40th Atlantic Mayors Congress, Summerside, Sept. 2020

Atlantic Mayors Congress 2020

Summerside, PEI

September 3, 2020

Present:

Basil Stewart, Summerside

Wayne Murray, Pictou County

Lisa Blackburn, Halifax

Bruce MacDougall, FPEIM

Nancy Dicks, New Glasgow

Cecil Clark, CBRM

Christine Blair, Colchester County

Phillip Brown, Charlottetown

Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Lunenburg District

Laurie Boucher, Antigonish

Peter Muttart, Kings County

Steve Odgen, Stratford

Bill Mills, Truro

Percy Farwell, Gander

Pam Mood, NSFM and Yarmouth

Rowan Caseley, Kensington

Roger Caissie, Shediac

Jimmy MacAlpine, Digby District

Dave Kogon, Amherst

Jim MacLeod, CBRM (alternate)

Lucy Stoyles, Mount Pearl

  1. 9:15 Welcome remarks, Mayor Stewart

-Christine Blair-  touched on everything NS has gone though in the past couple months- 

-a moment of silence for all we have lost 

-went around the room and introduced all mayors and councilors/ guests

Special welcome to Bill Karsten-FCM

-a special welcome to everyone for coming despite travel restrictions/ 

-a few housekeeping rules

  1. Approval of agenda-Moved Pam Mood-Second Jim Macleod

Moved by Warden MacAlpine, seconded by Mayor Dave Kogon-approval for the Campbellton minutes

  1. 9:30am-A bit about Summerside- How the Credit Union Place (CUP) multiplex came about- Mayor Stewart speaking
  1. Summerside was in need of a new rink- councilors/staff went to meetings and tours of different facilities
  2. World under 17 was scheduled in the next month- approved for more booths/seating. 
  3. Announcement with Brown 2023 Canada games- new turf coming.  Preliminary work from city for funding. 
  4. He mentioned that the hotel is coming- should be breaking ground soon.
  5. He touched on harness racing- new grand stand 
  6. A summary of all different concerts held at CUP.  Elton John- 2 concerts… 11,000 sold, Bryan Adams, John Mellancamp, Burton Cummings, Under 17 Hockey and more.
  7. Solar system announcement, federal minister $68 million extension, pushing green energy- wind farm- electric vehicles.
  8. Green’s Shore beach and boardwalk
  9. Closure of the base and redevelopment with housing and aerospace companies- GST Center- progressive councils- make things happen. Covid-19 was hard on everyone. We have to work together by listening and paying attention to municipalities.  

9:40am – FCM updates and dialogue- Mayor Bill Karsten

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 1 FCM- Atlantic Mayors- Bill Karsten” for full presentation

  1. Mayor Bill Karsten thanked the group for inviting him, and said it was a pleasure to be here. He commented that it was such a beautiful spot.
  2. He spoke about working for local government during covid19
  3. A special sincere thanks to everyone here. Collectively we get things done.  Covid turned everyone’s life upside down.  
  4. Municipalities are on the front lines of covid-19.
  5. The main focus was protecting our vulnerable population. 
  6. FCM dropped everything and figured what was most important to do.  Pandemic response/financial crisis.
  7. Provinces can choose to opt in and reallocate up to 10% of their initial total allocations towards projects such as:
  8. Retrofits, repairs upgrades for provincial, territorial, municipal and indigenous buildings; health infrastructure and schools
  9. Covid 19 response infrastructure including measures to support physical distancing
  10. Active transportation infrastructure.
  11. Tackle housing affordability
  12. Build modern transit
  • Covid response/recovery kept focus high and strong the only way moving forward is for funding from fed government to municipalities. 
  1. More control and flexibility of how the money is spent
  2. Gas tax is being discussed as permanent revenue stream

p. Ten-year national housing strategy- will make a more prosperous Canada for everyone

q. Disaster fund- $1 mill invested results in 6 bill in savings

We envision a Canada that is more connected. – new norm we live in/ essential role in bringing rural/city together.

Conclusion- thanks you to each and every one – continue showcasing the work we are all doing. Garth Frizell coming president-CEO Carol Saab.  Unfortunately, Bill will not be returning to his role and left us with these words: “always remember we are stronger together”.

Questions—Bruce MacDougall-  a big thank you to bill- the obstacle has been getting the money through Ottawa and getting it to the municipals. Gas tax- very popular in Atlantic Canada- municipalities are easy to deal with- 

*Norma McColeman/Philip Brown/Jim MacLeod also spoke and gave remarks thanking Bill and all he has done and wishing him well.

10:35-Mayor Basil made a presentation to Mayor Bill Karsten

Mayors Round Table

11:10- Peter Muttart- Kings County NS

  1. Michelin plant and 2 army bases- main economics
  2. Agricultural economy- good spot right now- 
  3. Covid relief gave residents extra time to pay their taxes-200,000 meals for schools- money towards tourism-1.3 percent from agriculture.
  4. Projects- Broadband project-levels of government stumbling over each other-taking a lot longer than expected- starting to roll it out
  5. 30 km roads being paved in this municipal year
  6. attempting a wind farm-close to air force base so running into some hurdles
  7. solar farm 20+ acres
  8. transit operation being discussed
  9. grateful what’s happening at national levels for municipalities-  

11:20 Steve Odgen- Stratford

  1. Population 11,000
  2. Small commercial core-mainly residential-tax base of 1 million dollars
    1. budget is utility town 16 million-
  3. new municipal building- 
  4. policing/fire protection- wanting input-
  5. transit-experiences from other municipalities-on demand transit- 
  6. corporate sponsorship for events
  7. working on housing demand study-affordable/senior                  
  8. arena/trails/ 
  9. working on waterfront design
    1. waste water solution- freeing up 7 acres on the waterfront
  10. rezoning to higher density- 

11:28- Bill Mills, Truro

  1. Truro is considered the hub of the province 
  2. He spoke about Covid-19 in his municipality.
  3. RCMP dispatch-justify moving it to Halifax to join up with the one that’s already there- they don’t like this ide – it important for them to be spread out-
  4. experiencing new schools/library/rec center- citizen are more engaged in getting healthy. Manager of rec center is working with doctors to use activity prescriptions to get people active using the facilities for rehab-
  5. growth in apartment buildings- 350 new units in the next couple years-
  6. 450,000 for roads that have to be attended to- lots going on- good things on the horizon- keep positive. Cooperation goes a long way

11:36-Percy Farwell, Gander

  1. Their central portion population of about 12000-13000
    1. Their service center is about 40000-50000
  2. They have the amenities of places a lot larger 
  3. He spoke about covid- 19 is his municipality
  4. Airport-lost 90% of business. It will be 3-5 years before revenue levels restore
  5. Nav Canada drives the economy
  6. companies are looking for cost saving
  7. hospitality sector has dried up- challenging times
  8. completed new waste water treatment 35 million dollars
  9. access to funds for current priorities are limited- 
  10. process of finalizing phase 2 with honeywell making us more green and efficient 
  11. community center and arena is a 4 million dollar project
  12. theatre show (Come from Away) is becoming a movie- most of the filming will be done in gander 
  13. Safe restart- understand where and what priorities are.

11:45-Pam Mood, Yarmouth

  1. Population 7000 
  2. 6 councilors/ the town services the entire region
  3. if the towns/cities aren’t strong everything goes downhill 150,000 dollars for downtown businesses-turned downtown around!!
  4. 0 cases of covid at the moment
  5. strengthen the towns/cities and get better internet

11:51- Rowan Caseley- Kensington

  1. All your needs and your wants aren’t far away. 
  2. Restructuring-(rezoning)
  3. Police force- they are doing a police study to determine if they are meeting the needs or maintaining the same level of police service
  4. The downtown core is full 60 acres of land for a new industrial park. They hope to break ground before winter and are aiming for next year for an opening

11:54- Roger Caissie- Shediac

  1. They have a population 0f 7000
  2. Population rises to 30,000 in summer
  3. 10 years population grew 22%- outgrowing every other municipality 
  4. road maintenance underway
  5. Solar farm project-ND Power partner
  6. Lobster capital of the world
  7. An 8 million dollar new building which is a joint venture with maritime fishers union. They plan to have a 32 billion dollar upgrade to sewage system- increase capacity and treatment- adaptation and imagination 
  8. They created a small website- Shediac.Support to answer questions regarding covid-19 for businesses and people.  You could get all the info at this one website.  It is very popular. 
  9. Support local campaign- highlighting local businesses and people. So nice to see people out in the community- out for a walk, out in the community.  There are 17 participating restaurant in the lobster contest and they are having a drive thru rib fest. 
  10. It’s been a challenge but they are going to keep on trucking

12:04-Jimmy MacAlpine, Digby

  1. High speed internet connection is an issue
  2. good work being done moving forward-
  3. healthcare- and need for professionals- dialysis unit is being built- in need of recruiting doctors and staff-
  4. hotel sold and hoping to build into a 12 month project. Tourism is valuable and they are grateful for the Atlantic bubble as it definitely helped. There will be a lot going on in the next 12 months 
  5. There are 3 companies wanting turbines placed in Digby

Lunch 12:15

Resume Mayors Roundtable

1:20-Dave Kogon- Amherst

  1. Unique situation- with Covid, they are more impacted, being a border community. There is an economic/social impact on community. The automobile dealers contacted saying their business was down 40%. New Brunswickers couldn’t get to Nova Scotia, and employers were losing employees due to travel restrictions.
  2. $700,000 funding study for rising sea levels due to the impact of flooding Sackville/Amherst.
  3. Solar energy project update- NS pilot project- successful.
  4. 1915 Armory in Amherst- formed a citizens group- 2 weeks ago MP and gov have agreed to turn building over to the town and not tear it down. new businesses/ existing businesses expanding-challenge is finding workers for these businesses- challenging for future is trying to increase our work force
  5. Amherst is lacking at facilities like the Credit Union Place. They will work on development of a multi facility for the people to use.

1:26- Jim MacLeod

  1. Hospitality is great from an island
  2. despite Covid-19 they have lots going on including projects/paving/transportation.  They need upgrading for rinks and parks. 
  3. They brought back the beautiful downtown initiative.  
  4. Spoke about protecting navy/ships.
  5. An update on the waste water management pilot project.  
  6. Things are getting back to normal- transit was back in July.

1:32- Lucy Stoyles- Mount Pearl

  1. Mount Pearl has a polulation of 25,000 residents
  2. They have struggled over the past year but everything is coming together
  3. Covid hit everyone hard
  4. before Covid19- The pool was shut down. It is 3 years old and has tons of issues. It is now open.
  5. business initiatives to get people in the city- $20000 to businesses to make changes to their buildings/ properties.
  6. Economic development- applied for loan 50000 grant to put plan in place for investment for the town.  
  7. Housing/ building new homes is up- hopeful for the town.  
  8. New mental health facility being constructed
  9. Waste water is an issue- hoping for $55 million waste water facility. 
  10. They are in the process of hiring a new CEO

1:38-Laurie Boucher- Antigonish

  1. Completed MPS- all pillars came directly from the community.
  2. formal housing-first in province to do planning strategy necessary we are meeting the needs for housing 
  3. less than 5000 population in Antigonish 
  4. $6 million in capital for tennis courts, skate park, dog park, etc. all recently new
  5. If St.FX University isn’t doing well we aren’t doing well. We need university/town trust 
  6. very fortunate to own electric facility. 60% electricity is from green energy. 
  7. Doing studies on a solar farm as more people are investing in the solar farms
  8. They have 20 car charging stations being installed around town. 
  9. Big challenges are the next couple months- trying to get everyone back for university and the continued challenge of Covid 19. 

1:45-Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Lunenburg

  1. They have some big projects in the next 4-6 years. Studies were done and 60% had good internet. Soon 95% of residents will be connected successfully. The completion date is 2022
  2. The sewer systems will also need to be replaced.
  3. By 2023 the LaHave River will free from independent sewer pipes.  
  4. There is progress on work with goverments for the  inter change on highway 103(exits 12/13). 
  5. In the process of opening new municipal building- 
  6. Increased funding for food banks. 
  7. 150 new housing units being built 
  8. Man employees trying a 4-day work week started this week. Is consists of 10 hour days 4 days a week- still able to do 5 days at 8 hours. 
  9. Lunenberg has a population of 20,000
  10. Real estate is something to watch- right now it’s booming. What will it be like down the road?

1:52- Christine Blair- Colchester 

  1. The Cliffs of Fundy global geo park-announced by UNESCO in July.
  2. This park will open doors for the whole region-
  3. NS and Maritimes- Cumberland county-rural broadband communications.xplorenet- advanced for our municipalities- (see presentation}
  4. Debert business park/ Debert airport- working with Stanfield.
  5. Looked at waste to energy-
  6. emerging initiatives-solar program, commercial/residential solar panels/ physician recruitment/ 
  7. in process of getting source water protected in Tatamagouche- 

2:00- Presentation

Waste Water Regulations Amendments -Susheel Arora-Director of  Water and Wastewater Services Halifax

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 2 Waste Water Regulations- Susheel Arora”  for full presentation details 

This presentation outlined the intervention being made by Halifax Water when the Wastewater Regulations are opened for review in November.  All of the concerns Atlantic Mayors Congress expressed in the Campbellton resolution were highlighted in this presentation.

