AGM Minutes 2019

Minutes of the 56th Annual General Meeting

Oxtongue Lake Association

Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:30 am 

Oxtongue Lake Community Centre

  1.  Call to Order and Opening Remarks.  Andrea Armstrong called the meeting to order.  Andrea introduced members of the Executive:  herself as President, Scott Hayden as Vice President, Brian Lambert as Treasurer, Laura Embree as Secretary, Dan Krause as Lake Steward, Brandi Bailey, Rick Linklater, Tom Smith and John Lawrence. 
  2. Approval of the Agenda.  Motion to approve the Agenda for the present meeting:  proposed by Frank Tizel; seconded by Jan Woods.
  3. Approval of Minutes.  Motion to approve the Minutes from the 2018 meeting:  proposed by Jan Woods; seconded by Chris Woods.
  4. Regatta Report.  Commodore Ryan Armstrong gave the report on the Regatta.   The Regatta was a great success and raised $2,111 for the OLA.  Thanks to Oxtongue Lake Cottages for hosting the Regatta and to Blue Spruce Resort, Lakewoods Cottage Resort, Parkway Cottage Resort and Trading Post and Algonquin Outfitters for donating canoes.  The Outfitters has had fewer canoes over the years and it is hoped that more people will bring their own canoes next year.  Algonquin Outfitters also donated the overall winners’ paddles which went this year to Mark Godsoe and Cameron Woods.  Dwight Market donated all the pop and water, Happiness Is Inc. provided a sizable discount on the T-shirts – the T-shirts are at the back and are also online for purchase and once they are sold-out will raise another $588 for the OLA.  Erika’s Bakery provided a discount on the brownies and Webster’s Beacon provided a discount on the pizza.  Ryan thanked all of the volunteers who all did an amazing job.  Ryan is retiring next year to focus on getting ready for university and will gladly help anyone who steps up to be Commodore next year. 
  5. Treasurer’s Report.  Brian Lambert presented the Treasurer’s Report.  In 2018, the Association received membership fees of $2,490 and the Regatta made $1,959.  There were expenses of $2,316 in total, primarily $1,794 for the Regatta (insurance), $300 for the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association with net earnings of $2,166.   As of December 31, 2018, the OLA has $26,105 in retained earnings.  Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report:  proposed by Chris Woods; seconded by Ann Marie Switzer.  Carried.
  6. Township Council Report.  Ward 3 Councillor Jennifer Dailloux discussed the following: 
  7. Asset Management Plan.   There is a schedule for repairing/replacing roads and bridges around Oxtongue Lake, improvements re fire services, waste management – one waste management site will close and one will expand.  The Oxtongue Lake site has more than 73 years left and public education re recycling will likely further increase the number of years remaining. 
  8. A recent environmental assessment indicates that Oxtongue Lake is well within the allowable range for contaminants. 
  9. Jen encouraged membership at the Dorset Health Centre noting that there is health equipment at the Dorset Recreation Centre. 
  10. Thanks to Marlene Kyle, the new pavilion at the Community Centre has been installed, and boasts outhouse style washroom facilities. 
  11. The Septic System Reinspection Program is coming to our area but is still 2 or 3 years away, likely starting in 2021 and having already started in the south.   Phosphorus is one of the worst contaminants that can go into our lakes, so the Program is in place to make sure that phosphorus is not getting into the lakes from our septic systems.  The first phase of the Program will entail a visual inspection of leaching beds, measuring run-off, checking holding tanks, and will be a visual assessment only.   Ratepayers will either get a certificate indicating their system is in good standing or will get a letter indicating which remedial actions are necessary (such a requirement to pump out the holding tank, which can be no more than 33% full).  Inspectors will look for vegetation impairing the septic system, broken or cracked holding tank lids, pooled water above the bed, and will review haulage agreements, which need to indicate that the holding tank is being pumped out on a regular basis.   Metal tanks are no longer up to Code and all systems, including outhouses, must be vermin-proof.  There will be a $130 charge for the inspection and provision may be made to allow for inspections conducted by approved third-parties. 
  12. In response to a question, Jen explained that composting at the dump will be explored by Council by the end of the year.  Bear safety is an issue and Jen would like to see composting take place at a location separate from the dump.
