Con­nec­tiv­ity com­mit­tee com­ing

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News


Staff South Glen­garry’s con­nec­tiv­ity com­mit­tee – with a man­date to help pro­cure im­proved broad­band In­ter­net, cell­phone and nat­u­ral gas ser­vices for town­ship res­i­dents – should be in place be­fore the leaves change colour.

Joanne Ha­ley, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s Gen­eral Man­ager of Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, pre­sented the com­mit­tee’s draft terms of ref­er­ence to coun­cil on Aug. 6, ask­ing that they pro­vide feedback or sug­gested changes by Aug. 22.

Dur­ing the re­cent meet­ing, Mrs. Ha­ley told coun­cil that pend­ing any re­vi­sions, she will bring a by­law to es­tab­lish the com­mit­tee in time for the next reg­u­lar coun­cil ses­sion on Sept. 3.

Ac­cord­ing to the draft terms of ref­er­ence, the com­mit­tee would con­sist of seven peo­ple – two mem­bers of coun­cil, two mem­bers of the public who re­side in or do busi­ness in South Glen­garry, and three in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als with a “thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of the cur­rent In­ter­net and nat­u­ral gas net­works.”

Mrs. Ha­ley ex­plained that the com­mit­tee has seem­ingly se­cured one mem­ber al­ready.

“Shauna (Baggs, the town­ship’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and tourism co­or­di­na­tor) reached out specif­i­cally to EORN, and Lisa Sev­er­son, who agreed to sit on the com­mit­tee, de­pend­ing on the dates that it has its meet­ings,” she said.

Ms. Sev­er­son, com­mu­ni­ca­tions/stake­holder re­la­tions of­fi­cer with the Eastern On­tario Re­gional Net­work, along with EORN co-lead Jim Pine, ad­dressed coun­cil and ad­min­is­tra­tion on June 3, pro­vid­ing an up­date on the pro­posed $213 mil­lion public-pri­vate part­ner­ship ini­tia­tive to im­prove mo­bile and In­ter­net ser­vices through­out Eastern On­tario an­nounced last June.

As for the con­nec­tiv­ity com­mit­tee, it would meet quar­terly, work­ing to­wards pre­par­ing a “work plan” to present to coun­cil.

That pro­posal would “in­clude op­tions and/or next steps re­gard­ing high speed In­ter­net and nat­u­ral gas con­nec­tions in the town­ship, specif­i­cally to areas that are cur­rently un­der­ser­viced.”

The terms of ref­er­ence also dic­tate that once the work plan is com­pleted, the com­mit­tee will be dis­banded, “un­less coun­cil de­cides to ex­tend” its man­date.

Coun­cil­lor Sam McDonell in­tro­duced a mo­tion to es­tab­lish the con­nec­tiv­ity com­mit­tee at the April 15 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing, stat­ing that in­ad­e­quate digital and nat­u­ral gas ser­vices are “clearly an is­sue in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

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