Resume Mayors Roundtable

2:30-Philip Brown- Charlottetown

  1. Covid 19- shut down put a strain on all of us.  
  2. The closure where federal employees are still working from home. Department of Veterans Affairs still is not open, which is a huge impact on downtown business is quite devastating. Small businesses are hurting the most and they are really struggling- returning them back to the work place- national policy of closures doesn’t fit all- time to bring employees back.
  3. Challenges- providing skype/space/-financial burden- hard on staff- removal of statues and figures from public places- Chtown is the birthplace of confederation –
  4. soccer league-international players were brought in- tested every 2 days- working very well- separate transportation-   e.Delta Hotel was set up for them- great soccer and excited to be a part of the premiere soccer league.

2:42- Nancy Dicks- New Glasgow

  1. increasing population- 
  2. projects- Pictou county 6 municipalities- cooperation is great- working together- 
  3. business park-partnership county of Pictou- slow growth- option to buy land for $1 instead of roundabout and went with road in and road out. 
  4. Pictou Trenton park revitalization- support from all 6 municipalities. 
  5. over 2 months since the George Floyd incident and we have been working for a better African Canadian community- as a town we reached out to the African Affairs office- plans in place with the citizens in the African Canadian community- working together and giving people of the community what they need.

Presentation

2:50-Morley Foy- Climate change adaptations for water and wastewater.

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 3 Climate Change adaptations for waste water- Morley Foy” for full presentation details

Resume Mayors Roundtable

3:30- Lisa Blackburn, Halifax

  1. This past week a new bylaw was passed for secondary suites —there is housing crisis in peninsula core, hopefully this will help with seniors-
  2. crafted and debated and passed 2 budgets- 
  3. Big focus on transit and climate change.  
  4. Police commission what the police need- how we want to reimagine what we want police to look like- it will be tricky situation- Halifax regional police and RCMP- so it’s a blended situation.
  5. Challenges- changes to traffic laws- ability to have more power setting speed limits
  6. all meetings are still online for council 
  7. Theodore tugboat is for sale

3:33- Wayne Murray, Pictou County

  1. There are 6 municipal units in Pictou county area- 
  2. everything is going well- 
  3. 21601 population-
  4. internet program- singed communications project- 11.4 million for first phase- The second phase requires-65 million-
  5. fire services is being worked on- a study is being done-challenge to get funding for the fire departments-

Presentation

3:37- Robert Zilke-Urban Planner City of Charlottetown

Please refere to attachment “Presentation 4 Short Term Rental Presentation- Robert Zilke” for full presentation details.

4:31- Day one Adjourned

Friday September 4th 2020

  1. 9:11AM welcome remarks on day two from Mayor Stewart. 

Resume final report to Mayors Roundtable

9:13AM – 

Bruce MacDougall (President Federation of PEI Municipalities)

  1. WIll be meeting with the Premier to discuss several issues – Transit being one of the main points of discussion.
  2. AGM coming up – Mid October. This will be virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. 
  3. Restructuring of amalgamated municipalities. West River area to adopt this new structure
  1. 9:18AM – Executive Director Matt now brings remarks on Day 2. 
    1. Matt thanks the organizing committee. 
    2. Matt speaks on the annual report. 
      1. Financial Report – Approved (Moved by Mayor Wayne Murray, seconded by Roger Caissie)
      2. Membership – Averaging 30 – 35 members 
      3. Board of Directors: 
        1. Stephanie Anglehart – Paulin, Campbellton NB
        2. Christine Blair, Colchester County, NS
        3. Bill Mills, Truro, NS
        4. Craig Scott, Torbay, NL
        5. OPEN (This position has been filled by Mayor Basil Stewart, Summerside, PEI.
        6. Bruce MacDougall nominated and it was seconded by Rowan Caseley, Mayor of Kensington)

Presentation

9:30AM – Christine Blair begins to speak on the Colchester-Cumberland Rural BroadBand Project.

Presentation:

Mayor Stewart, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It’s a pleasure for me to be here today representing the Municipality of the County of Colchester, Nova Scotia.  

I’m going to discuss the Cumberland-Colchester rural broadband project by introducing you to our project, telling you how we arrived at our unique approach, and discussing the project’s process and network specifications.

Introduction

The Municipalities of Colchester and Cumberland in Nova Scotia have collaborated to attract construction of a major optic fibre-based network for rural broadband in our two jurisdictions.  This network will include 673 km of fibre (500 km newly deployed), 19 fixed-wireless towers, 35 to 50 micro cells, and satellite service.

The network will be built, owned, and operated by Xplornet Communications.  Network construction has begun, and wireless services are already available.  The full project will be completed within two to three years.  

Xplornet will invest $34 million toward the $61.1 million project.  The province will contribute $21.1 million from the Nova Scotia internet Funding Trust.  The two Municipalities will pay a combined $6 million over the next three to five years.  Cumberland’s share will be $3,327,600 and Colchester’s $2,672,400.  Those amounts reflect the amount of fibre in each jurisdiction.

Construction and service level monitoring will be done by Develop Nova Scotia, with reports forwarded to the municipalities.

The network infrastructure will be Open Access for other internet service providers to rent wholesale capacity.

2

A unique aspect of the project is acquisition by the Municipalities of Cumberland and Colchester of use of two pairs of “dark fibres” (optic fibres for exclusive use) on the entire new network.

How did we Arrive at this Unique Approach?

We are a municipality that in some ways, mirrors the Province of Nova Scotia.  Within our 3,628 square kilometres, over a third of our roughly 38,000 population is concentrated around a central community, the Town of Truro, which is a separate municipality.  Some people call this the GTA:  the Greater Truro Area.  We call it Colchester County.  Folks in Bible Hill and other communities surrounding Truro are well served with amenities and services.  Like much of Nova Scotia, those in smaller communities and those who live along our many scenic rural roads, have fewer amenities, including adequate access to cellular service and high speed internet.

Near the start of my Council’s current 4-year term, the federal Connect to Innovate program and a modest provincial initiative called the Municipal and Community Rural High Speed Internet Funding Program named municipalities as eligible recipients for funding.  Rural broadband was not, at that point, something we saw as a role for ourselves, both because of jurisdictional responsibility and capacity.

We began to assess community needs, however, and small project or “last mile” opportunities on which we could partner with internet service providers.  It was with this work that we realized the extent of the internet problem as well as the considerable costs involved in addressing it.  Our Council and residents were frustrated with the lack of a clear path of action on what we could do.

In 2018, our Economic Development Officer, Mark Austin (a Summerside “boy”), began to speak to internet service providers and the neighbouring municipalities of Pictou and Cumberland about prospects for collaborative internet improvement projects.  Pictou County declined.  Cumberland County expressed interest.  

Xplornet Communications Incorporated of Woodstock, New Brunswick, was one of the ISPs that presented to us as well as to Cumberland County.  Their vision and offer of investment in Colchester and Cumberland were at a scale that elevated our ambitions.

The year 2018 also saw the start of Develop Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust.  The Trust and Develop Nova Scotia have $193 million to carry out the Province’s Internet for Nova Scotia initiative.

3

Cumberland and Colchester both declared rural broadband a priority of Councils.  We entered a MOU and formed a Joint Internet Improvement Committee consisting of Councillors and Staff from each Municipality.

The Committee issued a Call for Expressions of Interest to internet service providers to assess their solutions as a match for our needs.  The competition was open to any entity who had prequalified for Trust funding through Develop Nova Scotia.  On offer from the Municipalities was endorsement of the selected ISP’s application to Develop Nova Scotia’s Request for Proposals.  Cumberland and Colchester were also prepared to make financial contributions.  Our thinking was that this would enhance the ISP’s chances of securing Trust funds.

The Joint Committee also pursued a federal contribution to our project.  We had strong support from our former MP Bill Casey and then Minister of Rural Economic Development, Bernadette Jordan.  The funding vehicle deemed to be most suitable was the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Bilateral Agreement.  However, this would require the Province to either request the funds or give the okay for the municipalities to access the funding.  Develop Nova Scotia was the entity with the say on this and they had not yet decided whether they would access the infrastructure funds themselves.  Eventually, they did not, but our deal was already struck without federal involvement.

The responses to our Call for Expressions of Interest were varied.  They ranged from incremental improvements in service with minimal private investment to ambitious fibre networks owned privately or publicly.

The Committee considered a municipal ownership model but decided – based on anticipated timeline, financial costs, risks, and the likelihood of the proponent being selected by Develop Nova Scotia – to collaborate with a private partner offering the most network capacity and geographic coverage, the highest level of investment, the quickest timeline, and dedicated municipal fibre in exchange for our contributions.  We are not equity owners in the network.

That applicant was Xplornet.  We soon signed a MOU between the two counties and Xplornet.

We also believed that Xplornet had the best chance of winning the Develop Nova Scotia competition, especially with our endorsement.  We were right.  In February 2020, Xplornet signed contracts with Develop Nova Scotia for a combined Cumberland-Colchester rural broadband project Funding Trust contribution of $19.6 million.

The municipalities then embarked on negotiating contracts with each other and with Xplornet to elaborate on and formalize terms of their MOUs.

4

Process and Network Specifications

Staff took the lead in developing our project and eventually our agreements.  Xplornet was represented by one of their co-founders and Vice President.  Staff reported to and took direction from the Joint Committee and regularly updated Councils in closed session.

The Municipalities of Colchester and Cumberland, Xplornet Communications, and Develo0p Nova Scotia have collaborated on all public communications by any of the parties to ensure accuracy and respect confidentiality.  That vital procedure will continue as the project plans are implemented.

Once key terms were agreed to by the parties, legal and internet technical experts were brought in to write and scrutinize agreements.  

Our negotiating team had to get up to speed on technical aspects of the project to even be able to interact with engineering consultants hired to assist.  When you get terms like optronics, splices, chromatic dispersion or nanometers, you need experts to help.  And you need a legal team – and we had two solicitors from the legal firm who works with Colchester County – working on the agreement to make sure all the t’s are crossed and I’s dotted.  

Added to this, the teams were working under constraints of the Nova Scotia Municipal Government Act.  The MGA, even with amendments on permissible spending that came into effect during our negotiations, does not allow municipalities to contribute funds to a private company without receiving tangible appropriately-valued goods or services in exchange.

Our contract with Xplornet is structured as a hybrid community benefit and twenty-year indefeasible right of use rural broadband agreement.

The indefeasible right of use, or IRU, component sets out terms of the municipalities’ exclusive use of 2 pair or 4 strands of optic fibre on 500 km of the network.  The fibre cannot be used to offer retail internet services that would compete with Xplornet, but can be used for purposes such as economic development, research and innovation with any partners, delivery of private or public services such as education, healthcare, or municipal operations.  This meant the MGA was met.

As I mentioned previously, the amount of fibre in each jurisdiction was used as the formula determining respective contributions to make up the total $6 million municipal investment in 

5

the project.  Cumberland will host approximately 56% of the new optic fibre.  Accordingly, they have greater revenue opportunities from use of the ‘dark fibre’.  Dark fibre refers to the fact that the fibre is not shared-use on the larger network and must be lit up for specific use.  This insures needed capacity for high-data applications and separation for security.

While the value of the IRU itself puts us onside with the MGA, we also negotiated a slate of other services and levels of service we are calling community benefits.

The Community Benefits include guarantees that the network will have capacity to serve 100% of Cumberland and Colchester civic addresses with new rural broadband and that of the currently underserved areas that we determine to be 24,400 civic addresses, 22,500 are able to get 100 MBPS speeds (100 down and 10 up) by fibre or fixed wireless connection while the remaining 1,900 will get 50/10 Mbps via satellite.  This exceeds the households that DNS has contracted for by 8,000 addresses.  (Mbps = Megabits per second; higher the number, faster the speed).

Xplornet is also contractually bound to offer unlimited data packages on these services at $99 per month, to upgrade equipment to ensure ongoing capacity, and to collaborate with the municipalities on the network improvements and use, including 5G applications (Xplornet being one of two ISPs holding 5G spectrum in Nova Scotia).

We were in mid-negotiations with Xplornet when the COVID situation hit us.  The province announced that it would add $15 million dollars to the Internet Funding Trust as an incentive to accelerate rural internet project construction.  Xplornet was approved for an additional $1.5 million to equip our project’s 19 new or existing towers with LTE wireless capacity.  The service was to be at a 25 Mbps level using a microwave backhaul since the fibre was not yet in place and was to be completed in 100 days.

It was COVID that really brought home the fact of how much rural internet is needed.  People could not work remotely when they were expected to stay at home.  School children could not get their lessons done because computers were working sporadically.  

The municipalities were very involved in securing tower sites and communicating the project to residents.  Xplornet managed to complete 18 or the 19 hook-ups by the end of August, with one delayed by a few weeks.  As many as 500 new services have been installed and the service is being increased to 50 Mbps this month.  We have some very happy residents!

While this has been a valuable development for Cumberland and Colchester in otherwise trying times, it also delayed our contract negotiations with Xplornet.  

6

We successfully concluded our Agreement with Xplornet with the unanimous approvals of both Councils and the parties signed via Zoom on the 21st of August.

