HH Council appoints Maynooth Community Project Steering Committee Members
Hastings Highlands Borough Council appointed two council members to the Maynooth Community Project Steering Committee at its April 20 meeting. Mayor Tracy Hagar and Councilor Nancy Matheson will be the new committee members who, along with the rest of the committee, will ensure that a new building is purchased to house the municipality’s proposed Indigenous Centre, community space and daycare center. .
At the Hastings Highlands Planning Committee meeting on 6 April, council accepted a report from Hagar on the next steps for the Maynooth community project; one of these steps was to direct staff to introduce a bylaw to appoint two council members to the steering committee for this initiative, namely Hagar and Matheson.
The tripartite partnership between the Municipality of Hastings Highlands, Algonquin Peoples and North Hastings Children’s Services grew out of the April 18, 2021 council meeting where they gave Hagar permission to approach the aforementioned parties to ‘they are partnering to provide a centre, daycare and community space and to erect a new building on the grounds of the current Maynooth Community Centre. The premises will also feature a community kitchen, public restrooms with outdoor access, outdoor market space with weather shelter, and a stage area for outdoor activities. Meetings have already taken place between Hastings Highlands, Algonquin Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini First Nation and NHCS, and Jessica Anderson, the Executive Director of NHCS presented to the board at their meeting in February.
On the face of it, while the current Maynooth Community Center might have seemed adequate to house the new Indigenous Centre, community space and daycare, a technical and structural assessment in 2019 and a hazardous materials assessment in 2020 revealed shortcomings structural and the use of hazardous materials. building materials which made it unsuitable for this purpose or for any future municipal use. The council therefore agreed that the community center should be demolished because of this at their March 16 meeting.
Going forward, the Steering Committee will consider acquiring a new building on the grounds of the Maynooth Community Center (once it has been demolished) to house the Aboriginal Centre, community space and daycare. It will also provide a forum for participation in the project, develop an action plan that includes operating and funding proposals, provide expert advice and recommendations to the board, create an inclusive space for Algonquin culture and sharing of their knowledge, create a licensed child care centre, build on the strengths and diversity of the Hastings Highlands community, consider infection control in the design of the building and create sub-committees for the creation and use of community space.
In addition to Hagar and Matheson, the committee will also include a municipal executive staff member (General Manager/Treasurer Dave Stewart), a Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini Algonquin First Nation representative (TBD), an NHCS representative (Executive Director of the NHCS Jessica Anderson) and a representative of the management of the municipal library (CEO and chief librarian Wendy Sue Keating).
Meetings will be held monthly, or more if necessary in order for the committee to achieve its objectives, and a quorum of at least four members will be required for a meeting to take place. The NHCS representative will take minutes and provide documents for the public record. Each committee member will keep their reporting body regularly updated to ensure that communication about the Maynooth community project remains transparent and collaborative.
The vote on By-law 2022-028 at the April 20 meeting was moved by Deputy Mayor Dorothy Gerrow and seconded by Councilor Keith Buck. Generally, the board was happy to see this settlement and was interested in possibly getting reports from the committee on their progress.
Matheson told the council that she thinks this is an exceptional opportunity to work with strategic partners to make a difference in the community.
“I can’t wait to do a very small part of it,” she says.
Hagar told the Bancroft Times on April 21 that she was excited to move forward with the Maynooth community project.
“The next steps will be to have the first meeting of the whole team. We will keep [everyone] post.”
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