clarity on how exactly qualified voters are monitored. That’s a concern, politics aside,” said Blair.
“My understanding is that the onus is on the voter to ensure that they’re qualified to vote,” he said.
He compared it to motorists being “expected to write ourselves parking tickets” after their time on parking meters expires.
“There’s definite unhappiness in the community over the results, which of course is related to the other issue of the legality of the vote.”
Township treasurer Verna Brundage had served as both acting clerk and acting returning officer.
“It seemed that there were some unethical things that happened. And whether they’re unethical or illegal, I don’t know,” she said in October.
But she would not explain and placed the onus for addressing those things upon the people involved. She did not name anyone.
Brundage was at work but unavailable Tuesday afternoon for comment, township administrator Dylinna Brock said. She confirmed Brundage was about to take an “early retirement.”
Brock said the departures of Brundage and clerk Jennifer Cohen, who is currently on maternity leave, were unrelated to the election. Cohen could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
Reeve Shaw said members of council are focusing on their work, not the investigation.
“It’s not preventing us from getting work done,” she said. But because of the election unrest, “We realize how fragile our institutions are.
“The OPP have been respectful and professional,” said Shaw.
“Whatever they find, as a community we will have to come to terms with it.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
lhendry@postmedia.com

https://www.intelligencer.ca/news/local-news/opp-probes-township-election

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My Bancroft Now

TWO STAFF MEMBERS LEAVING GIVES WOLLASTON TOWNSHIP THE CHANCE TO RESTRUCTURE

Jennifer Cohen, the Clerk/Deputy Treasurer, and Verna Brundage, the Treasurer/Deputy Clerk, will be leaving the Township after giving their respective notices last week. When asked if these changes have anything to do with the controversy surrounding last year’s municipal election, Shaw says the decision to leave the Township was completely theirs to make. 

She says that this now gives the opportunity a good chance at restructuring. It’s something Shaw says was suggested in the past. The “Fournier Report” was commissioned by the previous council in 2017. The consultant, Stephen Fournier, spoke with all members of council and staff to figure out what the root cause of the division was at the Township. In that report, an organizational restructure was suggested.

“It’s an opportunity to look at restructuring the municipality in a way that will support the decision that we’re moving into,” Shaw says. She adds that it could mean the creation of a Clerk/Administrator position or a Clerk/CAO position. “We’re hoping to find some really great people to join our team,” Shaw continues.

Wollaston’s election results were delayed because of what Acting Clerk Verna Brundage called “unethical practices.” Shaw says that despite the controversial beginning to council’s term, the relationship between staff and council has been good. ” I think everyone needed time to get past rumours,” Shaw says about the election. She adds that while the police report she filed in October 2018 has posed a challenge at the Township, she is happy with the relationship that has been built between council and staff.

Shaw says that while bringing on new staff may pose a challenge, she is ready to make the Township a welcoming environment for the new staff members. She adds that she’s happy this is happening at the start of council’s term because it gives them a chance to build a strong relationship over four years instead of having less time to do so.

https://www.mybancroftnow.com/37314/two-staff-members-leaving-gives-wollaston-township-the-chance-to-restructure/


Happy New Year

It has come to our attention that the following document was mailed by the Wollaston Township from the new council. Most taxpayers with mailboxes in Coe Hill received a copy.  As it seems that some owners of seasonal lake property would not receive a copy, we are trying to contact as many of you as possible so you will be able to consider the information in the document.  The communication outlines ways to participate in 6 committees that consider issues important to Coe Hill and how to provide input to the new council.  If you want to be considered for one of the committees you must apply by January 10th.  This notification will be posted on our facebook page & sent to our members by email.

The document is also posted on the Wollaston township Website under  “home”, from the Home page, click on the “News and Announcements” button.  Once on the news page, scroll down until you see the letter.  We have also provided a copy of the letter below. 

The New Library Board has been voted in by the new council. Congratulations to Peter Lennox, Gail Dugas, Roxanne Lambert,  Wendy Mortimer, and Sarah Haas who have been appointed to the next term.  We wish them well as they build on the solid footing established by the previous board.

Peggy Stewart

President, WLHCA

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WLHCA MESSAGE BOARD

The June 12, 2018 Wollaston Township Meeting includes a delegate from Landmark Associates Limited to speak to Wollaston Council re: Bear Ridge Campground Application to Amend Zoning By-Law and Site Plan.  The letter from Landmark Associates to Reeve Blair & Members of Council can be found by following this link.  

The 2017 report on the water quality of Wollaston Lake is now available.  Along with this report, 3 documents on Lake Capacity have been provided.   We feel these reports contain important information for our members to understand the current state of Wollaston Lake.  Please click on the report titles to open the corresponding report.

1- Wollaston Lake Water Quality 2017 Report

2- MOECC Lakeshore Capacity Executive Summary

3- White Lake State of the Lake 2016

4 - Lake Capacity and references from North Hastings County Planner (submitted by Traci Morrison)

The 2017 Invasive Species Watch Report from the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters has been posted on the Invasive Species page in the Environment section of our website.  You can follow this link to the report.  

Click here  for What's Happening in Wollaston