  13. Initiatives at the County-level include:  an upcoming Shoreline Protection By-law and a Shoreline Tree Preservation By-law.   These will be strengthened to help businesses and individuals enhance shoreline health and will require that 75% of the shoreline stay natural and will regulate the clearing of land within 30 meters of the high-water mark, which is not officially defined (some railway ties on beaches may need to be removed).   The Federal Fisheries Act provides that fish spawning and nursing areas cannot be removed.  Access zones will be available so that the public can still enjoy the waterfront.  In the effort to mitigate climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, a coordinator will be hired soon to deal with green infrastructure, clean emissions, food and disaster management plans to deal with extreme weather events.   
  14. Highway 60 road repair:  Highway 60 from Huntsville to Webster’s Beacon at the intersection of Highways 35 and 60, is being repaired this year and the stretch from Webster’s Beacon to the Park will be repaired next summer.   The Ministry has asked for extended hours (to 11 pm during the week, no weekends) and, as it is not clear whether they will be just re-surfacing or if digging will be involved, Jen is not sure whether the gravel pit on Harris Road will be used for this (the Township owns the pit across from the Woods and the Province owns the bigger one closer to Hwy 60).  Jen thinks we should refuse the request by the Province for extended hours on Harris Road, since there are liability issues relating to pedestrians and cyclists, and a suggestion was made to prohibit extended hours from Canada Day to September or Thanksgiving.  MPP Laurie Scott is aware of the problem and will take it to the Province.  Follow Jen’s facebook page for updates to roads and community issues, or read the newsletter or call her with any further concerns. 
  15. Jen also indicated that council will look at models re regulating short-term rentals (such as Airbnb), which will need to look at several issues, such as fireworks, balancing respect by renters of neighbours, the need of other resorts to make money and the need of cottage owners to make money to help pay taxes and maintenance costs. 
  16. There are Township offices at Dorset and Stanhope but the Dwight office was closed.
  17. MP Report.  Jamie Schmale (Conservative), MP Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock noted that our riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, which borders Peterborough and in which approximately 110,000 people reside, faces the challenge of Internet and WiFi access.   Counties have agreed to fill in gaps by negotiating cellular and data contracts with smaller providers.   Small providers face challenges as Hydro charges too much to rent the poles (and rental on poles is a federal issue regulated by the CRTC) but we should be seeing action within a couple of years in the form of lowered rates and better Internet access.  One of the core goals is to get providers to commit to maintain service and not pull out of the area (Rogers pulled out a few years ago).  The CRTC is focusing on this for consumers.   It was noted that there seems to have been an extension put on the tower and there is better service in some pockets on our Lake. 
  18. Fire Department Report.  Mike Cavanagh, Fire Chief Algonquin Highlands reported that in 2018 Oxtongue Station 70 received 36 calls and there were 256 calls for the whole municipality.  There have been 18 calls so far this current year.  In the summer, approximately 60-65% of calls are medical in nature and the Fire Department gets called for all car accidents as well.  The station is doing some renovations (to the washrooms, roof, entry way) which will be released for tender soon and will likely cost about $70,000.   Stanhope just received a new tanker truck.  The Burning Bylaw was recently updated (definitions added, consistency made across Haliburton re the time for the burning ban (7am to 7pm) without an open air permit).  The full Bylaw is on the website and cards summarizing the Bylaw are at the back of the room.  There are fines for burning outside the ban and there is also a fee for service if the Fire Department is called, starting at $457 and increases depending on the resources required to deal with the fire (the last fire on the lake cost about $36,000).  We have 15 volunteers, and although some are students and are going back to school soon, other younger people have joined and will soon start.    We do not have a specific bylaw for fireworks although there is a noise bylaw (no loud noise after 11 pm) and individuals are encouraged to discuss any issues with the Councillor or the bylaw department but it is hard to enforce the noise bylaw, especially with renters and it would also be difficult to enforce a fireworks bylaw.  Take a picture if possible and do not use Chinese lanterns (a type of fireworks) since they pollute the Lake.  Thank you to all the volunteer firefighters on the Lake.
  19. Lake Steward Report – Dan Krause gave the report:  
