Wentworth-Nord 

Private roads

At the March meeting of the Wentworth-Nord council, the issue of private road maintenance, already put forward by Councillor Eric Johnston under Mayor Ghali's administration, who was in favour of the municipality assuming financial responsibility for it, was included under the Public Works and Municipal Asset Management item on the agenda. The cost of maintaining these roads is currently borne by their owners. Council has therefore mandated its administration to provide it with information to enable it to assess the situation this summer and determine, prior to presentation of the 2025 budget, whether the municipality should become financially involved in this maintenance or maintain the status quo.

The Chairman of the Roads Committee, Councillor Réjean Gosselin, began by giving some figures to illustrate the situation of the owners of these roads, faced with the costs they assume, both for their own roads and for public roads. He indicated that their contribution represented 33% of the municipality's tax bills (?) Some of these owners are asking to benefit from the service offered to those served by public roads, by having the cost covered, in whole or in part, by the municipality.

During the question period and faced with the despair of a resident who claims that the financial burden of such maintenance is disproportionate, Mayor Danielle Desjardins explains that the aim here (for the Council, General Management, Urban Planning and Public Works departments) is to stimulate discussion on the subject. Some municipalities (like Val-des-Monts) contribute to such maintenance, and there are several models for such interventions, she points out. She had already questioned Mayor Ghali on the subject, pointing out that transferring the maintenance of all private roads to the municipality would represent a sum (around 10% of its annual budget) that the latter simply couldn't afford. Former councillor David Zgodzinski also insisted on this last point. Val-des-Monts : à qui revient la responsabilité d’entretenir les chemins privés? + Programme d’aide financière

It's clear, then, that there are pros and cons when it comes to assessing the problem and the measures to be taken. And everyone's interests are affected. Indeed, the status quo will continue to allocate the costs of maintaining private roads to their owners, in addition to contributing to those of public roads; while the assumption of these costs by the municipality will be reflected in everyone's taxation.

But there is a moral question at the heart of this assessment: is the current situation fair? We don't think so. Private roads may date back several generations in Wentworth-Nord, as in other municipalities. At the other extreme, others have been built more recently, or are planned, to serve future housing developments, sometimes estates with dedicated roads. We could sum it up by saying that some are victims of historical circumstances, while others are more or less at the origin of their situation and able to provide for it.

In Montfort, the presence of Chemin-de-fer street represents a special case. As in the case of owners without road access, it seems that the status of their property, as former mayor André Genest occasionally reminded us, is one of access by boat. However, the transformation of the railroad into a carriage road enabled them to access the property by vehicle.

The owners at the time, who were not on the edge of the railroad line, were not so lucky. Today, as for those who bought such properties, they are isolated and always condemned to be served by boat. Almost all of these houses are summer cottages, as they are not accessible in winter or in between seasons, such as during thaw periods. The people who live there are deprived above all of the emergency, medical and fire services that are now defined as essential for everyone. Nor are they able to take advantage of the many services enjoyed by all other citizens: construction using heavy machinery, transportation of large materials, waste collection, home deliveries, etc.; or even Cogeco's new cable Internet services.

Some of these Newaygo homeowners, who inherited their house from their parents and grandparents, have seen it demolished by natural elements, such as falling trees or the weight of snow. Without a road, without the Bachmann barge, and without the possibility of calling on outside contractors or the talents of self-builders, skilled in using their boats to transport the necessary materials, they cannot, today, see to the rebuilding of this house, even on the existing foundations.

At the same time, regulations were already prohibiting them from rebuilding so close to the shore, even though it was the shore that had moved closer as water levels rose. In fact, some of their lots are too small or too steep to consider relocating the house. And regulations still prevent them from doing so, precisely because of the absence of a road... Those who own undeveloped lots there have nothing left to do but pay the taxes.

As any possible access road to this area has been blocked by a green belt of "orphan lots", on the one hand, and prevented from connecting to the Aerobic Corridor shared-use road, on the other, there seems to be no way out. The situation is similar for the residents of Rue du Chemin-de-fer, now landlocked in a residential area with no permanent right of occupation or circulation, and no possibility of adding to the existing housing stock there.

Only an access road could, for example, connect the western part of the landlocked Newaygo sector to the municipal road network, by envisaging a connection to the private Lac-à-la-Croix Road. But not only do current regulations and rights-of-way constraints prevent such construction, but the cost and its distribution among the owners concerned are almost insurmountable obstacles. And this is all the truer given that, if such a road were to be eventually municipalized, along with the Lac-à-la-Croix Road that would ultimately provide access to it, it would have to meet the criteria for standardized road construction set out in municipal bylaws.

In our opinion, the current mandate to evaluate the possibility of the municipality becoming financially involved in the maintenance of private roads, therefore, addresses only part of what should be a mandate on the future of the roads department at the service of all Wentworth-Nord citizens.

As many municipalities are experiencing similar situations, and their responses range between the two extreme approaches envisaged by Wentworth-Nord, we must draw inspiration from the models they may have developed, and which would have proved successful. The courts have also had to settle disputes between private individuals or public bodies over private roads.

DHC Avocats reports that "... since its creation in 1915, the Municipality of Lac-Tremblant-Nord has had the peculiarity that a large proportion of its properties are accessible only by boat from a marina on the shore of Lac-Tremblant." The Court of Appeal's decision overturned the Superior Court's January 17, 2012 judgment, which ordered the creation of servitudes bisecting 34 lots to allow the construction of a 5 km road to provide vehicular access to the respondents' properties. L’enclave et l’ouverture de chemins

The two courts analyzed differently the notion of enclave found in article 997 of the Civil Code of Québec. The Superior Court spoke of a fundamental right: "... in modern times, I find it difficult to argue that the respondent can only access his property on foot and not by car". The judge of the Court of Appeal, for his part, "held that it is the notions of use and exploitation of a property that are fundamental in determining whether the circumstances give rise to an opening-up within the meaning of article 997 C.c.Q.".

The Court of Appeal judge also noted "that since its creation in 1915, the Municipality of Lac-Tremblant-Nord has undergone little development, and that its resort vocation still occupies an important place in its bylaws. The municipal bylaws favor very low-density resort development and promote the preservation of the natural environment by authorizing minimal land clearing. Thus, despite the occasional difficulties encountered by the respondents who are unable to access their property during periods when the lake freezes and thaws, there is no reason to conclude that there is an enclave situation."

The law firm points out that, "on the strength of the Superior Court's declaration of the existence of a fundamental right to access, any developer could now use this precedent to claim the right to build a road to open up his property or properties".

Like the Municipality of Chelsea and others, Wentworth-Nord has adopted a Politique de municipalisation des chemins privés, (Policy for the Municipalization of Private Roads), giving its citizens the opportunity to make such a request. It also determined the terms and conditions under which maintenance of these roads would be carried out during the summer and winter periods. However, the costs of maintaining these roads remain the responsibility of the owners they serve. "The municipalization of private roads offers undeniable advantages to owners, such as reduced annual maintenance costs (e.g. snow removal, grading, dust abatement, etc.), as well as improved safety for residents thanks to better access to residences by emergency services." Municipaliser un chemin

"Whereas the objective of this by-law is to promote equity with respect to the maintenance of private roads on its territory, the City of Saguenay, even if it receives such a request for maintenance, has no responsibility with respect to private roads, but wishes, by the present by-law, to participate in the summer and winter maintenance thereof, but under certain conditions: ... To be accessible to machinery, (etc.)". Règlement décrétant l’entretien de certains chemins de tolérance (private roads)

There do seem to be solutions for cost-sharing by the municipality, as envisaged in Saint-Sauveur: "The Ville de Saint-Sauveur and the Regroupement des voies privées de Saint-Sauveur (RVPSS) are currently in discussions to develop a financial assistance program for owners of private roads. With more than half of the roads in Saint-Sauveur private, the group is requesting that the Town grants subsidies to private road associations, as maintenance costs have risen." Journal Accès

With a mandate extended to the future of the roads department serving all its citizens, shouldn't we expect the municipality to present us with a clear picture of the issues, equity, and legal considerations, as well as the budgetary and other impacts of a change to the current status quo?

By Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

Wentworth-Nord Council Meeting Of March 20, 2024 (Report)


Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Réjean Gosselin, and Eric Johnston are present. Mrs. Catherine Léger is absent. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, will chair the meeting, assisted by Ron Kelley, General Manager. She will allow greater participation by council members in the presentation of agenda items; thus, Mr. Johnston will read item 8, Urban Planning and Economic Development. There will be more than two dozen videoconference participants. The session will last 1 h.

1. Adoption of the agenda. Item 4.7 is postponed.

2. Statements by elected officials. Mrs. Desjardins indicates that she has had an accident, which explains her absence in recent weeks.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, purchases, disbursements and capital purchases for the month of February. The mayor points out that snow removal accounts for a large portion of these costs.
4.2 Adoption of a by-law amending by-law 2019-562 imposing a special tax on vacant lots. Councillor Dostie will vote against this adoption, which does not respect the promise to abolish it. The mayor will explain that the new tax system has changed the situation (?)
4.3 and 4.4 Adoption of by-laws decreeing an expense and a loan of $275,000 for the acquisition of a 10-wheel truck with gravel dump body and, similarly, of $250,000 for the acquisition of a backhoe with attachments, for the Highway Department. 
Mr. Johnston will vote against these two adoptions, explaining that no information was presented on other options, such as leasing, awarding a contract, etc.; whereas the councillor must ensure the best use of public funds. M. Gosselin, Chairman of the Roads Committee, will indicate that other options were studied, and that, with his knowledge of the municipality's roads, these acquisitions were the obvious choice.
4.6 Awarding of a mandate for a feasibility study, conversion of Saint-Michel church and presbytery. Out of two bids, $27,560 was selected.

5. Public safety
5.1 Report from the Chair of the Public Safety Committee. In Ms. Desjardins' absence over the past month, Ms. Chapados presented the item.
  •  ....
  •  Busy month.
  •  We're still recruiting.
D.D.: I was able to take advantage of the services of first responders during my accident (at home).
6. Public works and municipal asset management
6.1 Report from the Chairman of the Roads Committee. M. Gosselin speaks of a strange month of March, given the weather.
  • We're in the thaw period (with its attendant restrictions on truck traffic).
  • As water levels are lower than in previous years, the risk of flooding or overflows seems minimal.
6.2 Mandate to evaluate maintenance of private roads.
  • List of costs.
  • Citizens request that their roads be serviced (like residents of public roads). The idea here is for the council (and administration) to discuss the matter," explains the mayor. Then, to decide on a status quo or a modification.
6.3 Four bids for the rental of a grader are to be evaluated; one at $4,000 for 2024, ... for 2025, ... (?)

7. Environment
7.1 Report from the Chair of the Environment Committee, Mrs. Horan.
  • We attended a Coalition meeting (on claims). A newsletter will be issued, which you can request from me.
  • Ask MTQ to take care of our roads in poor condition. Anyone can call 511 and put pressure on the Ministry. The more, the better.
  • New by-law ...
  • Next municipal meeting with lake associations, May 18.
7.2 Adoption of the by-law amending the by-law concerning the protection of and access to bodies of water on the territory of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord. (The notice of motion introducing this amendment was given in February without reading; i.e. no details for the public).
7.3 Garbage collection by pick-up truck on Wentworth-Nord territory. It will be recalled that, at the MRC council meeting held in Laurel on March 12, the use of small trucks on roads too narrow for current trucks would depend on the willingness of municipalities and the budget. (?) Considerations were also added, depending on whether the roads were privately or publicly owned. The number of collections, as with residual materials, could be reduced. Ms. Horan indicates that the municipality will avail itself of this pick-up option.
Ms. Desjardins explains that there isn't much competition in this field, and that contractors have criteria for the quality of the roads on which they must collect by large truck. "It's going to cost a little more by using pickups."

8. Urban planning and economic development
8.1 Report from the Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee. Mr. Johnston indicates that we are still working on the revision of the Urban Plan, with Contrôle intérimaire. ... We must make sure that everything is perfect.
8.2 List of permits from February 1 to 29, 2024. The councillor gives the usual figures.
8.3 Adoption of by-law 2022-608-3 amending the interim control by-law in order to modify the lifting of prohibitions against the creation of a private portion within an integrated project. This is just a minor adjustment," explains Mr. Johnston.
8.4 to 8.10 + 8.14 These are PIIAs, details of which will be given in the minutes, explains the councillor.

9. Recreation, culture and community life
9.1. Ms. Chapados, Chair of the Outdoors, Trails and Community Life Committee, presents her report:
  • Committee evaluates trail development plan. Mr. Johnston indicates that Lac Notre-Dame residents would like to meet with the committee. Councillor Chapados sees no problem.
  • Community life.  a. Policy update. The document will be available. b. I'm visiting organizations to get their feedback. They are all invited to a (discussion) meeting on June 1.
9.2. With Councillor Léger, Chair of the Recreation and Culture Committee, absent, Ms. Karine Dostie reports that some 300 people watched L'océan, vu du cœur at the February Ciné-club. The presence of the film's director, Marie-Dominique Michaud, was greatly appreciated. Once again, the mayor points out that spectators come from all over.
The next Ciné-club film, Lucy Grizzli Sophie, by Anne Émond, will be presented on Saturday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. "Actor Guillaume Cyr will be with us by zoom to answer all your questions!"

Question period
Ms. Marie-Chantal Prévost:
  • Thank you to Ms. Dostie for voting against the adoption of the by-law imposing a special tax on vacant lots (4.2) Why affect the little ones? D.D. Only lots over 10,000 sq. ft. are affected.
  • What did you decide, in point 6.2, on the maintenance of private roads? The less fortunate, like me, have to count up to 25% of their tax bill for snow removal (which they don't benefit from?). D.D.: We'll evaluate the options. We need to look at models from other municipalities.

Without prejudice, and without having been able to count on the broadcast of the recording; by Carl Chapdelaine

Social life in Wentworth-Nord

Percentage of Internet use by age group, 2022 (Canada / Quebec)
Point the mouse over the columns to see the ‰ (945 = 94.5%).

In Wentworth-Nord, as elsewhere, pandemics, telecommuting, videoconferencing, the absence of a community pavilion in Montfort, and the occasional lack of initiative have certainly affected social life. In such a situation, don't households find themselves more isolated from their neighbors?

The Internet and digital technologies have changed our lives. Social media, e-mail exchanges and virtual participation in meetings are probably creating a new form of socialization, but it's not yet clear whether it's having a positive or negative impact. Facebook and the like are said to develop the social network of their followers.

More Nord-Wentwortois now seem to attend municipal meetings in front of their screens than in person. What if these meetings were held, as they used to be, once in Laurel, once in Montfort or Saint-Michel? But it's hard to imagine a return to the situation that prevailed then. Telecommuting is here to stay, as is the preponderance of virtual communication and participation.

For summer vacationers, there's no doubt that videoconferencing gives them the opportunity to stay in touch with what's going on in their second place of residence, especially at the municipal level. They can also take advantage of the information provided by the website of the local weekly newspaper, or blogger. But this contact can't make up for the scarcity of popular gatherings, community meals and events, and certain nautical activities, which would enable them to develop essential links with their surroundings during the summer months... "Between solitude and social life, a third path has opened up: connected isolation.

Urban vacationers know all about isolation. If there's a chance to get to know your neighbor, that's about as far as it goes. Childhood friends are scattered to the four winds, as are former colleagues from school or work. For them, the community of the lake or the small village undoubtedly allows for a more developed social life; provided they are willing to lend themselves to it. You can imagine the parallel with a campsite or mobile home park, with its common areas and services, as well as, sometimes, an entertainment and leisure service.

But the Internet has also given rise to a certain form of exclusion. Today, online transactions have replaced the post office, in-store shopping and even bank ATMs. Aren't older people who haven't made the switch to computers, who haven't become cell phone enthusiasts, and regardless of their level of education, experiencing a kind of illiteracy? And, if they do venture into this new experience, they need to avoid the scams that abound.

Communications with government agencies (income, health, transport, etc.) are essentially via the Internet. Doesn't familiarization with car driving aids and their increasingly developed applications become a heavy burden for those who haven't learned to surf the web and slide their fingers across a touch screen?

We had already suggested that computer and cell phone training courses be offered to Wentworth-Nord residents who hadn't yet taken the plunge. But this didn't seem to be a priority, or even the responsibility of a municipality with limited resources.

In an individualistic society like ours, what could make a difference? Wentworth-Nord's current plans to develop multi-purpose community pavilions certainly seem to be a beneficial intervention in the social life of its residents. But they need a container - the right building - and a content, and a simple return to the good old days is already proving difficult. The Comité aviseur sur l'avenir du pavillon Montfort (advisory committee on the future of Montfort Pavilion) must plan well. The Comité aviseur sur l'avenir du pavillon Montfort (advisory committee on the future of the Montfort pavilion) must be working on the nature of this building and on the the recipe for success likely to justify its existence?

In Montreal today, a group is considering the construction of cohousing communities, as in Denmark and Quebec City. Individual housing units, purchased or rented, will benefit from common rooms and services. But the owners or tenants of these buildings will first have to demonstrate an aptitude, if not a desire, to accept a lifestyle quite different from the norm. It's tempting to draw a parallel with a private residence for independent seniors. But in these cohabitats, and while adhering to the rules of cohabitation, each person will be more or less master of his or her own home. For most of us, such an undertaking seems unimaginable; but perhaps it's a sign that we need to move towards more community living in our environment, and that Wentworth-Nord needs to think about this.

Those who have worked in voluntary organizations, lake protection associations or otherwise, have sometimes found it difficult to mobilize residents, or even their own members, on issues that affect their interests. On the other hand, such mobilization has occurred on the occasion of significant events, such as the closure of the Aerobic Corridor, the Newaygo Bridge, etc.; and provided that a few leaders have taken the initiative. It therefore seems difficult to assess the willingness of residents to participate in the activities that could be offered to them in these future multi-purpose community centers.

Alongside municipal actions likely to improve social life, as well as the sense of belonging to this municipality, it seems likely that lake protection associations could continue to play, locally, a major role towards such an objective. Can we also hope that a few citizens will propose activities of their own, or get back into the swing of things, to bring people together over a cup of coffee, or even at a potluck like the one that drew a crowd at Pavillon Montfort, without language or partisanship being an obstacle?
Utilisation d’Internet par groupe d’âge, Canada/Québec

By Carl Chapdelaine

Utilisation d’Internet par groupe d’âge, Canada/Québec

Wentworth-Nord Council Meeting of Feb. 21, 2024 (Report)

Ordre du jour        Video version

Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Réjean Gosselin are present. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, and Eric Johnston are absent. Mr. Gosselin, as acting mayor*, will chair the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, general manager. There is one man in the room, and two dozen videoconference participants, including the mayor. The meeting will last 1 h 05.

4. Administration and correspondence

4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, purchases, disbursements and capital asset purchases for January 2024. For a total of $553,272.
4.4 Notice of motion and tabling of draft by-law 2019-562-2 amending by-law 2019-562 imposing a special tax on vacant lots. (A copy of the notice was given to council members; but the audience will not know the content of the amendment. Will the tax finally be abolished?)
4.7 and 4.8 Notice of motion and tabling of draft by-laws decreeing an expense of $275,000 and a loan of $275,000 for the acquisition of a 10-wheel truck with gravel dump body, and an expense of $250,000 and a loan of $250,000 for the acquisition of a backhoe with accessories for the Road Department.

5. Public Safety

5.1 Public Safety Committee Chairman's report. In Ms. Desjardins' absence, Ms. Chapados thanks the firefighters and first responders ...

6. Public works and municipal asset management

6.1 Report from the Chairman of the Roads Committee. Mr. Gosselin reports that machinery is being inspected, and purchase requirements, etc., are being identified for the coming season. We are also following up on the work of snow removal and other contractors.
6.2 Request to the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable concerning the Newaygo bridge.
- Whereas this bridge is under its jurisdiction;
- no repair work on the bridge is planned within a reasonable timeframe by the Ministère;
- vehicle traffic is no longer possible, making it difficult to provide services such as fire safety, etc;
- that the municipality has received a bid for its temporary repair.
It is resolved to ask the Ministry to consider proceeding with such a repair.
(The municipality anticipates that) the associated costs will be paid according to the responsibility of each of the parties involved.
A copy of this resolution will be sent to each mayor of the MRC, as well as to MNA Agnès Grondin and Minister Geneviève Guilbault.
6.3 Authorization for the purchase of a 2023 Ford F-150 pickup truck for the Service de la voirie. The accepted bid, from Auto J.G. Pinard et fils ltée, is $61,433 + taxes. Also included is signalling equipment, at a cost of $1,800 + tax.

7. Environment

7.1 Report from the Chair of the Environment Committee, Mrs. Horan.
- The committee has been working actively, with Mr. B. Plourde at the helm, on the environmental policy. This will soon be ready for presentation to all.
- Two boat wash stations have arrived and can be installed in the spring.
7.2 Notice of motion and tabling of draft by-law 2023-526-1 amending by-law 2023-526 respecting the protection of and access to bodies of water on the territory of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord (Reading dispensed with; a copy of the notice was given to the members of Council. This procedure will have been repeated throughout the meeting, offering no details to citizens).
7.3 Appointment of an Assistant Director for the Urban Planning and Environment Department. Mr. Benjamin Plourde, Environmental Coordinator, is promoted to this position, retroactive to January 1.

8. Urban planning and economic development

8.1 Report from the Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee. (Mr. Johnston is absent, but Mr. Gosselin will acknowledge everyone's hard work in this regard).
8.2 List of permits from January 1 to 31, 2024.
8.3 End of probation for Mr. Spiro Trent, who is confirmed in the position of Inspector in the Urban Planning and Environment Department.
8.6 to 8.11 A series of PIIAs are accepted.
In 8.10, it concerns the reconstruction, on the original foundations, of a two-storey waterfront main building at 1025, rue du Chemin-de-Fer. At a previous meeting, the CCU had recommended postponement of the adoption of this request, imposing conditions for its adoption; in particular, greater integration with its surroundings. The applicant has, for the most part, met these requirements, and Council is granting the permit.
8.13 Awarding of a mandate to Prévost Fortin D'Aoust s.e.n.c.r.l. Avocats, in connection with the case of lot 5 708 186 of the Quebec cadastre (No details.)

9. Recreation, culture and community life

9.1. The President of the Outdoors, Trails and Community Life Committee, Ms. Chapados, has no report to submit at this meeting.
9.2 Report from the Chairman of the Recreation and Culture Committee. Ms. C. Léger submits:
- The library, inaugurated in June 2010, is celebrating its fourteenth anniversary. Congratulations to our volunteers...
- The next Ciné-Club, on March 15 and 16, will present " L’océan, vu du cœur ". One of its directors, Marie-Dominique Michaud, from Wentworth-Nord (?), will be present. Full details are on the municipality's website and will appear in its newsletter.

Question period

Ms Linda Proulx wants to know what the legal case is about, in 8.13. Mr. Gosselin declares it confidential.
Ms. Lys-Anne wants details about the Ciné-club film.
A gentleman in the audience also has a positive comment on the film.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

*Councillor Gosselin and Councillor Karine Dostie are acting mayor and mayoress. Each should alternate after six months; but are exchangeable.

W-N Council Meeting of Jan 31st2024 - Taxes, budget, PTI (2024-5-6)


Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Réjean Gosselin and Eric Johnston are all present, as is Mayor Danielle Desjardins, who will chair the meeting. General Manager Ron Kelley will present the Power Point on the budget and PTI. There is only one person in the room, while almost twenty are participating by videoconference. The tax session, at a quarter to 7 pm, will last only about a quarter of an hour, while the budget and PTI session, at 7 pm, will take an hour.

Taxation
The adoption of the taxation by-law is just a formality for council members. Ms. Desjardins gives only a short presentation. The question period will take up most of the fifteen-minute session.
The Mayor: The by-law determines the tax rate, or cost of the various services rendered to citizens, as well as special taxes, for the collection of residual materials, etc. (A notice of motion for the by-law had been presented at the regular meeting of January 17 (item 4.3); but no enumeration of rates was offered).

Question period
Ms. Denyse Pinsonneault asked for clarification of these tax rates, while Ms. Linda Proulx, of The Lac St-Victor Association, requested details of how the tax was allocated to the various municipal or external services (MRC share, SQ, etc.). We believe we heard the mayor referring to the presentation made at the last council meeting. She adds that the budget presentation, which follows, also gives these figures.
General property tax rate: $0.3652 per $100 of assessment; for the SQ: $0.579; ...; $1,000/year for short-term rental, justified by a huge volume of waste; $57.75 as basic tax rate; etc. Mr. Kelly and Mrs. Desjardins remind us that the tax rates will also be available on the municipal website, as they are every year.

Budget


The mayor will present the budget highlights, using the Power Point while the general manager will continue with the details of the budget and the Programme triennal d’immobilisations (PTI) (Three-Year Capital Investment Plan) or Programme de dépenses en immobilisations. (We refer here to the plates on display, by way of our report.)

This is followed by comments from Ms. Desjardins and, in particular, Councillor E. Johnston.

The mayor will point out that half a million dollars will be spent on snow removal, whereas we would have preferred to allocate the sum to projects that wouldn't melt... But she excuses the suppliers, who have no choice, given the rise in their own costs.

One councillor (Ms. Dostie?) will vote against the budget. (Her rapid speech did not allow us to fully grasp her arguments, but she seems to have alleged that the tax on vacant lots has not been abolished, etc.) The mayor replies that current financial resources unfortunately do not allow this promise to be fully respected.

Mr. Johnston also spoke.
- Like Councillor Dostie, he thanks those who worked on this budget.
- He congratulates the turnaround in the administration, which now has a complete and well-functioning team.
- He also congratulates ...
- He points out that it will be important for the council and administration to work closely together in 2024; to improve services, increase revenues and subsidies, etc.
- Significant transportation costs (roads, snow removal, etc.).
- $668,000 of "social tax" for road improvements, a tax that has existed since ..., but which has been integrated into the general tax(?). There is no tracking of where these funds are going. Hopefully, the new finance director (Mr. Martin Larose) will investigate how they are being used.
- A councillor must ensure equity of service to citizens. It seems to him that not contributing to the maintenance of private roads for the municipality, particularly snow clearing, is not fair.
The mayor tells the councillor that he is out of order here, in relation to the adoption of the budget.
Mr. Johnston, insisting that these remarks are directly related to the budget, continues with the question of private roads. 34% of the municipality's revenue comes from the owners of these roads. Some municipalities have adjusted and are contributing to snow clearing on private roads. Wentworth-Nord must study this question, while considering both its budgetary resources and the equity sought. He votes against adoption of the budget. The budget was nevertheless adopted by a majority.