On that same day, we signed our pre-negotiated collaboration Agreement with the Municipality of Cumberland.  This came just a couple of weeks after we celebrated another wonderful collaborative project with Cumberland:  The Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark designation.  One project compliments the other.  We see opportunities throughout the Geopark area for entrepreneurs, business opportunities, vacationers, education and tourism promotion, all of which need internet service.  Both projects show what can be achieved with vision, cooperation and collaboration.

From Here …..

The municipalities, Develop Nova Scotia, and Xplornet will meet at least monthly to oversee the project build, including direction on build sequence to affect simultaneous construction throughout both jurisdictions, prioritizing areas most underserved.

Managing expectations is an ongoing task.  All wifeless broadband systems require line of sight or relay devices to reflect signals around obstacles.  While the network has the capacity to serve all, the reality in rural areas is that terrain, elevations, and trees can keep signals from reaching homes or businesses.  This presents a challenge when our claims of 100% access, or 97%, as the province announced earlier this week, are not described carefully.

We will work hard to assist all households with access to the new services.  Sometimes it comes down to an antenna extension, some tree cutting, or relay devices, but, mountains are hard to move.  And, we have the Cobequids.  We will strive for more last mile solutions such as additional towers and fibre to be put in place, either by Xplornet or other ISPs using the Open Access infrastructure owned by Xplornet.

We will not be shy in using the achievement of true highspeed throughout our two counties to market our communities to businesses, to doctors (needed so very much in rural areas), and to residents considering a move.  We know that our network will make our communities more viable and properties more valuable.

We will work quickly to develop community and tourist-site WiFi.  We’ll seek partners for internet-of-things 5G innovation projects using our dark fibre.  We’ll listen to our citizens and work with Xplornet to ensure best available service.  And we will take Xplornet up on their 

7

offer, in part as generous response to recent tragedies in Cumberland and Colchester, to provide backup satellite communications for all our fire stations.  Colchester County has 17 volunteer fire brigades.

Finally, as you have heard, this project has taken a lot of hard work over two years, hours and hours of meetings and negotiation.  It’s a bit of a different approach from what some municipalities are doing.  We want you to know we will be pleased to share our lessons-learned with other rural municipalities throughout Atlantic Canada and elsewhere as we have already done with municipalities in Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.  We know that we are just beginning and that we can learn from others as well.  We invite you, we welcome you to be part of this conversation.

Thank you for your attention.

Christine Blair, Mayor, Municipality of the County of Colchester

INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mark Austin, Economic Developer and Internet Project Lead for Colchester

maustin@colchester.ca 902-956-2711

Mayor Phillip Brown now speaks to the room with comments as this project relates back to a similar project he is looking into.

9:58AM (MOTION) – Mayor Bill Mills moves the motion of Mayor Phillip Brown’s comments and recommendations surrounding Eastlink and its abilities. Mayor Brown handed out the resolution to the room .

Resolution:

Letter to MPs

Municipal or City logo here

Insert date here

To: Director General, Telecommunications and Internet Policy Branch, Innovation, Science and Economic

Development Canada  

Re: Petitions to the Governor in Council concerning Telecom Order CRTC 2019-288

I am writing on behalf of [insert your municipal/city name here] to share our concerns about impacts to our communities as it relates to recent decisions by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). 


First, I would like tell you a bit about us. [insert a brief description of your municipal/city]


Any decision that affects investment plans by telecommunications network builders (facilities-based providers) to expand and/or improve internet and wireless networks in our communities, particularly in rural areas, is deeply concerning. 


A vital part of our economic picture is reliable access to internet and cellular networks of the same quality as is available in urban areas like Halifax.  To that end, a core focus of ours has been to support initiatives that upgrade infrastructure in certain communities that currently do not have sufficient networks to provide the high quality internet and mobile services that our local economy needs to remain healthy and competitive. 

We would not typically get involved in such regulatory matters, but in this case, we feel compelled to highlight the consequences to our region.

As a local provider in our area, Eastlink has spent many years investing heavily in building its fibre and wireless networks into many of our communities, and has been ready to expand, which would bring much-needed reliable service to these communities. However, they have been forced to pause these plans. 

As you know, it is challenging enough for rural areas to attract the major investments needed to build high speed internet and cellular services that enable businesses to participate in the digital economy. We need physical network investments (new and ongoing) in these communities including long term, sustainable investments that enable Canada’s digital development, economic growth and international competitiveness. 


It is difficult to understand such decisions at a time when government is promoting the critical importance of rural expansion to support Canadians including small businesses/entrepreneurs. With this in mind, we urge you to not undermine the already tenuous business case for building networks into these areas and respectfully ask you to require the CRTC to: 

  • apply a rural lens to ensure that all Canadians, including those in rural and remote areas, have access to existing and next generation technologies that enable them to participate fully in the digital economy
  • promote affordability for consumers in a balanced and sustainable manner that also enables facilities-based carriers (network builders) to realize a fair and reasonable return on their investments
  • suspend the internet decision and review the entire wholesale process to ensure it reflects the actual cost of providing the service and a requirement for resellers to invest in facilities/infrastructure

Thank you for the opportunity to provide these comments. 

Sincerely, 

[insert signature here]

It

It was seconded by Mayor Phillp Brown. Mayor Peter Muttart was against this motion. He believes the Bell Aliants and Eastlinks of the world have had more than enough time to do something in this regard. Discussion begins between members around the table. Mayor Wayne Murray now speaks on the topic and is also against this motion. Bruce MacDougall now speaks – Feels it is a decision that the Board should be making and feels uncomfortable passing this without their approval. Warden Jimmy MacAlpine now offers his thoughts. 10:09AM – Motion was withdrawn. This will now be taken back to respective Councils first for discussion. 10:10AM – Breaks 

  1. 10:41AM – Meeting is called back to order. Mayor Stewarts acknowledges further members of council who have arrived along with Dr. Morrison. 
  1. 10:42AM – Deputy Mayor Norma McColeman is now up to the podium to introduce Dr. Morrison. 

Presentation

  1. 10:46AM – Dr. Morrison is now speaking at the podium. Bringing remarks on behalf of the Chief Public Health Office of PEI.

Please refer to the attachment “Presentation 5 Dr. Heather Morrison CPHO PEI” for full detail. 

  1. Slide Show Presentation on COVID-19.  
    1. Topics included: Processes for Pre-Travel approval, isolation, enforcement, PPE for healthcare and non-health care first responders, policies and guidelines in place, testing capacities, etc
    2. 11:22 The presentation Ends. Dr. Morrison opens up the room for questions.
      1. Mayor Mills from Truro opens up the questions for Dr. Morrison
      2. Bruce MacDougall now asks Dr. Morrison some  questions
      3. Mayor Cecil Clark now asked questions to Dr. Morrison
      4. Mayor Muttart now has the floor to question Dr. Morrison
      5. Mayor Phillip Brown is now on the microphone.
  1. 11:48AM – Dr. Morrison departs the room. 
  1. 11:49AM – Mayor Bill Mills is now at the podium to introduce the next speaker Dr. Dave Kogan
  1. 11:51AM – Dr. Dave Kogan (Mayor of Amherst) is now at the podium to present his presentation on a roadmap to success. 

Please refer to attachment “Presentation #6 Recruiting Physicians- Dr. David Kogon” for more details. 

  1. 12:11 AM the presentation ended and the floor was open to questions
  1. 12:15PM – The room was adjourned for Lunch at the oval
  1. 10.1:17PM – Meeting resumed, Councilor Barb Ramsay opened the floor with the introduction of Mike Thususka the next speaker. He is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Summerside.
    1. Presentation slides on the growing green economy and creating business opportunities through innovation. 
      1. Gerald Giroux, Electrical Engineer is also in attendance to assist with this presentation. 
    2. Presentation ended at 1:43PM and the floor was opened up to questions. 
      1. Mayor from Stratford now asks Mike Thususka questions. 
      2. Mayor from Kings County now asked Mike questions about the solar project
    3. Mike ended his first presentation and prepared for the second presentation

Please refer to attachment Presentation 7 Solar Energy Project- Mike Thususka & Gerald Giroux for more details

  1. 11.1:58PM – Mike Thususka, Director of Economic Development now proceeds with his second presentation. 

Please refer to attachment Presentation 8 Covid mitigation-Mike Thusuka for more details.

  1. 12.2:28PM – The Economic Development presentations were ended
  1. 13.2:30PM – The Mayor of Cape Breton, Cecil Clark now provides a presentation for the room regarding revenue streams available to municipalities.
  1. 14.2:41PM – The Presentation has ended. 
    1. Executive Director, Matt Kerrigan heads to the podium to address the room 
    2. Thanks extended to municipalities who have agreed to host meetings in 2021  The Spring meeting will be in Torbay NL and the Fall meeting in Shediac NB
  1. 15.Mayor Phillip Brown request a presentation on  Summary Offence Tickets be  put on the next agenda. 
  1. 16.Members would like Matt to send out the expectations for municipalities to host a meeting. 

Atlantic Mayors Congress 2020

Summerside, PEI

September 3, 2020

Present:

Basil Stewart, Summerside

Wayne Murray, Pictou County

Lisa Blackburn, Halifax

Bruce MacDougall, FPEIM

Nancy Dicks, New Glasgow

Cecil Clark, CBRM

Christine Blair, Colchester County

Phillip Brown, Charlottetown

Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Lunenburg District

Laurie Boucher, Antigonish

Peter Muttart, Kings County

Steve Odgen, Stratford

Bill Mills, Truro

Percy Farwell, Gander

Pam Mood, NSFM and Yarmouth

Rowan Caseley, Kensington

Roger Caissie, Shediac

Jimmy MacAlpine, Digby District

Dave Kogon, Amherst

Jim MacLeod, CBRM (alternate)

Lucy Stoyles, Mount Pearl

  1. 9:15 Welcome remarks, Mayor Stewart

-Christine Blair-  touched on everything NS has gone though in the past couple months- 

-a moment of silence for all we have lost 

-went around the room and introduced all mayors and councilors/ guests

Special welcome to Bill Karsten-FCM

-a special welcome to everyone for coming despite travel restrictions/ 

-a few housekeeping rules

  1. Approval of agenda-Moved Pam Mood-Second Jim Macleod

Moved by Warden MacAlpine, seconded by Mayor Dave Kogon-approval for the Campbellton minutes

  1. 9:30am-A bit about Summerside- How the Credit Union Place (CUP) multiplex came about- Mayor Stewart speaking
  1. Summerside was in need of a new rink- councilors/staff went to meetings and tours of different facilities
  2. World under 17 was scheduled in the next month- approved for more booths/seating. 
  3. Announcement with Brown 2023 Canada games- new turf coming.  Preliminary work from city for funding. 
  4. He mentioned that the hotel is coming- should be breaking ground soon.
  5. He touched on harness racing- new grand stand 
  6. A summary of all different concerts held at CUP.  Elton John- 2 concerts… 11,000 sold, Bryan Adams, John Mellancamp, Burton Cummings, Under 17 Hockey and more.
  7. Solar system announcement, federal minister $68 million extension, pushing green energy- wind farm- electric vehicles.
  8. Green’s Shore beach and boardwalk
  9. Closure of the base and redevelopment with housing and aerospace companies- GST Center- progressive councils- make things happen. Covid-19 was hard on everyone. We have to work together by listening and paying attention to municipalities.  

9:40am – FCM updates and dialogue- Mayor Bill Karsten

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 1 FCM- Atlantic Mayors- Bill Karsten” for full presentation

  1. Mayor Bill Karsten thanked the group for inviting him, and said it was a pleasure to be here. He commented that it was such a beautiful spot.
  2. He spoke about working for local government during covid19
  3. A special sincere thanks to everyone here. Collectively we get things done.  Covid turned everyone’s life upside down.  
  4. Municipalities are on the front lines of covid-19.
  5. The main focus was protecting our vulnerable population. 
  6. FCM dropped everything and figured what was most important to do.  Pandemic response/financial crisis.
  7. Provinces can choose to opt in and reallocate up to 10% of their initial total allocations towards projects such as:
  8. Retrofits, repairs upgrades for provincial, territorial, municipal and indigenous buildings; health infrastructure and schools
  9. Covid 19 response infrastructure including measures to support physical distancing
  10. Active transportation infrastructure.
  11. Tackle housing affordability
  12. Build modern transit
  • Covid response/recovery kept focus high and strong the only way moving forward is for funding from fed government to municipalities. 
  1. More control and flexibility of how the money is spent
  2. Gas tax is being discussed as permanent revenue stream

p. Ten-year national housing strategy- will make a more prosperous Canada for everyone

q. Disaster fund- $1 mill invested results in 6 bill in savings

We envision a Canada that is more connected. – new norm we live in/ essential role in bringing rural/city together.

Conclusion- thanks you to each and every one – continue showcasing the work we are all doing. Garth Frizell coming president-CEO Carol Saab.  Unfortunately, Bill will not be returning to his role and left us with these words: “always remember we are stronger together”.

Questions—Bruce MacDougall-  a big thank you to bill- the obstacle has been getting the money through Ottawa and getting it to the municipals. Gas tax- very popular in Atlantic Canada- municipalities are easy to deal with- 

*Norma McColeman/Philip Brown/Jim MacLeod also spoke and gave remarks thanking Bill and all he has done and wishing him well.

