McDougall talks Parry Sound’s exodus from planning board, rec centre, fire training

·2 min read

The Municipality of McDougall discussed Parry Sound’s request to leave the planning board, recreation centre usage since reopening, and the potential of a regional fire training centre in Parry Sound after the Ontario Fire College closes.

McDougall said it opposed the Town of Parry Sound leaving the planning board.

“The Town of Parry Sound has made a request to the minister of municipal affairs to be removed from the Parry Sound Area Planning board and be granted their own authority to approve applications for consent, plans of subdivision and plans of condominium within the Town of Parry Sound municipal borders,” read Mayor Dale Robinson.

“I don’t necessarily approve of this. I think we’re trying to do things together as municipalities, and I think it’s against that philosophy,” said Coun. Lynn Gregory.

“I’m of the same sentiments as Coun. Gregory; I am opposed to it also,” said Coun. Joe Ryman.

“I’m opposed to it as well,” said Robinson.

Council voted unanimously against Parry Sound leaving the planning board.

On the closure of the Ontario Fire College, McDougall’s fire Chief Brian Leduc said that while West Parry Sound fire departments were dismayed by the closure of the college, they hoped to bring a regional training centre to the area.

“We do want to potentially have our name in the queue to potentially become a regional training centre; and the mutual aid fire chiefs got together to discuss things, and so we had agreed we’d try to put an application together with the Town of Parry Sound being the site chosen,” said Leduc.

The McDougall Recreation Centre was given the go-ahead to reopen on Feb. 22. Leduc said that the opening hours have been reduced by two hours and all COVID-19 safety protocols are in place, including reduced capacity, face coverings and skating is currently the only allowed activity.

However, according to Leduc, people aren’t using the facility as much as he had anticipated.

“It is not being used to the extent we thought it would be as it’s been closed for such a long time. It is being used, but certainly not as much as we had anticipated,” he said.

With the stay-at-home order in full effect for the Family Day weekend and March break being pushed until April, Robinson wondered if the peak seasons had been missed for the recreation centre.

“It could also be that word isn’t out or that people are being safe,” said Robinson. “That’s a good thing to.”

McDougall’s next council meeting is on March 17.

Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star