Mr. Kelly continues with the presentation of the PTI. (Cf plates)

Following the presentation of the PTI, Mr. Johnston calls for a vote and votes against. He points out that the future projects for the St-Michel and Montfort pavilions are major. No final development(?) has been allocated to them, even though the St-Michel project dates back to 2011. The Montfort project, for its part, has not yet got off the ground. I can't vote to grant $3.4M for "projects that aren't finalized enough". The by-law will nevertheless be adopted by a majority vote.

The mayor concludes the presentation by reading the letter that will accompany the tax bill, in which she highlights the turnaround at Town Hall, the improved financial balance sheet, collaboration with the administration, road repairs, special attention to the environment, culture and recreation.
However, she is concerned about the ever-increasing financial and administrative burden placed on small municipalities.

Question period
Mr. Jean-Claude Gaétan(?): The municipality's expenses for certain services, such as culture and recreation, the environment, and salaries, appear to him to be those of a large city. Ms. Desjardins explains that some of these services involve high capital expenditure, not to mention heating, etc.
Former councillor Myriam Rioux complains that the repairs(?) to Chemin Farmer, promised three years ago, have been postponed yet again. The mayor admits that, unfortunately, there are other priorities.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine
Translated with DeepL.com (free version) & Linguee

Wentworth-Nord Council Meeting Of Jan 17, 2023, Report

Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Réjean Gosselin, and Eric Johnston are all present, as is Mayor Danielle Desjardins, who will chair the meeting, assisted by General Manager Ron Kelley. There are few people in the room, and two dozen participants via videoconference. The meeting will last 1 h 20.

1. Adoption of agenda
- 4.4 deferred: Municipality's share of MRC park fees.
- 6.5 added: Winter maintenance of 23rd Street.

2. Declaration by elected officials
Following the death of Mrs. Nicole ..., Mr. Gosselin, on behalf of himself, his colleagues, and the municipality, offers condolences to her loved ones. Mrs. Nicole ... had been celebrated for her 25 years of service to the municipality.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, ..., capital purchases for December 2023. (The table showing the situation in figures is not available).
4.2 Awarding of contract to Daniel Monastesse for cleaning of municipal buildings.
4.4 Request to the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut for adjustment of the municipality's share of park fees (Wentworth-Nord: Aerobic Corridor). (deferred)
The mayor reminds us that, as for other MRC municipalities, Wentworth-Nord's share is usually defined according to the number of residents* (4% for W-N) and the property value (5%). *Permanent residents (=population)
However, the municipality's share of park fees is close to 12%, as it is also based on a set of assets that do not belong to the municipality (public lands, ubiquitous in Wentworth-Nord, and others). These lands are non-constructible and generate no taxes or other financial contribution to the municipality.
This distribution is therefore inequitable. For example, while Piedmont's budget and population are almost double those of Wentworth-Nord, its share of park fees (the former P'tit Train du Nord station) is only 6%. The resolution will be presented in greater detail at the next municipal council meeting.
4.5 Request to the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut concerning snow removal from parking lots under its responsibility on the Aerobic Corridor in the portion located on the Wentworth-Nord territory.
Whereas include:
  • The MRC has a 60-year lease with the MTQ to manage the Corridor.
  • The MRC is responsible for infrastructure and maintenance, including culverts and a bridge (not to mention La Montfortaine, which has not been maintained for three years).
  • The MRC manages the three parking lots on the Corridor (2 in Montfort, at the intersection with rue Principale, 1 in Laurel).
  • The MRC manages a fourth parking lot (on Route Principale, at the entrance to Montfort, owned by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles.
  • The MRC is responsible for clearing snow from these parking lots.
  • In July 2021, the MRC closed the Newaygo bridge, and then the carriageway between it and Route Principale, where it had initially allowed traffic, depriving landlocked residents of vehicular access to their property. Then, in October 2022, it closed the entire section of the Corridor within the municipality for the winter (and stopped snow clearing).
  • Wentworth-Nord continues to pay its share of snow removal costs (on the other sections of the Aerobic Corridor).
  • Wentworth-Nord no longer has management of the Corridor, granted by the MRC.
The Council hereby mandates its General Manager, Mr. R. Kelly, "to take steps with the MRC and/or the Ministère des Ressources naturelles, if necessary" to find solutions.

5. Public Safety
5.1 Report from the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Ms. Desjardins. The mayor reports that calls concern forest fires, chimney fires, accidents, etc. ... There were 176 in 2018, 243 in 2019, 166 in 2020, 159 in 2021, 259 in 2022 and 169 in 2023.
The mayor, Mr. Johnston and Ms. Karine Dostie remind us that this service is essential and thank its members once again. However, recruitment is very difficult and is becoming a recurring activity in itself, so the Council is appealing to residents.
5.2 Hiring of two first responders.

6. Public works and municipal asset management
6.1 The Chairman of the Roads Committee, Mr. Gosselin, explains, among other things, that :
- Staff is reduced in winter.
- Snow removal (by the municipality and contractors?) is going well. Few complaints.
- We're starting to plan for the summer season's work, particularly about high water: equipment, manpower, etc.
6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 RIRL (Programme d'aide à la voirie locale) accountability - ch. Millette, ch. Jackson and route Principale.
6.5 Winter maintenance of 23rd Street awarded to Martin Demers. The mayor reminds us that the municipality can help property owners organize this service, and that the cost will be charged to the property owner's tax bill.

7. Environment
7.1 Report from the Chair of the Environment Committee. Ms. Horan simply reminds us that medicines, etc., should not be flushed down the toilet, sink or washbasin, but should be handed in to the pharmacist. At the end of their journey, they will end up in and pollute watercourses. The mayor points out that fish have already been contaminated in this way.

8. Urban planning and economic development
8.1 Report from the Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee. Mr. Johnston reports that the revision of the Urban Plan (with Interim Control) continues. Further consultations are planned. It will be interesting to look at the MRC, from early February, when the revision of the spatial planning could be enriched by your comments. The same goes for Morin-Heights, Saint-Sauveur and others.
Ms. Desjardins reports that the updated delimitation of flood-prone areas could make many properties uninsurable against flooding and make it impossible to resort to government assistance. The impact of climate change will be very real, not least on urban and land-use plans, and municipal finances.
8.2 List of permits from December 1 to 31, 2023. .... 382 permits issued in 2023 ($22.5 million), compared with 434 ($20.7 million) in 2022. A decrease in the number of permits, says the mayor, but an increase in the value of investments.
8.3 Adoption of a by-law limiting the number of "off-road vehicle trails" in zone H-10 to one and defining a maximum area that may be used for this purpose. Ms. Desjardins indicates that there were not enough signatures in the register to call for a referendum.
8.5 Awarding of a coaching mandate to Hélène Doyon, Urbaniste-Conseil, for the preparation of urban planning by-laws. 50 hours, at $175/hr = $8,750 + taxes.

(The following is unrevised...)

9. Recreation, culture, and community life
9.1. Report from Mme Chapados, Chair of the Comité plein air, sentier et vie communautaire.
- Trails: The Outdoors Committee will prepare a plan for 2024...
- Family policy: Things are going well.
- ...
9.2 Report from the Chair of the Recreation and Culture Committee, Mme Léger.
- Thanks to the Table de concertation des arts et de la culture de Wentworth-Nord for its December achievements.
- Ciné-Club : The film "Ru" will be shown on Friday, January 26, at 7 p.m., for young people, and on Saturday, January 27, at 7:30 p.m.. The Saturday screening will be followed by a zoom meeting with director Charles-Olivier Michaud.
Mr. Johnston emphasizes the popularity of the Ciné-club. Ms. Desjardins adds that people have come from Saint-Michel, Montfort, Morin-Heights and Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard.

Question period

Mr. Richard Wilson: Is the parking dispute related to the Newaygo bridge dispute? D.D. After an overview (cf. 4.5), the mayor confirmed that the dispute goes back to the MRC's request to Wentworth-Nord to pay 40% of the cost of repairing the bridge.
In conversation with Mr. Watchorn (mayor of Morin-Heights), the latter admitted that Wentworth-Nord could do nothing more. The mayor concludes that the situation is beyond its control. She explains that the municipality has no insurance to cover any intervention (snow removal) on these parking lots. She suggests that skiers park in Morin-Heights since the Montfort trail is closed.
Ms. Horan would have indicated that there was always the possibility of using the parking lot (on des Érables street), which gives access to the Orphelins trail.
Mr. Johnston would have added that, as part of the negotiations entrusted to Mr. Kelly, we are ready to consider all alternatives for snow removal from parking lots.

Ms. Denyse Pinsonneault: "Congratulations again on the Ciné-club and the choice of films.

Mr. Peo Rousseau:
- Can users of the Corridor, in Laurel, clear the snow themselves from the parking lot there, as well as maintain the cross-country ski trail? D.D.: Clearing snow from land that doesn't belong to you?
- Bravo for the Ciné-club.

Ms. Linda Proulx (Association du Lac St-Victor) :
- Bravo for the Ciné-club.
- Would it be possible to put more space reserved for residents in the Montfort pavilion? D.D.: First, we're thinking of creating a resident's card, so that users can already be identified. We're also thinking of building another parking lot at Montfort.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine
Translated with DeepL.com (free version) & Linguee

Wentworth-Nord Council meeting of Dec 20, 2023, report

Ordre du jour               Version vidéo
Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Réjean Gosselin and Eric Johnston are present, as is Mayor Danielle Desjardins, who will chair the meeting, assisted by Director General Ron Kelley. Councillor Catherine Léger is absent.
At the start of the meeting, Mr. Michel St-Arnaud, from the Saint-Jérôme office of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, presented the financial statements for 2022. Few people are present in the room, while the videoconference counter shows two dozen participants. The session lasts less than an hour.

1. Adoption of the agenda

Items 8.3 and 8.10 are postponed. An item, 6.10 (Safety), is added.

2. Statement by elected representatives

- The mayor recalls the sad news of the passing of Montfort centenarian Minnie Johnson.
- Strong attendance at the Christmas Market, organized by the Table de concertation des arts et de la culture de Wentworth-Nord.
•- The children's show was well received; it took two sessions to keep up with demand.
Thanks also to Councillor Catherine Léger and Ms. Jamie Lee Paquette, Coordinator of Recreation, Culture, Community Life and Communications at the municipality, who worked hard to make this happen.
- Some sixty children received gifts at the Christmas tree Day, a testament to the community's revitalization.
- The mayor sends her best wishes for a Merry Christmas, good health, and a Happy New Year.
- "It's your turn to be generous to those less fortunate."

4.9 Tabling and acceptance of the financial statements for 2022 and the external auditor's report. Ms. Desjardins will take this opportunity to announce that the financial statements for 2023 will be filed at the end of February. The delay (incurred under the previous administration) in presenting this valuable information is finally behind us. Our thanks to Martin Larose, Director of Accounting, and Kelly for their diligence.
Mr. Saint-Arnaud, accompanied by his colleague, will briefly present the financial statements to December 31, 2022:
  • Total revenues: $7.1 M
  • o Operating revenues: $6.6 M
  • o Investment income: $0.4 M
  • Total expenses: ($7.7 M) ?
  • Surplus: $63 k ?
  • Operating surplus: ($354 k)
  • Reconciling items: $358 k
  • Surplus: $4 k
Balance sheet as at Dec. 31, 2022
  • Assets: $3.0 M
  • o Cash: $659 k
  • o Accounts receivable: etc. $2.3 M ?
  • Liabilities
  • o Long-term debt*: ($2.9 M) *Decreasing
  • o Other items: ($5.0 M)
  • Total liabilities: ($7.8 M)
  • Infrastructure assets, etc. : 13, 0 M $
  • Other assets: $265 k
  • Cumulative surplus: $8.5 M ±(3M + 13M - 7.8M)
Note: Data here incomplete and figures to be verified.
The auditor concludes; "In two years, we've got the municipality out of the red, and 2023 looks even better, depending on the budgets we have."

4. Administration and correspondence

4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, purchases, disbursements, and capital purchases for November 2023: $4 M, compared with $763 k in 2022. The huge difference is due to the amounts allocated to the rehabilitation of chemins Jackson, Millette and route Principale. This work is now complete. But that's no reason to speed, especially in the Saint-Michel sector.
4.3 Schedule of regular Council meetings for 2024: Always the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 7 p.m.
4.6 Renewal of animal control mandate with Patrouille canine Inc.
4.10 Grant application to the Fonds régions et ruralité of the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut, 2024-2025 - Project to set up a COOP de Santé in Wentworth-Nord. The Council supports the Coop's request.
4.11 Resolution in support of Club l'Étoile du Nord Inc's request for financial assistance from the MRC.

5 Public safety

5.1 Report from the Chair of the Public Safety Committee. Ms. Desjardins gives the number of calls.

6 Public works and municipal asset management

6.1 Road Committee Chairman's report. M. Gosselin explains that this is the time to plan orientations and actions for 2024, essentially maintenance, in accordance with the budget.
6.7 Authorization to pay second instalment of roadwork on chemin Jackson. According to the recommendations of Équipe Laurence (site supervisor), $581.6 k to ??? Excavation.
6.8 Authorization to pay fifth and sixth instalments for roadwork on Route Principale. $2.4 M and $446 k to Claude Rodrigue.
6.9 Authorization to pay the fourth and fifth installments for road repairs on chemin Millette. $125 k and $53 k to Claude Rodrigue.
6.10 Council wishes to install speed cameras to indicate vehicle speed, to encourage drivers to respect speed limits. The municipality is seeking subsidies to help carry out this project.

7. Environment

7.1 Report from the Chair of the Environment Committee.
- Ms. Horan thanks the large number of people who took part in the consultation on the modification of the Urban Plan, both in person and by videoconference.
- (inaudible)
7.2 Appointment of a new member to the Environmental Advisory Committee, Ms. Martinet.

8. Urban planning and economic development

8.1 Report from the Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee. Further to Ms. Horan's comments on the Consultation, Mr. Johnston adds that a report will be published in 2024, and that there will be further public consultations. The mayor reminds us that this is part of the Interim Control; that citizens and their recommendations have been well listened to.
8.2 List of permits from November 1 to 30, 2023. 47 permits, for $4 million, compared with 33 in 2022, for $1.4 million. Activity is therefore sustained, despite the downturn elsewhere in the real estate market, concludes Ms. Desjardins.
8.6 PIIA 2020-0525 - Lac-à-la-Croix Sud integrated housing project, ch. des Berges-du-Nord (phase 2). This will be for a maximum of six family residences. There will be interconnection with the surrounding trail network, etc. There was a consultation session on August 10, 2022, and phase 1 has already been accepted on August 17, 2022, explains the mayor.
8.8 Planning Advisory Committee meeting schedule for 2024. The CCU will now meet three weeks before the Council meeting, to give the latter time to analyze its recommendations.

9. Recreation, culture, and community life

9.1. Report from the Chair of the Outdoors, Trails, and Community Life Committee. Ms. Chapados has no report to present this time.
9.2 Report from the President of the Recreation and Culture Committee. (Mrs. Léger is absent).
9.3. Appointment of members to the Family Policy Committee. As citizens : Mmes Catherine Jacques and Marie ... Millette , MM Yves Léveillé and Normand Tremblay. As representatives : One from the MRC and one from the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS).

Question period

Ms. Jayne Pollock: Will the parking lot next to the Aerobic Corridor (on Route Principale?) be cleared of snow? D. Desjardins: This lot belongs to the Min. des Ressources naturelles and is managed by the MRC. It's up to the MRC to clear the snow. J.P.: Mr. Genest told me it's the municipality's responsibility. So, nobody's going to clear it? D.D. We're not going to clear this land, which is not under our management, at our taxpayers' expense. J.P. Who should we contact?
E. Johnston: "I hope we'll clear it ... as soon as we get authorization from the Ministry to ...". (?) The mayor interrupts the councillor to remind him that this meeting is not a council caucus. Councillor Horan points out that the Corridor is currently closed and wonders what to do about it. Ms. Desjardins points out that the MRC has decided not to operate this section for the current winter season.

Ms. Linda Proulx: She applauds the Coop Santé initiative and asks how things stand. D.D.: The Coop is an independent structure. It has formed committees that will begin work in January. L.P. Which professionals will be working there? D.D. We're looking for people from all disciplines. Priority will probably be given to Coop members.

D.D.: Enjoy the holiday season, everyone.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine
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Dec. 9, 2023, consultation on amendment to the W-N Urban Plan, report

(Règlement de contrôle intérimaire)

Urban Planning Director Benoît Cadieux, assisted by Environmental Coordinator Benjamin Plourde, chaired the consultation. An undetermined number of citizens attended in person, while nearly 50 participated by videoconference. Mayor Danielle Desjardins, Councillor Karine Dostie and Councillor Eric Johnston also took part. The session will last around three hours (?).

If they don't get a chance to present their views during the session, participants will be able to send their questions or comments by e-mail. But they will already have had the opportunity to ask questions following the presentation of each of the six issues. In addition, they are invited to use an interactive tool available on the Internet, Menti.com, to answer a few survey questions during the session. The content and follow-up of the presentation will be faithfully accompanied by the Power Point. Here and there, the director will add a few details or clarifications to complement this visual information.

Ms. Desjardins welcomes participants and explains that the Urban Plan is, in a way, the backbone of the municipality's administration. No one is forgotten, whether a permanent resident, cottager, or visitor. After the first few Power Point slides, a series will explain in greater detail what such a plan is. Another slide will give the timetable for the whole operation; with adoption of the modifications scheduled for spring 2024.

Of the six issues, at least one addresses the question of lake access. The director points out that only two such public accesses exist in Wentworth-Nord, one at Lake Laurel (?) and the other at Lake Saint-François-Xavier. There is therefore a serious lack of public access to the municipality's waterways.

A question on the interactive tool probed participants on their ranking of issues by priority. The graph of results (see plate) shows that protection of waterways, with 23%, is followed by conservation and protection of natural environments, with 21%. The other seven choices take only 5 to 11% of 100%, with economic development in the lead.

A second question, related to the first issue of access to housing and an aging population, asked participants to estimate the average age of the municipality's population. Participants made no mistake, choosing the 50-60 age group with 48%, the 60-70 age group with 39%, and the 40-50 age group completing the 100%. The Statistics Canada table confirms this. An older population than that of the MRC, Quebec or Canada. And when asked if these are indeed the only permanent residents, Mr. Cadieux agrees. The participant then asked what the proportion of cottagers was, and if we hadn't forgotten them; they are the lifeblood of the municipality, he added. The answer was that they far outnumber the permanent residents.

The second issue concerns development pressure and interest in integrated projects, particularly in Montfort. A question on the interactive tool asked participants if they were concerned about the pressure of real estate development. Yes, for half; not so much for the others.
Population and construction are on the increase, and we need to promote the optimal use of the land, i.e., the use of existing infrastructure, densification, the creation of second ranks, etc. There is also a need for a better framework for real estate development. We must also provide a better framework for innovative, individual or large-scale projects. However, regulatory changes in this area could lend themselves to an exemption using a new tool, the PPCMOI, which makes it possible to evaluate and accept specific projects. However, some participants questioned this way of bypassing regulations and the Urban Plan.

The third issue concerns the cohabitation of uses and the problems caused by short-term rentals. On this last point, the discussions that have been taking place at council meetings since the introduction of interim control are resuming in earnest, but we can't be any further ahead at this stage. In response to the question "Are you in favor of the establishment of new short-term rental uses in your area?", those not in favor, on the interactive tool, made up 59%, against 39% for those in favor.

The fourth issue concerns the conservation, protection, and enhancement of natural environments. This priority came out on top in the seven-option survey on environmental protection measures, with 22%. The objective of targeting 30% conservation of natural environments, in line with that of the provincial government, provoked several exchanges, with participants asserting that more than 30% of natural environments are already protected in Wentworth-Nord, due to the presence of public land, etc.

The plan for the acquisition of land by the municipality, to protect it or convert it into green zones, by means of the 7% contribution for park purposes when applying for a subdivision or building permit, by the new municipal tool of pre-emption on the sale of land, or otherwise, will also prompt renewed debate on this subject. The Plan must also integrate the MRC's approach to wetland protection.

The fifth issue concerns adaptation to climate change. Here, the heightened fear of forest fires tops the list of participants' concerns. Among the measures considered by the urban planning department in this regard are interventions to limit sedimentation in lakes and streams.

The sixth issue is access to nature. The theme of access to bodies of water prompted participants to reiterate their respective positions on this controversial subject. The mayor intervened, specifying that all access to the lakes must be controlled, and that we couldn't be more accommodating than the surrounding municipalities, whose residents could then benefit from easier access to Wentworth-Nord lakes.

Our comments

This consultation, like the previous ones under this administration, seems to us to be above all a formidable exercise in information. It provides us with details of the points and issues involved in the proposed modifications to the Urban Plan, as identified by the municipality's Urban Planning and Environmental Services, under the supervision of Council.

We can only applaud this essential step in a democratic approach to public decision-making. However, this approach runs the risk of repeating certain shortcomings associated with the democratic process. For example, the perception and will of citizens, if they become a determining factor in the elaboration of modifications to the Urban Plan, could distort the validity and legitimacy of the regulations.
Thus, if it were up to the will of most residents, measures concerning short-term rentals or public access to lakes, for example, could run counter to legitimate rights invoked by promoters and investors under our liberal regime, in the first case, or against Quebec law in the second. And that's without considering the negative economic repercussions for the municipality, and even for its very development, as invoked by developers.

In the case of public access to the lakes, a proportion of lakeside residents are opposed, citing a sort of acquired right to collective ownership of the lake and a role as guardians of its environment. The mayor seems to limit this access to residents of Wentworth-Nord. Amended regulations in line with this opposition, or the simple status quo, unless they are limited to control measures, would run counter to the national law affirming the collective nature of water resources, notably to allow any person to circulate there under certain conditions provided for in article 920 of the Civil Code.

Faced with opposition to certain orientations contained in the various issues presented in the consultation, the Director of Urban Planning, like the Environmental Coordinator, always indicated that the decision had not been made and that consultations were still part of the process retained by Council. Yes, but postponing the decision or subjecting it to more consultations won't resolve the differences. We're not out of the woods yet...

Director and coordinator risk copying the approach of the then Director of Urban Planning, Mr. Emmanuel Farmer, who, in his Urban Plan, bowed to the desire of Montfort residents, and no doubt elected officials, to limit the recreational and tourism offer in the area. The introduction of interim control seems to us to be largely the result of the impasse created by this orientation; will the new regulations be able to resolve it?

We have come to believe that, as is probably the case, amendments to the Urban Plan will have to respect the framework of orientations decreed by the State, occasionally transmitted by the MRC, and which must prevail over the perception of a municipality's residents, as well as their elected representatives.

In fact, by opening the door to certain demands that are contrary to the common good of the State, the municipal council and administration, which must represent both the State and its own residents, would be neglecting one of their duties, that of making citizens aware of societal issues.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Wentworth-Nord Council meeting of Nov. 15, 2023, Report

       Ordre du jour        Video version
Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger and Réjean Gosselin are present, as well as Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, who will chair the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, Director General. Councillor Eric Johnston is absent. Also, in the gallery at the start of the meeting are Michel St-Arnaud, from the Saint-Jérôme office of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, and Martin Larose, Director of the municipal accounting department.
Two people were present in the room, while the Zoom counter showed 24 participants. The meeting will last only 50 minutes.
Agenda items are added, while item 8.8 is postponed.

2. Statement by elected representatives
- The mayor expressed her satisfaction that Wentworth-Nord had been awarded a 4th fleuron, crowning its beautification efforts. The beautiful Belvedere structure in Laurel Park is nearing completion, offering a magnificent view of the lake.
- Work on road rehabilitation is underway.
- The lake associations met to unveil new boat-washing signs.
- The purchase of the Montfort pavilion was completed. We'll be moving forward with the Advisory Committee.
- Public consultation on interim control, December 9, with presentation of suggested guidelines.
- Presentation of the financial statements at the start of the meeting. At a time when there is talk of extravagant spending by directors of certain municipal administrations, the mayor stresses the great reserve of council members with public funds. No expenses for council members, apart from the occasional coffee and a small purchase of $50 last year.

4. Administration and correspondence

4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, purchases, disbursements, and capital purchases for the month of October 2023. $3.2 million this year, versus $732.9 k in 2022, due to current disbursements for roads rehabilitation (which will be 90% subsidized, the mayor reminds us).
4.2 Modification of resolution number 2023-09-2874. This concerned the payment of the grant to set up the Coop Santé. The donation would be in two instalments of $5,000: the first to the Chamber, and the second to the Coop Santé, in 2024, for its operation. As the Coop is not yet incorporated, the second instalment will still go to the Chamber of Commerce.

4.4 Tabling and acceptance of the financial statements for 2021 and the external auditor's report.
Mr. Michel St-Arnaud presents:
1. Summary results to Dec. 31, 2021:
- Total revenues: $6.8 M
- Total expenses: ($7.3 M)
- Deficit: ($0.5 M)
- Amortization, etc. : $0,3 M
- Net deficit: ($0.3 M)
2. Balance sheet on Dec. 31, 2021
- Cash: $0.1 5 M
- Accounts receivable: $1.9 M
- Total financial assets: $2.1 M
- Long-term debt, etc. : ($7.0 M)
- Net debt: ($5.0 M)
- Non-financial assets: $13.3 M (furniture, etc.)
- Other assets: $0.2 M
- Total non-financial assets: $13.4 M
- Surplus: $8.4 M

The mayor thanked the auditor and commented that this deficit, like the previous year's, was the result of the previous administration. At the time, there had been extraordinary expenses for lawyers, severance agreements, etc. However, the big clean-up was over. But the municipality had very little room for manoeuvre; it had to manage very tightly and create a financial cushion.
4.6 Guarantee of $49,000 for a loan from Coopérative de solidarité Laurel Station. A risk-free bond, explains Ms. Desjardins. The Coop wants to renovate its store to make it more attractive, among other things. Many municipalities support their cooperatives in this way, but by becoming members, citizens make all the difference.

5. Public safety

No report from the Chair, Mayor.

6. Public works and municipal asset management

6.1 Report from the Chairman of the Roads Committee. Mr. Gosselin reports that
- the temporary workers are ending their season;
- repairs to chemins Jackson, Millette and route Principale are being monitored and are going well.
6.2 Repeal of the by-law decreeing the terms and conditions for the assumption of partial maintenance of the private portion of chemin Lanthier by the municipality for the winter period; (not enough signed agreements to exceed the required 50%).
6.3 Adoption of by-laws decreeing the terms and conditions for partial maintenance of private roads on the municipal territory for the winter period. The roads in question are rue du Chemin-de-fer, east and west.
6.6 Awarding of a $1,200 (?) contract to Martin Demers &... for snow removal at the covered courtyard parking lot.
6.7 to 6.10 Authorization to pay scheduled installments for road repairs on 12th Street, Jackson Road, Principale Road and Millette Road.
6.11 Snow-clearing contract for Montfort Pavilion grounds. The winning bid, for 2023-24 with an option for the next two years, would award $6,036 to the firm XXX, for 2023-24, $6,640 for 2024-25, and $6,972 for 2025-26. Councillor Horan finds the cost exorbitant for such a small lot and proposes that the option be dropped. The mayor added that the increase would be higher than the 3% inflation forecast. The amended resolution was passed.