10:35-Mayor Basil made a presentation to Mayor Bill Karsten

Mayors Round Table

11:10- Peter Muttart- Kings County NS

  1. Michelin plant and 2 army bases- main economics
  2. Agricultural economy- good spot right now- 
  3. Covid relief gave residents extra time to pay their taxes-200,000 meals for schools- money towards tourism-1.3 percent from agriculture.
  4. Projects- Broadband project-levels of government stumbling over each other-taking a lot longer than expected- starting to roll it out
  5. 30 km roads being paved in this municipal year
  6. attempting a wind farm-close to air force base so running into some hurdles
  7. solar farm 20+ acres
  8. transit operation being discussed
  9. grateful what’s happening at national levels for municipalities-  

11:20 Steve Odgen- Stratford

  1. Population 11,000
  2. Small commercial core-mainly residential-tax base of 1 million dollars
    1. budget is utility town 16 million-
  3. new municipal building- 
  4. policing/fire protection- wanting input-
  5. transit-experiences from other municipalities-on demand transit- 
  6. corporate sponsorship for events
  7. working on housing demand study-affordable/senior                  
  8. arena/trails/ 
  9. working on waterfront design
    1. waste water solution- freeing up 7 acres on the waterfront
  10. rezoning to higher density- 

11:28- Bill Mills, Truro

  1. Truro is considered the hub of the province 
  2. He spoke about Covid-19 in his municipality.
  3. RCMP dispatch-justify moving it to Halifax to join up with the one that’s already there- they don’t like this ide – it important for them to be spread out-
  4. experiencing new schools/library/rec center- citizen are more engaged in getting healthy. Manager of rec center is working with doctors to use activity prescriptions to get people active using the facilities for rehab-
  5. growth in apartment buildings- 350 new units in the next couple years-
  6. 450,000 for roads that have to be attended to- lots going on- good things on the horizon- keep positive. Cooperation goes a long way

11:36-Percy Farwell, Gander

  1. Their central portion population of about 12000-13000
    1. Their service center is about 40000-50000
  2. They have the amenities of places a lot larger 
  3. He spoke about covid- 19 is his municipality
  4. Airport-lost 90% of business. It will be 3-5 years before revenue levels restore
  5. Nav Canada drives the economy
  6. companies are looking for cost saving
  7. hospitality sector has dried up- challenging times
  8. completed new waste water treatment 35 million dollars
  9. access to funds for current priorities are limited- 
  10. process of finalizing phase 2 with honeywell making us more green and efficient 
  11. community center and arena is a 4 million dollar project
  12. theatre show (Come from Away) is becoming a movie- most of the filming will be done in gander 
  13. Safe restart- understand where and what priorities are.

11:45-Pam Mood, Yarmouth

  1. Population 7000 
  2. 6 councilors/ the town services the entire region
  3. if the towns/cities aren’t strong everything goes downhill 150,000 dollars for downtown businesses-turned downtown around!!
  4. 0 cases of covid at the moment
  5. strengthen the towns/cities and get better internet

11:51- Rowan Caseley- Kensington

  1. All your needs and your wants aren’t far away. 
  2. Restructuring-(rezoning)
  3. Police force- they are doing a police study to determine if they are meeting the needs or maintaining the same level of police service
  4. The downtown core is full 60 acres of land for a new industrial park. They hope to break ground before winter and are aiming for next year for an opening

11:54- Roger Caissie- Shediac

  1. They have a population 0f 7000
  2. Population rises to 30,000 in summer
  3. 10 years population grew 22%- outgrowing every other municipality 
  4. road maintenance underway
  5. Solar farm project-ND Power partner
  6. Lobster capital of the world
  7. An 8 million dollar new building which is a joint venture with maritime fishers union. They plan to have a 32 billion dollar upgrade to sewage system- increase capacity and treatment- adaptation and imagination 
  8. They created a small website- Shediac.Support to answer questions regarding covid-19 for businesses and people.  You could get all the info at this one website.  It is very popular. 
  9. Support local campaign- highlighting local businesses and people. So nice to see people out in the community- out for a walk, out in the community.  There are 17 participating restaurant in the lobster contest and they are having a drive thru rib fest. 
  10. It’s been a challenge but they are going to keep on trucking

12:04-Jimmy MacAlpine, Digby

  1. High speed internet connection is an issue
  2. good work being done moving forward-
  3. healthcare- and need for professionals- dialysis unit is being built- in need of recruiting doctors and staff-
  4. hotel sold and hoping to build into a 12 month project. Tourism is valuable and they are grateful for the Atlantic bubble as it definitely helped. There will be a lot going on in the next 12 months 
  5. There are 3 companies wanting turbines placed in Digby

Lunch 12:15

Resume Mayors Roundtable

1:20-Dave Kogon- Amherst

  1. Unique situation- with Covid, they are more impacted, being a border community. There is an economic/social impact on community. The automobile dealers contacted saying their business was down 40%. New Brunswickers couldn’t get to Nova Scotia, and employers were losing employees due to travel restrictions.
  2. $700,000 funding study for rising sea levels due to the impact of flooding Sackville/Amherst.
  3. Solar energy project update- NS pilot project- successful.
  4. 1915 Armory in Amherst- formed a citizens group- 2 weeks ago MP and gov have agreed to turn building over to the town and not tear it down. new businesses/ existing businesses expanding-challenge is finding workers for these businesses- challenging for future is trying to increase our work force
  5. Amherst is lacking at facilities like the Credit Union Place. They will work on development of a multi facility for the people to use.

1:26- Jim MacLeod

  1. Hospitality is great from an island
  2. despite Covid-19 they have lots going on including projects/paving/transportation.  They need upgrading for rinks and parks. 
  3. They brought back the beautiful downtown initiative.  
  4. Spoke about protecting navy/ships.
  5. An update on the waste water management pilot project.  
  6. Things are getting back to normal- transit was back in July.

1:32- Lucy Stoyles- Mount Pearl

  1. Mount Pearl has a polulation of 25,000 residents
  2. They have struggled over the past year but everything is coming together
  3. Covid hit everyone hard
  4. before Covid19- The pool was shut down. It is 3 years old and has tons of issues. It is now open.
  5. business initiatives to get people in the city- $20000 to businesses to make changes to their buildings/ properties.
  6. Economic development- applied for loan 50000 grant to put plan in place for investment for the town.  
  7. Housing/ building new homes is up- hopeful for the town.  
  8. New mental health facility being constructed
  9. Waste water is an issue- hoping for $55 million waste water facility. 
  10. They are in the process of hiring a new CEO

1:38-Laurie Boucher- Antigonish

  1. Completed MPS- all pillars came directly from the community.
  2. formal housing-first in province to do planning strategy necessary we are meeting the needs for housing 
  3. less than 5000 population in Antigonish 
  4. $6 million in capital for tennis courts, skate park, dog park, etc. all recently new
  5. If St.FX University isn’t doing well we aren’t doing well. We need university/town trust 
  6. very fortunate to own electric facility. 60% electricity is from green energy. 
  7. Doing studies on a solar farm as more people are investing in the solar farms
  8. They have 20 car charging stations being installed around town. 
  9. Big challenges are the next couple months- trying to get everyone back for university and the continued challenge of Covid 19. 

1:45-Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Lunenburg

  1. They have some big projects in the next 4-6 years. Studies were done and 60% had good internet. Soon 95% of residents will be connected successfully. The completion date is 2022
  2. The sewer systems will also need to be replaced.
  3. By 2023 the LaHave River will free from independent sewer pipes.  
  4. There is progress on work with goverments for the  inter change on highway 103(exits 12/13). 
  5. In the process of opening new municipal building- 
  6. Increased funding for food banks. 
  7. 150 new housing units being built 
  8. Man employees trying a 4-day work week started this week. Is consists of 10 hour days 4 days a week- still able to do 5 days at 8 hours. 
  9. Lunenberg has a population of 20,000
  10. Real estate is something to watch- right now it’s booming. What will it be like down the road?

1:52- Christine Blair- Colchester 

  1. The Cliffs of Fundy global geo park-announced by UNESCO in July.
  2. This park will open doors for the whole region-
  3. NS and Maritimes- Cumberland county-rural broadband communications.xplorenet- advanced for our municipalities- (see presentation}
  4. Debert business park/ Debert airport- working with Stanfield.
  5. Looked at waste to energy-
  6. emerging initiatives-solar program, commercial/residential solar panels/ physician recruitment/ 
  7. in process of getting source water protected in Tatamagouche- 

2:00- Presentation

Waste Water Regulations Amendments -Susheel Arora-Director of  Water and Wastewater Services Halifax

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 2 Waste Water Regulations- Susheel Arora”  for full presentation details 

This presentation outlined the intervention being made by Halifax Water when the Wastewater Regulations are opened for review in November.  All of the concerns Atlantic Mayors Congress expressed in the Campbellton resolution were highlighted in this presentation.

Resume Mayors Roundtable

2:30-Philip Brown- Charlottetown

  1. Covid 19- shut down put a strain on all of us.  
  2. The closure where federal employees are still working from home. Department of Veterans Affairs still is not open, which is a huge impact on downtown business is quite devastating. Small businesses are hurting the most and they are really struggling- returning them back to the work place- national policy of closures doesn’t fit all- time to bring employees back.
  3. Challenges- providing skype/space/-financial burden- hard on staff- removal of statues and figures from public places- Chtown is the birthplace of confederation –
  4. soccer league-international players were brought in- tested every 2 days- working very well- separate transportation-   e.Delta Hotel was set up for them- great soccer and excited to be a part of the premiere soccer league.

2:42- Nancy Dicks- New Glasgow

  1. increasing population- 
  2. projects- Pictou county 6 municipalities- cooperation is great- working together- 
  3. business park-partnership county of Pictou- slow growth- option to buy land for $1 instead of roundabout and went with road in and road out. 
  4. Pictou Trenton park revitalization- support from all 6 municipalities. 
  5. over 2 months since the George Floyd incident and we have been working for a better African Canadian community- as a town we reached out to the African Affairs office- plans in place with the citizens in the African Canadian community- working together and giving people of the community what they need.

Presentation

2:50-Morley Foy- Climate change adaptations for water and wastewater.

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 3 Climate Change adaptations for waste water- Morley Foy” for full presentation details

Resume Mayors Roundtable

3:30- Lisa Blackburn, Halifax

  1. This past week a new bylaw was passed for secondary suites —there is housing crisis in peninsula core, hopefully this will help with seniors-
  2. crafted and debated and passed 2 budgets- 
  3. Big focus on transit and climate change.  
  4. Police commission what the police need- how we want to reimagine what we want police to look like- it will be tricky situation- Halifax regional police and RCMP- so it’s a blended situation.
  5. Challenges- changes to traffic laws- ability to have more power setting speed limits
  6. all meetings are still online for council 
  7. Theodore tugboat is for sale

3:33- Wayne Murray, Pictou County

  1. There are 6 municipal units in Pictou county area- 
  2. everything is going well- 
  3. 21601 population-
  4. internet program- singed communications project- 11.4 million for first phase- The second phase requires-65 million-
  5. fire services is being worked on- a study is being done-challenge to get funding for the fire departments-

Presentation

3:37- Robert Zilke-Urban Planner City of Charlottetown

Please refere to attachment “Presentation 4 Short Term Rental Presentation- Robert Zilke” for full presentation details.

4:31- Day one Adjourned

Friday September 4th 2020

  1. 9:11AM welcome remarks on day two from Mayor Stewart. 

Resume final report to Mayors Roundtable

9:13AM – 

Bruce MacDougall (President Federation of PEI Municipalities)

  1. WIll be meeting with the Premier to discuss several issues – Transit being one of the main points of discussion.
  2. AGM coming up – Mid October. This will be virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. 
  3. Restructuring of amalgamated municipalities. West River area to adopt this new structure
  1. 9:18AM – Executive Director Matt now brings remarks on Day 2. 
    1. Matt thanks the organizing committee. 
    2. Matt speaks on the annual report. 
      1. Financial Report – Approved (Moved by Mayor Wayne Murray, seconded by Roger Caissie)
      2. Membership – Averaging 30 – 35 members 
      3. Board of Directors: 
        1. Stephanie Anglehart – Paulin, Campbellton NB
        2. Christine Blair, Colchester County, NS
        3. Bill Mills, Truro, NS
        4. Craig Scott, Torbay, NL
        5. OPEN (This position has been filled by Mayor Basil Stewart, Summerside, PEI.
        6. Bruce MacDougall nominated and it was seconded by Rowan Caseley, Mayor of Kensington)

Presentation

9:30AM – Christine Blair begins to speak on the Colchester-Cumberland Rural BroadBand Project.

Presentation:

Mayor Stewart, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It’s a pleasure for me to be here today representing the Municipality of the County of Colchester, Nova Scotia.  

I’m going to discuss the Cumberland-Colchester rural broadband project by introducing you to our project, telling you how we arrived at our unique approach, and discussing the project’s process and network specifications.

Introduction

The Municipalities of Colchester and Cumberland in Nova Scotia have collaborated to attract construction of a major optic fibre-based network for rural broadband in our two jurisdictions.  This network will include 673 km of fibre (500 km newly deployed), 19 fixed-wireless towers, 35 to 50 micro cells, and satellite service.

The network will be built, owned, and operated by Xplornet Communications.  Network construction has begun, and wireless services are already available.  The full project will be completed within two to three years.  

Xplornet will invest $34 million toward the $61.1 million project.  The province will contribute $21.1 million from the Nova Scotia internet Funding Trust.  The two Municipalities will pay a combined $6 million over the next three to five years.  Cumberland’s share will be $3,327,600 and Colchester’s $2,672,400.  Those amounts reflect the amount of fibre in each jurisdiction.

Construction and service level monitoring will be done by Develop Nova Scotia, with reports forwarded to the municipalities.

The network infrastructure will be Open Access for other internet service providers to rent wholesale capacity.

2

A unique aspect of the project is acquisition by the Municipalities of Cumberland and Colchester of use of two pairs of “dark fibres” (optic fibres for exclusive use) on the entire new network.

How did we Arrive at this Unique Approach?

We are a municipality that in some ways, mirrors the Province of Nova Scotia.  Within our 3,628 square kilometres, over a third of our roughly 38,000 population is concentrated around a central community, the Town of Truro, which is a separate municipality.  Some people call this the GTA:  the Greater Truro Area.  We call it Colchester County.  Folks in Bible Hill and other communities surrounding Truro are well served with amenities and services.  Like much of Nova Scotia, those in smaller communities and those who live along our many scenic rural roads, have fewer amenities, including adequate access to cellular service and high speed internet.

Near the start of my Council’s current 4-year term, the federal Connect to Innovate program and a modest provincial initiative called the Municipal and Community Rural High Speed Internet Funding Program named municipalities as eligible recipients for funding.  Rural broadband was not, at that point, something we saw as a role for ourselves, both because of jurisdictional responsibility and capacity.

We began to assess community needs, however, and small project or “last mile” opportunities on which we could partner with internet service providers.  It was with this work that we realized the extent of the internet problem as well as the considerable costs involved in addressing it.  Our Council and residents were frustrated with the lack of a clear path of action on what we could do.

In 2018, our Economic Development Officer, Mark Austin (a Summerside “boy”), began to speak to internet service providers and the neighbouring municipalities of Pictou and Cumberland about prospects for collaborative internet improvement projects.  Pictou County declined.  Cumberland County expressed interest.  

Xplornet Communications Incorporated of Woodstock, New Brunswick, was one of the ISPs that presented to us as well as to Cumberland County.  Their vision and offer of investment in Colchester and Cumberland were at a scale that elevated our ambitions.

The year 2018 also saw the start of Develop Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust.  The Trust and Develop Nova Scotia have $193 million to carry out the Province’s Internet for Nova Scotia initiative.

3

Cumberland and Colchester both declared rural broadband a priority of Councils.  We entered a MOU and formed a Joint Internet Improvement Committee consisting of Councillors and Staff from each Municipality.

The Committee issued a Call for Expressions of Interest to internet service providers to assess their solutions as a match for our needs.  The competition was open to any entity who had prequalified for Trust funding through Develop Nova Scotia.  On offer from the Municipalities was endorsement of the selected ISP’s application to Develop Nova Scotia’s Request for Proposals.  Cumberland and Colchester were also prepared to make financial contributions.  Our thinking was that this would enhance the ISP’s chances of securing Trust funds.

The Joint Committee also pursued a federal contribution to our project.  We had strong support from our former MP Bill Casey and then Minister of Rural Economic Development, Bernadette Jordan.  The funding vehicle deemed to be most suitable was the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Bilateral Agreement.  However, this would require the Province to either request the funds or give the okay for the municipalities to access the funding.  Develop Nova Scotia was the entity with the say on this and they had not yet decided whether they would access the infrastructure funds themselves.  Eventually, they did not, but our deal was already struck without federal involvement.

The responses to our Call for Expressions of Interest were varied.  They ranged from incremental improvements in service with minimal private investment to ambitious fibre networks owned privately or publicly.

The Committee considered a municipal ownership model but decided – based on anticipated timeline, financial costs, risks, and the likelihood of the proponent being selected by Develop Nova Scotia – to collaborate with a private partner offering the most network capacity and geographic coverage, the highest level of investment, the quickest timeline, and dedicated municipal fibre in exchange for our contributions.  We are not equity owners in the network.

That applicant was Xplornet.  We soon signed a MOU between the two counties and Xplornet.

We also believed that Xplornet had the best chance of winning the Develop Nova Scotia competition, especially with our endorsement.  We were right.  In February 2020, Xplornet signed contracts with Develop Nova Scotia for a combined Cumberland-Colchester rural broadband project Funding Trust contribution of $19.6 million.

The municipalities then embarked on negotiating contracts with each other and with Xplornet to elaborate on and formalize terms of their MOUs.

4

Process and Network Specifications

Staff took the lead in developing our project and eventually our agreements.  Xplornet was represented by one of their co-founders and Vice President.  Staff reported to and took direction from the Joint Committee and regularly updated Councils in closed session.

The Municipalities of Colchester and Cumberland, Xplornet Communications, and Develo0p Nova Scotia have collaborated on all public communications by any of the parties to ensure accuracy and respect confidentiality.  That vital procedure will continue as the project plans are implemented.

Once key terms were agreed to by the parties, legal and internet technical experts were brought in to write and scrutinize agreements.  

Our negotiating team had to get up to speed on technical aspects of the project to even be able to interact with engineering consultants hired to assist.  When you get terms like optronics, splices, chromatic dispersion or nanometers, you need experts to help.  And you need a legal team – and we had two solicitors from the legal firm who works with Colchester County – working on the agreement to make sure all the t’s are crossed and I’s dotted.  

Added to this, the teams were working under constraints of the Nova Scotia Municipal Government Act.  The MGA, even with amendments on permissible spending that came into effect during our negotiations, does not allow municipalities to contribute funds to a private company without receiving tangible appropriately-valued goods or services in exchange.

Our contract with Xplornet is structured as a hybrid community benefit and twenty-year indefeasible right of use rural broadband agreement.

The indefeasible right of use, or IRU, component sets out terms of the municipalities’ exclusive use of 2 pair or 4 strands of optic fibre on 500 km of the network.  The fibre cannot be used to offer retail internet services that would compete with Xplornet, but can be used for purposes such as economic development, research and innovation with any partners, delivery of private or public services such as education, healthcare, or municipal operations.  This meant the MGA was met.

As I mentioned previously, the amount of fibre in each jurisdiction was used as the formula determining respective contributions to make up the total $6 million municipal investment in 

5

the project.  Cumberland will host approximately 56% of the new optic fibre.  Accordingly, they have greater revenue opportunities from use of the ‘dark fibre’.  Dark fibre refers to the fact that the fibre is not shared-use on the larger network and must be lit up for specific use.  This insures needed capacity for high-data applications and separation for security.

While the value of the IRU itself puts us onside with the MGA, we also negotiated a slate of other services and levels of service we are calling community benefits.

The Community Benefits include guarantees that the network will have capacity to serve 100% of Cumberland and Colchester civic addresses with new rural broadband and that of the currently underserved areas that we determine to be 24,400 civic addresses, 22,500 are able to get 100 MBPS speeds (100 down and 10 up) by fibre or fixed wireless connection while the remaining 1,900 will get 50/10 Mbps via satellite.  This exceeds the households that DNS has contracted for by 8,000 addresses.  (Mbps = Megabits per second; higher the number, faster the speed).

Xplornet is also contractually bound to offer unlimited data packages on these services at $99 per month, to upgrade equipment to ensure ongoing capacity, and to collaborate with the municipalities on the network improvements and use, including 5G applications (Xplornet being one of two ISPs holding 5G spectrum in Nova Scotia).

We were in mid-negotiations with Xplornet when the COVID situation hit us.  The province announced that it would add $15 million dollars to the Internet Funding Trust as an incentive to accelerate rural internet project construction.  Xplornet was approved for an additional $1.5 million to equip our project’s 19 new or existing towers with LTE wireless capacity.  The service was to be at a 25 Mbps level using a microwave backhaul since the fibre was not yet in place and was to be completed in 100 days.

It was COVID that really brought home the fact of how much rural internet is needed.  People could not work remotely when they were expected to stay at home.  School children could not get their lessons done because computers were working sporadically.  

The municipalities were very involved in securing tower sites and communicating the project to residents.  Xplornet managed to complete 18 or the 19 hook-ups by the end of August, with one delayed by a few weeks.  As many as 500 new services have been installed and the service is being increased to 50 Mbps this month.  We have some very happy residents!

While this has been a valuable development for Cumberland and Colchester in otherwise trying times, it also delayed our contract negotiations with Xplornet.  

6

We successfully concluded our Agreement with Xplornet with the unanimous approvals of both Councils and the parties signed via Zoom on the 21st of August.

On that same day, we signed our pre-negotiated collaboration Agreement with the Municipality of Cumberland.  This came just a couple of weeks after we celebrated another wonderful collaborative project with Cumberland:  The Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark designation.  One project compliments the other.  We see opportunities throughout the Geopark area for entrepreneurs, business opportunities, vacationers, education and tourism promotion, all of which need internet service.  Both projects show what can be achieved with vision, cooperation and collaboration.

From Here …..

The municipalities, Develop Nova Scotia, and Xplornet will meet at least monthly to oversee the project build, including direction on build sequence to affect simultaneous construction throughout both jurisdictions, prioritizing areas most underserved.

Managing expectations is an ongoing task.  All wifeless broadband systems require line of sight or relay devices to reflect signals around obstacles.  While the network has the capacity to serve all, the reality in rural areas is that terrain, elevations, and trees can keep signals from reaching homes or businesses.  This presents a challenge when our claims of 100% access, or 97%, as the province announced earlier this week, are not described carefully.

We will work hard to assist all households with access to the new services.  Sometimes it comes down to an antenna extension, some tree cutting, or relay devices, but, mountains are hard to move.  And, we have the Cobequids.  We will strive for more last mile solutions such as additional towers and fibre to be put in place, either by Xplornet or other ISPs using the Open Access infrastructure owned by Xplornet.

We will not be shy in using the achievement of true highspeed throughout our two counties to market our communities to businesses, to doctors (needed so very much in rural areas), and to residents considering a move.  We know that our network will make our communities more viable and properties more valuable.

We will work quickly to develop community and tourist-site WiFi.  We’ll seek partners for internet-of-things 5G innovation projects using our dark fibre.  We’ll listen to our citizens and work with Xplornet to ensure best available service.  And we will take Xplornet up on their 

7

offer, in part as generous response to recent tragedies in Cumberland and Colchester, to provide backup satellite communications for all our fire stations.  Colchester County has 17 volunteer fire brigades.

Finally, as you have heard, this project has taken a lot of hard work over two years, hours and hours of meetings and negotiation.  It’s a bit of a different approach from what some municipalities are doing.  We want you to know we will be pleased to share our lessons-learned with other rural municipalities throughout Atlantic Canada and elsewhere as we have already done with municipalities in Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.  We know that we are just beginning and that we can learn from others as well.  We invite you, we welcome you to be part of this conversation.

Thank you for your attention.

Christine Blair, Mayor, Municipality of the County of Colchester

INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mark Austin, Economic Developer and Internet Project Lead for Colchester

maustin@colchester.ca 902-956-2711

Mayor Phillip Brown now speaks to the room with comments as this project relates back to a similar project he is looking into.

9:58AM (MOTION) – Mayor Bill Mills moves the motion of Mayor Phillip Brown’s comments and recommendations surrounding Eastlink and its abilities. Mayor Brown handed out the resolution to the room .

Resolution:

Letter to MPs

Municipal or City logo here

Insert date here

To: Director General, Telecommunications and Internet Policy Branch, Innovation, Science and Economic

Development Canada  

Re: Petitions to the Governor in Council concerning Telecom Order CRTC 2019-288

I am writing on behalf of [insert your municipal/city name here] to share our concerns about impacts to our communities as it relates to recent decisions by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). 


First, I would like tell you a bit about us. [insert a brief description of your municipal/city]


Any decision that affects investment plans by telecommunications network builders (facilities-based providers) to expand and/or improve internet and wireless networks in our communities, particularly in rural areas, is deeply concerning. 


A vital part of our economic picture is reliable access to internet and cellular networks of the same quality as is available in urban areas like Halifax.  To that end, a core focus of ours has been to support initiatives that upgrade infrastructure in certain communities that currently do not have sufficient networks to provide the high quality internet and mobile services that our local economy needs to remain healthy and competitive. 

We would not typically get involved in such regulatory matters, but in this case, we feel compelled to highlight the consequences to our region.

As a local provider in our area, Eastlink has spent many years investing heavily in building its fibre and wireless networks into many of our communities, and has been ready to expand, which would bring much-needed reliable service to these communities. However, they have been forced to pause these plans. 

As you know, it is challenging enough for rural areas to attract the major investments needed to build high speed internet and cellular services that enable businesses to participate in the digital economy. We need physical network investments (new and ongoing) in these communities including long term, sustainable investments that enable Canada’s digital development, economic growth and international competitiveness. 


It is difficult to understand such decisions at a time when government is promoting the critical importance of rural expansion to support Canadians including small businesses/entrepreneurs. With this in mind, we urge you to not undermine the already tenuous business case for building networks into these areas and respectfully ask you to require the CRTC to: 

  • apply a rural lens to ensure that all Canadians, including those in rural and remote areas, have access to existing and next generation technologies that enable them to participate fully in the digital economy
  • promote affordability for consumers in a balanced and sustainable manner that also enables facilities-based carriers (network builders) to realize a fair and reasonable return on their investments
  • suspend the internet decision and review the entire wholesale process to ensure it reflects the actual cost of providing the service and a requirement for resellers to invest in facilities/infrastructure

Thank you for the opportunity to provide these comments. 

Sincerely, 

[insert signature here]

It

It was seconded by Mayor Phillp Brown. Mayor Peter Muttart was against this motion. He believes the Bell Aliants and Eastlinks of the world have had more than enough time to do something in this regard. Discussion begins between members around the table. Mayor Wayne Murray now speaks on the topic and is also against this motion. Bruce MacDougall now speaks – Feels it is a decision that the Board should be making and feels uncomfortable passing this without their approval. Warden Jimmy MacAlpine now offers his thoughts. 10:09AM – Motion was withdrawn. This will now be taken back to respective Councils first for discussion. 10:10AM – Breaks 

  1. 10:41AM – Meeting is called back to order. Mayor Stewarts acknowledges further members of council who have arrived along with Dr. Morrison. 
  1. 10:42AM – Deputy Mayor Norma McColeman is now up to the podium to introduce Dr. Morrison. 

Presentation

  1. 10:46AM – Dr. Morrison is now speaking at the podium. Bringing remarks on behalf of the Chief Public Health Office of PEI.

Please refer to the attachment “Presentation 5 Dr. Heather Morrison CPHO PEI” for full detail. 

  1. Slide Show Presentation on COVID-19.  
    1. Topics included: Processes for Pre-Travel approval, isolation, enforcement, PPE for healthcare and non-health care first responders, policies and guidelines in place, testing capacities, etc
    2. 11:22 The presentation Ends. Dr. Morrison opens up the room for questions.
      1. Mayor Mills from Truro opens up the questions for Dr. Morrison
      2. Bruce MacDougall now asks Dr. Morrison some  questions
      3. Mayor Cecil Clark now asked questions to Dr. Morrison
      4. Mayor Muttart now has the floor to question Dr. Morrison
      5. Mayor Phillip Brown is now on the microphone.
  1. 11:48AM – Dr. Morrison departs the room. 
  1. 11:49AM – Mayor Bill Mills is now at the podium to introduce the next speaker Dr. Dave Kogan
  1. 11:51AM – Dr. Dave Kogan (Mayor of Amherst) is now at the podium to present his presentation on a roadmap to success. 

Please refer to attachment “Presentation #6 Recruiting Physicians- Dr. David Kogon” for more details. 

  1. 12:11 AM the presentation ended and the floor was open to questions
  1. 12:15PM – The room was adjourned for Lunch at the oval
  1. 10.1:17PM – Meeting resumed, Councilor Barb Ramsay opened the floor with the introduction of Mike Thususka the next speaker. He is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Summerside.
    1. Presentation slides on the growing green economy and creating business opportunities through innovation. 
      1. Gerald Giroux, Electrical Engineer is also in attendance to assist with this presentation. 
    2. Presentation ended at 1:43PM and the floor was opened up to questions. 
      1. Mayor from Stratford now asks Mike Thususka questions. 
      2. Mayor from Kings County now asked Mike questions about the solar project
    3. Mike ended his first presentation and prepared for the second presentation

Please refer to attachment Presentation 7 Solar Energy Project- Mike Thususka & Gerald Giroux for more details

  1. 11.1:58PM – Mike Thususka, Director of Economic Development now proceeds with his second presentation. 

Please refer to attachment Presentation 8 Covid mitigation-Mike Thusuka for more details.

  1. 12.2:28PM – The Economic Development presentations were ended
  1. 13.2:30PM – The Mayor of Cape Breton, Cecil Clark now provides a presentation for the room regarding revenue streams available to municipalities.
  1. 14.2:41PM – The Presentation has ended. 
    1. Executive Director, Matt Kerrigan heads to the podium to address the room 
    2. Thanks extended to municipalities who have agreed to host meetings in 2021  The Spring meeting will be in Torbay NL and the Fall meeting in Shediac NB
  1. 15.Mayor Phillip Brown request a presentation on  Summary Offence Tickets be  put on the next agenda. 
  1. 16.Members would like Matt to send out the expectations for municipalities to host a meeting. 

Atlantic Mayors Congress 2020

Summerside, PEI

September 3, 2020

Present:

Basil Stewart, Summerside

Wayne Murray, Pictou County

Lisa Blackburn, Halifax

Bruce MacDougall, FPEIM

Nancy Dicks, New Glasgow

Cecil Clark, CBRM

Christine Blair, Colchester County

Phillip Brown, Charlottetown

Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Lunenburg District

Laurie Boucher, Antigonish

Peter Muttart, Kings County

Steve Odgen, Stratford

Bill Mills, Truro

Percy Farwell, Gander

Pam Mood, NSFM and Yarmouth

Rowan Caseley, Kensington

Roger Caissie, Shediac

Jimmy MacAlpine, Digby District

Dave Kogon, Amherst

Jim MacLeod, CBRM (alternate)

Lucy Stoyles, Mount Pearl

  1. 9:15 Welcome remarks, Mayor Stewart

-Christine Blair-  touched on everything NS has gone though in the past couple months- 

-a moment of silence for all we have lost 

-went around the room and introduced all mayors and councilors/ guests

Special welcome to Bill Karsten-FCM

-a special welcome to everyone for coming despite travel restrictions/ 

-a few housekeeping rules

  1. Approval of agenda-Moved Pam Mood-Second Jim Macleod

Moved by Warden MacAlpine, seconded by Mayor Dave Kogon-approval for the Campbellton minutes

  1. 9:30am-A bit about Summerside- How the Credit Union Place (CUP) multiplex came about- Mayor Stewart speaking
  1. Summerside was in need of a new rink- councilors/staff went to meetings and tours of different facilities
  2. World under 17 was scheduled in the next month- approved for more booths/seating. 
  3. Announcement with Brown 2023 Canada games- new turf coming.  Preliminary work from city for funding. 
  4. He mentioned that the hotel is coming- should be breaking ground soon.
  5. He touched on harness racing- new grand stand 
  6. A summary of all different concerts held at CUP.  Elton John- 2 concerts… 11,000 sold, Bryan Adams, John Mellancamp, Burton Cummings, Under 17 Hockey and more.
  7. Solar system announcement, federal minister $68 million extension, pushing green energy- wind farm- electric vehicles.
  8. Green’s Shore beach and boardwalk
  9. Closure of the base and redevelopment with housing and aerospace companies- GST Center- progressive councils- make things happen. Covid-19 was hard on everyone. We have to work together by listening and paying attention to municipalities.  

9:40am – FCM updates and dialogue- Mayor Bill Karsten

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 1 FCM- Atlantic Mayors- Bill Karsten” for full presentation

  1. Mayor Bill Karsten thanked the group for inviting him, and said it was a pleasure to be here. He commented that it was such a beautiful spot.
  2. He spoke about working for local government during covid19
  3. A special sincere thanks to everyone here. Collectively we get things done.  Covid turned everyone’s life upside down.  
  4. Municipalities are on the front lines of covid-19.
  5. The main focus was protecting our vulnerable population. 
  6. FCM dropped everything and figured what was most important to do.  Pandemic response/financial crisis.
  7. Provinces can choose to opt in and reallocate up to 10% of their initial total allocations towards projects such as:
  8. Retrofits, repairs upgrades for provincial, territorial, municipal and indigenous buildings; health infrastructure and schools
  9. Covid 19 response infrastructure including measures to support physical distancing
  10. Active transportation infrastructure.
  11. Tackle housing affordability
  12. Build modern transit
  • Covid response/recovery kept focus high and strong the only way moving forward is for funding from fed government to municipalities. 
  1. More control and flexibility of how the money is spent
  2. Gas tax is being discussed as permanent revenue stream

p. Ten-year national housing strategy- will make a more prosperous Canada for everyone

q. Disaster fund- $1 mill invested results in 6 bill in savings

We envision a Canada that is more connected. – new norm we live in/ essential role in bringing rural/city together.

Conclusion- thanks you to each and every one – continue showcasing the work we are all doing. Garth Frizell coming president-CEO Carol Saab.  Unfortunately, Bill will not be returning to his role and left us with these words: “always remember we are stronger together”.

Questions—Bruce MacDougall-  a big thank you to bill- the obstacle has been getting the money through Ottawa and getting it to the municipals. Gas tax- very popular in Atlantic Canada- municipalities are easy to deal with- 

*Norma McColeman/Philip Brown/Jim MacLeod also spoke and gave remarks thanking Bill and all he has done and wishing him well.

10:35-Mayor Basil made a presentation to Mayor Bill Karsten

Mayors Round Table

11:10- Peter Muttart- Kings County NS

  1. Michelin plant and 2 army bases- main economics
  2. Agricultural economy- good spot right now- 
  3. Covid relief gave residents extra time to pay their taxes-200,000 meals for schools- money towards tourism-1.3 percent from agriculture.
  4. Projects- Broadband project-levels of government stumbling over each other-taking a lot longer than expected- starting to roll it out
  5. 30 km roads being paved in this municipal year
  6. attempting a wind farm-close to air force base so running into some hurdles
  7. solar farm 20+ acres
  8. transit operation being discussed
  9. grateful what’s happening at national levels for municipalities-  

11:20 Steve Odgen- Stratford

  1. Population 11,000
  2. Small commercial core-mainly residential-tax base of 1 million dollars
    1. budget is utility town 16 million-
  3. new municipal building- 
  4. policing/fire protection- wanting input-
  5. transit-experiences from other municipalities-on demand transit- 
  6. corporate sponsorship for events
  7. working on housing demand study-affordable/senior                  
  8. arena/trails/ 
  9. working on waterfront design
    1. waste water solution- freeing up 7 acres on the waterfront
  10. rezoning to higher density- 

11:28- Bill Mills, Truro

  1. Truro is considered the hub of the province 
  2. He spoke about Covid-19 in his municipality.
  3. RCMP dispatch-justify moving it to Halifax to join up with the one that’s already there- they don’t like this ide – it important for them to be spread out-
  4. experiencing new schools/library/rec center- citizen are more engaged in getting healthy. Manager of rec center is working with doctors to use activity prescriptions to get people active using the facilities for rehab-
  5. growth in apartment buildings- 350 new units in the next couple years-
  6. 450,000 for roads that have to be attended to- lots going on- good things on the horizon- keep positive. Cooperation goes a long way

11:36-Percy Farwell, Gander

  1. Their central portion population of about 12000-13000
    1. Their service center is about 40000-50000
  2. They have the amenities of places a lot larger 
  3. He spoke about covid- 19 is his municipality
  4. Airport-lost 90% of business. It will be 3-5 years before revenue levels restore
  5. Nav Canada drives the economy
  6. companies are looking for cost saving
  7. hospitality sector has dried up- challenging times
  8. completed new waste water treatment 35 million dollars
  9. access to funds for current priorities are limited- 
  10. process of finalizing phase 2 with honeywell making us more green and efficient 
  11. community center and arena is a 4 million dollar project
  12. theatre show (Come from Away) is becoming a movie- most of the filming will be done in gander 
  13. Safe restart- understand where and what priorities are.

11:45-Pam Mood, Yarmouth

  1. Population 7000 
  2. 6 councilors/ the town services the entire region
  3. if the towns/cities aren’t strong everything goes downhill 150,000 dollars for downtown businesses-turned downtown around!!
  4. 0 cases of covid at the moment
  5. strengthen the towns/cities and get better internet

11:51- Rowan Caseley- Kensington

  1. All your needs and your wants aren’t far away. 
  2. Restructuring-(rezoning)
  3. Police force- they are doing a police study to determine if they are meeting the needs or maintaining the same level of police service
  4. The downtown core is full 60 acres of land for a new industrial park. They hope to break ground before winter and are aiming for next year for an opening

11:54- Roger Caissie- Shediac

  1. They have a population 0f 7000
  2. Population rises to 30,000 in summer
  3. 10 years population grew 22%- outgrowing every other municipality 
  4. road maintenance underway
  5. Solar farm project-ND Power partner
  6. Lobster capital of the world
  7. An 8 million dollar new building which is a joint venture with maritime fishers union. They plan to have a 32 billion dollar upgrade to sewage system- increase capacity and treatment- adaptation and imagination 
  8. They created a small website- Shediac.Support to answer questions regarding covid-19 for businesses and people.  You could get all the info at this one website.  It is very popular. 
  9. Support local campaign- highlighting local businesses and people. So nice to see people out in the community- out for a walk, out in the community.  There are 17 participating restaurant in the lobster contest and they are having a drive thru rib fest. 
  10. It’s been a challenge but they are going to keep on trucking

12:04-Jimmy MacAlpine, Digby

  1. High speed internet connection is an issue
  2. good work being done moving forward-
  3. healthcare- and need for professionals- dialysis unit is being built- in need of recruiting doctors and staff-
  4. hotel sold and hoping to build into a 12 month project. Tourism is valuable and they are grateful for the Atlantic bubble as it definitely helped. There will be a lot going on in the next 12 months 
  5. There are 3 companies wanting turbines placed in Digby

Lunch 12:15

Resume Mayors Roundtable

1:20-Dave Kogon- Amherst

  1. Unique situation- with Covid, they are more impacted, being a border community. There is an economic/social impact on community. The automobile dealers contacted saying their business was down 40%. New Brunswickers couldn’t get to Nova Scotia, and employers were losing employees due to travel restrictions.
  2. $700,000 funding study for rising sea levels due to the impact of flooding Sackville/Amherst.
  3. Solar energy project update- NS pilot project- successful.
  4. 1915 Armory in Amherst- formed a citizens group- 2 weeks ago MP and gov have agreed to turn building over to the town and not tear it down. new businesses/ existing businesses expanding-challenge is finding workers for these businesses- challenging for future is trying to increase our work force
  5. Amherst is lacking at facilities like the Credit Union Place. They will work on development of a multi facility for the people to use.

