News & Events
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Municipal Co-Operation Aims to Improve Safety and Well-being in North Hastings
Bancroft - In a unique show of collaboration, seven north Hastings County municipalities have embarked on a project that aims to improve quality of life in the region. Successive provincial governments have given Ontario municipalities a deadline of January, 2021, to create a community safety and well-being plan. In North Hastings, rather than going it alone, councils from Bancroft, Hastings Highlands, Wollaston, Limerick, Faraday, Carlow/Mayo, and Tudor and Cashel adopted a collaborative approach that is fairly unique among over 400 Ontario municipalities.
Representatives of 30 organizations which serve all of north Hastings provided their perspectives on health and safety issues faced by people throughout the region. This information will help the project identify ways that the whole community can work together to improve safety and well-being for everyone. A final plan, to be submitted to the province’s Solicitor General, will detail changes in public policy, social programs and resources, and community awareness, interests and activities that can improve public safety, health and well-being, while reducing crime, disorder and social isolation in the area. In the face of rising costs of emergency response, heavy social agency caseloads, and escalating calls for remedial assistance in housing, mental health and child safety, municipal leaders hope that a new approach will make good social and economic sense.
The plan will emphasize the health and safety of residents, improved community ties and the reduction of policing and other emergency services costs. Potential benefits include more effective use of current resources and improved connections among the people and social agencies of north Hastings County. The province has made no commitments to increase funding to support those goals; so this local initiative is focused on doing things better with the resources at hand. “Whether it is law enforcement, crisis prevention, social services or youth programs – services in north Hastings are delivered across municipal boundaries. The solutions must reflect that. It makes sense to draw up a collaborative plan that reflects that reality,” says Pat Pilgrim, CAO of Hastings Highlands and co-chair of this north Hastings planning initiative.
Changing the Model
“It is no coincidence that this initiative is directed by the government ministry in charge of policing (Ministry of the Solicitor General), says Dr. Hugh Russell, technical advisor to the north Hastings project, whose career as a social psychologist has been spent working with municipal governance, social agencies and law enforcement. “Municipalities are dealing with increased costs because we often ask emergency services people (like police, fire, emergency medical technicians, child security and mental health) to deal with problems that might have been prevented earlier with more effective interventions,” says Russell. OPP Staff Sergeant Jeff Mackinnon agrees and gives this example: “In north Hastings, 65 per cent of calls received by OPP involve domestic and mental health issues. Sending two officers to spend the day at the Belleville hospital accompanying an individual in crisis is not the most effective way to handle the situation. When we are called, it is the last resort, we are called in to clean things up. It would be smarter to address the problem before it balloons into an emergency. Policing experts are behind this because the research shows it works.”
Municipal governments are on the front lines when it comes to community safety and well-being. “This process also recognizes that individual municipalities might be facing specific issues,” says Lianne Sauter, Director of Corporate Services/Clerk for Bancroft and co-chair of the initiative. “Collaboration breaks down silos that often plague rural municipalities. It can also help identify solutions to emerging issues.” Sauter has extensive experience in municipal policy and community safety and well-being planning. She led the creation of Bancroft’s 2016 plan; one of the first completed in the province. But instead of continuing unilaterally, Bancroft readily agreed to reboot its process to include surrounding municipalities. It is an innovative solution to the challenges that face north Hastings.
Work on the initiative will continue throughout the year. The next phase will include a broad public consultation in order to learn about challenges north Hastings people face; and what they would like to see put in place to help address those challenges.
For interviews or more information:
Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs:
Lianne Sauter 613-332-3331, x-206 LSauter@bancroft.ca
Pat Pilgrim 613-338-2811, x-233
Dr. Hugh Russell 613-553-0963
Tudor and Cashel has a vast amount of Crown Land throughout it. The Crown allows for this property to be utilized for the enjoyment of nature in many areas.
For more informaton on where to find crown land and what it can be used for visit the Ministry of Natural Resourse and Forestry Crown Use Atlas site. Crown Use Atlas Site.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have rules for those areas that do allow for camping. They are as follows;
The 21-Day Rule for Camping on Crown Land
Ontario is reminding people of rules and sharing tips for the
Much of Ontario’s public lands are available year-round for
recreational enjoyment, including camping on Crown land.
Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown land for up
to 21 days at one site in a calendar year, unless the site has
been restricted for a specific reason. After 21 days, the
person and camping equipment must move a minimum of
100 meters to another location. This temporary use ensures
that sites are available to others and helps reduce environmental impacts.
Non-Residents are required to obtain a Crown land camping permit from the ministry, Ontario government
offices, or through outside license issuers. The fee for a non-resident Crown land camping permit is $9.35 per
person per day, plus the federal Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
Planning to Camp on Crown Land?
Be sure to check if camping is allowed on the public lands where you plan to camp. Rules vary from site to site.
Please act responsibly to help protect the natural environment. Here are some tips:
• Always pick up litter and take garbage with you
• Avoid sensitive features such as wetlands, streams and wildlife habitat
• Respect other users of Crown lands
• Stay on existing trails
• Do not harm, kill or collect plants, trees, habitat or wildlife you do not have permission to hunt
Before lighting a fire, check local fire warnings and restrictions in the area. Never leave a campfire unattended
and make sure campfires are completely extinguished before leaving the site.
• Camping on Crown land
• Check if camping is allowed in a conservation reserve
• Camp at one of Ontario’s provincial parks
• Outdoor fire rules and permits
• Check current fire restriction zones
• Contact your local ministry district office
• Contact the ministry Information Line: 1-866-667-1940.
To report a natural resources violation, call the ministry TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or
contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously
at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).There are restrictions for those sites that allow for over night Camping.
Hastings County and the communities within are pushing for economic growth and development. Click here to see what has been happening.
The Rural Wellness Programs have been wrapped up now. Thanks to the Ontario Government we were able to offer these programs for two years with no cost to our residents. Thank You to all who participated. The Low Impact Aerobics and Scrapbooking/Card Making will be starting up again in the fall. Watch for notices of start up dates. Thank You again for making The Rural Wellness Program such a success.
Hastings County has been making an effort to bring Family Practitioners into our area with great success. These efforts have brought numerous physicians into Hastings County and they are accepting patients. If you are interested in acquiring a family doctor in the area click here for a list of doctors in the area that are accepting patients.