7. Environment

7.1 Report from the Chair of the Environment Committee. Ms. Horan:
- Reports on the success of the November 11 meeting of lake associations, chaired by Environmental Services Coordinator Benjamin Plourde.
o Participation by members of 15 lakes and other residents.
o Two billboards on boat washing.
o New permanent coloured boat stickers.
o Wash stations.
o Water quality surveys (coliforms, phosphorus, chlorophyll a) conducted for the municipality, downstream from the main lakes.
o The presence of an invasive snail on Lac Louisa.
o Aquatic plant inventory pilot project.
o Drone monitoring of riparian buffer strips.
o Presentation on invasive plants (large-leaf pondweed at Lake St-François-Xavier).
o A warning against the multiplication of mining claims.
o Inventory of problematic septic tanks.
- The mayor pointed out that the results of these tests on the presence of coliforms in these lakes showed a good ranking, and that they were all fit for swimming.
7.2 Financial assistance program for recreational, sports and outdoor infrastructures.
7.3 Authorization to submit a request for financial assistance to the Fonds Région et ruralité (FRR) for the purchase and installation of two new boat washes (in Laurel and Montfort).

8. Urban planning and economic development

8.1 Report from the Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee. (Mr. Johnston is absent.)
8.2 List of permits from October 1 to 31, 2023. 34 applications in 2023, for $2 million, compared with 53 in 2022, for $5.4 million. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 323 permit applications, for $17.5 million, compared with 393 applications in 2022, for $20 million. The value has therefore remained relatively stable this year, despite the drop in the number of applications.
8.9 Purchase of land by the municipality, at a cost of $4,000, for the installation of semi-submerged bins on chemin du Lac-Thurson.

9. Recreation, culture and community life

9.1 Ms. Chapados reports on the 2nd meeting of the Trails Committee, and that a meeting is also scheduled with the Family Policy Committee.
9.2 Ms. Léger announces:
- The presentation of the film Testament at the Ciné-club, this Saturday, November 18, at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Laurel Community Centre.
- Christmas Market, November 25, in Saint-Michel.
- 2 plays for children. (Table des arts et de la culture + the municipality)
- Christmas Day Countdown, December 16, 11 a.m. (Gifts for children. Registration required).
The mayor congratulates the members of the environmental and urban planning advisory committees. They work very hard and are highly motivated.

Question period

Mrs. ?, on the snow clearing of the parking lot on the Aerobic Corridor, which was not done last year. Ms. Desjardins explains that a piece of equipment was missing last year.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

W-N Council Meeting Of October 18, 2023, report


All councillors, Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Eric Johnston and Réjean Gosselin, are present in the Laurel community hall, as is Mayor Danielle Desjardins, who will chair the meeting, assisted by General Manager Ron Kelley. Some 15 people are present in the room, while the Zoom counter indicates 30 participants. The meeting will last one hour. Lake Gustave residents are well represented.

1. Adoption of the agenda. Item 8.5 is postponed. Item 8.13 is added.

2. Statement by elected officials. The mayor congratulates the councillors on their dedication to their work. She notes that Mmes Dostie and Léger have two young children.

4. Administration and correspondence.
4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, purchases, disbursements and capital purchases for the month of September. In 2023, it's $2m, compared with $385k in 2022. The sharp increase is due to the start of repairs to chemins Millette, Jackson and route Principale.
4.4 Request for financial contribution - Opération Nez rouge Sainte-Adèle campaign. The municipality will contribute $250.
4.5 End of probation for Accounting Manager Martin Larose.
4.6 Request for use of public land. Recalling that the municipality is in the process of acquiring the Montfort pavilion, we request the management of the parking lot located at the entrance to Montfort, on land belonging to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
4.7 Filing of the median proportion and comparative factor of the property assessment roll for fiscal year 2024. Mr. Kelley explains that this is an annual administrative measure, requested by the Ministère des Affaires municipales (to assess property wealth in the municipality).

5. Public safety. No report tabled.

6. Public works and municipal asset management.
6.1 Report from the Chairman of the Road Committee. Councillor Gosselin reports that the contracts for the repair of the three roads included are being monitored.
6.2 to 6.9, 6.12 and 6.15: Adoption of by-laws decreeing the terms and conditions for the assumption of responsibility for the maintenance of private roads on the territory of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord, or the awarding of contracts for the snow removal of municipal facilities and certain roads, for the 2023-2024 winter period.
In 6.8, for the Montfort sector, it is explained that some of this is municipal land (parking lot "des Orphelins?", Mount Street, etc.). The mayor notes that two sectors have been omitted, "because we don't know if we'll own them". Here again, she alludes to the process of acquiring the Montfort pavilion.
6.11 End of probation for Public Works Director Pierre Aubé.
6.13 Authorization to pay second instalment ($207,159) for road repairs on chemin Millette; by Claude Rodrigue.
66.14 Authorization for payment of third installment ($2.2 million) for road repairs on Route Principale; by Claude Rodrigue.

7. Environment
7.1 Report from the Chair of the Environment Committee, Ms. Colleen Horan (Her words were partly covered by the crumpling of paper in front of a microphone). She reminds us, we understand, that the second (annual) meeting of (lake) associations will be held on November 11.

8. Urban planning and economic development
8.1 Report from the Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee. Mr. Johnston notes that too many residents are starting work before obtaining a municipal permit. He urges compliance with regulations in this regard.
8.2 List of permits from September 1 to 30, 2023. 39 permits, for $1.6 million, compared with 33 permits in 2022. Demand is still there.
8.3 Adoption of by-law 2017-498-21 amending zoning by-law 2017-498 to reduce the minimum lot area in zone H-60, to authorize the use of "off-road vehicle trails" in zone H-10 and to amend certain problematic definitions and provisions in the by-law. There were no valid requests for a referendum. Item 8.13 will propose limiting to one off-road vehicle trail in zone H-10.
8.12 Adoption of a new resolution concerning the exchange of land with Lac-Saint-Victor Estates. Minor changes to land area.

9. Recreation, culture and community life
9.1. Report from the Chair of the Outdoors, Trails and Community Life Committee. Ms. Chapados announces that :
- The Outdoors Committee held its first meeting the previous week. It is with great interest that we embark on this trail enhancement project. Among other things, the need for increased trail maintenance was emphasized.
- The (Families?) Committee will work on developing a family policy.
9.2 Report from the President of the Recreation and Culture Committee. Ms. Catherine Léger:
- Praises the success of the Journées de la Culture (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1), with France Paquette's workshop, geographer-historian Claude Martel's presentation on Wentworth-Nord's postal heritage, and the opening of Mr. Levine's gallery for the Journées.
- Underlines the same interest in the 1st Ciné-club, with an attendance of 30 people to see Le temps d'un été. The next one will be on November 18, and the choice of film will be announced in the municipal newsletter. We try to have the films available soon after their screening in theatres.
- On October 28, at 3 p.m., there will be children's storytelling here at the library, and candy...
- Announces the Christmas party, Nov. 25, at Saint-Michel church, with children's show in the afternoon.
- Reminder that this is the last weekend to see the Grandeur nature exhibition at the Montfort art gallery.
- Christmas gift distribution in December. (Watch the Newsletter.)

11. Subject of public interest
Mr. Johnston points out that there have been several items on snow removal on private roads on this agenda. It's about time we started talking about this, because not all residents receive the same services. The subject is all the more topical as the cost of these services has soared.

Question period
(Maximum 5 minutes)

Mr. Jean (Patie?), Association du Lac Gustave :
- Thank you for the work on chemin du lac Gustave (culverts to solve the problem of water overflow in the spring).
- We have asked you to clear the snow on the portion of the road that belongs to Crown Lands. The mayor suggests that suggestions to this effect be sent for the 2024 budget, before October 21. Council will follow up on these suggestions and has also begun to reflect on the maintenance of private (and other) roads. But the mayor doesn't want to go into detail in public at this meeting. Mr. Johnston will have given some details (inaudible).

Mr. Daniel Champagne says he bought a house and applied for a garden shed on August 23. He has yet to receive a reply and wonders if he will have to put his stock in the snow...

Mr. B. Tremblay complains that Saint-Michel de Wentworth receives no news from the municipality. What do you do with the seniors in Wentworth-Nord who don't have Internet access? And notices from the municipality are not posted on our mailboxes. Can't we receive the notices and bin collection schedule with our increased tax bill? The mayor asserts that this calendar is mailed every year. She points out that we're developing ways of communicating all the information to citizens, to mailboxes, while we're demanding that the authorities concerned, including the MRC, deliver the Accès newspaper to Saint-Michel; since we publish our public notices in it, as does the MRC. We are obliged to post our public notices on the boards available: one in Montfort, one in Laurel and one at the Saint-Michel church, where everyone passes by.
Mr. Tremblay: What is the proportion of seniors in Wentworth-Nord; 60%? What are you giving to seniors? Nothing; and you've been studying, like the previous mayors, for 20 years! You've just bought the Montfort pavilion, but you can't even provide services to Saint-Michel. The mayor says that there are services for seniors in Saint-Michel, that he's misinformed and that she doesn't want to discuss it here.
Mr. Johnston confirms that the council is looking for formulas and solutions to keep the population better informed, but that this is not happening as quickly as we would like.

Mrs Denyse Pinsonneault:
1. I haven't received a collection calendar, and others haven't either.
2. Bravo for the Ciné-club: good film, good organization, good popcorn...
Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

Séance ext. du conseil De W-N, du 11 oct. 2023, Compte-Rendu

Ordre du jour       Version vidéo

Councillors Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Eric Johnston and Réjean Gosselin are present in the Laurel Community Hall, along with Mayor Danielle Desjardins, who will chair the meeting, assisted by General Manager Ron Kelley. Councillor Colleen Horan is absent due to illness, but participates via videoconference. A couple are present in the room, while the Zoom counter shows 15 participants. The session will last fifteen minutes.

2. Authorization for the purchase of two boat washes. Expectations include the current stations not supplying water hot enough and at the recommended pressure. The cost of the transaction with Ozéro solutions will be $141,045.

3. Appointment of members of the Montfort Pavilion Advisory Committee. Numerous candidates were put forward, including the mayor, as chair, and councillors Colleen Horan and Catherine Léger. Added to these were Line Bédard, Jayne Pollock (?), Dean Barriere, Charles Boyer, Pierre Faucher and Yves Jegou.
To Councillor Gosselin's question about voting within the committee... : DD. This is an advisory committee; there will be no vote.

4. Resolution of support for the COOP Santé project presented by the Wentworth-Nord Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Development.

5. Request for support from the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut for the aforementioned COOP Santé project, given that it responds to an essential need to the community.

Question period

The gentleman in the room, who says he and his wife (residents of Montreal and Morin-Heights?) are elderly and need care, would like to see a doctor in Wentworth-Nord and asks what the co-op will be like. The mayor explains that it will be very much like the one in Morin-Heights. We don't know when it will open, because we need to attract doctors, among other things. We'll be working with the Saint-Adolphe and Morin-Heights’s co-ops.

The applicant seems to have indicated that a minimum number of residents is required to justify the formation of a health co-op, and asks what the population figure is for Wentworth-Nord. The mayor replies that the minimum is 7,000; but, although the project is for Saint-Michel, which has only a small population, the coop will also serve the more populous villages of the neighboring municipalities of Brownsburg-Chatham and Grenville, as there are no such services closer to Lachute.

Here, the gentleman seems to be giving us his opinion on a project he considers too ambitious, like those of Mayor Ghali who, he says, saw himself in Montreal. He thinks it would be better to improve Route Principale to attract people...

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Municipal statistics

"Your municipal council, with the assistance of the administration, is currently working on the 2024 budget. Do you have projects you'd like to see implemented? Do you have ideas to share? Send us your suggestions... "1

The municipal council may have a vision of what tomorrow's Wentworth-Nord should look like: a school in Laurel, a medical clinic in each of its three sectors; the same goes for seniors' residences or early childhood centers; a small shopping center, a road system designed to better link the three villages, a multi-purpose community center (pavilion), etc. All based on current and foreseeable growth in both residents and budget.

In support of its vision, the council can, among other things, rely on its Urban Plan. This plan makes extensive use of available statistics, both from government sources and from the municipality's own departments: demographics, population distribution, property assessment, building permits, and so on. But government data is only published at the level of the entire municipality. For sub-municipal analysis, which is essential when drawing up an urban planning or development plan, there are few relevant statistics. Is one geographic sector developing more or less rapidly than others? Will its future population justify the council's vision? What type of road will be appropriate for its vehicular traffic? How much of the budget should be allocated to it?

We regret the absence of public statistics that would enable us to assess the pace of development of a geographical sector of the municipality, its various infrastructure needs, and so on. In drawing up the Urban Plan, Mr. Emmanuel Farmer probably had to make a laborious compilation. We therefore suggest that the municipality set up a directory of available statistics. This directory, mainly made up of historical statistical data, would include those collected and presented by governments at the municipal level (census subdivision for Statistics Canada).

The municipality would also draw on its various departments to add its own data (building permits, etc.) It should be remembered that vacationing, which accounts for a good half of the housing in Wentworth-Nord, is not included in government statistics and, among other things, in the Economic Vitality Index. It may therefore be risky to use, for example, the Census (permanent) population figure to determine the appropriate level of services. The municipality and MRC, on the other hand, collect unique data on all residents and properties within their territory, whether they comprise permanent or secondary residences.2

Above all, where possible, this data should be broken down by sector, as in the case of the six electoral districts. The latter delimitation is used in Montreal; a municipality that can afford it, of course. We then obtain valuable demographic statistics for the said districts, while comparing them with those of the boroughs and the city as a whole. For example, the Sault-au-Récollet sector, in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough, has a much lower percentage of 15- to 34-year-olds, and vice versa for its retired class, than the city as a whole.3 Such data can guide, for example, the choice of socio-recreational and health facilities in the district. In terms of governance, the 19 arrondissements have elected councils and a degree of budgetary autonomy. But, of course, "this sub-municipal decentralization is often considered excessive by local players".4 And it's hard to imagine that the 6 districts of Wentworth-Nord will ever have any form of autonomy or budget of their own.

It is conceivable that appropriate, recurring questionnaires, such as those used by the Canadian Census, and accompanying tax bills, could also provide valuable data.

To set up such a directory, the municipality could hire a firm; or attach an additional resource, possibly temporary, to its Urban Planning Services. An application to some specific grant program should also be considered. Such an undertaking should not be attempted, however, without close collaboration with the relevant departments of the MRC. The search for a model, which may already exist in Quebec, would facilitate the choice of approach and content for such a framework, while enabling a comparison between municipalities, as the RSVL does for lakes.5 and 6

In a future budget, in a future call for projects, and if the one suggested here ever sees the light of day, perhaps you'll have the opportunity to present and better fit the “projects you'd like to see implemented” into the socio-economic reality of Wentworth-Nord, and its budget!

Sent to Wentworth-Nord Town Hall by Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

  1. Préparation du budget 2024: projets
  2. Wentworth-Nord : Trois Réalités
  3. Montréal en statistiques
  4. Érudit: Gouvernance urbaine et décentralisation inframunicipale dans les grandes villes d’Amérique
  5. Profil statistique de Saint-Arsène
  6. Cantley : Urbanisme, Environnement et Développement économique

Montfort Pavilion Advisory Committee: our comments 

The answer to our question reminds us of the reality, in Quebec and elsewhere, of the omnipotence of the municipal council in its jurisdiction, once in power.

Ordinary citizens can only ask brief questions at council meetings, without expressing an opinion. They only have the right to speak once every four years. Fortunately, videoconferencing and e-mail chains have brought a certain openness of information to the citizens of Wentworth-Nord.

On the other hand, municipal advisory committees are creatures of this same council and totally subject to its directives, with the exception of the CCU, whose decisions can lead to a referendum process. Candidates' professions of transparency and openness during election campaigns should be taken with a grain of salt. ...

One wonders whether the cottager is not also, here, considered a second-class citizen or a foreigner. Thus, the participation, in person, of a Montreal cottager in a meeting that may concern him, or even in a referendum (chemin du Lac-Thurson), during the winter cottage closure period, seems to us unjustifiable in a municipality where cottagers make up the majority of residents, pay the same taxes as permanent residents, even if they don't use the services as much, and contribute, in this way and in other ways, to the development of Wentworth-Nord. The example of the consultation on the protection of and access to bodies of water in Saint-Michel, last January and on a road made hazardous, is striking.

By Carl Chapdelaine

W-N Council Meeting Of September 20, 2023; report

Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger and Réjean Gosselin are present, as is Mayor Danielle Desjardins, who will chair the meeting, assisted by General Manager Ron Kelley. Councillor Eric Johnston is absent. Few people are present in the room, while the videoconference counter shows over 30 participants. The meeting will last an hour and a half.
Items 4.6.1 and 7.2 (Purchase of two boat washes) are postponed. An item, 5.3, is added.

2. Statements by elected representatives
- The mayor is delighted that the financial statements for 2021 will finally be available, after many corrections. Those for 2022 should follow shortly.
- Work has begun on Route Principale and 12th Street.
- The acquisition of the Montfort pavilion is almost complete; and the advisory committee will have to be set up. 20 quality applications have been received.
- You should have received the first newsletter from Wentworth-Nord's Loisirs et Communications, with its help in naming this newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, purchases, disbursements and capital asset purchases for August 2023. 1.2 million compared with $0.5 million in August 2022. The increase is due to initial disbursements for road repairs on Route Principale, Chemin Jackson and Chemin Millette. Subsidies will offset these disbursements.
4.3 Request for financial assistance from Association pour la protection du Lac Wentworth. $262 granted.
4.5 Update on municipal committees. Mrs. Desjardins will chair the Montfort Pavilion advisory committee.
4.7 Request for financial assistance for the Coopérative santé. D.D.: "We're working with experienced people to set this up. The Wentworth-Nord Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Development will get the project off the ground. It is requesting a grant of $10,000 for (among other things) the hiring of a dedicated coordinator. This grant will be paid in two instalments of $5,000: the first to the Chamber, and the second to the Coopérative santé, in 2024, for its operations.

5. Public safety
5.3 Request to increase tax credit for firefighters and first responders. This credit is deemed clearly insufficient. Deputy Agnès Grondin is being asked to sign this resolution. Thanks to the work of Director Martine Charron.

6. Public works and municipal asset management
6.1 R. Gosselin says he is aware of the work; the Public Works Director is keeping a close eye on things.
6.2 Renewal of the Gas Tax and Quebec Contribution Program 2024-2028 - Negotiations between the governments of Quebec and Canada. This program is important for the realization of projects. The municipalities (via their federation?) are asking the federal government to double its participation. ... Negotiations should be concluded by early fall, so that a new agreement can be signed as early as January 2024. ... The federal government should not add any conditions to the current ones, or additional reporting requirements (too onerous for municipalities). Include municipal buildings, retention works (water?) and adaptation work to combat climate change.
6.3 Request to Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable - Work on Municipalité de Wentworth-Nord territory. This concerns the section of Route Principale from the Town Hall to Montfort. Whereas certain parts of this road are in very poor condition and represent a danger. The resolution calls on the Ministry to take the necessary corrective action.
6.8 Notice of motion and filing of draft by-law 2023-612 decreeing the terms and conditions for the assumption of responsibility for the maintenance of private roads of Lake St-Victor Estates Inc. by the municipality of Wentworth-Nord for the 2023-2024 winter period.
6.9 Authorization to pay the first instalment for road repairs on chemin Millette. Équipe Laurence (site supervisor) recommends a first payment of $44,495 to Claude Rodrigue.
6.10 Authorization to pay second instalment to Claude Rodrigue, in the amount of $1.5 million, for road repairs on route Principale.

7. Environment
7.1 Report from the Chair of the Environment Committee.
- Ms. Colleen Horan (not very audible) speaks of close maintenance on the subject of septic tanks, washing stations, etc. ... 16 lakes have benefited attention from (W-N services...?), while their lake associations have contributed (to these operations).
- Apart from the environment, the councillor is saddened by the fact that, during a presentation on neighborhood protection, homes, cars, etc., held in Saint-Michel, not a single citizen showed up.

8. Urban planning
8.1 Report from the Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee. Mr. Johnston is absent.
8.2 List of permits from August 1 to August 31, 2023. 44 permits, for a value of $984,172, compared with 65 permits in August 2022, for a value of $3.9 million. Year-to-date, 250 permits, valued at $14 million, compared with 310 permits, valued at $15 million, in 2022.
8.3 Hiring of an urban planning and environmental inspector (Mr. Spiro Trent).
8.4 Adoption of second draft by-law 2017-498-21 amending zoning by-law 2017-498 to reduce the minimum lot area in zone H-60, to authorize the use of "off-road vehicle trails" in zone H-10 ... Whereas there was a consultation on September 13; whereas ...
Councillor Horan, reporting the disappointment of Montfort citizens concerning this modification in the Lac à la Croix (H-60) zone, and citing a lack of explanations, calls for the vote. She will be the only one to vote against the adoption of this by-law. After pointing out that she was also voting against authorization for zone H-10, etc., the mayor pointed out that the 40,000 m2 represents a very, very, large area of land; 15 times larger than that of the councillor's lot (housing density will therefore be minimal). Councillor Gosselin points out that only 6 properties are still authorized for construction.
8.5 Minor derogation and 8.8 PIIA - Roof pitch and right-of-way coefficient at 1336, rue des Outardes. The CCU recommends refusal of the application, due to the construction of a flat roof. The applicant, Mr. Davidson, explains that this shape is justified. Councillor Gosselin, for his part, sees that a pitched roof would throw water towards the house, and will vote for acceptance of the derogation and the PIIA. His colleagues will follow suit.
All other PIIAs will be favorably recommended and adopted.

9. Recreation, culture and community life
9.1. Report from the Chair(s) of the Recreation, Culture and Community Life Committee.
Ms. Catherine Léger reminds :
- The Journées de la culture are coming up soon, with France Paquette's workshop in Laurel on September 30 and a presentation on October 1 on the history of post offices in Wentworth-Nord.
- The Levine Gallery will open its doors on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. and Oct. 1 (see Municipal Services newsletter).
- The Grandeur nature exhibition continues at the Montfort art gallery.
- A film will be shown on October 14.
The mayor adds that a Volunteer Day is also being organized.

Question period

Mr. Yves Jegou asked whether it would be possible to install speed indicators, especially for cyclists, on the shared way of the Aerobic Corridor. The mayor replied that the same problems exist elsewhere. It's up to the Sûreté du Québec to enforce speed on the Corridor, and our constables aren't authorized to do so. She appeals to cyclists who might be able to hear her.

Mr. Falardi (?): Wentworth-Nord is not served by the Centre sportif régional. Shouldn't we join (the managing body) of this center? D.D.: There was a survey of our residents regarding our possible participation; the result was negative. It's too far away, and there are only five local people currently using it. It would be $70,000/year (?) and we'd have to pay for the years already gone by. The cost-benefit equation doesn't justify it.
Falardi: But, without a municipal membership, we individually have to pay more than others to take advantage of it. Could we have a $100 discount? D.D. The previous council decided this. As for the discount, we already have a program that gives you up to $150.
(Spouse of) Gail: Request for information on taking over maintenance of private roads at lake St-Victor Estates (see 6.8).
(Linda Proulx's spouse): We'd like to go back to the reduction in the minimum surface area for a property on Lac à la Croix (zone H-60) (see 8.4).

Carl Chapdelaine: The Montfort Pavilion Advisory Committee: the mayor's response to our question:
Response (D.D.) reminding us that the committee must advise:
1. The composition will be reduced to a manageable number, but other residents among the twenty or so who applied will be able to give their opinions.
2 (We understand that the committee will operate in a closed environment).
3. There will be a face-to-face meeting.
4. There will be no communiqué after each meeting. The committee will be asked to provide overall recommendations at the end of its mandate.
5. Themes will be submitted to the committee for analysis.
6 (No response to this implied question.)
Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Montfort pavilion's  Advisory Committee , Question To W-N Council

Question to Wentworth-Nord Council for its meeting of Sept. 20, 2023

Subject: Montfort Pavilion Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee (for the Montfort Pavilion) is a non-decision-making committee whose mandate is to give advice, formulate opinions or make recommendations on issues under study (in the realization of this collective project) * [and on the use of the building (renovation, transformation, etc.)]** "... The members of this committee will meet on a regular, monthly basis, and will be responsible for the development of the project.
If you are interested, you (should) submit a letter of interest and a curriculum vitae... "*.

The question: What is the composition of the Committee and how will it operate?
The implications :

  1. Its composition: Who are the members?
  2. A collective project: Can all residents (permanent and vacationers) have their say, and how?
  3. Regular meetings: What about seasonal vacationers? Participation by videoconference?
  4. Will there be a public communication of information and follow-up after each Committee meeting?
  5. Who will study the issues? Who will evaluate the advice or recommendations, and how?
  6. Ambassadors: Who will tell them what to say or do?

Submitted for your attention by Carl Chapdelaine, Sept. 17, 2023

*W-N’s Communiqué
**Stated at the Special Council Meeting of August 30, 2023 (LSFX’s Friends' Report)


 Consultation of Sept. 13, 2023. Draft Bylaw 2017-498-21(Notes)

Present, among others: councillors Colleen Horan, Line Chapados, Karine Dostie, Réjean Gosselin, and the director of urban planning services, Mr. Benoît Cadieux.
The meeting, held in Laurel, will last over an hour. There will be a dozen participants by videoconference and very few people in the room.

The amendments to be made by this draft by-law aim to:
  1. reduce the minimum lot size in residential zone H-60 (Lac-à-la-Croix);
  2. authorize the " off-road vehicles trails" use in residential zone H-10 due to the proposed relocation of a section of the Club de motoneige le Hibou Blanc snowmobile trail, as proposed in zoning change application 2023-0264;
  3. modify certain problematic definitions and provisions in the by-law.
The Power Point appears to start with point 3, followed by point 2, then point 1, which will lead to lengthy exchanges during the question period between Mrs Linda Proulx, her spouse and Mr Cadieux.

Mr. Cadieux will religiously follow the content of his slides, with multiple explanations.
The changes to the by-law's definitions and provisions (point 3) are, for the most part, merely adjustments.

Question period

Mrs. Proulx and her spouse
  • The gist of their argument is that reducing the minimum lot size (from the current 40,000 m2 to 35,000 m2, rather than 30,000 m2) for a property in this H-60 zone would constitute a new concession to developers and an increased burden on the environment of Lac-à-la-Croix* and Lake Saint-François-Xavier. In addition, the change in the urban planning by-law could have future repercussions on development north of Lac-à-la-Croix.
  • Has there been an environmental analysis, by a biologist, of the impact of this project on the two lakes? And who is the developer?

Mr. Cadieux explained that an error in the delimitation of the building lots, as well as the amputation of the whole by the land acquired by the municipality, would have allowed the construction of only 5 residences, instead of 6, as originally agreed with the developer.
He points out that this project has already been the subject of consultation, etc. He adds that the council worked hard on this file; that it obtained a gain of land in the transaction, and that this land will be protected from any private construction. The council was not even obliged to proceed as at present. The draft by-law will be submitted to the referendum process, as will any eventual amendments.

*A large pond, the result of a dam built by beavers, it seems, and a fragile environment.

Mr. Yanick Bouchard
  • Why change the regulations for the entire H-10 zone, when the derogation would affect only a tiny part of it? Ans: Because you can't change the uses for only part of a zone.
  • Some lots seem to be smaller than the minimum required. (?) Ans: In an integrated project, properties can share the whole space and be built on smaller lots. It's the whole that counts, we understand.
Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Special Meeting Of The W-N Council Of August 30, 2023, report

Ordre du jour        Video version

All councillors are present: Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Eric Johnston, and Réjean Gosselin. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, will chair the meeting, assisted by Ron Kelley, General Manager. Three or four people can be distinguished in the room, while the videoconference counter will indicate two dozen participants. The session starts at 6 p.m. and will last about half an hour.

The meeting concerns the final offer to purchase the Montfort pavilion from the MRC; the call for candidates for the creation of an advisory committee; and the authorization of payment of the first instalment for the road repairs on Route Principale.

2. Final offer to purchase Montfort Pavilion. Lots 5 588 463, 5 588 471(?). Resolved to accept the purchase... Carried unanimously.

3. Call for candidates for the creation of the Comité aviseur in the Montfort Pavilion file. The mayor explains the role of the committee: to make recommendations on
- its future community service;
- the use of the building (renovation, conversion, etc.).

5. Authorization to pay first instalment of road repairs on Route Principale. Équipe Laurence, as site supervisor, recommended conclusion of the $400,000 contract with Claude Rodrigue.

Question period

Mr. Raymond Noël (Pres. ALSFX): What are the conditions attached to the sale of the Pavilion? D.D.: Mainly the guarantee of public access to Lake Saint-François-Xavier.
R.N.: What about parking? D.D.: The municipality will have complete control over parking lots.

Ms Diane Jegou: When can we resume our Café meetings? D.D.: There are 45 days to sign the documents.

Mr. Wilma Wiemer: Will there be only Wentworth-Nord citizens on the advisory committee? D.D.: Yes.

X: How do I apply? D.D. Send an e-mail to the secretary's office.

Mr. Rick Leckner: What are the financial implications of this purchase? D.D. We've estimated them roughly, but it will be up to the advisory committee to work out the details. Mostly, there will be subsidies; the municipality can obtain up to 80% from the government (on such purchases). The remainder will be covered by a 25-year borrowing by-law.

R.L.: Are the subsidies guaranteed? If we don't, it's going to cost us a lot of money. Shouldn't priority be given to road maintenance, for such sums? D.D. How often do you go to the Pavilion? R.L. About ten times in my 35 years at the lake.

E. Johnston: The scope of the project has not yet been determined (it will have to be adapted to our needs and resources). This is just a first step.

R.L.: What about repairing the building?

The undersigned: What about the dike? D.D.: The municipality will own 100% of it. But, if it's another buyer, we'll remain co-owners (as we are now). The MRC and Wentworth-Nord will pay 60-40% of the upgrades already required.

D.D. This purchase will satisfy all but a few of us; that's to be expected.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Wentworth-Nord's Council Meeting Of august 16, 2023, Report

Ordre du jour        Version vidéo

All councillors are present: Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Eric Johnston and Réjean Gosselin. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, will chair the meeting, assisted by Ron Kelley, General Manager. Seven people are present in the room, while the videoconference counter will indicate up to thirty participants. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and will last two hours.

1. Adoption of the agenda : Item 8.19 is deferred to the next meeting.

Note: On the event of a technical incident, the mayor reminds everyone that meetings can be attended by videoconference and are broadcast. She emphasizes the Council's concern for transparency.

4. Administration and correspondence

4.1 Acceptance of reports on salaries, purchases, disbursements and capital purchases for July 2023. 620,000 vs. $385,000 in 2022. The increase is due in part to legal fees related to a lawsuit by citizens against the MRC, which they accuse of wanting to enclave them. The municipality is not being sued, but it is being challenged. For all parties, these expenses approach a quarter of a million dollars, while no solution is yet in sight.

4.2 Addition of an authorized representative to clicSÉQUR: Mr. Martin Larose.

4.3 Notice of motion and tabling of the draft by-law concerning the Code of ethics and professional conduct for elected officials of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord. To (ensure the independence) of advisory committees, we wish to add that no elected official may communicate with an employee to discuss his or her mandate, except through the committee chairman, the general manager or the mayor. Committee recommendations are submitted to Council members, who generally discuss them at the caucus preceding the Council meeting...

4.5 Termination of employee #61-47. The employee, hired in January 2023, has not met the requirements of the position.

4.6 Repair of Chemin Notre-Dame-Sud (Costing over $200,000?) Resolution presented by District Councillor E. Johnston. D.D.: This order has been completed; however, the work, carried out in 2021, would have to be resumed.
At this point, Councillor Johnston asks to speak, saying he has presented the resolution and has comments to make. The mayor tells him to let her continue reading whereas. Confrontation ensues. Ms. Desjardins tells the councillor that the elections (for the position of mayor) are in two years' time and that he seems bored with Mr. Ghali's era.

Among the whereas, it is said that the then mayor and administration dictated the choice of materials other than those set out in the resolution; ... that a new call for tenders had to be submitted; that the wrong type of gravel was chosen, of which the employees warned the Director General and Councillor Johnston, (The Councillor shows his indignation at this last clarification.) Whereas the Director ignored this warning and this gravel was used. Whereas the errors have been acknowledged by the current Mayor and General Manager. Whereas Council received a verbal report from Équipe Laurence on the (situation) on August 1, 2023; whereas a written report will be submitted on the 20th of this month.
The mayor summarizes and comments by recalling that the Director of Public Works is an engineer specializing in roads, and that the General Manager was himself a Director of Public Works in Gore. The administration believes that the situation of the (planed surface) of the road will improve with the addition of sand in winter and time and that, given the estimated cost of the (complete) repair work is substantial, we can dispense with it.
The vote is taken. Roger Gosselin votes against. At this point, Mr. Johnston asks to speak, after the others have made their comments, if any. Mrs Chapados then says she will vote against. Ms. Horan believes that Public Works should be trusted. Mr. Johnston acknowledges that, as Gore's director(?) told him, sand spreading seems to be improving the situation. But two winters have passed (and the problem still exists). He doesn't want to say how it should be done, but simply whether we're going to respect what the council said.

The mayor calls for the vote. Here, Mr. Johnston says he finds the way she addresses him insulting. The resolution is rejected. Ms. Desjardins points out that she lives on Notre-Dame-Sud, but that she must first and foremost look after the interests of the municipality. Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be saved here.

5. Public safety

5.1 Report from the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. No report from Mrs. Desjardins.

6. Public Works and Municipal Asset Management

6.1 Report from the Chairman of the Roads Committee. Mr. Gosselin reports that he travelled the roads of the municipality to report on the situation to committee members. Among other things, he drove quietly on Notre-Dame-Sud. He believes that, in order to bring the road up to standard, as provided for in the 2019 resolution, certain sections of its foundation would have to be reworked, as they are ill-suited to the supporting soil. You can't rebuild a road by starting with the surface.

And other roads in the municipality are in far worse condition than Chemin Notre-Dame-Sud. We're prioritizing and aiming for a three-year application, because we can't do and spend everything in a single year. The roads budget is close to 30% of the municipality's total budget. The problem of defective culverts, which cause spring flooding (water hammering?), neglected in the past, will be prioritized. Citizens can address their questions to me at the appropriate time. Mr. Johnston thanks Mr. Gosselin for his involvement in analyzing the situation, particularly at Lac Gustave.

6.2 Adoption of a by-law governing the construction and municipalization of roads and the construction of accesses to a property. The purpose is to standardize the way these roads and accesses must be designed... and to improve the documentation to be submitted for applications. Certain comments received during the August 2 consultation in Laurel were taken into account.
Mr. Johnston commented that this by-law is very important, as it concerns many developers as well as the administration. He says, however, that he has not had every opportunity to study it and would like more time to evaluate changes to this by-law in the future.

7. Environment

7.1 Report from the Chairman of the Environment Committee. Mrs. Horan reminds us of the municipality's financial contribution to RSVL expenses ($200 to $300). (Comments not taken.)

8. Urban planning and economic development

8.1 Report from the President (acting) of the Comité consultatif d'urbanisme (CCU). R. Gosselin says that he has already presented the essentials; that all went well with the Advisory Committee.

8.2 List of permits issued from July 1 to July 31, 2023. 55 permits were issued, for a work value of $?M compared with 49 permits in 2022, for a value of $?M. Year-to-date, the total value was $13M versus $10.5M in 2022; demand is therefore sustained.

8.6 Notice of motion and filing of first draft by-law 2017-498-21 amending zoning by-law 2017-498 to reduce the minimum lot area in zone H-60 (Lac à la Croix) ...

8.7 DM 2023-0134 - Creation of an irregular-shaped lot, lot 5 708 186, route Principale. The CCU considers that the purpose of this request is to authorize the developer to convert an access lane into a private road that would allow him to subdivide lots (with a view to building lodging units), we understand in summary. Such a process, at this time, could also bypass the current interim control. Such a derogation would also have a major impact, concerning the distance between the entrance to said street and an intersection. The CCU recommends refusing the request.
The angry promoter takes the floor to say that his request could have allowed the construction of ten homes, each costing $1 million and bringing in large revenues for the municipality. He would have built a paved street that he would have turned over to the municipality. Etc. The mayor thanks him and ends his presentation. The derogation is refused.

8.9 PIIA 2023-0258 - Land development Domaine de la Musarde. The CCU's recommendations refer to the reforestation of a property where trees have been felled by mistake, and to landscaping that respects nature, etc. But Councillor Johnston, contrary to his colleagues K. Dostie and R. Gosselin, does not believe that the project is sufficiently respectful of the conservation of the natural environment, and will vote against it. The application will nevertheless be accepted.

All PIIAs will have been accepted.

8.20 Offer to purchase lots, rue des Érables, by Mrs. and Mr. Young, at a cost of just over $1,000. This purchase will give the applicant direct access to Lake Saint-François-Xavier. But, in the spirit of restricting access to this lake, a clause will prevent any third party from taking advantage of a servitude to do so. Mr. Johnston, expressing his feeling that the municipality is not asking fair value, at least $5,000, from the owners for these lots, will vote against this resolution. The mayor will justify the decision by pointing out that the value of their property (and their taxes) will increase sufficiently at the next property assessment, and that surrounding properties (lots) of similar size were valued at only a few hundred dollars. Carried.

8.21 Land exchange with Lac-Saint-Victor Estates. A public information meeting was held on this subject on July 26. The agreement between the Estates and Wentworth-Nord is now complete. It includes the exchange of lands and the acquisition of others by the municipality, for a total of around one hundred thousand dollars(?). It will enable the latter to become the owner of the land on which the Orphans' Trail was built and which belonged to the Domaine. 9, 500 in tax reimbursements will also be disbursed by the municipality.

A small lot, which could have provided a connection between the Lac à la Croix and Lac Saint-François-Xavier habitats, will be municipalized. A servitude will oblige the Estates (or any owner) to let a trail pass through... A clause in the resolution stipulates that certain lots will be offered for permanent greening. For the benefit of Mrs. Linda Proulx, Ms. Desjardins adds that the tennis court will become municipal and that a trail will link it to the Orphans' Trail. She concludes by affirming that the municipality has made gains in this transaction and that land will therefore also be protected in perpetuity.
Mr. Johnston expresses his appreciation of this approach.

9. Recreation, culture and community life

9.1. Report from the Chairman of the Recreation, Culture and Community Life Committee. (Ms. Chapados reminds us that community life falls under her mandate, while recreation and culture are now Ms. Léger's domain).
Ms. Léger underlines the colossal work done by the Table de concertation des arts et de la culture de Wentworth-Nord in producing the Festival Ciel d'août, which was a resounding success. Workshops, exhibition, public market, show. On Saturday, there will be three literary authors at the Montfort pavilion...
On Saturday, August 26, at 8 p.m., there will be an open-air cinema in Laurel, with a film for the general public.
The mayor wishes to highlight the work of the Table, the financial contribution of the MRC and the growing involvement of the population, following the impact of the pandemic.

9.2 Appointment of the person responsible for Réseau BIBLIO. Jamie Lee Paquette, the municipality's coordinator of leisure, culture, community life and communications.

11. Subject of public interest

Ms. Desjardins reminds the meeting that the Montfort Pavilion purchase was the subject of consultation. The purchase offer was turned down by the MRC, but a new proposal was studied. But the mayors now want to replace the agreed condition of allowing MRC residents access to the lake for ten years, with a perpetual permission. The Wentworth-Nord council is due to discuss the matter. The mayor is open to receiving communications from residents on this subject.

Councillor Johnston now shares with his colleagues the concerns of Lac Gustave residents, regarding ownership of the road (Lac Gustave?) which was perceived as municipal (but which would be partly the responsibility of the Ministère des Transports). M. Gosselin replied that the Comité voirie would look into the matter at its next meeting, in early September. The mayor adds that the general manager is in constant contact with the MTQ (to remind them that a portion of the road belongs to them, and that they are responsible for it). In the meantime, the municipality's Public Works department provides good service to Lac Gustave residents on this road.

Councillor Gosselin, for his part, recalls the workings of the Consultative Committee on land planning (CCU). Under the chairmanship of Councillor Johnston, this committee ensures that applications comply with regulations. Given the importance of urban planning (construction, roads, etc.) to the municipality's operations and budget, its role is very important.

Mayoral candidate. Before the question period, and to return to what the mayor had said, Mr. Johnston apparently stated that if he announced his candidacy for mayor in two years' time, his wife would not let him come home, so he would not be a candidate.

Question period

Ms Linda Proulx (Association du Lac St-Victor) asked whether the reduction in the minimum lot size at Lac à la Croix (see 8.6) meant that more houses would be built than expected. The mayor explains that the number of houses remains the same, but that the municipality needed the land taken over from the developer.

Mrs. D. Pinsonneault expresses the opinion that, with regard to the MRC's condition to allow perpetual (and free?) access to Lac Saint-François-Xavier for its residents, this could one day lead to the lake being the most frequented in the region; that this would therefore be catastrophic.

A resident of 12 Rue: ? Rep. from D.D.: The plans were made by an engineer.

Mr. Jean Paquin, Association du lac Gustave:
1. Wants municipality to maintain road from Morin-Heights’s boundary. D.D. We maintain roads under municipal jurisdiction. R. Kelly: That's up to MTQ...
2. The culvert needs replacing. R.G. It will be done.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

Consultation Of July 26, 2023: 1. Land Swap With Lac St.Victor E. 2. Pavilion

Wentworth-Nord's Council Meeting of July 19, 2023, report

The recording is not available at the time of writing according to our notes.
Present: Mmes Colleen Horan, Karine Dostie and Catherine Léger, M. Réjean Gosselin and M. Eric Johnston, as well as Mme Danielle Desjardins, mayor, who will chair the meeting. Mr. Ron Kelley, General Manager, assists the Council members. Councillor Lyne Chapados is on vacation. A dozen people are present in the room, including the prefect, while the videoconference counter will reach two dozen participants. This time, the session lasts less than two hours.

1. Adoption of the agenda
Items 7.2 and 8.12 are withdrawn.

2. Statement by elected representatives
The mayor indicates that the first Coopérative de santé is being set up in Wentworth-Nord; it is on the Saint-Michel side.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 Salaries, disbursements, and capital purchases for June 2023: $931,590, compared with $566,220 in 2022.
4.2 Status and filing of the final results of the vote held on July 9, 2023, (where a referendum was requested) in connection with By-laws 2017-498-19-H-70, 2017-498-19-H-71, 2017-498-19-I-04 and 2017-498-19-CONS-08. The mayor recalls that the question was: "Do you accept (the adoption of the bylaw; in order to prohibit the use complementary to a residential use "tourist accommodation of principal residence type")?" The vote was yes in zone H-70; no in the other three zones. Ms. Desjardins points out that the majority of residents who voted to reject the by-law in these latter zones were not affected by it.
4.3 Finance and Budget Committee update. We were able to note the names of Karine Dostie, Eric Johnston, Ron Kelly and the Mayor(?) as members of the committee.

5. Public safety
5.1 We were unable to note the comments of its chairwoman, the mayor.

6. Public works and municipal asset management
6.1 Report from the Chairman of the Roads Committee. M. Gosselin reports that the normal course of work was briefly disrupted by the need to unblock culverts and repair other damage (due to bad weather in May?).
Ms. Desjardins adds that the roadworks for which the municipality is responsible are progressing smoothly, with work underway on chemins Jackson, Millette and route Principale. She urges drivers not to take advantage of the improved pavement.
6.2 Request to install a flashing light at the intersection of the Aerobic Corridor and Route Principale. This is where users on the Corridor have to cross the road," explains Ms. Desjardins. We'll be asking the MRC to submit a request to the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable.
6.3 Local roads assistance program - Maintenance component
6.4 Notice of motion and filing of draft by-law 2016-462-2 amending By-law 2016-462 governing the construction and municipalization of roads and the construction of accesses to a property. Ms. Desjardins indicates that this draft by-law must be submitted to the referendum process.

7. Environment
7.1 Ms. Horan reiterates the importance of participating in the consultation on Wednesday, July 26, which will focus, among other things, on the resolution to purchase the Montfort Pavilion. Ms. Desjardins points out that it appears that MRC representatives will be attending.
7.2 (?) Spending authorization for the acquisition of boat washes. The councillor indicates (that there will be an initial installation of these three super-stations). The mayor adds that the first installation was to be at the Montfort pavilion, but that delays in the MRC's involvement have forced the municipality to look at Saint-Michel instead.
She reminds us that the MRC will be obliged to enforce the by-law on boat washing at the Montfort station.

8. Urban planning
8.1 M. Gosselin ....
8.2 Tabling of list of permits for June 1 to 30, 2023. Ms. Desjardins speaks of 29 permits for this period; a value of $3M; versus 65 in 2022, but for a value of only $2.7M.
8.3 Increase in septic system permit application fees. The mayor explains that some applications require a great deal of work on the part of the administration, whereas these fees are supposed to constitute revenue for the municipality.
8.4 to 8.11 All PIIAs will receive a positive recommendation from the CCU, and permits will be granted by Council. Ms. Desjardins reminds us that CCU members, like the developers, work very hard to ensure that projects comply with regulations, etc. Then, council members study them too, and ask for explanations. The professionalism of the process should not be questioned.
8.13 Cession for parks, playgrounds, and natural areas. Here, the municipality takes the 7% in cash, as it has no need for these lands. Ms. Desjardins points out that this money goes into the fund dedicated to this type of project, and that this fund is at $300,000.

9. Recreation, culture and community life
9.1 The Committee Chair, Councillor Catherine Léger, reminds us of the following:
a. Courses for 5- to 7-year-olds (To be specified.)
b. Next Ciel d'août workshop on July 26 at Saint-Michel.
c. Don't miss la Route des Arts,with Mme France Paquette.

Question period
Our question on Safety and Emergencies.
The mayor answers in detail:
- Yes, the municipality has an emergency plan that sets out all the measures to be taken, who is in charge, what contacts need to be established, and so on.
- During last May's meteorological event, we were better prepared than the towns of Saint-Sauveur and Sainte-Adèle.
- The municipality will nevertheless work to improve the plan.
- Climate change must be taken into consideration.
- Certain points will be affected in the regulations currently being analyzed under the Interim Control umbrella.
- Citizens also have a duty; among other things, to have the necessary reserves to last three days. To be able to heat their homes by an alternative means.
- We want to draw up a list of vulnerable people (handicapped, elderly, etc.) who would require special attention during such events. Neighbors need to help each other out.
- The use of the municipality's website should also be encouraged.

Mrs. Dominique Savio and Mr. Delphis Babin, Association du lac Saint-Louis (?)
The municipality-wide parking ban poses serious problems for us; especially in the summer, when we have family and friends visiting. We have no (public) parking. Why can't we park on the side of the road, as we do in the cities? Last year, while we were all at the beach, a series of parking tickets were handed out here.
The mayor, while sympathetic to the plaintiffs and many others throughout the territory, explains that the regulations are uniform with the other municipalities in the MRC; that this is a measure that facilitates the work of Sûreté du Québec officers. Wentworth-Nord's narrow roads must also always leave room for emergency vehicles. Yet few tickets are issued. Residents should agree to share their parking space with their neighbors. We're working on this parking problem.
The man: We're in the country, but we're more penalized than in the city. Couldn't the MRC come up with a formula that makes sense?

Ms. Denyse Pinsonneault
Why are these surveyors on Chemin-de-fer Street for a second time? R. Kelly: It's for the MTMDQ. C. Horan and D. Desjardins: It's about the right of occupancy on the Aerobic Corridor. Some people have encroached on the right-of-way (for docks?). We've already spoken to you at length about this.

A building permit applicant in the audience
- The CCU gives itself a lot of rights over the design of our projects.
- Postponing decisions, such as the one that was to be passed at this council meeting in my case, has a negative and financial impact on our projects.
- We were once granted a logging permit, and now we're being asked to reforest this land...
- In the Parc de l'Orignal blanc, a great architect drew up the plans, but the CCU didn't like them!
- In our project, the CCU recommends that Council refuse all requests for minor derogations. This is a violation of our rights!
D.D. You make comments; only questions are admissible here.
Sir: Can't you simplify the PIIA rules?

Mr. Djerfi (12 th Street)
The poorly designed asphalt on our street continues to cause flooding and other problems. D.D.: It will be repaired shortly since the contracts have been awarded.

Mrs. Myriam Rioux
- We haven't received the Accès newspaper. D.D. The newspaper isn't distributed in the Saint-Michel sector, or even in Laurel. However, both the municipality and the MRC pay for information for all their citizens. We are in contact with Mme Pilote, who is responsible for the weekly. But they don't cooperate.
Mrs Rioux : I'm in contact with Mr Labelle...
- No news on the Brewer Lake parking lot. It needs to be enlarged. D.D.: We're waiting to hear from the Ministère de l'Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs. It takes a long time...
Mrs. Rioux: We had to make arrangements with a landowner.

Mrs. Diana Frias
- Is there a date set for the end of the Interim Control? D.D.: We're about to hold a consultation, after which we'll (adopt the regulations?). We're dealing with professionals who are (difficult to push around...)
- Will the current parameters be modified? D.D.: I can't answer that today.
Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine, le 21 juillet 2023


Land-use planning elements in Wentworth-Nord

In 2017, Wentworth-Nord's urban planning department, under the direction of Mr. Emmanuel Farmer, provided the municipality with an urban plan of which it can be proud, and which still dictates several objectives to be respected. Since then, the evolution of many activities and of the socio-economic structure seems to us, by and large, to have followed the avenues identified. Thus, the eastern sector of the municipality, centered on the village of Montfort and stimulated by the dynamism of private developers such as Lac St-Victor Estates, has confirmed itself as a very active pole of residential development.

But if Laurel, as the municipality's chief town, retains the preponderance of the municipal administration based there, "making the Town Hall sector the municipality's recreational and tourism spearhead..." remains an unfinished task. The same applies to "consolidating the Saint-Michel church pole".

Not everything went according to plan in 2017. While questions were raised at the time about the impact of real estate development, particularly on the village of Montfort and on Lake Saint-François-Xavier, whose accommodation or support capacities were already being questioned and residents worried, the current situation shows that these fears were well-founded.

Various initiatives have been taken to counter the invasion of visitors at certain times of the summer season, to respond to residents' complaints about the difficult cohabitation with other users of the Aerobic Corridor and Lake Saint-François-Xavier, or to prevent the introduction of Eurasian water milfoil into the latter. Today, however, the situation remains anarchic, with two levels of power clashing. The sector's recreational tourism vocation, among others, has borne the brunt of these disagreements. On the other hand, despite the environmental intrusion of the Lac-à-la-Croix and Chemin du Lac-Thurson projects, the green belt designed to prevent real estate development at the head of the lake has come to fruition.

It must be said, however, that the divergent orientations, changes of course and even political rivalries of our elected officials, both at Town Hall and at the MRC, and more particularly the changing of the guard midway in Laurel, have also been able to take the place of the guidelines that a non-partisan socio-economic development plan should dictate.

Aware that the 2017 urban plan and related bylaws no longer address certain current concerns, such as the impact of real estate development for tourism purposes on existing infrastructure or the environment, and on the quality of life or aspirations of residents, the council decreed a moratorium on said development. While this approach, using the tools available to a municipality, may seem justified, it is not, in our opinion, the best way to direct the guidelines that should attempt to steer this development.

In a more global vision of land use planning than that limited to real estate development, and insofar as the municipality can appropriate this primary responsibility of the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut, the process must not be limited to an internal review, in which Planning Services and Council draw up the portrait that will be submitted for public consultation. The referendum process to which draft urban planning bylaws are subject, and where, strangely enough, they are adopted before being submitted to the public for approval, is not appropriate here in terms of planning and development. We shouldn’t put the cart before the horse.

Shouldn't the approach be just the opposite? Shouldn't we first consult all the stakeholders who concretely build the municipality's socio-economic fabric: real estate developers, accommodation providers, various service suppliers, building contractors, spokespersons for the cultural milieu, lake associations, district or other committees representing residents, etc.? This information, combined with the expertise of the planning department, other municipal services, and consulting firms, could then enable the said administration and council to draw up a development plan most likely to suit Wentworth-Nord. It is this latter plan that would be presented for public consultation.

In an exceptional situation of interim control, at the very least, no final decision should be taken on development orientations, which would be better served by the process we have indicated.

A land-use plan, like an urban development plan, has many more prerequisites than those discussed here. But it's not certain that the municipality has the power, the means, or the time to go through the various steps it should entail. Factual data, statistics describing demographics and their evolution, the situation of households, real estate, infrastructure, the carrying capacity of our lakes, etc., are essential instruments on which the administration should be able to rely. The analysis of these data using increasingly powerful computerized methods would shed new light on the whole picture. It can, for example, discern variables that are interrelated, such as age, active workforce, household wealth, type of housing and ownership, etc.; and draw relevant conclusions for predicting the socio-economic evolution of the territory.

But, as we have already pointed out, many sectors do not benefit from data collection on a sub-municipal scale, or even on that of the municipality as a whole. Just as we must do to assess the evolution of lake characteristics and balance, by ensuring historical statistical knowledge, we must set up data collection on our territory, on the scale of the six districts for example. We'll take advantage of tax statements or questionnaires to do this. The physical visualization of the state of our lakes and habitat, through global aerial photography or even more targeted, thanks to the use of drones, now underway, will also be invaluable for the eventual preparation of appropriate management plans. So, shouldn't we be thinking in terms of the longer term?

In a development planning process in which the environment and citizens' quality of life are taking on a new dimension, municipalities can now count on very up-to-date theory and practice in the field. For example, the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation (MAMH) recently published an impressive Guide de bonnes pratiques sur la planification territoriale et le développement durable.

Urban planners, regional planners, and landscape architects from across Quebec, as well as professionals from the public and private sectors and elected municipal officials, were all involved in its production. Living environment and sustainable development are at the heart of the project's concerns, which can be applied at the scale of the regional county municipality (MRC/RCM), the municipality or at a finer scale.

"By considering these various types of environments, the guide successively addresses planning and public participation issues; the planning framework; examples of best practices; and major projects."

In Wentworth-Nord, issues common to all Quebec municipalities will be added to those that are unique to the area, such as the disproportionate importance of roads, housing development closely linked to the presence of its many lakes, aging and the impact of gentrification on a significant portion of its population, isolation and a lack of services of all kinds, etc.; all aspects that require special attention and whose evolution is best foreseen. Left to the sole dictates of free enterprise, and even if framed by urban planning rules, this evolution may not correspond to the desired development.

The choice of development avenues for Wentworth-Nord might not, moreover, follow that of the MRC, with its more urbanized sectors, strongly focused on tourism development and enjoying a better economic base.

But theory and practice alone do not guarantee the success of the approach; the main players involved, indeed the entire population, must above all be able to sit down at the same table and dispense with partisanship.

By identifying municipalities as true local governments, hasn't Quebec required them to engage in land-use planning? But will it give them the means to do so?

By Carl Chapdelaine

W-N Council meeting of June 21, 2023 (some notes taken on the fly + comments)

                                     Ordre du jour     Audio version

Note: Following the broadcast of the recording, we have added to our summary notes of June 23 the list of whereas clauses accompanying the resolution of item 4.6, on the submission of the offer to purchase Montfort Pavilion.

All councillors present: Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger, Eric Johnston and Réjean Gosselin. Mayor Danielle Desjardins presides over the meeting, assisted by General Manager Ron Kelley. Some ten people are in attendance in the room, while the videoconference counter indicates some thirty participants. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and will last 1 h 45 min.

3. Follow-up and adoption of minutes
Councillor E. Johnston asks that we add what he had stated concerning his sick leave.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.2 Adoption of By-law SQ-2023 concerning traffic, parking, peace and good order. This is to comply with Sûreté du Québec standards.

4.3 Authorization to bid - Sale of immovables for non-payment of municipal taxes. The Accounting Assistant, Ms. Chrystel Durivage, will represent the municipality in bidding on properties of interest to the latter.

4.6 Final offer to purchase Montfort Pavilion. After the following whereas:

  1. Need for a multifunctional building for community, recreational and cultural purposes.
  2. Need for a place of refuge in the event of a threat to civil security.
  3. That the Montfort Pavilion is best managed by the municipality.
  4. That the municipality has notified the MRC of its intention to purchase the Pavilion.
  5. That negotiations are underway between the two entities.
  6. That both entities recognize that the Pavilion is in a significant state of deterioration.
  7. That, according to an estimate obtained by the MRC, urgent repairs are required.
  8. That the Pavilion comes with a high-capacity dike which, according to the engineering firm Équipe Laurence, requires minor but important work to secure the dam.
  9. That, according to the MRC, the Pavilion is an inventoried heritage building, but does not have the status of a classified or cited building under Quebec's Cultural Heritage Act.
  10. That its construction dates to after 1940, and that it is therefore not subject to the inventory and transitional measure that the MRC must adopt...
  11. That the municipality wishes to associate a regional vocation with the Pavilion, via an administrative agreement with the MRC.
  12. That the municipality wishes to have an agreement with the Fabrique, following the cessation of its activities on the premises in July 2023.
  13. That exchanges between the MRC and the municipality now enable the latter to submit a final agreement.

The resolution to offer $1, to be accepted no later than August 15, the date of the next MRC council meeting, and to form an advisory committee on the future of the Pavilion, chaired by the mayor, is adopted. Councillor E. Johnston will call for the vote and will be the only one to vote against (to be verified).
[9.3 Council votes to refuse interim management of Montfort Pavilion. Carried]

(Our comment: Municipalities have long complained that higher levels of government transfer responsibilities to them without providing the necessary resources to assume them. Here, it is the municipality that is asking for the exclusive, uncompensated care of a patient on artificial respiration and potentially more dangerous contaminated accessories. Yet their basic treatment will already require a disproportionate share of the meagre municipal budget. All this is currently the property of the government and in the care of the MRC, which is considered to be negligent.
No referendum procedure is proposed; and only one of the two councillors elected as official representatives of the residents of the Montfort sector, dares to light a red light that his colleagues and the mayor are ignoring. We can't blame him tomorrow for what's bound to happen, the extent of which has yet to be determined. At the next municipal elections, will he be the Messiah we'll have to call upon? Or will we beg Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard to co-own this future white elephant for its residents? Truly, in Wentworth-Nord, we sometimes still wear the Covid mask, but far too high up on our faces...)

5. Public safety
5.2 Intermunicipal agreement establishing the provision of automatic and mutual aid services for fire protection. Wentworth-Nord joins forces with Harrington.

6. Public works and municipal asset management
6.2 Adoption of by-law 2023-587 decreeing the terms and conditions for the assumption of responsibility for partial maintenance of chemin du Lac-Gustave by the municipality of Wentworth-Nord for the 2023 summer season.
6.3 Authorization to purchase an F-150 truck for the Roads Department.
6.4 Awarding of mandate - Site supervision service - RIRL 2020-1085 route Principale project. One bid, for $69k, from Équipe Laurence. The mandate is granted.
6.5 Authorization to spend money on a shredder (See question).
6.6 Adoption of By-law 2022-485-1 amending By-law 2022-485 decreeing the terms and conditions for the assumption of responsibility for the maintenance of private roads on the territory of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord for the summer and winter periods. New method of apportioning costs among users.
6.7 Tender for snow removal. A two-year contract is awarded to David Riddell. Mr. Johnston, while underlining the contractor's qualities, expresses his preference for a (3-year?) contract. The cost would already have doubled here, and the uncertainty of the trend leads him to vote against the resolution, as worded. Carried.

7. Environment
7.1 Mrs. C. Horan presents her report:
- Report on meeting with lake associations on May 28, 2023.
- At this meeting, volunteers were asked to look after the trails (Montfort...).
- Successful Journée DécouVerte.
- Happy Fête nationale.

8. Urban planning and economic development
8.3 Adoption of a by-law amending Interim Control By-law 2022-608 to modify the prohibitions applicable to new cadastral operation requests for lots and tourist accommodation businesses.
There will be eight PIIAs, including six for the construction of a main building. The CCU's recommendations, all of which are positive, will be adopted following modifications made by the applicants.
8.15 Disposal for parks, playgrounds and natural areas - Subdivision permit application 2023-9001. Here, the proposal is to prefer to take the land rather than the $4,730 it represents. Against, the councillor (Karine Dostie?) calls for a vote. Réjean Gosselin is also against. In the end, it's three to three. The mayor, pointing out that the land will give access to crown land, and judging that there's not much money to lose here, will tip the balance in favor of adopting the proposal.


9. Leisure, culture and community life
9.3 (See item 4)

Question period
Ms. Suzanne Delisle (association ...):
- How are road maintenance charges distributed...? D.D.: Winter charges are billed to property owners, who generally have access to them (to be verified).
- Congratulations to Mr. ...

Mr. X in the audience: The shredder you want to buy (6.5); it's no good for anything.... Rent one instead, and you'll see... Réjean Gosselin: It's not for this kind of work...

Ms Myriam Rioux: There's no chemical toilet on...

Mr. Y in the audience: Regarding short-term rentals... D.D.: I can't tell you; we're in the Interim Control period. Mr. Y: But we're entitled to information! D.D. We'll consult you when the time comes.

Mr. Y or Z: Are we going to have 5 years of this Control? Do you work for the people?

Ms. Suzanne Delisle: No response to my e-mail about .... D.D.: Contact Ms. Bissonnette.

Mr. W in the audience: We're seven families in the mountains, and we don't have a waste container...

Mme Chantal Prévost: Where's the land you're going to take? (Cf. 8.15?) D.D.: It's lot 5939877, on the Windish Lake side.

Mr. XYZ in the audience: The ditches on Route Principale here are filled with all kinds of stuff, and we get flooded when the water overflows. Same thing on Montfort Road. R. Kelly: Some sections are under the Ministère's responsibility; others under ours... R. Gosselin: We'll proceed according to...

Mme Suzanne Delisle :
- Thank you for ...
- When will the Lac Gustave road be repaired?
- When will the Lac Gustave bridge be repaired? D.D.: You'll have to harass the Department of Public Works. R. K.: It's the MTQ's responsibility. S.D.: But I pay taxes to the municipality... D.D.: The municipality isn't going to repair things that don't belong to it.
E. Johnston: ... R.K.: We have to go there in a hurry, because the MTQ isn't doing anything. XXX: Appeal to the MP? Legal action? D.D. We're discussing a personal case here; this is not the right place to do it.

Mrs. ? in the audience: ...? D.D.: Dial 511.

???: R. Kelly: The repairs to Route Principale will take some time.

Mrs. ??, in the room: Groundwater location... D.D. It's up to the owner to take care of that. W-N is favored in this respect. Mrs. ??: Quebec has produced maps of it. D.D.: Send us a copy if you can.

M. ds la salle: 60 m width for ...; it doesn't make sense. E. Johnston: It's to facilitate access. I'd like to go and have a look at it.
It's a beaver lake.

Mr. Georges Désilets (Lac Notre-Dame): Congratulations to Public Works for having repaired everything after the flood, due to the rupture of a beaver dam. ... D.D. We follow all the dams listed to make sure they're solid. But some are rather unknown to us. Contact Mr. Plourde.

Mme ds salle: Does Interim Control concern ...? D.D.: We're not talking about your principal residence here, so you're not affected by the regulations. ... Wait until it's passed... Mrs. in the audience: It's zoned commercial... E. Johnston: There's interim control.
Mme Patricia: Beavers are eating the trees. D.D.: Call Mr. Plourde.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

Séance Ext. Du Conseil De W-N, Du 9 Juin 2023, compte-rendu

Le conseil a quorum. (Mme Horan et M. Johnston semblent être les seuls absents.) Mme Danielle Desjardins, mairesse, présidera l'assemblée, assistée de M. Ron Kelley, le directeur général. Nous distinguons une demi-douzaine de personnes dans la salle. Au cours de la séance, le compteur Zoom montera à une vingtaine de participants.
1. Adoption de l’ordre du jour.
2. Adoption du Règlement 2021-588-1 modifiant le règlement numéro 2021-588 décrétant des dépenses en réhabilitation de chaussée et un emprunt de 13 961 685 $, remboursable sur une période de 20 ans pour des travaux de réfection sur des sections du chemin Jackson, de la route Principale et du chemin Millette.
3. Autorisation visant la délivrance du permis de lotissement 2022-9056 en vue de l’échange de terrains (À divers endroits?) avec le Domaine du Lac Saint-Victor Inc.
4. Nomination des maires suppléants.
5. Ajout de signataire de chèques à la Caisse Desjardins de la Vallée des Pays-d’en-Haut.
6. Achat d’une roulotte pour le Service de la voirie.

Note : Notre compte-rendu pourra être ajusté lorsque l’enregistrement sera disponible.

Un point 6 vient repousser celui de l’achat d’une roulotte à 7. Il concerne la demande à Évimbec de revoir certains points de l’évaluation foncière, avons-nous retenu. Mais, la firme dit avoir besoin de plus de temps … Le point est retiré de l’ordre du jour.

Le point 2, l’adoption du Règlement 2021-588-1, décrétant des dépenses en réhabilitation de chaussée et un emprunt de 13 961 685 $, suit la motion et le dépôt du projet à la séance extraordinaire du 5 juin.

Au point 3, sur l’échange de terrains avec le Domaine du Lac Saint-Victor Inc., pour permettre la réalisation du projet intégré, de trois douzaines d’unités (de location?), du Domaine Du Mont (Phase 2?), la mairesse commente l’historique et l’évolution du dossier. L’entente avait été amorcée sous l’ancienne administration. L’actuelle équipe l’a bonifiée en obtenant concessions et améliorations de la part du promoteur, immobilier Du Mont. Plus d’information viendra à la période de questions. L’autorisation est adoptée.

Au point 4, la conseillère Karine Dostie devient mairesse suppléante, en plus du conseiller Gosselin. Chacun devrait alterner après six mois; mais sont échangeables.

Période de questions
Mme Linda Proulx (Association du Lac St-Victor) demande des précisions sur le point 3, concernant l’échange de terrains avec le Domaine du Lac Saint-Victor Inc., pour la réalisation de la phase 2 du projet Domaine Du Mont, et du projet au lac à la Croix (?). Combien avez-vous reçu de lettres concernant ce dossier, depuis l’annonce de la tenue de la présente séance extraordinaire? D.D. : 52(?).
LP : N’y aura-t-il pas trop d’unités de logement sur de trop petits lots?
D.D. L’échange concerne des lots au lac à la Croix et pour le projet Domaine Du Mont.
o Au lac à la Croix, on parle de lots de 40,000 m2 minimum et de 5 résidences, selon les prévisions; donc très peu dense. (À vérifier avec enregistrement…)
o Le projet Domaine Du Mont, Phase 2, a été amputé de plusieurs terrains. La municipalité conserve ceux qui permettent l’accès au Sentier des Orphelins. Le promoteur doit l’aménager. Mais rien n’est encore signé. La municipalité est aussi en processus d’acquérir le terrain de tennis. Un autre terrain sera acheté par la municipalité comme zone-tampon avec le lac à la Croix.

Mme Diane Turcotte (coinitiatrice de la pétition) : On va se retrouver avec 34 unités avec permis de location…
D.D. : Il y a eu une consultation publique sur le projet Domaine Du Mont (plutôt séance exclusivement d’information, selon Mme Turcotte), et il y en aura une nouvelle. La population va en avoir beaucoup plus de retombées positives qu’initialement prévu…
D. T. Je vois plus de perte que de retombées positives… Il y a eu une pétition, avec 262 signataires; mais sans plus d’ouverture de la part de la municipalité. Où est la transparence? D.D. On passe à une autre question.

M. ?: Location à court ou à long terme? D.D. Dans le projet Domaine Du Mont, on ne parle pas de location à court terme.

D.D. : Le Refuge était construit sur du terrain appartenant au Domaine du Lac Saint-Victor Inc.; on échange ce terrain.
M. ? (Au lac Saint-Victor depuis 20 ans): Tous ces développements amènent un trafic de camions qui dérange. D.D. On a installé un dos d’âne ce matin sur Notre-Dame-Nord.

Mme Linda Proulx : Location… D.D. Les projets de location à court terme (chalet, etc.) sont traités cas par cas; mais pas actuellement, vu le Contrôle intérimaire.
L.P. Sur le site Domaine Du Mont, on dit aller de l’avant… Ne pourriez-vous pas augmenter la grandeur minimum des terrains? D.D. : En changeant les règles d’urbanisme.

D. Turcotte : Quelle sera votre réponse aux 52 lettres? D.D.: On verra…
D.T. : Il reste énormément de zones grises dans votre information. D.D. : Je vais répondre aux questions (lors de la 2e consultation?).

Mme Joyce Pollock : Les projets de sentiers du promoteur sont bien beaux sur papier, mais ne tiennent pas la route sur le terrain. D.D. : Le promoteur s’est engagé à rendre les sentiers convenables.
Sous toutes réserves; par Carl Chapdelaine

Special meeting of the W-N Council of June 5, 2023, report


Councillors Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie, Catherine Léger and Réjean Gosselin are present, as well as Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, who will chair the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, General Manager. Councillor Eric Johnston is on sick leave. Three people are present in the room, while the videoconference counter indicates eight participants. The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. and will last only 18 minutes.

2. Notice of motion and filing of draft By-law 2021-588-1 amending By-law 2021-588 decreeing road rehabilitation expenditures and a loan of $13,961,685, repayable over 20 years, for rehabilitation work on sections of Jackson Road, Principale Road and Millette Road.

3. Awarding of contract for rehabilitation work on part of route Principale. 4 bids; lowest bid of $9.28 M from
Les Entreprises Claude Rodrigue Inc The contract is awarded.

4. Awarding of contract for rehabilitation work on part of chemin Jackson. 5 bids. $1.5 M contract awarded to David ... Transport.

5. Contract to repair part of chemin Millette. 4 bids received. $1.2 M contract awarded to Les Entreprises Claude Rodrigue Inc.

6. Awarding of contract - Professional services for quality control of materials ... on part of Route Principale. One bid and $64 k contract awarded to Dec Enviro.

7. Awarding of mandate - Professional service for quality control of materials ... part of chemin Jackson. A $14 k bid and contract awarded to Dec Enviro.

8. Awarding of mandate - Professional service for quality control of materials ... part of chemin Millette. One bid and $15 k contract awarded to Dec Enviro.

9. Awarding of mandate - Site supervision for chemin Jackson. A $24 k bid and contract awarded to Équipe Laurence.

10. Awarding of mandate - Site supervision for chemin Millette. One bid and $23k contract awarded to Équipe Laurence.

Question period (In brief)

Note: Questions, all from the floor, are partly inaudible.

Which section of Route Principale? Answer: From St-Michel to the town hall.
Someone asked for the % subsidy of the total amount. Mayor's reply: About 90%. R. K.: The municipality pays the difference. (Taxes are included in the costs mentioned).
When will the work start? And when will it be finished? We can't put a precise date on it, but it's for this season, obviously.
What will be redone? Ans. from R. K.: Everything that's necessary: culverts to be redone, etc., our team knows the condition of the roads. ...
What about the bike path we talked about? Ans: No; perhaps a space on the road in certain places...(?)
When was the grant awarded? Answer: 2021.
Who sets the speed limits? On the government road, they do. On municipally-owned roads, we do.

By Carl Chapdelaine

Meeting of W-N's Council of May 17, 2023 (Report)

                                        Ordre du jour                  Video version
All the members of the council are present: Mrs. Colleen Horan, Mrs. Lyne Chapados, Mrs. Karine Dostie and Mrs. Catherine Léger, Mr. Réjean Gosselin and Mr. Eric Johnston, as well as Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, mayor, who will preside over the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, the general manager. Approximately ten people are in attendance in the room, while the video conference counter will indicate nearly three dozen participants. The session will last two hours.

2. Statement from elected officials
Mr. Eric Johnston announced that, due to a high level of pressure, he had to take a two-month sick leave to take care of his health. He withdraws from his position as deputy mayor, from the presidency of the CCU and from all activities for which he is responsible in the municipality, except for the minimum required to keep his status as councillor. An item 4.10 will have to be added to this agenda (for the appointment of interim officials?).

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 Salaries, disbursements, and capital purchases for the month of April 2023: $575,000, compared to $335,000 in 2022. Mr. Johnston asked for clarification on the $96,000 in legal fees listed. R.K.: As a result of an agreement... D.D.: These fees, which have been dragging on for a few years, could have been much higher, had I not negotiated their reduction.
4.6. Compensation of staff for the referendum vote, as recommended.
4.8 Approval of management staff raises as recommended.
4.9 Authorization to hire a Director of Finance.
4.10 M. Réjean Gosselin offers to replace Mr. Johnston as President of the CCU. He is unanimously chosen.

5. Public security
5.1 Mrs. Desjardins does not present a report for this month.
5.2 Hiring of a medical lieutenant for the First Responders Service. Following the posting of the position, the Director in charge proposed Mr. Patrick Wilhelmy; he is appointed.
5.3 Hiring of Constables for the 2023 summer period. Four appointments of "designated officers", including Mr. Patrick Wilhelmy.

6. Public works and management of municipal assets
6.1 Councillor Gosselin, president of the road committee, reports that the grader has done a first run on the municipally owned gravel roads (?) at 70%. There was the sweeping of the streets. The main focus has been on repairing winter and storm damage; summer maintenance is now being planned.
6.5 Awarding of a contract of $149,939 for the rehabilitation of the 12th Street.
Here, Mr. Johnston, in reference to item ..., wants to make sure that we will not face problems like those encountered for the work on Notre-Dame-Sud... (Continued and inaudible answers.)

7. Environment
7.1 Ms. Horan reminds everyone of the DécouVerte Day on Saturday, May 27.
- Tree distribution.
- Water testing. Mrs. Horan will bring sample bottles to Montfort for those interested.
- Meeting with the lake associations in Saint-Michel on Sunday, May 28.
- May 19: Last day to answer the questionnaire ... (Inaudible)
-Consultation on operational forest management plans (Laurentians) - May 12 to June 6, 2023. There will also be an opportunity for a virtual appointment upon request on May 24, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
7.2 Adoption of By-Law 2023-611 concerning the maintenance of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord's tertiary ultraviolet disinfection systems (see May 10, 2023 consultation on draft by-laws)
7.3 Resolution of support for the Qlaim Coalition. This resolution of the said coalition aims at obtaining the revocation of the permission to prospect a territory in order to undertake a mining operation.
7.4 Authorization to spend money for the acquisition of a boat wash. The municipality wants to install a new boat wash equipment in each of the three sectors. The water temperature and pressure obtained for the current installations no longer meet the standards. The user will operate the equipment himself. The purchase of the equipment for the first station, new stickers, information material, etc., represents a cost of $108,972.
To Mr. R. Gosselin's question, the mayor answered that the old permanent stickers will still be valid.
Councillor E. Johnston asked for more information on the cost, since the Environmental Coordinator, Mr. B. Plourde, was talking about $60,000 for this first station (in Montfort?). Despite the explanations of Ms. Dostie and Ms. Desjardins, as well as Mr. R. Kelly, according to which, among other things, the two other stations would be less expensive ($70,000?), since the basic costs would already have been paid, Mr. Johnston and Ms. C. Horan voted against the resolution, which was adopted.

8. Planning and Economic Development
8.1 Report from the Chair of the Planning Committee (None)
8.3 Tabling of certificates attesting to the results of the registration procedure of qualified voters - Separate by-laws related to the draft by-law 2017-498-19 prohibiting the use complementary to a residential use (Lodging of principal residence type) in all zones of the territory. As there are 140 zones, the Mayor will not read it. There were enough signatures in four sectors, including H70 and H71, to obtain a referendum. Therefore, they are not included in the current item.
8.4 Adoption of By-law 2017-498-20 amending Zoning By-law 2017-498 to amend the definition of waterfront lot and waterfront land (See May 10, 2023 Consultation on Draft By-laws)
8.5 Adoption of By-law 2022-608-1 amending Interim Control By-law 2022-608 in order to add certain prohibitions related to streets (See May 10, 2023 consultation on draft by-laws)
8.6 Notice of motion and tabling of draft by-law 2022-608-2 amending Interim Control By-law 2022-608 in order to add certain prohibitions relating to the creation of lots and new uses for tourist accommodation businesses.
8.7 Adoption of By-law 2023-610 relating to the demolition of buildings. (See Consultation of May 10, 2023 on draft by-laws). Three members of Council are on this committee. Its decisions must be approved by the MRC.
Among the following items, three concern modifications or purchases of lots along the shores of Lake Saint-François-Xavier. The municipality accepts the requests with, among other things, a clause preventing the owners of said lots from giving access rights to the lake. Ms. Colleen will get clarification on this point from Ms. Desjardins, Mr. Johnston and Mr. Gosselin. If the owner was a club, it would be a commercial use property, therefore prohibited (in a residential zone).
8.20 Authorization for the issuance of a subdivision permit for the exchange of land with Domaine du Lac Saint-Victor Inc. Among the whereas, it is noted that this will allow the municipality to become the owner of a lot on which the Orphans' trail passes. Another whereas indicates that certain clauses are being finalized. Because of this item, Mr. Johnston will propose to withdraw the last item, to grant the subdivision permit in a first resolution, but without finalizing the sale. (?) I.e., according to the mayor, to grant a permit to someone who is not yet a homeowner... She wants to postpone this item instead. Mr. Johnston is concerned that the delays would then interfere with the project and will return to the subject at item 10. Special Projects, from the agenda. The item was deferred and a special meeting on this item is scheduled in the very near future.
8.21 Offer to purchase lot 6 374 101 of the cadastre of Quebec by Mrs. Lund and Mr. Caucci.

9. Recreation, culture and community life
9.1. Report from Recreation, Culture and Community Life Committee President Mrs. Catherine Leger: The cultural calendar for the fall of 2023 will be announced this evening. It will include the creation of a film club for all sectors. The Mayor suggested that there are some great things coming up in Wentworth- Nord.
9.2 End of probation of the Coordinator of Recreation, Culture and Community Life, Mrs. Jamie Lee Paquette. Mrs. Desjardins points out that the communicative laughter of the new employee can sometimes be heard even outside the walls of the Town Hall...
9.3. The Street Arts 2023 project is aimed at young people and aims, among other things, at retaining them on the territory.
9.4. Tabling of the Recreation and Culture calendar.
9.5. Creation of the Wentworth-Nord Cine-Club: To offer on big screen to the citizens, productions from here and elsewhere.

Question period
(Report by a show of hands; consult the recording at 1:25 a.m. to have the comments exchanged).

