Grey County will keep agricultural advisory committee

Grey County council has decided to keep its agricultural advisory committee, contrary to a recommendation it be absorbed by another committee focused on planning and economic development.

Council made the decision at its meeting on Oct. 27 after receiving a staff report recommending the committee be melded into a larger planning and economic advisory committee that would consider planning, economic development, agricultural and climate change items for the county.

County Clerk Tara Warder presented council with a report outlining the current county committees and staff’s recommendation to make some changes to the structure for the new term of council.

Currently, Grey County has the following committees and task forces:

Warder’s report suggested that the following committees be dissolved:

The report suggested instead there be two committees and a task force with terms of reference brought to council for:

The joint accessibility advisory committee and the committee of management (a long-term care committee) will continue as they are required by provincial legislation.

The report was received well by members of council, but the recommendation to dissolve the agricultural advisory committee was removed from the resolution. Members of council insisted that a separate committee to engage the agricultural industry is vital for the county.

“Agriculture is very important in Grey County. It’s the number-one business. I would hate to lose that one committee,” said Chatsworth Mayor Scott Mackey.

West Grey Mayor Christine Robinson agreed.

“I too would like to see the continuation of the agriculture advisory committee for Grey County. It is absolutely necessary,” she said.

Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen expressed concerns about shoehorning the agricultural advisory committee into a larger structure. He said the voices of the agricultural community could be lost in that structure.

“We have to be careful. Sometimes you make a committee too broad and people aren’t as engaged because it is too broad,” said McQueen.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca