Township of Chapleau

Council Letter to Editor

Posted: Jul 19, 2019
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I heard through the grapevine that there is some misunderstanding about the role of Mayor and Council in an issue involving one of the local physicians. According to the rumour, the community will lose a doctor because Council reportedly refused to co-operate with a planning request made by the doctor in question.

It is time to set the record straight! Council received a request to rezone the doctor's residence on Golf Course Road to permit a medical office.  The process of amending the Zoning By-Law takes time – following review of the matter by our planning consultant, legislation requires a minimum 20-day notice period before a decision is made by Council, following which a mandatory 20-day appeal period must be observed before the decision is finalized.  In accordance with the Planning Act, the process may take up to 120 days.  An impatient person might assume that the time spent waiting for a decision is an example of Council inactivity, however the timelines are determined by provincial legislation to ensure the public has an opportunity to learn about the issue and raise any concerns.

Though the process was lengthy, Council did push for acceptance of the request. The planning consultants who the Township relies upon for expert advice in these matters advised against permitting a commercial use in the residential zone.  However, Council approved the request in an effort to retain a fourth doctor in the community, which was a high priority for Council.

 If in doubt, please check the recorded minutes of the Council meeting for June 10th in which the rezoning resolution ( RESOLUTION 12-179) was passed. Better yet, ask the doctor in question. He was present at that meeting and thanked Council.

 Incidentally, here is another interesting fact: Two years ago, Council set aside $50,000.00 to help the Hospital recruit a 4th doctor for the town. A portion of this fund was used to secure the doctor we are discussing. Why would we not co-operate with this doctor if we paid to secure his services?

 My thanks to those people who approached me on the street or who phoned to ask about this issue. They showed real concern and initiative to find the true facts - a much better strategy than simply spreading rumours.




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