Mr. Sylvain Lebrun, in a question (or criticism, the mayor will say) received at the city hall :
1. With its moratorium on construction, is the municipality within its rights?
2. Will there be compensation for the people affected by this moratorium?
3. What is the municipality's budgetary reserve in case of a class action?
Mrs. Linda Proulx, for the Lac St-Victor Association, asked for clarification on the holding of the referendums, including the date. D.D.: July 9.
Mr. Djerfi asked for clarification regarding the reconstruction of 12th Street, and when the paving will be done. E. J.: Work will take place this summer, but the resolution does not concern paving. Mr. Djerfi complains again about the damage to his property due to the condition of this street.
Mrs. Marie Chantal Prévost asks:
1. Where will be the car wash of the Saint-Michel sector: D.D.: At the fire station.
2. When will the work be done on Principale road? D. D. We will have a special meeting.
Mrs Lacasse or Mrs Delisle, for her association:
1. We still don't see starting the works on the road...
2. And the maintenance of the Lac Gustav road?
3. And the culvert that is washed away every year?
Mr. Philippe Marchessault :
1. We don't have access to the 2017 minutes.
2. Why was the offer to purchase, in item 8.21, accepted and not mine? D.D. Because the municipality cares about the land you are coveting.
Jayne Pollock:
1. When will the Montfort Pavilion reopen; we have our BBQ there in August? D.D. We would like to see the problems solved as soon as possible.
2. Will there be an inspection of the septic tanks? D.D. We have hired a student...
3. We would like more information on all these topics.
Mr. Nick n Caro :
1. Who to contact about the urgent work needed for Millette Road?
2. How do we go about claiming compensation?
Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

 Consultation on Draft By-laws of May 10, 2023

PLanning And Environmental Services Branch

The projet de règlement n° 2017-498-20 seeks to make a change to the definition applicable to the width of lots and waterfront lands on navigable lakes.

The projet de règlement n° 2022-608-1 aims to "add certain exemptions from the prohibition ... to new applications for cadastral operations relating to streets; whereas these new exemptions are not likely to compromise the attainment of the objectives and compliance with the new orientations of the Master Plan".

The projet de règlement 2023-610, relating to the demolition of buildings, aims to "regulate the demolition of buildings on the territory of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord; whereas the amendments to the Cultural Heritage Act and the Act respecting land use planning and development require them to do so. Two categories of buildings are particularly targeted, those that would be defined as heritage, and all those built before 1940. The former, of which none have yet been so classified on the municipal territory, will be subject to more requirements," said Benoît Cadieux, Director of Services.

The projet de règlement 2023-611 "Relating to the maintenance of tertiary treatment systems with disinfection by ultraviolet radiation (on the territory) of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord" aims to lift the prohibition, under certain conditions, on the use of a residential tertiary treatment system with disinfection by ultraviolet radiation. We understand that the Environmental Coordinator, Mr. Benjamin Plourde, would be responsible for seeing to this by-law.
These proposed by-laws are expected to be adopted at the May 17th regular meeting of Municipal Council, Cadieux said.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Meeting Of W-N's Council Of April 19, 2023 (Report)

Ordre du jour    Video version

All members of council are present: Mrs. Colleen Horan, Mrs. Lyne Chapados, Mrs. Karine Dostie and Mrs. Catherine Léger, Mr. Réjean Gosselin and Mr. Eric Johnston, as well as Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, mayor, who will preside over the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, the general manager More than a dozen people were in attendance in the room, while the video conference counter indicated nearly three dozen participants. The session lasted two hours.
The mayor reminded everyone that the public should not intervene during council discussions. During question period, hands are raised (from the Zoom application) to request the floor.

2. Statement from elected officials: No interventions; councillors will be able to take advantage of their presentation as committee chairs.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 Salaries, disbursements and capital purchases for the month of March 2023: $527,156, compared to $352,683 in 2022.
4.3 Update of committees and creation of a committee in charge of the protection of the built heritage, which Quebec has named the Demolition Committee, and which will be chaired by the mayor. She also chairs, among others, the temporary committees for the Saint-Michel church and the Montfort pavilion.

6. Public works and management of municipal assets
6.1 Councillor Gosselin, President of the Roads Committee, announces the hiring of a Public Works Director, Mr. Pierre Aubé, who has been on the job for two weeks, and lists the accomplishments of the month, including the filling of holes and the preparation of equipment, among others.
6.3 Call back of the seasonal employees. They are usually on duty from May to October.
6.4 Request to the Ministry of Transportation and Sustainable Mobility regarding work on the Newaygo Bridge. The Mayor explained that, while vehicles can no longer travel on it, including ambulances and fire trucks, the bridge is not scheduled to be repaired until 2025. We will ask the Department to do this as a matter of urgency.
6.5 Purchase of a dumpster, better adapted to the needs of the municipality, at a cost of 33 837$.
6.9 Authorization given to the mayor to negotiate with the MRC on the Aerobic Corridor file. The latter belongs to the Ministry of Transport and is managed by the MRC.
6.10 Creation of the position of Assistant Director of Public Works. The Director General will have to do the necessary for this hiring.
6.11 Contract with the firm JMV for the rental of a grader for the summer period. Mr. Johnston asks for the vote, indicating that he does not have enough information on the case or on the possibility of using municipal equipment to make an evaluation of the proposal. Mrs. Desjardins clarifies that it is only for the sake of transparency that this case is on the agenda, since the General Manager could, on his own, give this contract. The other councilors will vote for the adoption.

7. Environment
7.1 Ms. Horan: (Practically inaudible, due in part to noises near the microphone)
- Follow-up on the claim issue.
- Meeting in April ...
- Electric car (?)
- Maintenance of tertiary UV disinfection treatment systems for the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord.
- Company for the digging of a septic tank (?) ... Impossibility of a sealed tank on land...
7.2 Adoption of by-law 2023-526 concerning the protection of and access to water bodies. It is to replace the existing by-law, by specifying certain obligations concerning protection, access, washing certificate, etc.
7.3 and 7.4 Notice of motion, filing and adoption of draft by-law 2023-611 concerning the maintenance of the tertiary ultraviolet disinfection treatment systems of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord.

8. Planning and Economic Development

8.2 Tabling of the list of permits for March 1 to 31, 2023: $2.7M compared to $1.7M in 2022. Growth continues.

8.3 Temporary hiring of a planning and environment inspector, Mr. Jean-Philippe Dupuis, who returns to us. He will also be a "designated official" of the municipality, with the right to intervene...

8.4 Adoption of separate bylaws in connection with the draft bylaw 2017-498-19 amending the zoning bylaw 2017-498 in order to prohibit the complementary use to a residential use (tourist accommodation of the principal residence type) in all zones of the territory. This is the famous bylaw that has raised questions from developers, most often not directly affected by the said bylaw. Its actual adoption, by zone, is subsequently subject to the outcome of the referendum process required by law and triggered by obtaining the specified number of signatures in the register. On April 21, a press release announced that the register would be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 28, 2023, at the City Hall office.

8.7 Notice of motion and tabling of draft by-law 2022-608-1 amending Interim Control By-law 2022-608 in order to add certain exemptions to prohibitions related to streets. The moratorium was not relevant in these cases. Since it is only a change in terminology, the project is not subject to referendum approval.
The mayor took the opportunity to recall that there is currently an interim control, therefore a freeze on all activities, to allow the revision of certain aspects of the urban plan. (She does not mention anything about the progress of this process or its schedule).

8.9 and 8.10 Notice of motion (by Ms. Chapados?), tabling and adoption of draft by-law 2023-610 regarding the demolition of buildings. The mayor underlines that the councillor has acquired a lot of experience in the heritage file.

8.17 PIIA 2023-0019 - Construction of a two-storey main building on Domaine-du-Mont Street. This is part of the integrated project (of the same name). The Consultative Committee on Urbanism (CCU) recognizes the conformity of the project to the requirements of the PIIA; however, it is disappointed that the applicant proceeded with the deforestation before the approval of its request. The mayor suggested that the developers believe that in Wentworth-Nord, "you do what you want to do and then you apply for a permit". The opposite should be the rule, and Council will eventually deny approval for projects where the developer has done so. Planning departments must be informed of what is happening on the property.

8.23 Transfer for Parks, Playgrounds and Natural Areas - Application for Subdivision Permit. The municipality is taking the 7% cash contribution of $2,870 as it has no interest in owning land on this property. Here, the owner and the Viking Club, which has a trail on the property, have made an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trail.
Mr. Johnston, Councillor for the district concerned, asked for a vote, claiming that it is the municipality's responsibility to ensure that this important trail system belongs to the citizens.
Mrs. Desjardins wishes to point out that the Viking Club built this trail without the owner's authorization and that they wanted the municipality to acquire it. She objected, stating that the Viking Club provides access to its trails for a fee, and that the municipality will not purchase trails that will be accessible to its citizens for a fee. She said she met with the owner and representatives of the club.
Mr. Johnston disagrees with the mayor's interpretation of the contribution supposedly required. Everyone argues on this point; the councillor taking as an example what is done for the section in Morin-Heights of this pathway. (?) Mrs. Desjardins tells Mr. Johnston that he is out of order and asks to vote. He will vote against the proposal, which will be adopted anyway.

8.25 Resolution amending a resolution presented in 2020, regarding a land exchange between (the municipality?) and the Lac St-Victor Estate. Mr. Johnston asks for a vote, stating that the negotiations are not finished, that the resolution is dated, that it should be cancelled and reconsidered so that it reflects the current situation and that everyone can see it clearly. It was passed anyway, 4 in favor and 2 against.

9. Recreation, culture and community life
9.1. Report of the president of the Recreation, Culture and Community Life Committee, Mrs. Léger.
- The committee has met several times in the last few months.
- A cultural calendar will be published soon.
- The Journée DécouVerte will be held on May 27. Details will be announced soon.
- The Table de concertation des arts et de la culture de Wentworth-Nord held its AGM. It obtained a grant from the MRC, which will allow it to hold, (four days in August), the Festival de la culture announced for the sectors of Laurel, Saint-Michel and Montfort.

Question period
The mayor reminds the procedure: It is a question period and not a comment period. One question at a time, and one approaches to be heard...

A gentleman in the room asks how it is that a designated official, in charge of washing boats, will be able to visit your property? "To see if you have made your bed", the mayor jokingly replied. In fact, she explains, this prerogative is contained in the definition of designated officer; but the boat wash attendant will certainly not go into your home.

Ms. Diane Turcotte: Concerning point 8.25 (above), is the land to be exchanged included in phase 2 of the Domaine du Mont project? D.D.: Yes. D.T.: This means that the promoter will be able to go ahead with this phase 2. D.D.: No; your interpretation is wrong; and no request for the realization of phase 2 has yet been filed. D.T.: The petition presented against this project shows the interest of the citizens to be informed of the next steps. The mayor reassures the petitioner that the council is transparent in this regard.

Another gentleman in the room asked how it works for the recommendations of the CCU to the council and what recourse the promoter has if he does not agree. The mayor re-explained that the CCU studies the projects according to a certain number of criteria. Then it makes its recommendations to the council, with the relevant explanations. Council generally follows the advice of the CCU. The applicant asks if one can address directly the council if one believes the CCU to be in error or even in bad faith. He said he brings investors to the municipality and expects them to be treated with respect. The Mayor stated that developers are treated with respect and that the timelines are no different than in other municipalities. The fact that many come several times to represent their project takes up a lot of time. The members of the CCU are rigorous and the council studies each project that they present to it.

Mr. Vincent Djerfi (12th Street, W-N):
- A question from the citizens regarding item 7.2 (above): If you have a Laurel Lake sticker and you take your boat out for the winter, do you have to have it washed and pay again to put it back in the water. D.D.: No, not to put it back in the same lake; it's a permanent sticker.
- Did you vote to put gates on private property along Laurel Lake to prevent visitors from passing through to launch their boats? D.D.: The municipality will not put gates on private property, but the owners are responsible for preventing it from being used to put unwashed boats in the lake.
- What if we are in the part of the lake included in the municipality of Lac-des-Seize-Îles? D.D. and R. G.: It is more or less the same regulation.

A lady in the room: (Almost inaudible)
- I agree with the gentleman who complained about the difficulty of contacting the urban planning services to discuss his file. (?) There is no opportunity to express oneself. D.D. (joking) : Everyone who gets denied by the CCU agrees with you... The CCU follows government rules. Lady: I sent a letter to Services and did not receive a response. E. Johnston: All applicants can make a presentation, in writing or by video conference, with the CCU; there are examples.
- Regarding item 8.4 (above), on short-term rental in a principal residence, how could the by-law have been adopted, when the register could not be signed? The Mayor explained that no register is signed at this municipal meeting. The operation of the register comes after the adoption of the by-law (conditional to its non-rejection by the concerned residents).

Mr. Frederic ...: On item 8.4 as well; when will we be able to start our projects? D.D.: We are still under interim control. We are in an internal consultation process and we want (like you) to finish as soon as possible. Frédéric: We don't know when... D.D.: I would like to know that too...

Mr. Morneau (in English and difficult for us to follow): Talks about his discussions with the urban planning department. (?) Says he bought a house in W-N in 2021; put his savings in it and is losing money because he can't rent it, asks who will compensate him (?) Money coming out every month... D.D.: What is your question, please? Morneau: I have been waiting for an answer to my last request for 22 days. When will I know? Where is your honnor? You are blocking me from everything, unilaterally. D.D.: It's not against you. There is an interim control to allow us to make changes to our urban plan. Mr. Morneau: I am losing money every day; I can't afford it! Who is going to pay me back? I'm going to lose my house. (?) D.D. and R. G.: The municipality is not responsible for this. Morneau: Who is responsible? You imposed the moratorium. Here, Mr. Johnston calms down Mr. Morneau by indicating that he will be able to find the explanations on the imposition of the interim control in the minutes of the concerned council meetings.

Mr. Denis Simard (?): In order to present our project to the CCU, we have to prepare documents, which causes us costs. Then we wait in the dark. We do not know the criteria; with the imprecisions that delay the process. In order to speed things up and so that we know where we are going, couldn't we participate in the process? E.J.: All the objectives and criteria are published on our website, along with the regulations. The PIIA expectations presented with the resolutions, and available at the urban planning department, would also allow you to familiarize yourself with the CCU process. D.S.: In our case, with the purchase of a lot, we have to present a construction plan. It's an investment before you even know if the project is eligible. D.D.: All too often, the developer gives us plans that do not match the intended construction.

One lady asked about the timeline for interim control. "You can't play with people like that! D.D.: We don't know when it will be completed. There will be a presentation of the selected avenues to the population at that time and consequent adjustments. Lady: If it goes on like this, all this land will be for sale, in Wentworth-Nord.

Gentleman in the audience:
- A client's lawyer called the planning department and was hung up on on his second question.
- An investor, for $11M (?) says $5M is frozen because of this moratorium in Wentworth-Nord. This is important...
- We have to reimburse people who have made promises to purchase because we cannot respect the clause in the notarized contract because of this moratorium.

Mr. Morneau returned to make some suggestions.

A gentleman in the room doesn't understand why we are trying to ban short term rentals here when the government is allowing the opposite. The door is completely closed. (These visitors can help.) I've been coming here for three months trying to figure it out. There's not much sense here... (He is applauded by the other occupants of the room.)

With all reservations; by Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Wentworth-Nord : three realities

While the statistics from the Census of Canada and the Institut de la statistique du Québec allow us to quantify, and therefore paint an objective overall picture of the demographic and socio-economic situation of Wentworth-Nord as well as its evolution, they present us with a very imperfect portrait of these realities. [Cf. Nord-Wentwortois, According To The 2021 Census Of Canada (Summary)

The resort industry, which represents a good half of this reality, is not included in these statistics. The Institut de la statistique du Québec, for example, does not take it into account in the elaboration of its Indice de vitalité économique. The municipality and the MRC have and collect data on all properties on their territory, whether they are permanent or secondary residences. But how do they process this data to obtain the numerical picture needed for planning activities and sub-municipal orientations?

Aren't there more cottagers in Districts 5 and 6? And if so, shouldn't planning take this into account? How do the characteristics, such as age, of all residents compare to the permanent population, as measured by statistics? What is the significance of the average or employment income of the population of the municipality or MRC, if more than half of their residents are not part of the equation?

Furthermore, the statistics are not published for sub-municipal presentation. Thus, the amalgamation of data for the three villages, the six municipal districts, the dozens of habitats around lakes or other spatial realities of the municipality, masks the local situation. However, urban planning must also rely on sub-municipal data to best address the issues assigned to it.

Statistics Canada gives us the demographic pyramid of the municipal population, its average, median or employment income; the education, qualifications or field of activity of its citizens, and their evolution. But this probably does not correspond to the reality of any of its three villages. Is the level of wealth the same in the different districts?

How can we predict the socio-economic development of Montfort, Laurel or Saint-Michel, without statistics, other than the issuance of permits, to take into account the trends that are emerging on the ground over time? Doesn't the current moratorium or interim control of real estate development, via integrated projects, short or longer term rentals, etc., and the decisions that will be dictated by the clauses of the resulting regulations, risk being more suitable for some sectors than others? How to proceed to an adequate zoning in their application, without having a more objective picture of the local reality? The Farmer's plan already noted some of the incongruities of this zoning.

The socio-economic development of Wentworth-Nord seems to us to be focused on the eastern sector, the one that is closest to the urbanized areas; whether it is the neighbouring towns and villages of our Laurentians or the metropolitan area. It is already under pressure. "Some of Canada’s fastest growing small towns outside of urban centres from 2016 to 2021 were located within a two-hour drive of Toronto, Montréal or Vancouver. Many of these small towns were found in cottage country or near a ski resort, with all the amenities that go with it including nearby nature, boating, golfing, skiing, and “après-skiing.”1 Yet the misalignment of demographic and economic weight that this development is expected to bring to the municipality will be a major concern for our authorities. However, the current statistical portrait cannot reflect this reality; nor will it do so for its evolution.

Laurel, which the urban plan said was far from everything, will have to try to compensate by maintaining its status as the hub, through the development of social and administrative services, among others. Although Mr. Farmer saw "the establishment of an area designed to accommodate heavy industry and commerce," nothing of the sort, despite the will of the former administration, is yet to be seen.
Other variables will be affected, including the environment, with pressure on the most reachable lakes, for example; housing density, accessibility, the built environment, property values, the retirement of the ubiquitous single-family home in urbanized areas, the profitability of investments in road and related infrastructure, which are mostly tied to vacationing2 and short-term rentals, language, and so on.

Some tourism regions have conducted surveys to get a better idea of the sub-municipal portrait of their territory, particularly of resort tourism. "Tourisme Lanaudière recently unveiled the results of a study conducted in the winter of 2021 that had the objective of identifying the issues specific to rental cottage owners as well as municipalities that must ensure harmonious cohabitation between the tourist clientele, the local population and vacationers."3 These analyses have undoubtedly helped to better establish the issues and directions they must face. Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs published its Guide du bon villégiateur in 2019.4

It seems necessary to us that our authorities, municipality and MRC, take advantage of access to sub-municipal census data and introduce, themselves, the collection, processing and publication of statistics necessary to complete them. The interest in publishing the MRC's property assessment map on GeoCentralis is already evident. The mailing of the tax bill, which reaches both permanent residents and vacationers, should contain a questionnaire that allows for the collection of relevant and recurring statistical information, particularly at the time of the Canadian Census.

By Carl Chapdelaine

  1. Escaping the big city for idyllic small town life
  2. Cars and Cottages
  3. Portrait du tourisme de villégiature dans Lanaudière
  4. Guide du bon villégiateur

Other : Wentworth-Nord Economic Development (An Approach) 1 et 2

The 2020 indice de vitalité économique

"The Indice de vitalité économique (IVE) is a relative measure that ranks communities in relation to each other in terms of their economic vitality... A negative value generally means that the community lags the majority of Quebec communities in terms of economic vitality."1

"More specifically, the IVE represents the geometric mean of the standardized variables of three indicators, namely the median total income (pre-tax income) of individuals aged 18 and over, the rate of workers aged 25 to 64 and the average annual growth rate of the population over five years."

The index is used, for example, to allocate the Territorial Development Fund budget envelope. However, this index, based on the permanent population, does not take into account the weight of cottagers.

Among the characteristics that classify the localities in the last quintile according to this index, we note

  • Small size and low population density.
  • High proportion of people aged 65 and over.
  • Negative demographic trends.
  • Location away from major urban centers.
  • Lower median total personal income and labour force participation rates
  • Dependence on government transfers as a source of income
  • Lower standardized property wealth.

Wentworth-Nord ranked in the 4th quintile of the index for the latest reporting period (2018-2020). It is the only one in this quintile for the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut; 9th out of 10 municipalities, ahead of Lac-des-Seize-Îles, which is in the 5th quintile.
Furthermore, the proportion of the population of the Laurentian administrative region living in localities where the economic vitality index belongs to the last quintile had decreased from 2.31% to 2.29% from 2018 to 2020.2

  1. Institut de la statistique du Québec : Indice de vitalité économique des territoires – Édition 2023
  2. Les indicateurs de l’occupation et de la vitalité des territoires

Par Carl Chapdelaine

The income gap in Wentworth-Nord

Is the income gap between households decreasing or increasing in Wentworth-Nord; and how does it compare to the situation in the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut and in Quebec as a whole?

In a previous article, we reported that in 1920, in Wentworth-Nord, 6.3% of the population was in a state of poverty, according to the Market Basket Measure, compared to 5.4% in the MRC and 6.4% in Quebec. The Canadian censuses also allow us to measure the income gaps of Canadian households by classifying them on a ten-step income scale, i.e., by decile. The percentage of the poorest is thus found in the first decile. The variation of this percentage, as well as that of the other deciles that complete the 100%, gives us a good indication of the income gap between households. Nationally, each decile comprises 10% of the population. Statistics Canada also groups these ten levels into two blocks: the five deciles in the bottom half and the five in the top half, allowing for a more global comparison. For Canada, each of the two blocks contains 50% of the population.

In 2015, according to the 2016 Census, out of a population of 1,370 individuals in nord-wentwortoises's "economic families"1, 62.8% were in the bottom half of the distribution, compared to only 56.6% in the MRC and 57.5% in Quebec; much higher, therefore, than the 50% benchmark. There was little difference between men and women. 12.0% of these 1370 individuals constituted the first echelon, or lower decile of this block, compared to only 9.5% in the MRC and 9.4% in Quebec.

By 2020, the position of the poorest had worsened in Wentworth-Nord; the bottom tier now included 16.9% of the population, compared to 10.1% in the MRC and 10.3% in Quebec. The situation in Wentworth-Nord thus contrasted significantly with the Canadian norm of 10%, found in the MRC and in Quebec. On the other hand, the tenth level, the top decile, had seen its importance increase from 7.3% to 7.8%; this seemed to indicate a growing gap between the poorest and richest economic families in the municipality. It was also noted that, in 2020, the percentage of the population in the lowest decile was more than double that of the highest. 62.3% of the population was in the lower half block, compared to 37.7% in the upper half. Histogram 1Histogram 2

For its part, the Institut de la statistique du Québec uses data from the Canadian censuses, using quintiles in its tables to present the situation.

Many additional findings can be found in the analysis of these statistics; however, they require an expertise that the undersigned does not claim to possess...
By Carl Chapdelaine

1. Economic family: "Economic family" refers to a group of two or more persons living in the same dwelling who are related to each other by blood, marriage, common-law, adoption or foster care. 

The Income Gap In Wentworth-Nord (2020) : Histogram

Note: Corrigé le 25 mars.

The Income Gap In Wentworth-Nord, W-N, PdH, QC (2020): histogram

Note: Corrigé le 25 mars.

Meeting Of W-N's Council Of march 15, 2023 (Report)


Present were the members of council: Mrs. Colleen Horan and Lyne Chapados, Mr. Réjean Gosselin and Mr. Eric Johnston, as well as Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, mayor, who presided over the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, the director general. A dozen people were present in the room, while the Zoom counter indicated 45 people. The meeting will last 1 hour and 50 minutes.

2. Statement from elected officials
- The mayor reminded everyone that the public should not intervene during the council debates, neither in words nor in writing (chats on Zoom), except for exceptional reasons. During question period, the yellow hand is raised to ask for the floor.
- At the March 8 public consultation on the proposal to prevent short-term rentals in primary residences, the question was asked whether those who did not want a referendum should sign the register. (It seems to us, as Councillor Johnston will clarify, that they do not have to sign the register. However, they would have to vote in the referendum if the referendum was dictated by the required number of signatures in the register calling for it. The mayor confirmed this, adding that a note will be published to explain the procedure to follow).

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 Acceptance of the reports of salaries, purchases of disbursements, purchases of capital assets for the month of February 2023: The total was $700,000 this year, compared to $350,000 in 2022. The difference was due to the $264,000 contribution to the MRC in 2023.
4.2 April By-Elections for District 2 - The salary schedule for election officers was adopted.
4.3 Adoption of the Donations, Sponsorships and Grants Policy. This item was deferred as council did not have time to complete the policy.
4.4 Awarding of a mandate for animal control to the firm Patrouille canine Inc for an amount of $10,833. For the period of March 1 to Dec. 31, 2023.
4.5 The renewal of the annual financial aid of $2,000 is granted to the Club l'Étoile du Nord, which takes care of the elderly in the Laurel sector.
4.6. A grant of $10,000, in two installments of $5,000, will be awarded to the Chambre de commerce et de développement durable Wentworth-Nord. The purpose of this grant is to allow the Chamber to conduct a needs assessment of the community in order to properly target the services to be offered. Mr. Johnston will vote against, as he did not have enough time to evaluate the file. The mayor will indicate that the file dates back to November 2022 and that it contains nothing new. Carried 3 to 1.
4.7 Resolution to allow the General Manager to proceed with the hiring of a Public Works Director.

5. Public Security
5.3 Fire Safety - 2022 Assessment - Fire Safety Cover Plan (FSCP): Quebec requires that each municipality of the MRC accept this assessment and plan by resolution. Carried.
6. Public Works and Municipal Asset Management
6.1 Report of the President of the Road Committee, Councillor R. Gosselin: We are preparing the machinery for the summer season; we are making an inventory of the equipment on the territory, etc.

7. Environment
7.1 Report from the President of the Environment Advisory Committee, Councillor C. Horan:
- Mr. B. Plourde deposited the document on the protection (?) of lakes. Everyone is invited to consult it.
- The municipality will call the lake associations to a new meeting this spring, to invite them to participate in the implementation of the regulations concerning shoreline owners and ...
- All boats will be required to display a sticker.
- The CCE is completing its environmental policy: Biodiversity, etc.
7.2 End of probation of the Environmental Coordinator. On the recommendation of the General Manager, Mr. Ron Kelley, Mr. B. Plourde, becomes permanent.
7.3 Notice of motion and tabling of draft by-law 2023-526 concerning the protection of and access to water bodies on the territory of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord. Cf.2018-526
7.4 Upon the recommendation of the Director of the Planning and Environment Department, Mr. Cadieux, hiring of an environmental officer, Ms. Catherine Thibodeau-Babineau. The duration is 12 weeks, with the possibility of extension.

8. Urbanism and economic development
(Some headlines reported here)
8.2 Tabling of the list of permits from February 1 to 28, 2023: 18 general permits for a value of $1.6M; compared to 15 in 2022, for a value of $109,000. 35 permits since the beginning of 2023, for just over $2M; compared to 24 permits in 2022, for a value of $764,000. So, still higher this year.
8.4 Adoption of the second draft of By-law 2017-498-19 amending Zoning By-law 2017-498 in order to prohibit the use complementary to a residential use (Tourist accommodation of principal residence type) in all zones of the territory. The mayor reminds us that we are talking about a principal residence and not a secondary residence. There was a public consultation on March 8 and the adoption of the by-law is subject to the referendum approval process. Carried.
8.7 PIIA - New construction of a main building on des Montfortains Road: Already accepted in April 2021; but with the condition, among others, to reduce the lighting. The applicant has agreed to use lower intensity bulbs in the four lights considered and the CCU recommends the acceptance of these modifications. Ms. Desjardins pointed out that there is a current trend to want bright lighting. However, this disturbs the neighbors and prevents them from enjoying a starry sky.
Councillor Johnston opposed adoption, noting that the owner is presenting the authorities with a fait accompli, which also sends the wrong message to developers. Ms. Chapados prefers to follow the recommendations of the CCU, while Mr. Gosselin also votes for acceptance, saying he disagrees with the municipality's policy on lighting. Ms. Horan will side with Mr. Johnston, while the mayor will abstain from voting. By a two-to-two vote, the refusal of the adoption prevails, Mr. Kelley will confirm. Ms. Desjardins invited the owner to modify his plan and to represent it.
8.9 Transfer for parks, playgrounds and natural areas - Application for subdivision permit: Here, the municipality is interested in these lots and prefers to take them instead of the corresponding $40,000.
8.10 Offer of purchase, by Mr. Philippe Marchessault, for a part of lot 5 589 384, contiguous to a lot he already owns, and which will allow him to have an access (direct) to the lake Saint-François-Xavier. “It is a small border of the lake", explained the mayor. But the owner will not have to give access to any other property via this lot. Accepted.

9. Recreation, Culture and Community Life
9.1 Ms. Chapados will applaud the success of the Winterfest held the previous Saturday in Laurel. The children's games and the torchlight walk made it a great day.
She will remind everyone that the DécouVerte Day will be held on Saturday, May 27. There will be presentations related to the environment, distribution of plants, etc.

Question period
(In summary)
Semi-submerged bins. We will talk about these bins, which we would like to see multiplied. And also about the temporary interruption of their collection following a serious accident that happened in Saint-Sauveur, to an employee resident of Wentworth-Nord. One of these huge bags, often loaded with materials that should not be there, would have broken over the employee during its transfer to the truck (?). He is now paralyzed. The Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) intervened in this case. The collection, interrupted by the company in charge, should resume within a week or a week and a half.

Tax accounts. Although the MRC is responsible, several stakeholders presented their case to the municipal council, demonstrating incomprehensible and disproportionate increases in their property assessment and tax bills, as well as gross errors on the lots.
The mayor was as shocked as they were at the inconsistent assessment picture and disproportionate increases. She told them that we would meet urgently with the firm Évimbec to get explanations and that we would notify the population (?). Ms. Desjardins even invited an aggrieved resident to send her a copy of his tax bill.
Property owners have until April 30 to contest the matter before the MRC, using the appropriate form and returning it to the address indicated on their tax bill.
Why environmental fees? / To allow actions for the protection of the lakes. And on the ecocenter? / To better reflect the real cost.

The second draft of by-law 2017-498-19. Do we have to sign the register if we are for the adoption of the draft by-law? / No.
When will the referendum be held? / Mr. Cadieux will notify the population concerned of the procedure and, if there is sufficient demand according to the register, of the holding of the vote. This will be posted on the bulletin boards, on the municipality's website, etc. There will be maps showing the areas involved.
The questions asked at previous meetings will come up again, with the same answers:
- Your residence is not a primary residence.
- It is only about renting for 31 days or less.
- You plan to rent a room / You are prevented from doing so by the regulations (to be verified).
- Your short-term rental project is currently affected by the interim control. There will be a consultation on your issue in due course.
- Some feel they are being treated unfairly / Mr. Cadieux is doing his best.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

Consultation on tourist accommodation as a principal residence, March 8, 2023

Presentation and consultation on draft by-law 2017-498-18 amending the zoning by-law in order to make corrections to uses complementary to a residential use; and on draft by-law 2017-498-19 amending the zoning by-law in order to prohibit (short term) tourist lodging at a principal residence.

Mr. Benoît Cadieux, Director of Planning and Environment Services, will present the two draft by-laws using a Power Point. The mayor and the members of the council, Mrs. Colleen Horan, Karine Dostie, Mr. Eric Johnston and Réjean Gosselin are also present. The Zoom counter will be at 47 participants and there will be two dozen people in the room of the Laurel Community Center. The meeting will last 1 hour and 45 minutes.

We will only dwell on the project 2017-498-19, the one that interests the citizens in the first place. This interest is mainly sparked by the misinterpretation that it is a proposal for a more generalized ban on short-term rentals in Wentworth-Nord. At the outset, Ms. Desjardins clarified the purpose of the proposed by-law, insisting that the prohibition would only apply to owners of principal residences (who do not already have a short-term rental permit of 31 days or less).

Mr. Cadieux, on draft by-law 2017-498-18: The changes on this draft by-law are minor and are intended to simplify its description and application. They applied, we understand, to certain subsections of the bylaw or certain zones of the territory; they can now affect all subsections and the entire territory. In addition, the wording of the draft by-law is intended to mirror the wording of the government's one.

Mr. Cadieux, on draft by-law 2017-498-19 (zoning): (Texts copied from Power Point images with One Note from Microsoft 365.)
- Amendment resulting from an initiative of the Municipality
- Purpose of the proposed by-law
To prohibit the complementary use to a residential use "tourist accommodation of the principal residence type" in all zones of the territory.
- Reason for this zoning change procedure
As of March 25, 2023, the provisions adopted as part of Bill 67 will allow Quebecers to rent out their principal residence on a short-term basis throughout the territory without a municipal by-law prohibiting the operation. Municipalities will, however, be able to prohibit or limit the supply of tourist accommodation in a principal residence in certain areas of their territory, subject to an adapted referendum process.
- Referendum Approval
Draft by-law number 2017-498-19 contains provisions that may be the subject of an application by interested persons to have a by-law containing them submitted for their approval in accordance with the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (R.S.Q., c. E-2.2) and the Tourist Accommodation Act (S.Q. 2021, c. 30).
...
- The main use "Tourist residence" and the complementary use "Short-term cottage rental" as defined in the present by-law are not assimilated to the complementary use "Tourist accommodation of the principal residence type".

The referendum approval process in municipalities normally consists of three steps:
1. The application to participate in a referendum;
2. maintaining the register
3. the referendum vote.
Note: From the following clause b, we understand that the first step is waived in the case of a second draft by-law. (A second proposed by-law appears to us to be an amendment to the first following the consultation. To be destroyed: to exclude areas where it would have been rejected by a referendum.)
  • a. For the purpose of determining whether a referendum vote should be held in respect of this by-law, the number of applications required to be met ... is reduced by 50% rounded up to the next whole number. (Mr. Johnston will indicate that this is to make it easier to claim a referendum).
  • b. Any provision contained in the second proposed by-law shall be deemed to have been the subject of a valid application from any area from which such application may originate...
During the question period, Mr. Cadieux will suggest that clarifications and confirmations of explanations related to this referendum process be given at the March 15th council meeting.

IN SUMMARY
  • a. The Tourist Accommodation Act procedure provides for half of the signatures required at the registry and referendum stage.
  • b. The Tourist Accommodation Act procedure provides that after the second draft of the by-law, it is "deemed" to have received the minimum number of applications required. Thus, Step 1 of the referendum process (application to participate) does not apply.

SUMMARY OF THE MAIN STAGES OF THE PROCEDURE
Notice of motion and filing of the draft by-law: February 15, 2023
Adoption of the first draft by-law: February 24, 2023
Public notice announcing the holding of the public consultation meeting: March 1, 2023
Holding of the public consultation meeting: March 8, 2023
Adoption of the second draft by-law : - To come -
Adoption of separate by-laws (1 per zone, 145 in total): - To come -
Public notice for the registration procedure (keeping of the register) : - To come -
Maintenance of the registry : - To come -
Result of registers and filing of certificates before council: - To come -
If applicable: Referendum vote: - To come -
Examination of regional conformity (Schéma d'aménagement de la MRC): - To come -

Question period (Summary)

The mayor and the urban planner will answer questions from the floor and from the participants via video conference.
As at previous municipal meetings, where the real estate moratorium by an interim control was presented, as well as the draft by-law 2017-498-19, several questions were considered out of order or simply perceived as comments; while others obtained clarifications sometimes repeated many times.

- Some were from applicants who do not have their primary residence in Wentworth-Nord, but have invested in the purchase of land or cottages in the municipality. They were concerned that they would not be able to carry out their plans and that they would suffer financial losses.
Their questions were out of order, and they were invited to ask them at the next Council meeting, directly to the Planning Department, or at the appropriate future consultations.

- Many stakeholders were in fact more concerned with the interim control than with the nature of their projects. However, the indecision about the future of their projects, as well as the additional cost of the imposed delays, made it difficult for them to proceed.
They were told that the moratorium was unfortunately necessary to allow the administration and council to adjust the regulations to current criteria, residents' concerns, etc. This was done in other municipalities.

• Some were highly critical of the upheaval introduced by these measures, which they sometimes considered unfair and contrary not only to their legitimate plans and commitments, but to the very economic development of Wentworth-Nord. Investors would turn away from the municipality. They were not necessarily millionaires, and their lives were being made very difficult. Their interventions could be applauded.
In response, they were reminded that the short-term rental had proven to be a source of multiple nuisances, denounced by the citizens, and that it caused additional and unprofitable costs in municipal services, notably for garbage collection and others, for surveillance by the new constabulary, etc. The arrival of these visitors did not bring in anything for the local economy and would not necessarily be a source of economic development. Some banks, the mayor said, were no longer financing the construction of short-term rental units.

- Rare interventions came from permanent residents, interested in occasionally renting their house or a room, often in their absence, and to make their investment and expenses profitable. There was a contradiction, not only between the development orientations, but also with the Quebec regulations concerning this type of accommodation.
They were unfortunately penalized; but it was only for rentals of 31 days or less. And, if they were already licensed, we understand, they would not be affected by the new regulations.

- Some stakeholders said they understood the nature of the projects and would, as stated, defer to the results of the referenda. Others presented more complicated situations, the implications of which would need to be analyzed more specifically.

- Finally, some residents openly supported the nature of the proposed changes, reiterating the nuisance and other counterarguments related to short-term rentals.

- Other questions concerned the referendum process. Did you have to go to the polls to sign the register? (But were we talking about the first step, or the second?) There was understandable confusion.

Mr. Cadieux wanted this to be clarified at the next council meeting on Wednesday. For one thing, the number of signatures required would be indicated before the event. Residents could have several registers to sign, depending on the areas where the projects are located.

All Rights Reserved; by Carl Chapdelaine

Ps. Please report any errors or inaccuracies you may have noticed.
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Special Council Meeting of February 24, 2023 (Report)

Agenda         Video version

Are present the members of council: Mrs. Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Réjean Gosselin and Mr. Eric Johnston, as well as Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, mayor, who will preside over the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, general manager. The Zoom counter will indicate 24 persons and the meeting will last only 27 minutes.

2.+3. Notice of motion, filing and proposed adoption of draft by-law 2017-496-5 amending the Permits and Certificates By-law in order to increase certain fees related to the study of an application for a permit or certificate of authorization and to provide for a fee for obtaining an information document concerning the septic installation serving a building.

The mayor explains that this is an update of the rates, which have not been adjusted for a long time, by making them similar to what is done in the other municipalities of the Pays-d'en-Haut.
Thus, according to article 4, "The base rate of $150 for a New Construction, including guest houses is increased to $200. The $40 fee for a Transformation or renovation is increased to $75.
Under Section 5, regarding Main Building, Commercial, Industrial, Public or Agricultural Use, the base fee of $200 for New Construction other than a farm building is increased to $250. The $50 fee for a conversion or renovation is increased to $100.

These new fees are reasonable," commented Ms. Desjardins, "considering the increased costs to the municipality. Mr. Johnston added that there was an attempt to recover the costs of these services. But he will indicate that the councillors (do not have all the details on some of the fees and would like to have a closer look). Mr. Gosselin will also have noted some omissions.
The Council will therefore postpone the adoption of the project to the next meeting; this will allow for the reworking of the fees if deemed appropriate.

4. Adoption of draft by-law 2017-498-18, to make corrections to the section relating to uses complementary to a residential use. These (minor) changes do not appear to have been contested.

5. Adoption of the first draft of By-law 2017-498-19 amending Zoning By-law 2017-498, in order to prohibit the use complementary to a residential use "Tourist accommodation of principal residence type" in all zones of the territory. (This is the draft by-law that raised many questions when it was tabled at the previous meeting). The mayor underlines at the outset that there was a lot of confusion in its interpretation, as reflected by the questions, between short-term rental, in this case of one's main residence, and rental of another type, such as a secondary residence, a cottage (rental), etc., (the latter not being affected by this draft by-law).

The mayor explains again the reasons for prohibiting this type of short-term rental on the whole territory, such as the nuisance in populated areas; she adds that there is, in any case, little demand for this type of rental. She repeats that it is following the emission of a rule by the government of Quebec, affirming the possibility of proceeding to this type of rental, as long as it respects certain criteria and that it has the approval of the municipality, that this by-law was proposed. There will be an information and question session on this project at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8. The present adoption of this project will be subject to referendum approval according to the usual formula, (if therefore requested by the required number of citizens).

Question Period
Marian Mihai (Ch. du Lac-Thurson) (In writing): The Wentworth-Nord Council and Mayor were elected with 25% of the voting population. ... Proposed By-law 2017-498-19 intends to restrict a right that relates to property. In this situation, a public consultation or referendum is required. ...? Ans: In the last election, more than 60% of the population voted; and council represents all citizens. We will follow the normal procedure for the adoption of the draft by-law: consultation on March 8, opening of a register to choose whether or not to go to referendum, etc.

Stéphane Haken(?) (In writing): ... Draft by-law 2017-498-19... Does the ban concern existing tourist accommodations? Ans: No; these establishments are still renting.

Tracy Goodson-Mackay (In writing):
  1. Why does the municipality want to end rental when it brings extra taxes, extra earnings and provides jobs? Answer: The low tax revenue here does not offset the cost of services provided by the municipality; and short-term rentals create very little local employment, since these tenants bring everything with them and do not patronize local businesses (if any).
  2. ... Why doesn't the municipality implement guidelines...? Answer: No one here loses their rental rights...
  3. Why...? Ans: Regarding the need to accommodate tourists, there is currently no additional need to what is offered.
M. (gray sweater/white hair in the room): If we turn our primary residence into a bed & breakfast, can we rent? Ans: Then it is no longer a principal residence, but an inn, and the regulations no longer apply.

Mr. Vincent Jephi (for Louise St-Pierre, resident of Laurel): We built a house (cottage) to rent out, and now we can't rent it out on a short-term basis. Many residents do not agree with this. New owners are being penalized for behaviors due to previous owners. They can no longer rent on a short-term basis. Ans: Your main residence is in Montreal, isn't it? Your question is out of order today because we are not talking about a second home. Otherwise, short-term rentals are only prohibited because of the freeze imposed by the interim control. V.J.: Will this be discussed at the March 8 consultation? Ans: No (for the same reason).

Ms. Ramona Iordache:
1. Regarding the land purchased for short term rental...? Ans: Ms., you are out of line...
2. Potential land buyers here are so discouraged by the inspector's comments, that they are no longer interested in investing in the area... Mrs., you are out of order. Is there a request to adjourn the meeting? RI: So you're not answering my question? Out of order. RI: We're not robots... Mr. Johnston: You can't ask your question today; we'll be happy to answer it at a future meeting. IR: Thank you.

At the close of the meeting, Ms. Desjardins reminded everyone that there would be public consultation, limited to the topics on this agenda.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

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Meeting of W-N's council of February 15, 2023 (Report)

Councillors Colleen Horan, Line Chapados and Karine Dostie, as well as Councillor Réjean Gosselin were present. Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, presided. The Director General, Mr. Ron Kelley, assisted the council. The Zoom meter will indicate three dozen participants, while there will be many people present in the hall of the Laurel Community Center. The meeting will last over two hours; with the question period taking up half of that time.

1. Adoption of the agenda
Item 9.2, hiring of beach guards (or lifeguards?) for the municipal beaches, was added.

2. Statement of elected officials (Mrs. Desjardins)
a. Following the death of the former minister, Mrs. Nadine Girault, a devoted person with whom she had the opportunity to work, the mayor expresses her sympathies to the family.
b. She announces the birthday of Mrs. Minnie Johnson, our dean who will celebrate her 102nd birthday on February 21.
c. On the occasion of the school perseverance week, Mrs. Desjardins reminds that Wentworth-Nord does not have a school. Out of 140 children, a good portion have to take the bus to the school in Lachute; the other to the one in Saint-Sauveur. The journey represents a minimum of two and a half hours per day. She thanks Ressources Sophie who helps these children with their homework every day.
d. The agreement with the SPA is not renewed; consequently, we cannot obtain the obligatory tag for the dogs; but the municipality will not crack down for this infraction. It will take measures to see to the care of the animals.
e. Today, as every third Wednesday of every month, the community dinner took place here, at the Community Center. At this occasion, two persons came to present their services concerning the foresight towards the seniors.
f. For those interested in the issue of mining claims in municipalities, the Mayor indicated that a TVA program will deal with the problem on Friday night, the 17th, at 9:30 p.m.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.3 The municipality supports the Chambre de commerce et de développement durable Wentworth-Nord (CCD2WN) request for a grant from the MRC, within the framework of the Fonds régions et ruralité (FRR).
4.4 Service agreement between the Municipality and the Coopérative de solidarité Laurel Station, following a partnership request by the latter, for a maximum of $3,000.
4.6 Temporary loan from the Caisse Desjardins de la Vallée des Pays-d'en-Haut in the amount of $13,961,685, repayable over a period of 20 years for road repairs on sections of Jackson road, Principale road (between Saint-Michel and the Municipal Hall) and Millette road. The draft by-law for this loan has been approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. (It is known that the project is almost entirely subsidized).
4.7 Support for a grant application to the MRC from the Table de concertation des arts et de la culture de Wentworth-Nord. The Table de concertation des arts et de la culture de Wentworth-Nord wants to promote the immense potential of Wentworth-Nord in this aspect. The funds would be used to put on a festival that will take place over four days in the three sectors of the municipality. It will be on the theme of the August sky.
The mayor points out that with the creation of the chamber of commerce and the presence of this round table, Wentworth-Nord, in a way, is coming out of the doldrums...

5. Public security
Mrs. Desjardins gave her report.
- She starts by mentioning that, in the tax bill you will receive, there is a form that asks you to identify vulnerable people who could benefit from networking with the association ... to ensure their safety.
- Two cadets from the Sûreté du Québec will be added this summer to our constables, to do surveillance and prevention as well as communicate information.

6. Public Works and Municipal Asset Management
Councillor Gosselin indicated that the department was busy with daily activities.

7. Environment
7.1 Councilwoman Horan:
- Recalled the January meeting of the lake associations. Washing of boats and better protection of the lakes were the subject of two workshops.
- Councillors and members of the administration participated in the Public Land Use Plan that the government renews every five years. This plan involves, among other things, the designation of lands to be protected. In this regard, the municipality is working on a vision to be presented to the Ministry des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts.
7.2 Request for a grant for the installation of a boat cleaning station in Saint-Michel that is more functional than the one that currently exists in this sector. The municipality is only allowed one such application per year.

8. Urbanism and economic development
8.2 Filing of the list of permits from January 1st to 31st, 2023. There were 17 permits, for a value of $740,000 (?), compared to 15 in January 2022, for a value of $109,000 (?); which shows that the real estate development movement continues.
8.3 Increase of certain fees related to the study of an application for a permit or certificate of authorization, to better reflect the time spent by the administration on these services. Thus, the basic fee for a permit concerning a building other than a farm is increased from $200 to $250.
8.4 Amendment to zoning by-law number 2017-498 in order to improve and correct the provisions relating to driveways, the architecture of the façade of single-family dwellings and the width of a buffer zone built at the limits of properties. This amendment was submitted for public consultation on January 18, and Council took it into account. Desjardins says this is being done as part of the interim control, to correct some anomalies in the regulations here. But the bulk of the work in this framework concerns the more global orientations of the urbanization policy of the municipality.
8.6 Filing of draft by-law 2017-498-19 amending zoning by-law number 2017-498 in order to prohibit the complementary use to a residential use "tourist accommodation of the principal residence type" in all zones of the territory. The reading of this deposit arouses a reaction in the room, where a participant requests the reading of the entire draft bylaw. This reading, which will seem tedious to us, does not seem to have made the scope of this draft by-law better understood. During the question period, several participants, believing that all short-term rentals are at stake, we understand, will express their fears or their opposition to the changes that they believe are coming in the regulations.
8.7 to 8.12: Series of PIIAs for which Council will follow the recommendations of the CCU, which proposes to grant permits in all cases, subject to certain modifications, i.e. lighting, façade, parking, etc.
8.13 Transfer for parks, playgrounds and natural areas. On the occasion of this transfer of land, concerning a new construction on Loan Street, the Mayor explains that, in the context of a land exchange agreement with Lac-St-Victor Estates, the municipality, instead of taking a small lot from each property, can locate all these lots in the same place and thus form a more interesting piece of land in terms of value and usable for various future purposes.
8.15 The municipality shall take legal action against an owner who has built without complying with the conditions imposed. The action could go as far as demolition, the mayor said, expressing that the municipality never wishes to have to resort to such legal action.

Recreation, Culture and Community Life
9.1 Councillor Line Chapados highlights the first meeting of the Art and Culture Committee. She also spoke about the creation of a food autonomy collective, after several meetings and discussions on the development of a community garden, etc. This collective aims to include more residents.
Ms. Chapados also reiterated the mayor’s announcement on the projects of the Table de concertation des arts et de la culture de Wentworth-Nord, which aims to develop in this area.
9.2 Recruitment of lifeguards for the municipality's beaches.
To conclude the list of items, the mayor reminded everyone that the meeting must be conducted in a harmonious manner, which can be compromised by the use of the chat function between participants. Questions to Council should be reserved for this period.

Question period
Mr. Fernand Janson (in writing):
- Why are the cross-country ski trails not groomed? Answer: Breakage of equipment and impossibility of obtaining the right replacement parts. Concerning the non-plowing of the Aerobic Corridor, it is because of the prohibition to proceed, decreed by the MRC against the municipality, for lack of financial participation agreement. But, "...we are not going to negotiate with a knife to our throat..."
- Why does it take so long to get a book to the library? Answer: Mr. Janson asks for rare books, according to his interests, and the municipality has no control over the exchange system between libraries.

Mr. Sylvain Lebrun (in writing):
- Given the large number of constraints in your zoning grids, and in the face of speculation in real estate:
o How do you justify maintaining a special tax on your vacant lots? Ans: The tax on vacant land was abolished this year for land of 10,000 m2 or less and reduced on larger land. It will also be completely abolished in 2024.
o How can it be applied in integrated projects, where lots are indivisible? (?) Ans: There is no relation between this regulation and integrated projects; but your question will be submitted to our urban planner.

Ms. Natalia Saiab (?): Concerning the draft by-law 2017-498-19 (Cf. 8.6), can we rent our main residence? Ans: Quebec has allowed owners to rent their principal residence on a short term basis; but municipalities are not obliged to accept this rule. Wentworth-Nord has chosen not to allow this type of rental. This is only for primary residences and is not for long term.
Mrs. Saiab: If we want to rent while we are away? Ans. (Mayor): No, it is no longer allowed in Wentworth-Nord. Ans. (Karine Dostie): Unless you have acquired before the adoption of the by-law (and before the interim control?). Ms. Saiab: But if you are still in the process of applying for the permit, and unable to do so, due to the current freeze; what if you have already purchased the land? Ans: The municipality cannot predict the intentions of the owners. Also, we are currently reviewing the by-laws and cannot give you more details in the meantime.
Mrs. Saiab: We are with friends, who bought contiguous lots, following invitations from the mayor at the time (Mr. A. Genest), during a housing show in Montreal, to take advantage of what Wentworth-Nord has to offer, in areas planned for ... and short term rental. Ans: That was six years ago, but reality is changing and municipalities are having to adapt. I can't discuss your personal case. Ms. Saiab: But there are many of us and not rich people... Ans: We can't discuss that now, thank you ma'am!

Ms. Denyse Pinsonneault: You are talking about the tax bills that were sent out, but we have not received anything. Rep. (Mr. Ron Kelly): The process is ongoing and the accounts should all be delivered next week.

Mr. Martin Tessier, Saint-Michel sector (addressed to K. Dostie): You have been in power for one year, Mrs. Desjardins; you are constantly playing with zoning without consulting us. In Saint-Michel there are no services, and we want to build our community. You always intervene to prohibit, and never to create and have a vision. We have lost a year and we don't want to lose another one. We need a Vision Saint-Michel committee. Answer (K. Dostie): We are actively planning: seniors, etc., and we will have consultations. Tessier: We have been talking for years; see the case of the church, with committees and nothing concrete. And it is like that in everything. We want to act. The mayor refutes Mr. Tessier's statements, indicating that the interim control is a big job and that the citizens will be able to express their opinion on the orientations and proposals presented.

A gentleman X in the room: He has properties and wants to know if he will be able to rent them out in the short term. The mayor told him that she could not answer him because the whole question is under study, within the framework of the interim control and the revision of the by-laws.

Mr. Y says he bought two lots in 2019 to build cottages. "And now you're talking about I don't have the right to rent in the short term." Ans: There is no mention of this in the draft amendment to the regulations tabled today; it is only about owners of a primary residence and who will no longer be able to rent it out on a short-term basis. Short-term rentals (cottages, etc.) are still under consideration, (and the current freeze applies to them), so we can't answer you today. Mr. Y: "Several people have taken the money from the bank and invested here; and we have to pay it back. Can't you help us?" Ans: As long as the interim control lasts, we can't do anything.

