‘A lot of pas­sion’

The Glengarry News - - News - News

BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL

Staff South Glen­garry town­ship will likely form a con­nec­tiv­ity com­mit­tee aimed at procur­ing im­proved broad­band In­ter­net, cell­phone and nat­u­ral gas ser­vices for res­i­dents soon, de­spite ini­tial ob­jec­tions from the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment of­fi­cer and tourism pro­mo­tions co­or­di­na­tor.

“There’s a lot of pas­sion in cer­tain ar­eas and I com­pletely un­der­stand where they’re com­ing from,” Shauna Baggs said at the July 15 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing. “But there are peo­ple al­ready work­ing on this file, and to have an ad­di­tional com­mit­tee in the town­ship, it would kind of be a du­pli­ca­tion.”

Mrs. Baggs pre­pared an in­for­ma­tion re­port re­gard­ing the cre­ation of a con­nec­tiv­ity com­mit­tee.

The re­port had at least one coun­cil­lor scratch­ing his head. “I read this be­fore the meet­ing and I wasn’t sure where you were go­ing with it,” said Coun­cil­lor Martin Lang. “I know you’ve ex­plained it a lit­tle bit, but we passed a res­o­lu­tion...to form a con­nec­tiv­ity com­mit­tee. But you’re kind of say­ing...that we shouldn’t have this kind of com­mit­tee, that it’s a waste of time.” Mrs. Baggs pointed out that rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the East­ern On­tario War­dens’ Cau­cus (EOWC) and the East­ern On­tario Re­gional Net­work (EORN) were meet­ing “ev­ery two weeks...with var­i­ous lev­els of pro­vin­cial min­is­ters and dif­fer­ent peo­ple to make sure that ev­ery­body’s voice is be­ing heard,” and that since up­per-tier govern­ment fund­ing “flows through them,” it made more sense for those or­ga­ni­za­tions to be the point peo­ple in on­go­ing con­nec­tiv­ity-based ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“With plans cur­rently in progress through EOWC and EORN, it is the rec­om­men­da­tion of ad­min­is­tra­tion that the town­ship con­tin­ues to work to­gether through coun­cil and ad­min­is­tra­tion while con­tin­u­ing to pool the re­sources and ex­per­tise of out­side or­ga­ni­za­tions to meet the needs of lo­cal res­i­dents to ad­vance con­nec­tiv­ity,” she stated in her re­port. How­ever,

af­ter hear­ing fur­ther feed­back from coun­cil, Mrs. Baggs later had a change of heart. “All right, I to­tally agree,” she said, fol­low­ing com­ments from Deputy-Mayor Lyle War­den re­gard­ing the need to have such a ne­go­ti­at­ing body speak­ing on be­half of town­ship res­i­dents. “I think it’s im­por­tant to have (a com­mit­tee).” In April, coun­cil de­ter­mined that one of the com­mit­tee’s pri­mary man­dates would be to lobby up­per lev­els of govern­ment for fund­ing. DeputyMayo­r War­den echoed those sen­ti­ments at last week’s meet­ing. “The com­mit­tee’s pur­pose could be lob­by­ing, or writ­ing let­ters, to the On­tario En­ergy Board (re­gard­ing nat­u­ral gas ser­vice), in ad­di­tion to the War­dens’ Cau­cus,” he said.

“The more peo­ple that write and lobby, the bet­ter re­sults, I think.” Tak­ing into ac­count that Coun­cil­lor Sam McDonell and Mrs. Baggs had pre­vi­ously dis­cussed con­nec­tiv­ity-re­lated mat­ters be­tween them­selves, Mayor Frank Prevost sug­gested that the two “have a chat...and maybe come up with some type of work­ing com­mit­tee, some­time in the near fu­ture, if you can.”

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