  20. The Lake Partnership Program involves sending water samples over the past ten years for testing and, with over 298 tests completed, the results have been consistent.  Phosphorus which typically enters lakes from septic systems and fertilizers, should be no more than 10 micrograms/liter and Oxtongue Lake is currently at 7.5 micrograms.  Only use lawn fertilizers which contain no phosphorus.  Water clarity has consistently been between 2.5 and 3 meters and the water is tea-stained due to naturally-occurring organics.  Calcium is also important for lake health and is naturally low (1.8 milligrams/liter) at Oxtongue due to its granite base.  Recycling wood ash (ensuring first that any smouldering ash is extinguished) and spreading it out in the woods so that the run off goes into the Lake will help. 
  21. Invasive species:  look out for the “spiny water-flea”.   Small fish tend not to eat it but it does impact the food chain by competing with native species for food and they reproduce quickly.  Pike and large-mouth bass are also invasive and have been in the Lake since 2014.  Drain your boat and clean it before it goes into the Lake.  Pike out-compete whitefish and trout, so please eat them when caught (it is technically not allowed to simply compost them).
  22. iNaturalist app will identify species, including plants and animals.  It was noted that there seems to be a resurgence of frogs on the Lake.   Dan commented that populations can fluctuate and that tadpoles are toxic to fish.  In response to a question as to whether the pike are eating baby ducks and loons, Dan commented that this was more likely due to more boats creating wake which impacts loon habitat, as loons can’t walk and escape the waves.
  23. Cottage Watch Report – Paul Bailey could not attend today so Andrea Armstrong gave the report.  It was a quiet year for Cottage Watch.  Paul has been meeting with the OPP this week to deal with road closures around Oxtongue Lake over the Thanksgiving weekend.  Again, if you see something suspicious, take a picture and call 911.   Andrea thanked Paul for bridging the gap between the police and our community.
  24. Events Report – Brandi Bailey could not attend today and Andrea Armstrong gave the report.  There were lots of activities (bouncy castle, games, BBQ, fun house, face painting, drum circle and cupcakes) at the Canada Day Party, it was run by the Township with OLAF help and was very well-attended.   Thanks to the many volunteers.  
  25. President’s Report.  It has been suggested that a dance be held in the summer of 2020, like the old Fireman’s BBQ dance.  Andrea asked for volunteers to organize the event, which will entail organizing tent rentals, shuttle buses around the Lake (so that people don’t have to drive), liquor license and organizing ticket sales.  A motion was made that OLA funds of up to a maximum of $6,000 be allocated to the dance.    Proposed by Chris Woods; seconded by Lee Barker.   Carried.   
  26. Oxtongue Lake for Arts and Culture.   Chris Woods reported that the Hike Haliburton event will be held again.  Algonquin Outfitters will conduct a walk down Oxtongue Lake Road on Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 9 – 11 am.  Sign up is through the Hike Haliburton website only (  A plein air event is also planned this fall and OLAC plans on inviting artists into the area to re-create an event around the Group of Seven.  Chris also mentioned that OLAC funds could be used towards the proposed dance as well.
  27. Other Business & Questions for All Organizations.   Jennifer Dailloux offered to take the issue of fireworks to Council since it affects the lakes and wildlife, perhaps agreeing to them only for special events and weekends.  Jennifer suggested that a log be kept of fireworks and/or that the OLA run a survey to assess the extent of the issue.   
  28. Re-election and Election of Board Members.  Andrea Armstrong indicated that this will be her last year as President, but she will remain on the Executive, and will continue as President until a replacement has been found.   Andrea also announced the retirement of Brian Lambert, Scott Hayden, who has been on the Executive for over 20 years, Tom Smith and John Lawrence.   Andrea noted that Barry Matthews and Tony Pereira have both agreed to join the Executive, and Bill Thomas has agreed to act as Treasurer to replace Brian.  Jim Sale also put forward his nomination and it was proposed that Jim Sale, Barry Matthews, Bill Thomas and Tony Pereira be elected to the Executive.   Motion proposed by Alan Banack and seconded by Jeannine Girard-Pearlman.    The motion was carried. 

Since all remaining current members of the Executive were willing to serve another year, the Executive is now comprised of:  Andrea Armstrong (President), Bill Thomas (Treasurer), Laura Embree (Secretary), Rick Linklater, Brandi Bailey, Dan Krause, Jim Sale, Barry Matthews and Tony Pereira.  Motion to elect/re-elect the slate:  proposed by Betsy Seigfried; seconded by Rick Linklater.  Carried. 

  1.  Adjournment.  There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 am.   Motion to adjourn:  proposed by Rick Linklater and seconded by Frank Tizel.   Carried.