1:26- Jim MacLeod

  1. Hospitality is great from an island
  2. despite Covid-19 they have lots going on including projects/paving/transportation.  They need upgrading for rinks and parks. 
  3. They brought back the beautiful downtown initiative.  
  4. Spoke about protecting navy/ships.
  5. An update on the waste water management pilot project.  
  6. Things are getting back to normal- transit was back in July.

1:32- Lucy Stoyles- Mount Pearl

  1. Mount Pearl has a polulation of 25,000 residents
  2. They have struggled over the past year but everything is coming together
  3. Covid hit everyone hard
  4. before Covid19- The pool was shut down. It is 3 years old and has tons of issues. It is now open.
  5. business initiatives to get people in the city- $20000 to businesses to make changes to their buildings/ properties.
  6. Economic development- applied for loan 50000 grant to put plan in place for investment for the town.  
  7. Housing/ building new homes is up- hopeful for the town.  
  8. New mental health facility being constructed
  9. Waste water is an issue- hoping for $55 million waste water facility. 
  10. They are in the process of hiring a new CEO

1:38-Laurie Boucher- Antigonish

  1. Completed MPS- all pillars came directly from the community.
  2. formal housing-first in province to do planning strategy necessary we are meeting the needs for housing 
  3. less than 5000 population in Antigonish 
  4. $6 million in capital for tennis courts, skate park, dog park, etc. all recently new
  5. If St.FX University isn’t doing well we aren’t doing well. We need university/town trust 
  6. very fortunate to own electric facility. 60% electricity is from green energy. 
  7. Doing studies on a solar farm as more people are investing in the solar farms
  8. They have 20 car charging stations being installed around town. 
  9. Big challenges are the next couple months- trying to get everyone back for university and the continued challenge of Covid 19. 

1:45-Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Lunenburg

  1. They have some big projects in the next 4-6 years. Studies were done and 60% had good internet. Soon 95% of residents will be connected successfully. The completion date is 2022
  2. The sewer systems will also need to be replaced.
  3. By 2023 the LaHave River will free from independent sewer pipes.  
  4. There is progress on work with goverments for the  inter change on highway 103(exits 12/13). 
  5. In the process of opening new municipal building- 
  6. Increased funding for food banks. 
  7. 150 new housing units being built 
  8. Man employees trying a 4-day work week started this week. Is consists of 10 hour days 4 days a week- still able to do 5 days at 8 hours. 
  9. Lunenberg has a population of 20,000
  10. Real estate is something to watch- right now it’s booming. What will it be like down the road?

1:52- Christine Blair- Colchester 

  1. The Cliffs of Fundy global geo park-announced by UNESCO in July.
  2. This park will open doors for the whole region-
  3. NS and Maritimes- Cumberland county-rural broadband communications.xplorenet- advanced for our municipalities- (see presentation}
  4. Debert business park/ Debert airport- working with Stanfield.
  5. Looked at waste to energy-
  6. emerging initiatives-solar program, commercial/residential solar panels/ physician recruitment/ 
  7. in process of getting source water protected in Tatamagouche- 

2:00- Presentation

Waste Water Regulations Amendments -Susheel Arora-Director of  Water and Wastewater Services Halifax

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 2 Waste Water Regulations- Susheel Arora”  for full presentation details 

This presentation outlined the intervention being made by Halifax Water when the Wastewater Regulations are opened for review in November.  All of the concerns Atlantic Mayors Congress expressed in the Campbellton resolution were highlighted in this presentation.

Resume Mayors Roundtable

2:30-Philip Brown- Charlottetown

  1. Covid 19- shut down put a strain on all of us.  
  2. The closure where federal employees are still working from home. Department of Veterans Affairs still is not open, which is a huge impact on downtown business is quite devastating. Small businesses are hurting the most and they are really struggling- returning them back to the work place- national policy of closures doesn’t fit all- time to bring employees back.
  3. Challenges- providing skype/space/-financial burden- hard on staff- removal of statues and figures from public places- Chtown is the birthplace of confederation –
  4. soccer league-international players were brought in- tested every 2 days- working very well- separate transportation-   e.Delta Hotel was set up for them- great soccer and excited to be a part of the premiere soccer league.

2:42- Nancy Dicks- New Glasgow

  1. increasing population- 
  2. projects- Pictou county 6 municipalities- cooperation is great- working together- 
  3. business park-partnership county of Pictou- slow growth- option to buy land for $1 instead of roundabout and went with road in and road out. 
  4. Pictou Trenton park revitalization- support from all 6 municipalities. 
  5. over 2 months since the George Floyd incident and we have been working for a better African Canadian community- as a town we reached out to the African Affairs office- plans in place with the citizens in the African Canadian community- working together and giving people of the community what they need.

Presentation

2:50-Morley Foy- Climate change adaptations for water and wastewater.

Please refer to attachment “Presentation 3 Climate Change adaptations for waste water- Morley Foy” for full presentation details

Resume Mayors Roundtable

3:30- Lisa Blackburn, Halifax

  1. This past week a new bylaw was passed for secondary suites —there is housing crisis in peninsula core, hopefully this will help with seniors-
  2. crafted and debated and passed 2 budgets- 
  3. Big focus on transit and climate change.  
  4. Police commission what the police need- how we want to reimagine what we want police to look like- it will be tricky situation- Halifax regional police and RCMP- so it’s a blended situation.
  5. Challenges- changes to traffic laws- ability to have more power setting speed limits
  6. all meetings are still online for council 
  7. Theodore tugboat is for sale

3:33- Wayne Murray, Pictou County

  1. There are 6 municipal units in Pictou county area- 
  2. everything is going well- 
  3. 21601 population-
  4. internet program- singed communications project- 11.4 million for first phase- The second phase requires-65 million-
  5. fire services is being worked on- a study is being done-challenge to get funding for the fire departments-

Presentation

3:37- Robert Zilke-Urban Planner City of Charlottetown

Please refere to attachment “Presentation 4 Short Term Rental Presentation- Robert Zilke” for full presentation details.

4:31- Day one Adjourned

Friday September 4th 2020

  1. 9:11AM welcome remarks on day two from Mayor Stewart. 

Resume final report to Mayors Roundtable

9:13AM – 

Bruce MacDougall (President Federation of PEI Municipalities)

  1. WIll be meeting with the Premier to discuss several issues – Transit being one of the main points of discussion.
  2. AGM coming up – Mid October. This will be virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. 
  3. Restructuring of amalgamated municipalities. West River area to adopt this new structure
  1. 9:18AM – Executive Director Matt now brings remarks on Day 2. 
    1. Matt thanks the organizing committee. 
    2. Matt speaks on the annual report. 
      1. Financial Report – Approved (Moved by Mayor Wayne Murray, seconded by Roger Caissie)
      2. Membership – Averaging 30 – 35 members 
      3. Board of Directors: 
        1. Stephanie Anglehart – Paulin, Campbellton NB
        2. Christine Blair, Colchester County, NS
        3. Bill Mills, Truro, NS
        4. Craig Scott, Torbay, NL
        5. OPEN (This position has been filled by Mayor Basil Stewart, Summerside, PEI.
        6. Bruce MacDougall nominated and it was seconded by Rowan Caseley, Mayor of Kensington)

Presentation

9:30AM – Christine Blair begins to speak on the Colchester-Cumberland Rural BroadBand Project.

Presentation:

Mayor Stewart, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It’s a pleasure for me to be here today representing the Municipality of the County of Colchester, Nova Scotia.  

I’m going to discuss the Cumberland-Colchester rural broadband project by introducing you to our project, telling you how we arrived at our unique approach, and discussing the project’s process and network specifications.

Introduction

The Municipalities of Colchester and Cumberland in Nova Scotia have collaborated to attract construction of a major optic fibre-based network for rural broadband in our two jurisdictions.  This network will include 673 km of fibre (500 km newly deployed), 19 fixed-wireless towers, 35 to 50 micro cells, and satellite service.

The network will be built, owned, and operated by Xplornet Communications.  Network construction has begun, and wireless services are already available.  The full project will be completed within two to three years.  

Xplornet will invest $34 million toward the $61.1 million project.  The province will contribute $21.1 million from the Nova Scotia internet Funding Trust.  The two Municipalities will pay a combined $6 million over the next three to five years.  Cumberland’s share will be $3,327,600 and Colchester’s $2,672,400.  Those amounts reflect the amount of fibre in each jurisdiction.

Construction and service level monitoring will be done by Develop Nova Scotia, with reports forwarded to the municipalities.

The network infrastructure will be Open Access for other internet service providers to rent wholesale capacity.

2

A unique aspect of the project is acquisition by the Municipalities of Cumberland and Colchester of use of two pairs of “dark fibres” (optic fibres for exclusive use) on the entire new network.

How did we Arrive at this Unique Approach?

We are a municipality that in some ways, mirrors the Province of Nova Scotia.  Within our 3,628 square kilometres, over a third of our roughly 38,000 population is concentrated around a central community, the Town of Truro, which is a separate municipality.  Some people call this the GTA:  the Greater Truro Area.  We call it Colchester County.  Folks in Bible Hill and other communities surrounding Truro are well served with amenities and services.  Like much of Nova Scotia, those in smaller communities and those who live along our many scenic rural roads, have fewer amenities, including adequate access to cellular service and high speed internet.

Near the start of my Council’s current 4-year term, the federal Connect to Innovate program and a modest provincial initiative called the Municipal and Community Rural High Speed Internet Funding Program named municipalities as eligible recipients for funding.  Rural broadband was not, at that point, something we saw as a role for ourselves, both because of jurisdictional responsibility and capacity.

We began to assess community needs, however, and small project or “last mile” opportunities on which we could partner with internet service providers.  It was with this work that we realized the extent of the internet problem as well as the considerable costs involved in addressing it.  Our Council and residents were frustrated with the lack of a clear path of action on what we could do.

In 2018, our Economic Development Officer, Mark Austin (a Summerside “boy”), began to speak to internet service providers and the neighbouring municipalities of Pictou and Cumberland about prospects for collaborative internet improvement projects.  Pictou County declined.  Cumberland County expressed interest.  

Xplornet Communications Incorporated of Woodstock, New Brunswick, was one of the ISPs that presented to us as well as to Cumberland County.  Their vision and offer of investment in Colchester and Cumberland were at a scale that elevated our ambitions.

The year 2018 also saw the start of Develop Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust.  The Trust and Develop Nova Scotia have $193 million to carry out the Province’s Internet for Nova Scotia initiative.

3

Cumberland and Colchester both declared rural broadband a priority of Councils.  We entered a MOU and formed a Joint Internet Improvement Committee consisting of Councillors and Staff from each Municipality.

The Committee issued a Call for Expressions of Interest to internet service providers to assess their solutions as a match for our needs.  The competition was open to any entity who had prequalified for Trust funding through Develop Nova Scotia.  On offer from the Municipalities was endorsement of the selected ISP’s application to Develop Nova Scotia’s Request for Proposals.  Cumberland and Colchester were also prepared to make financial contributions.  Our thinking was that this would enhance the ISP’s chances of securing Trust funds.

The Joint Committee also pursued a federal contribution to our project.  We had strong support from our former MP Bill Casey and then Minister of Rural Economic Development, Bernadette Jordan.  The funding vehicle deemed to be most suitable was the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Bilateral Agreement.  However, this would require the Province to either request the funds or give the okay for the municipalities to access the funding.  Develop Nova Scotia was the entity with the say on this and they had not yet decided whether they would access the infrastructure funds themselves.  Eventually, they did not, but our deal was already struck without federal involvement.

The responses to our Call for Expressions of Interest were varied.  They ranged from incremental improvements in service with minimal private investment to ambitious fibre networks owned privately or publicly.

The Committee considered a municipal ownership model but decided – based on anticipated timeline, financial costs, risks, and the likelihood of the proponent being selected by Develop Nova Scotia – to collaborate with a private partner offering the most network capacity and geographic coverage, the highest level of investment, the quickest timeline, and dedicated municipal fibre in exchange for our contributions.  We are not equity owners in the network.

That applicant was Xplornet.  We soon signed a MOU between the two counties and Xplornet.

We also believed that Xplornet had the best chance of winning the Develop Nova Scotia competition, especially with our endorsement.  We were right.  In February 2020, Xplornet signed contracts with Develop Nova Scotia for a combined Cumberland-Colchester rural broadband project Funding Trust contribution of $19.6 million.

The municipalities then embarked on negotiating contracts with each other and with Xplornet to elaborate on and formalize terms of their MOUs.

4

Process and Network Specifications

Staff took the lead in developing our project and eventually our agreements.  Xplornet was represented by one of their co-founders and Vice President.  Staff reported to and took direction from the Joint Committee and regularly updated Councils in closed session.

The Municipalities of Colchester and Cumberland, Xplornet Communications, and Develo0p Nova Scotia have collaborated on all public communications by any of the parties to ensure accuracy and respect confidentiality.  That vital procedure will continue as the project plans are implemented.

Once key terms were agreed to by the parties, legal and internet technical experts were brought in to write and scrutinize agreements.  

Our negotiating team had to get up to speed on technical aspects of the project to even be able to interact with engineering consultants hired to assist.  When you get terms like optronics, splices, chromatic dispersion or nanometers, you need experts to help.  And you need a legal team – and we had two solicitors from the legal firm who works with Colchester County – working on the agreement to make sure all the t’s are crossed and I’s dotted.  

Added to this, the teams were working under constraints of the Nova Scotia Municipal Government Act.  The MGA, even with amendments on permissible spending that came into effect during our negotiations, does not allow municipalities to contribute funds to a private company without receiving tangible appropriately-valued goods or services in exchange.

Our contract with Xplornet is structured as a hybrid community benefit and twenty-year indefeasible right of use rural broadband agreement.

The indefeasible right of use, or IRU, component sets out terms of the municipalities’ exclusive use of 2 pair or 4 strands of optic fibre on 500 km of the network.  The fibre cannot be used to offer retail internet services that would compete with Xplornet, but can be used for purposes such as economic development, research and innovation with any partners, delivery of private or public services such as education, healthcare, or municipal operations.  This meant the MGA was met.

As I mentioned previously, the amount of fibre in each jurisdiction was used as the formula determining respective contributions to make up the total $6 million municipal investment in 

5

the project.  Cumberland will host approximately 56% of the new optic fibre.  Accordingly, they have greater revenue opportunities from use of the ‘dark fibre’.  Dark fibre refers to the fact that the fibre is not shared-use on the larger network and must be lit up for specific use.  This insures needed capacity for high-data applications and separation for security.

While the value of the IRU itself puts us onside with the MGA, we also negotiated a slate of other services and levels of service we are calling community benefits.

The Community Benefits include guarantees that the network will have capacity to serve 100% of Cumberland and Colchester civic addresses with new rural broadband and that of the currently underserved areas that we determine to be 24,400 civic addresses, 22,500 are able to get 100 MBPS speeds (100 down and 10 up) by fibre or fixed wireless connection while the remaining 1,900 will get 50/10 Mbps via satellite.  This exceeds the households that DNS has contracted for by 8,000 addresses.  (Mbps = Megabits per second; higher the number, faster the speed).

Xplornet is also contractually bound to offer unlimited data packages on these services at $99 per month, to upgrade equipment to ensure ongoing capacity, and to collaborate with the municipalities on the network improvements and use, including 5G applications (Xplornet being one of two ISPs holding 5G spectrum in Nova Scotia).

We were in mid-negotiations with Xplornet when the COVID situation hit us.  The province announced that it would add $15 million dollars to the Internet Funding Trust as an incentive to accelerate rural internet project construction.  Xplornet was approved for an additional $1.5 million to equip our project’s 19 new or existing towers with LTE wireless capacity.  The service was to be at a 25 Mbps level using a microwave backhaul since the fibre was not yet in place and was to be completed in 100 days.

It was COVID that really brought home the fact of how much rural internet is needed.  People could not work remotely when they were expected to stay at home.  School children could not get their lessons done because computers were working sporadically.  

The municipalities were very involved in securing tower sites and communicating the project to residents.  Xplornet managed to complete 18 or the 19 hook-ups by the end of August, with one delayed by a few weeks.  As many as 500 new services have been installed and the service is being increased to 50 Mbps this month.  We have some very happy residents!

While this has been a valuable development for Cumberland and Colchester in otherwise trying times, it also delayed our contract negotiations with Xplornet.  

6

We successfully concluded our Agreement with Xplornet with the unanimous approvals of both Councils and the parties signed via Zoom on the 21st of August.

On that same day, we signed our pre-negotiated collaboration Agreement with the Municipality of Cumberland.  This came just a couple of weeks after we celebrated another wonderful collaborative project with Cumberland:  The Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark designation.  One project compliments the other.  We see opportunities throughout the Geopark area for entrepreneurs, business opportunities, vacationers, education and tourism promotion, all of which need internet service.  Both projects show what can be achieved with vision, cooperation and collaboration.

From Here …..

The municipalities, Develop Nova Scotia, and Xplornet will meet at least monthly to oversee the project build, including direction on build sequence to affect simultaneous construction throughout both jurisdictions, prioritizing areas most underserved.

Managing expectations is an ongoing task.  All wifeless broadband systems require line of sight or relay devices to reflect signals around obstacles.  While the network has the capacity to serve all, the reality in rural areas is that terrain, elevations, and trees can keep signals from reaching homes or businesses.  This presents a challenge when our claims of 100% access, or 97%, as the province announced earlier this week, are not described carefully.

We will work hard to assist all households with access to the new services.  Sometimes it comes down to an antenna extension, some tree cutting, or relay devices, but, mountains are hard to move.  And, we have the Cobequids.  We will strive for more last mile solutions such as additional towers and fibre to be put in place, either by Xplornet or other ISPs using the Open Access infrastructure owned by Xplornet.

We will not be shy in using the achievement of true highspeed throughout our two counties to market our communities to businesses, to doctors (needed so very much in rural areas), and to residents considering a move.  We know that our network will make our communities more viable and properties more valuable.

We will work quickly to develop community and tourist-site WiFi.  We’ll seek partners for internet-of-things 5G innovation projects using our dark fibre.  We’ll listen to our citizens and work with Xplornet to ensure best available service.  And we will take Xplornet up on their 

7

offer, in part as generous response to recent tragedies in Cumberland and Colchester, to provide backup satellite communications for all our fire stations.  Colchester County has 17 volunteer fire brigades.

Finally, as you have heard, this project has taken a lot of hard work over two years, hours and hours of meetings and negotiation.  It’s a bit of a different approach from what some municipalities are doing.  We want you to know we will be pleased to share our lessons-learned with other rural municipalities throughout Atlantic Canada and elsewhere as we have already done with municipalities in Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.  We know that we are just beginning and that we can learn from others as well.  We invite you, we welcome you to be part of this conversation.

Thank you for your attention.

Christine Blair, Mayor, Municipality of the County of Colchester

INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mark Austin, Economic Developer and Internet Project Lead for Colchester

maustin@colchester.ca 902-956-2711

Mayor Phillip Brown now speaks to the room with comments as this project relates back to a similar project he is looking into.

9:58AM (MOTION) – Mayor Bill Mills moves the motion of Mayor Phillip Brown’s comments and recommendations surrounding Eastlink and its abilities. Mayor Brown handed out the resolution to the room .

Resolution:

Letter to MPs

Municipal or City logo here

Insert date here

To: Director General, Telecommunications and Internet Policy Branch, Innovation, Science and Economic

Development Canada  

Re: Petitions to the Governor in Council concerning Telecom Order CRTC 2019-288

I am writing on behalf of [insert your municipal/city name here] to share our concerns about impacts to our communities as it relates to recent decisions by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). 


First, I would like tell you a bit about us. [insert a brief description of your municipal/city]


Any decision that affects investment plans by telecommunications network builders (facilities-based providers) to expand and/or improve internet and wireless networks in our communities, particularly in rural areas, is deeply concerning. 


A vital part of our economic picture is reliable access to internet and cellular networks of the same quality as is available in urban areas like Halifax.  To that end, a core focus of ours has been to support initiatives that upgrade infrastructure in certain communities that currently do not have sufficient networks to provide the high quality internet and mobile services that our local economy needs to remain healthy and competitive. 

We would not typically get involved in such regulatory matters, but in this case, we feel compelled to highlight the consequences to our region.

As a local provider in our area, Eastlink has spent many years investing heavily in building its fibre and wireless networks into many of our communities, and has been ready to expand, which would bring much-needed reliable service to these communities. However, they have been forced to pause these plans. 

As you know, it is challenging enough for rural areas to attract the major investments needed to build high speed internet and cellular services that enable businesses to participate in the digital economy. We need physical network investments (new and ongoing) in these communities including long term, sustainable investments that enable Canada’s digital development, economic growth and international competitiveness. 


It is difficult to understand such decisions at a time when government is promoting the critical importance of rural expansion to support Canadians including small businesses/entrepreneurs. With this in mind, we urge you to not undermine the already tenuous business case for building networks into these areas and respectfully ask you to require the CRTC to: 

  • apply a rural lens to ensure that all Canadians, including those in rural and remote areas, have access to existing and next generation technologies that enable them to participate fully in the digital economy
  • promote affordability for consumers in a balanced and sustainable manner that also enables facilities-based carriers (network builders) to realize a fair and reasonable return on their investments
  • suspend the internet decision and review the entire wholesale process to ensure it reflects the actual cost of providing the service and a requirement for resellers to invest in facilities/infrastructure

Thank you for the opportunity to provide these comments. 

Sincerely, 

[insert signature here]

It

It was seconded by Mayor Phillp Brown. Mayor Peter Muttart was against this motion. He believes the Bell Aliants and Eastlinks of the world have had more than enough time to do something in this regard. Discussion begins between members around the table. Mayor Wayne Murray now speaks on the topic and is also against this motion. Bruce MacDougall now speaks – Feels it is a decision that the Board should be making and feels uncomfortable passing this without their approval. Warden Jimmy MacAlpine now offers his thoughts. 10:09AM – Motion was withdrawn. This will now be taken back to respective Councils first for discussion. 10:10AM – Breaks 

  1. 10:41AM – Meeting is called back to order. Mayor Stewarts acknowledges further members of council who have arrived along with Dr. Morrison. 
  1. 10:42AM – Deputy Mayor Norma McColeman is now up to the podium to introduce Dr. Morrison. 

Presentation

  1. 10:46AM – Dr. Morrison is now speaking at the podium. Bringing remarks on behalf of the Chief Public Health Office of PEI.

Please refer to the attachment “Presentation 5 Dr. Heather Morrison CPHO PEI” for full detail. 

  1. Slide Show Presentation on COVID-19.  
    1. Topics included: Processes for Pre-Travel approval, isolation, enforcement, PPE for healthcare and non-health care first responders, policies and guidelines in place, testing capacities, etc
    2. 11:22 The presentation Ends. Dr. Morrison opens up the room for questions.
      1. Mayor Mills from Truro opens up the questions for Dr. Morrison
      2. Bruce MacDougall now asks Dr. Morrison some  questions
      3. Mayor Cecil Clark now asked questions to Dr. Morrison
      4. Mayor Muttart now has the floor to question Dr. Morrison
      5. Mayor Phillip Brown is now on the microphone.
  1. 11:48AM – Dr. Morrison departs the room. 
  1. 11:49AM – Mayor Bill Mills is now at the podium to introduce the next speaker Dr. Dave Kogan
  1. 11:51AM – Dr. Dave Kogan (Mayor of Amherst) is now at the podium to present his presentation on a roadmap to success. 

Please refer to attachment “Presentation #6 Recruiting Physicians- Dr. David Kogon” for more details. 

  1. 12:11 AM the presentation ended and the floor was open to questions
  1. 12:15PM – The room was adjourned for Lunch at the oval
  1. 10.1:17PM – Meeting resumed, Councilor Barb Ramsay opened the floor with the introduction of Mike Thususka the next speaker. He is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Summerside.
    1. Presentation slides on the growing green economy and creating business opportunities through innovation. 
      1. Gerald Giroux, Electrical Engineer is also in attendance to assist with this presentation. 
    2. Presentation ended at 1:43PM and the floor was opened up to questions. 
      1. Mayor from Stratford now asks Mike Thususka questions. 
      2. Mayor from Kings County now asked Mike questions about the solar project
    3. Mike ended his first presentation and prepared for the second presentation

Please refer to attachment Presentation 7 Solar Energy Project- Mike Thususka & Gerald Giroux for more details

  1. 11.1:58PM – Mike Thususka, Director of Economic Development now proceeds with his second presentation. 

Please refer to attachment Presentation 8 Covid mitigation-Mike Thusuka for more details.

  1. 12.2:28PM – The Economic Development presentations were ended
  1. 13.2:30PM – The Mayor of Cape Breton, Cecil Clark now provides a presentation for the room regarding revenue streams available to municipalities.
  1. 14.2:41PM – The Presentation has ended. 
    1. Executive Director, Matt Kerrigan heads to the podium to address the room 
    2. Thanks extended to municipalities who have agreed to host meetings in 2021  The Spring meeting will be in Torbay NL and the Fall meeting in Shediac NB
  1. 15.Mayor Phillip Brown request a presentation on  Summary Offence Tickets be  put on the next agenda. 
  1. 16.Members would like Matt to send out the expectations for municipalities to host a meeting. 
  1. 17.The meeting is adjourned at 2:46 PM. That concludes the 2020 Atlantic Mayors Congress. 

Presentations at this meeting are available to members upon request.