Mr. Pascal Moreau:
- About the taxes on vacant land. What about forest properties, which are not intended for construction? According to the president of the forestry group in the region, Mr. Pierre Baril... Answer: The vocation of the land has nothing to do with it, and it is never assured; the type of classification of the land is the responsibility of the MRC. It is a tax imposed by the former administration, and it will be abolished in 2024.
- Mr. Moreau returned to the festival announced by the Table de concertation ... (CF. 4.7) and praised the quality of a pure sky, illuminated with stars, in Wentworth-Nord (not so pure in Montfort, where the lighting coming from Morin-Heights does not allow for optimal observation of said stars...)

Another gentleman asked if a permit could be obtained to build short-term rental cottages in zone H 71. Ans: The Mayor reminds that no short-term rental construction permit can be issued during the current interim control, and that the subject will be subject to consultation. Here, Councillor Gosselin clarifies that the information communicated on the draft by-laws in question will be clearer. He also pointed out that those who obtained permits from Quebec, before the imposition of the interim control, are not subject to it.

Ms. Catherine Léger: "Where are we with the future of Saint-Michel Church? Response from Mrs. Desjardins: We are still waiting for the report from the architectural firm to complete our health file for the building. The mayor added that she would prefer its transformation into a multi-sector service center. The municipality and the chamber of commerce are working on this option. She believes that, given the financial state of the municipality, the objectives, etc., grants could be obtained to cover 80% of the costs of the transformation. "It is certain that the transformation cannot be done this year. But we hope to be able to go out to bid next spring."

A lady in the room comes to ask for confirmation of what she understood from the previous interventions on the modification of the regulations regarding renting, foreseen in the draft regulation 2017-498-19 (Cf. 8.6). Same response as to previous interventions on the matter by the mayor.

Ms. Ramona Iordache: (Again on the impact of By-law 2017-498-19 on short-term rentals; case here of investors on the Chemin du Lac-Thurson side). "We made disbursements; but everything is frozen with your interim control... What's going to happen to us? We don't want to be forgotten. We've all invested our assets in this project. We've been held back by the pandemic, by the elections, and now by the interim control; we want to know what direction we're being taken." Rep: "For the sixth time, I'm responding that item 8.6 does not affect short-term leasing."

A gentleman asked:
- What will the consultations look like and what will the council do with them. Will it be like the one in January with the lake associations? Ans: Yes, that would be fine and the council has taken into account the recommendations that came out of that.
- Will the interim monitoring last 90 days? Ans: There is no set duration.

A disgruntled older first responder returned to the microphone to explain that he had purchased land a few years ago, specifying that it was for the construction of rental cottages. But now that the cottages have been built, he can no longer obtain a permit because of the freeze (Indeed!)

Another asked for clarification on the content of this interim control and on the qualifications of those who will see to the modification of the regulations. Answer: We are working with lawyers, urban planners; we have Councillor Gosselin who follows these files on Council and who has seen snow.

Question on item 7.1, Councillor Horan's presentation on the Public Land Use Plan. Ans: Ms. Horan resumed her explanations; while Ms. Desjardins explained that the Department is consulting with hunters, municipalities, etc., to review its five-year plan. Since we have a lot of public land in Wentworth-Nord, we want to express our concerns in this regard.

A stakeholder is concerned that the interim control and what it entails may take years... Councillor Gosselin replies that information must be prepared to allow citizens to participate in an informed manner in the consultations and to give their opinion on the proposals presented. The councillor will indicate that his profession is to build cottages, etc.; that he cannot be against that.

Ms. Johanne Pagé asked:
- What is happening with animal control, since the SPA has been dismissed. She can no longer have a tag for her dog, which would assure her that it is protected. Ans: The mayor explains that the SPA wants to impose its rules on the municipality. But, some of them are contrary to the solution to be considered for the case, among others, of the 50 stray cats on the side of the Notre-Dame Lake, (whose reproduction must be prevented). Wentworth-Nord did not renew its contract; it will see to the animal control and will send you a license for your dog...
- The Dubois curve has still not been straightened, except for a small fifty foot section; what will happen to it? Answer: We don't own the road and we can't take the hand of the Department of Transportation.
- What about the closed trails? JP: You are not answering our questions.

A gentleman: Why are you so focused on short-term rentals. Do you want to close us? Yes or no? The mayor replies that she does not respond to ultimatums.
Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine
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What about business?

Amazing news at the last Municipal Council meeting: By the will of committed citizens, the Chambre de commerce et de développement durable Wentworth-Nord has just been born. But who sees businesses in our municipality? (It is true that this is a community project, which is not limited to the traditional fields of activity of these institutions.) There are no more businesses in Montfort, and it is necessary to fight to keep the few that are still open in Laurel, as described in a report by Radio-Canada radio: Sauver des commerces de proximité. The reporter, René Saint-Louis, had the chance to be invited to the public meeting to save the Nouveau resto de la Rivière Perdue, in Laurel, which was taken over by the Maison de Sophie and became the Rendez-vous des 4 pôles, which we heard about several months ago.The reporter, René Saint-Louis, had the chance to be invited to the public meeting to save the Nouveau resto de la Rivière Perdue, in Laurel, which was taken over by the Maison de Sophie and became the Rendez-vous des 4 pôles, which we heard about several months ago.

Indeed, due to financial difficulties or lack of succession, alternatives are rare to keep businesses alive in small municipalities. Due to a lack of succession, the century-old grocery/general store at the eastern entrance to Laurel was taken over by the Coop de solidarité Laurel Station in 2011. The MRC prefect and former mayor of Wentworth-Nord, Mr. André Genest, reminded the reporter that there was once a bakery, a gas station and even a hotel in Laurel. It is known that, at the time of the presence of the Montfort orphanage, there was a hotel and businesses in this village. Mr. Genest added that the cooperative model seemed to him to have been the most successful in such cases. We had to stop looking for goods and services in distant cities when they were available locally.

The result of this cooperative movement was the Coopérative des 4 Pôles, dedicated to the development of tourism in the four villages (Wentworth-Nord - Lac-des-Seize-Îles); involved in the survival of the Lac-des-Seize-Îles General Store, now closed and in the process of being restructured; involved in restaurant services for the latter as well as for the Laurel Station Cooperative; a gasoline supplier (in the Sixteen Islands?); in charge of the Shuttle on the Sixteen Islands Lake; and other. However, it is itself undergoing restructuring. Co-ops are said to have twice the life expectancy of private businesses, the report says, but they face the same challenges as private businesses. In fact, our perception of cooperatives may be tainted by the fact that they are often formed to take over a failing business, with the priority of saving threatened jobs and often local services. If the profitability is not there, the effort will be in vain, and the money invested will often be lost.
As one participant in the report points out, one would have to travel 60 km to get to and back with a “quart” of milk purchased in Saint-Sauveur or Lachute. "Offering frozen meals, at a good price for the elderly clientele (or in the form of) lamb chops in sauce for vacationers who arrive at their cottage on Fridays"; offering the renowned small sandwiches of the 4 Poles Co-op catering service; or being a drop-off point for the SAQ; are among the many adaptations put to the test by the Laurel Station Co-op. Loyal customers of the business feel that residents are not sufficiently aware of the services it offers. There is certainly also an awareness to be developed with this potential clientele. It is at this price that the few existing or to be attracted local businesses could currently flourish in Wentworth-Nord.

Doesn't increasing the clientele, or reaching a threshold of frequentation that will ensure the profitability of businesses, also imply an increase in the number of residents and visitors? The municipality is announcing a 12% increase in its budget; most of the increase in revenue involved will come from various taxes, including property tax. The arrival of new valuable properties or integrated projects, in the Montfort sector or elsewhere, and while making the best use of the municipal infrastructures already in place, would not be sufficient to increase these property revenues enough to absorb the anticipated increase in expenses. So, we need more? And the gentrification of the area and the tax increases may affect less affluent households.

But the current imposition of interim controls is intended, among other things, to better match real estate development with environmental protection. Will this result in a halt to construction or a greater effort to put in place the infrastructures that will allow for "sustainable" development, meaning development that will not harm the environment or the peace of mind of current residents?

There is an outcry against integrated projects, especially those for short-term rentals! With good reason, since the anticipated access to the village, to the parking lots, to the lakes and to our greenway, for these new residents, causes problems. The same outcry against visitors, for the same reasons. The services offered at the Montfort Pavilion are being eliminated; kayak, bicycle and other rentals are being abolished to dissuade visitors from venturing out. The Aerobic Corridor is closed for the winter and is a year-round problem. The Orphan Trail is underutilized, and its refuge abandoned.

Talking about tourism has become taboo. In terms of visitation, are large lakes, such as Lake St. Francois-Xavier, the only one here with some public access, already saturated? Or shouldn't more appropriate developments be considered: new public beaches here and there, bypass via Chemin Sainte-Marie in Montfort or parking lots on the outskirts, like at the Tremblant Resort, etc.? Will the decisions taken following this interim control put an end to all these contradictions?

This control imitates neighbouring cities that have done the same, but Wentworth-Nord does not have the physiognomy and character of these cities. In Sainte-Adèle, one is an Adélois; in Wentworth-Nord, one is primarily a resident of this or that lake, and one does not know well who lives or what happens at the neighbouring lake; and even less so in the other two villages of the municipality. The sense of place is very different, and fears about growth do not necessarily have the same meaning. In these towns, tourism and real estate development are part of the economy; they support businesses and municipal revenues. Now they need to set a threshold for development and opt for densification, or, as in Saint-Colomban, impose a levy on new construction. Wentworth-Nord is not at that point; quite the contrary. But, in its quest for equitable financing, it is adding an environmental tax and a surcharge on integrated short-term rental projects for garbage and recycling collection.

Yes, a chamber of commerce; but this is just the beginning. We have, by luck and determination of residents, a Lake St. Francois-Xavier Environmental Fund. Wouldn't we need an economic development fund, if we could find the financial backers; administered by a council that would know how to draw up a picture of the situation, advise the administration and promote the realization of admissible projects?

By Carl Chapdelaine

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Special Council Meeting on Taxation 2023 (Report)

Are present the members of the council: Mrs. Colleen Horan, Lyne Chapados, Karine Dostie and Mr. Eric Johnston, as well as Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, mayor, who will preside over the meeting, assisted by Mr. Ron Kelley, general manager. The Zoom counter indicates 22 persons and the meeting, which follows the budget presentation, will last only 9 minutes.

  • Adoption of By-Law 2022-609 decreeing the imposition of a special tax for the protection of the environment. This tax will allow to carry out certain projects in this field, had indicated the mayor at the time of the presentation of this draft by-law. It will be (roughly) $50 per tax account.
  • Adoption of By-law 2019-562-1 amending By-law 2019-562 imposing a special tax on vacant lots. 2023 will be the last year that there will be a tax on vacant lots.
Here, Mr. Johnston points out that a draft by-law number does not match a first version (?)

  • Adoption of By-Law 2023-580 to decree the imposition of taxes, compensations and tariffs for municipal services for the fiscal year 2023. The adoption of this by-law follows the adoption of the budget.
11% tax increase: Tax (all taxes) revenues increase from $4,485,891 in 2022 to $5,101,294 in 2023, i.e. 11%. (Cf. Budget)

Question period
No questions.
Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine
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W-N 2023 Budget & PTI 2023-4-5 presentation on Jan. 26, 2023 (report))

Government housing support    Video version       Power Point

At the podium, Councillors Colleen Horan, Karine Dostie and Eric Johnston. Mrs. Danielle Desjardins, Mayor, will present the budget and the Plan triennal d’investissement (three-year capital expenditure plan) 2023, 24, 25 by means of a Power point. The Director General, Mr. Ron Kelley, assisted the council. 

During this special forty-minute council meeting, the Zoom meter will show up to twenty participants. Due to the weather, the mayor explained, the room at the Laurel Community Centre will be empty.

Budget 2023
In her introduction, the mayor reminded everyone that the property value of homes, including land, has increased significantly; by 50% on average, and even by 100% for some. However, Council has lowered the tax rate to compensate.

The budget is increasing by 12% this year. Like other municipalities, inflation has affected us. We also have to deal with an increase in salaries. There is no budgetary surplus, bequeathed by the previous administration, that could allow us to absorb part of these increases.
In addition, the MRC is giving us an increase that constitutes 3% of our own tax increase. Its tax rate for residual materials is increasing by 25%, which results in a huge increase of 20% in our contribution, or $140,000. This increase does not seem justified to us in this time of tightening finances. "I voted against this budget of the MRC... Smaller municipalities cannot afford to support such increases." In total, our contribution to the MRC budget constitutes 25% of our own.

  • The highlights of the budget are $7,240,927 for revenues, as well as for expenses, of which, for the latter, $6,466,079 in the operating fund and $774,848 in financing costs. Here again, inflation has played a role.
  • Assessment (taxable values) and roll value for 2023: The assessed value of all properties is $896,502,600. Their average value is $375,000; to which corresponds a tax increase of approximately $264(?).
  • Taxes and compensations: The general property tax rate of $0.446 per $100 of assessment in 2022 drops to $0.350 in 2023, to compensate for the increase in assessment. In addition, there is a tax for the improvement of the road network, a tax for the SQ, a new tax for the environment, of $50 per property (we have many projects, for the lakes among others, and they must be financed); the tax for the disposal of household waste and recycling, which increases from $167 to $203 on residences, due to the increase of 25% by the MRC. Finally, there is an additional tax of $1,000 for the latter service aimed at short-term landlords; the number of tenants can rise to 20, 30, or even 50 per establishment, significantly increasing the municipal collection costs (around the semi-founded bins). The basic annual tax as well as the green tax (ecocentre) on residences and vacant lots are also increasing.
  • General administration expenses: $30,000 in 2023 for "Clerk's Office and Elections", compared to $5,000 due to the by-election to council that will be held in District 2.
  • Property assessment expenses: 2022, being an assessment year, had a more than double amount.
  • In Administration - other, it goes from $395,114 in 2022 to $295,413 in 2023, because, by becoming permanent, some staff are simply no longer classified in this line item.
  • In transportation, snow removal, for a normal winter, will cost more because of the increase in the price of gasoline mainly.
  • In environmental health, we have seen that the collection of residual materials costs more. The focus on the environment for 2023 and the new tax explain the increase from $62,290 in 2022 to $201,019 in 2023.
  • In urban planning, the expenses for hiring new staff explain that the cost will be $477,918 in 2023, compared to $381,186 in 2022.
Here, the mayor indicates that there will be links, with the publication of the budget on the municipality's website, to information on government assistance programs for people 65 years and older or disadvantaged who cannot afford the cost of property taxes. (Government housing support)

Plan triennal d’investissement – PTI (three-year capital expenditure plan or program)
  • Capital projects for 2023: We note the $13,275,600 for roads, for the rehabilitation of the Route Principale, Jackson and Millette Roads, which could not start in 2022. Here, Councillor E. Johnston specified that there are grants totaling approximately $12M for this project. Ms. Desjardins added that there are several ways to finance these investments: taxes, loans, leasing, etc.
  • Administration (2023): $53,000 will be required to replace our outdated network and computer programs.
  • Environment (2023): Note an expense of $2,000 for signage in the Newaygo sector, and $1,000 for the purchase of buoys for Lake Saint-François-Xavier.
  • Recreation and culture (2023): There are a new platform and anchors for 20 boats at the Newaygo marina and a generator at St-Michel Church. In addition, $70,000 is provided for the Cap rocheux Lookout in Laurel.
  • In the PTI Capital Summary, the $13.8M in 2023 is primarily due to the road restoration project; the figure will drop to $1.6M in 2025. Of the latter amount, $1.5M will be for recreation and culture, while only the relocation of the shelter (Orphans' Belvedere?) and the Montfort Community Centre project are highlights.
The mayor indicated that the details for 2024 and 2025 will be available on the municipality's website.
Councillor Johnston moved the adoption of the budget; it was done. Same for the PTI.

Question period
  • The mayor will explain here that the evaluation of the total property value in the municipality, which is close to $1 billion, is used for the calculation of different financial allocations by the governments.
  • André and Cécile. The question is about the Cap rocheux Belvedere at Lake Laurel. 70 000$ for this development seems huge, in these times of tax increases and other things... Rep. There is a 30 000$ grant here. AC: There is $40,000 left...
Here the mayor recalls that other municipalities have much higher tax increases: "Around 18% in Ste-Anne-des-lacs; Brownsburg-Chatham at 14%. We have no choice. You will notice that our capital expenditures are for very specific projects and are reasonable.
  • Mrs. Denyse Pinsonneault asked if the vacant lots on Chemin-de-fer Street, where construction is prohibited, are subject to the tax. Answer: No, vacant lots that cannot be built on are not taxed; and Mr. Johnston will clarify that this is particularly the case for those in this sector.

Without prejudice; by Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) & Linguee

Wentworth-Nord Council Meeting Of January 18, 2023: Report

Councillors Colleen Horan, Line Chapados, Karine Dostie, Réjean Gosselin and Eric Johnston were present. Mayor Danielle Desjardins presided. The Director General, Mr. Ron Kelley, assisted the council. The Zoom meter will indicate about thirty participants, while there will be a few people present in the hall of the Laurel Community Center. The meeting will proceed smoothly and last one hour.
Items 8.7, 8.9, 8.11 and 8.13 were deferred.

2. Statement of elected officials (Mrs. Desjardins)
a. Further to requests for information, the mayor reminds that the municipality can reimburse up to $250 to citizens for their participation fees to activities at the Pays-d'en-Haut Sports Center or other municipal centers of the MRC.
b. The municipality will set up a program of twinning of neighbors to help the most vulnerable people during bad weather or others, for those who wish it.]
c. Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 6:30 p.m., there will be a presentation of the municipality's 2023 budget and its Three-Year Capital Program [Programme triennal d’immobilisation (PTI)] for 2023, 2024 and 2025. Zoom
d. The Mayor welcomed the creation of the Wentworth-Nord Chamber of Commerce by committed citizens and invited all merchants, professionals, self-employed, permanent residents or vacationers, to join. A press release will provide the necessary contact information.
e. On Friday, January 27, the municipality will hold a Lac-à-l'épaule in order, after having resolved several issues during the first year of its mandate, to begin the development of a strategic plan, with the planned implementation of various projects. Alternative programming will be presented to the public during consultations for their input.

4. Administration and correspondence
4.1 The total of salaries, purchases, disbursements and capital purchases for the month of December 2022 was $705,270, compared to $515,000 for 2021. The major expenditures were for computer equipment, a gas tank, all-terrain vehicles, etc. A lot of the municipality's equipment is obsolete.
4.2 Notice of vacancy for the position of councillor in seat number 2. No mention made of the name of Mrs. Karine Brunet (it's a complete mystery...). As there are more than 12 months before the next general election, there will be a by-election for this seat.
4.3 Notice of motion and filing of the draft by-law 2022-609 decreeing the imposition of a special tax for the protection of the environment, in order to carry out certain projects. It will be (roughly) 50$ per tax account.
4.4 Draft by-law amending the one imposing a special tax on vacant lots. It will concern those having 10 000 m2. Smaller lots will now be exempted from this tax. (The original wording of this item and the mayor's comments about a tax decrease on these lots, to compensate for the significant increase in property values, were contradicted by the interventions of Mr. Johnston and Mr. Gosselin, pointing out an error in the document. It should read: The tax will be maintained, except for small lots.
4.6 End of probation of the Director General and Clerk-Treasurer. Mr. Ron Kelly becomes permanent.
4.7 Installation of new network equipment. Given the upcoming end of life of the server, the acquisition of new network equipment becomes necessary. Quote of $57,500 accepted. To be amortized over 5 years.

5. Public Security
5.1 Report from the Chair of the Public Security Committee, the Mayor. With the Fire Safety Service, we want to improve the services to the most vulnerable people during critical events. (See 2. b.)
5.2 Tabling of activity reports from firefighters and first responders. 23 calls for the fire department in Dec. 2022, compared to 11 in Dec. 2021. The snowstorm explains the increase. There were 259 calls for the entire year of 2022. Proportionally, Wentworth-Nord had more calls than St. Sauveur in December.

6. Public works and management of municipal assets
6.1 Councillor Gosselin's report: The storm kept the team busy in December.
6.2 Road permit and maintenance agreement. Renewal of the annual agreement with the Ministry des Transports et de la Mobilité durable (of Transportation and Sustainable Mobility).
6.3 Amendment to By-law 2022-606 decreeing the terms and conditions for the assumption of responsibility for the partial maintenance of a portion of Chemin-de-Fer Street (from the gate to #1042) by the municipality for the winter period 2022-2023. It is simply to add the name of a person forgotten during the previous adoption of the by-law.
7. Environment
7.1 Report from the President of the Environment Committee, Councillor Colleen Horan: Ms. Horan reminds everyone that the consultation of the Lake Associations will be held in Saint-Michel this Saturday, January 21, at 1:00 p.m. (1:30 p.m.?), under the chairmanship of Mr. Benjamin Plourde, Environment Coordinator of the municipality. Any citizen who has an interest in participating is invited, if registered.

8. Urbanism and economic development
8.1 Report from the President of the Planning Committee: We continue the work, explains Councillor Johnston.
8.2 Tabling of the list of permits from December 1st to 31, 2022: 7 general permits last December versus 9 in Dec. 2021. 736 for the year 2022 vs. 786 in 2021. For $21M in 2022 vs. $25M in 2021. 45 subdivision permits in 2022 vs. 30 in 2021.
8.3 Hiring of an inspector in urban planning and environment, Mr. Eric Duhaime; and we are looking for another one...
8.4 Granting of a mandate to Hélène Doyon, Urbanist-Consultant, for the preparation of urban planning by-laws, within the framework of the current Interim Control. She will ensure the conformity of the bylaw proposals. The mayor indicated that it is hoped to lift this control as soon as possible. The rate is 155$/hour, for a total of 50 hours and 7 750$.
8.5 Granting of a personnel loan mandate to BC2, a consulting firm in urban planning and land use, for professional assistance in urban planning, following a tender. The municipality needs it to support its Urban Planning and Environment Department. These personnel will also be able to see to the application of the regulations (issuance of statements of offence, etc.). They are Mr. Vincent Simard and (or) François XYZ.

9. Recreation, culture and community life
9.1. Report from the President of the Recreation, Culture and Community Life Committee, Line Chapados: The Councillor invites the population to take advantage of the recreation chalet and the skating rink under the courtyard, which are open.

11. Subject of public interest
Lyne Chapados (?) Lunch meeting on Sunday, the 22nd, at the Lost River Restaurant, to discuss restoration (?). Seating to be reserved.

Question period
Mrs. Johanne Demers (in the room): How come there is no more help in Wentworth-Nord for people in difficulty, seniors, during storms or other? The mayor answers by pointing out to Mrs. Demers that she missed the beginning of the meeting where it was discussed. We will work with the Fire Department to set up a matching service between neighbors. We have more and more elderly people. During the big storm in the spring, everyone collaborated; but we could not obtain the list of vulnerable people from the Centre de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS), because it is confidential. We are going to draw one up. Households here should have a three-day supply of food to deal with such situations. Vulnerable people should be in contact with a resource. Councillor Karine Dostie agrees.

Mrs. Marie-Chantal Prévost:
  • Asks for an explanation of the tax on vacant lots (see 4.4).
  • Why is the Aerobic Corridor not cleared of snow in Laurel? Mayor's reply: "The MRC decided to close the Aerobic Corridor for the winter... We pay 7% for all the parks of the MRC... We have a feeling of great inequity.
  • Can we go skiing or snowshoeing at the Base de plein air? Answer: It's private; you must contact the owners.
Myriam Rioux
  • About emergency situations: We open the church in St-Michel in these cases, with food and everything; but we had nobody because the residents were not aware of it. You have to call the church on these occasions. The service should be publicized, through the tax account or whatever. It would be very important to put a generator at the church. It would also be necessary to see to clear the roads by snowstorm... The mayor: all the centers which will be used as refuge will be equipped with generator.
  • On the smearing of houses in Saint-Michel, a complaint was filed with Saint-Sauveur and the municipality. Can't we install a camera at the entrance of the Lac-Farmer Road, to have a proof?
Ms. Diane Turcotte:
Regarding Phase 2 of the Dumont Integrated Project:
  • Is the exchange of lots with the city, allowing the realization of the project, adopted? Ans: No.
  • What will be the process put in place for the adoption of this phase 2, which foresees about 30 housing units, and which was denounced in a petition signed by more than 200 people? Mayor's reply: It will be the usual procedure: Study by the Planning Advisory Committee. The project will have to be presented to a meeting of the municipal council for eventual adoption.
Ms. Brigitte Thomas: Concerning the tax on vacant lots, it is aberrant to see that small lots, as in the case of many that are not exploited, that do not even have an access road, will no longer be taxed, while the tax on the larger lots will increase because of the increase in the evaluation. Many property owners will be in for a nasty surprise when they receive their tax bill. Mayor's reply: The tax on vacant lots will eventually disappear; we must see, with the lifting of this tax on small lots, a beginning of the process.

In closing, Mrs. Desjardins invited everyone not to miss the budget presentation next Thursday, the 26th.
With all due respect, by Carl Chapdelaine

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Consultation On The Facade Of Houses

Tenue le 18 janvier 2023, sous la présidence du Directeur de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement, M. Benoît Cadieux. Une douzaine de personnes sur le compteur de Zoom.

Migrants In The MRC Des Pays-D'en-Haut

"Between July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022, 206,700 Quebecers changed their administrative region of residence, 11% less than in 2020‒2021, a year marked by a considerable increase in migration between regions. Fewer people left Montréal and other large centres over the past year, indicating that the effect of the pandemic on interregional migration may already have faltered."1 Note that we are not dealing with second homes here.
According to the Institut de la statistique du Québec's table of inter-regional migrations, at the MRC level, there were, in the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut and for the period 2021-22, 4,019 entrants and 3,078 departures, for a population gain of 941 individuals and a net rate of 1.97%, compared to only 1.12% for the entire Laurentian region. For the previous period, the inflows were 5,371, the outflows 3,607, for a gain of almost twice as many individuals (1,763).2

The contrast between the two periods was different for the balance of international (emigrant/immigrant or temporary) and interprovincial migration, which must be added to the interregional migration described above. According to provisional data, adapted from Statistics Canada by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, in the MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut, from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, the balance of these international migrations resulted in an increase of 111 individuals. It was 85 for the same period from 2020 to 2021. Interprovincial migration, for its part, saw 142 people enter the MRC, compared to 74 leaving, for a gain of 68 individuals, compared to 86 for the previous period.3

1.  https://statistique.quebec.ca/en/document/interregional-migratory-exchanges-in-quebec
2. In-migrants, out-migrants, net internal migration and corresponding rates, Québec RCMs (grouped by administrative region)
3. International and interprovincial migration, census divisions (sorted by administrative region), Québec, 2001-2022


(Please report any errors or discrepancies in interpretation).


By Carl Chapdelaine

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)