Building code, clinic touched on by council

Neebing, Ont. — The Municipality of Neebing’s regular council meeting went a little off script Wednesday as it started with four speakers taking to the microphone when the original agenda didn’t have anyone appearing before council.

And the first speaker led to some interesting debate.

The person brought up that all new municipal buildings and homes were to be built to Net Zero specifications by 2030 due to the ever-evolving climate change problem.

He was adamant that municipalities had no option in the matter.

Neebing At-large Coun. Gordon Cutherbertson disputed it, saying municipalities will continue to go with the provincial standard.

“I had an office in Arizona,” said Neebing At-large Coun. Gordon Cuthbertson.

“Every city in Arizona picks their own building code. There’s like five of them and then every city is allowed to amend the codes that they build. When you’re in Scottsdale, the road goes down between Scottsdale and Phoenix. On one side of the road, they use the Scottsdale building code. On the other side of the road, they use the Phoenix building code.

“It is just the preference of the various towns of what code they use and why they use it. They have no expertise on their staff. They know this code, so they don’t want to change it.

“In Ontario, our big advantage is we don’t use the national building code, we use the Ontario building code, which is not the same as the national building code. Whenever there’s a change to the Ontario building code, there is massive distribution to people that are involved in the building code like myself.

“We get all this stuff well in advance and the stuff they’re talking about Net Zero has been always been put down and Ontario hasn’t put it into the code . . . Ontario is so strong, they are not going to adapt the national building code.”

Neebing Mayor Mark Thibert said he’d like to see more information on the Net Zero home regulations at a future meeting.

When council turned to regular items on the agenda, the Neebing Recreation committee requested to have a broken eavestrough at Blake Hall removed with upcoming activities at the facility, road maintenance was discussed as well as moving from blue box recycling to full producer responsibility.

Council also entered into agreements with Fire Marque Inc., Menic Planning Services and the Equity and More consulting firm.

In new business, Thibert pointed out that the municipality’s search for a medical clinic — a contentious issue among some community members — will take some time to come to fruition.

“The last group that approached us (Hybrid Pharma), they were all gung-ho about their initial proposal,” Thibert said. “At the present time, they’ve presented to me two roadblocks.

“They could provide us with telemedicine services, but nothing in-person. That’s a bit of an issue.

“The other pitfall that they ran into was the pharmacy that they were talking about putting out here and pharmacy services and delivery and all that kind of stuff. They’ve come up against another snag where there’s mountains of paperwork that they’re working through. It’s just not going to occur as quickly as what they had anticipated was going to happen.

“The desire (by Hybrid Pharma) is still there to provide if this was to go ahead, but it’s just taking longer to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I think we can sit and see what they can provide to us for the time being.

“I have a couple of other things up my sleeve. There’s a couple of other clinics in town that might be interested, so I will approach them now that (Hybrid Pharma) just doesn’t have the horsepower to provide . . . (in-person) care. I’m looking at a couple of other avenues."

John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal