Candidate Q&A Board

Questions asked by Candidates answers provided by Town Staff.


Question: How long has the Town’s transit system has been operational?

Transit in Penetanguishene started February 2016.

Question: What is the Town’s Long-term Debt?

Provided a copy of our 2017 year-end Debt Schedule and referred them to Note 7 (Infrastructure Ontario short-term construction financing for Sewage Treatment Plant Expansion), Note 17 (Long-term Debt for Firehall & Fire Aerial Truck financed by Infrastructure Ontario) & Note 18 (Tangible Capital Asset internal financing from our Hydro Electric Commission Reserve Fund) of our 2017 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements.

Question: Can you explain the Town’s adopted new Official Plan.

Council of the Town of Penetanguishene adopted a new Official Plan on June 27, 2018.  The document has now been sent to the County of Simcoe for final approval.  Of note in the new Official Plan are the four new schedules.  To provide high level information related to the schedules the following are points of note:

1)      Land Use Schedule – for the most part land use designations and their locations are the same, with a few exceptions:

  1. The “downtown” has been split into two land use designations:  “Downtown and Waterfront Area” and “Mixed Use and Commercial Area”.  These land use designation reflect the differences within the town’s historical “core” and the other commercial areas which are similar to a highway commercial type of use.
  2. Major Open Space designation is specifically for Rotary Wendat Champlain Park.  The Town has recognized in the new OP that this park warrants special consideration. Further, an Open Space designation for all parkland has been removed.  Parks are permitted in ANY land use designation.
  3. A small area on the east side of Fuller Avenue has been designated as Employment Uses to offset the potential loss of employment lands from the south side of Robert Street East between Fuller Avenue and Thompsons Road.
  4. An Environmental Protection designation continues in the new Plan which is further supported by Schedule B1. This is the “trigger” for further study.

2)      Policy Overlays – this is a new schedule which includes “policy overlays” which are “triggers” for additional study or work.  These areas are tied to the Planning and Community Development Departments 10 year capital plan.  The impacts are as follows:

  1. Environmental Protection 2 overlay, which identifies that the properties in this overlay may have significant environmental features and require further study.
  2. Future Study Areas – are five areas within the Town that warrant additional study, policy and regulatory frameworks.  For instance, the Upper Main Street area, is intended to be largely commercial; however, as a large component of the lands have access on a future public road and are current vacant, the Town may wish consider special development policies for these lands.
  3. The second policy overlay schedule B2 reflects the Source Protection Plan and was adopted by Council in 2016 through an amendment.

3)      Transportation Network – in the new Official Plan the schedule has been updated to reflect changes in the policy portion of the document; specifically, the removal of a three tiered hierarchy of road systems (local, collector and arterial) to a two tiered system (local and major).   Future planned roads have been removed (ie. Beck Boulevard extension and Thompson Road West extension).

Development Activity

The Town was impacted by the real estate boom of late 2015 to 2017/2018 as it related to new home construction.  On average between 2005 and 2015 the Town would see approximately 20 new homes a year.  In 2016 there were 53 new dwellings constructed, in 2017 104 new dwellings and as of July 2018 – 21 new dwellings.  Staff are estimating approximately 50 new homes to be built in 2019.  Staff have reviewed the Town’s current supply of existing lots of records (which includes vacant lots in registered plans of subdivision), approximately 50 lots and approximately 110 lots draft approved (this excludes 2 subdivisions Champlain Woods and Phase 2 of Marchildon Subdivision – that require a Zoning By-law Amendment). Given the even the historical construction figures, the Town has a supply of less than 8 years for housing and should the market continue to be strong, a 2 or 3 year supply left.   The town now has to consider “where” new housing is going to go, realizing that the market will drive the location.

This is a discussion that Council needs to have to understand where are “greenfield” potential is:  Rolling Sands, Queen’s Court, St. Andrew’s Village, Thompsons Road East are some examples.  Focus should be on “what is appropriate” as opposed to “not here”.

Question: Can I have a link to the Summer 2017 Great Places to See and Winterama Commercials?

Link provided:

The Winterama commercial 2018 has not been uploaded to any of the Town’s social media accounts therefore a link will not be provided.


Question:  Can I have an event in my business to promote voting in the election. I will offer free use of a private area where a computer will be set up and internet access for where people can vote.

The Clerk reviewed the Municipal Election Act and there is no reference to this specific question, however it does refer to Section 48 (3) where “Voting Place” is defined as  “voting place includes any place in the immediate vicinity of the voting place designated by the clerk.”.  The Clerk confirmed that there are no designated “Voting Places” in the Town of Penetanguishene for the 2018 election as we are utilizing telephone and internet voting only.  We will not have a poll on Election Day.  This means that anywhere that there is a phone or an internet connection is a place where someone can vote.   Because of this definition within the Municipal Elections Act – the location of the business is not deemed a voting place and therefore not within the regulation of the Municipal Elections Act.

Question: Can a candidate use a business as a voting site as well as using the election to advertise/promote his business?  The event is also encouraging people to take a selfie after they vote, is this legal?

The Clerk reviewed the Municipal Election Act and there is no reference to this specific question, however it does refer to Section 48 (3) where “Voting Place” is defined as  “voting place includes any place in the immediate vicinity of the voting place designated by the clerk.”.  The Clerk confirmed that there are no designated “Voting Places” in the Town of Penetanguishene for the 2018 election as we are utilizing telephone and internet voting only.  We will not have a poll on Election Day.  This means that anywhere that there is a phone or an internet connection is a place where someone can vote.   Because of this definition within the Municipal Elections Act – the location of the business is not deemed a voting place and therefore not within the regulation of the Municipal Elections Act

Related to the “selfie” question – again, this is not specifically identified in the Municipal Election Act but I believe the legality you are referencing may be related to a photo includes a picture included an image of how the person voted, or a photo of someone in a poll station / voting place of which we have already determined this is not.   The event states that the picture would be taken after the vote has taken place (not during the vote).  Whether residents do this and share on social media throughout the election wherever they choose to vote - is not something I can regulate. 

Question: Residents can expect to get their Voter Registration cards in the mail nearing the end of September, however, Canada Post employees will be in a legal strike position as of September 26. Has there been any thought at the Town office about having the cards sent earlier to avoid potential problems with delivery?

Penetanguishene is taking preventative measures related to the Voter Information Letters with the potential Canada Post strike.  The Voter Information Letters which were scheduled to be brought to Canada Post the last week of September and delivered the first week of October will now be delivered directly from Toronto where they were prepared to Penetanguishene Townhall directly under the care of the Town Clerk, Stacey Cooper. 

If the strike does not occur, the letters will be processed by our local Canada Post service, however if strike action affects the delivery, the Clerk will determine the best course of action to distribute the letters depending on the circumstances.

Question: Are Voter's PIN and ID secure? What if someone gets the information and uses it?

It is important to note that stealing and opening another person’s mail is illegal. It is also illegal to represent yourself as another person and steal their right to vote in an election.  Both of these acts are illegal and have penalties (fines and imprisonment) defined by law.  If you know someone has voted a PIN illegally you should report it to the election officials which will then be reported to the Ontario Provincial Police and investigated fully.

Question: How difficult will it be for Voters to cast their vote on the Internet?

Watch this video to see how simple it is to vote by internet: 


Question:  What about Long Term Care facilities?  Will they have a polling station set up?

The Town will be providing a "Mobile Help Centre" for the Long Term Care facilities where residents will be able to be added to the voters list as well as an opportunity to vote - with or without assistance.

Question:  What are the posts for at the property at the corner of Chapman Road and Fuller Avenue?

The Town issue a sign permit for a marketing sign for a future residential development on the property.  The sign amendment was granted in 2016 by Council for the size of the sign.


Question: Related to 1145 Fuller Avenue. St. Andrew’s Village development.

1)      How many lots/dwellings are they proposing?

2)      What sizes of lots?

3)      What types of housing?

The majority of that information is unknown at this point.  The development requires approval from Council on several matters, that may include: a Zoning Bylaw Amendment, Plan of Subdivision/Condominium and Site Plan Control.  Once these applications have been filed with the Town the information can be made public.  The Official Plan Amendment application which resulted in a settlement granted by the OMB in 2015 was for a maximum of 400 persons.


Question Can you briefly describe our attempts to contact both First Nations & the Metis communities with respect to our Official Plan Review.  The Town has been in contact with First Nations and Metis Communities since the launch of the Official Plan Review Project in the Spring of 2016. This has been communicated to them through letters, newsletters, Public Notices and direct email inquiries.   We offered in our correspondence to meet with them at any time to discuss in a method convenient to them.

Were they receptive?  After the initial letter was sent in 2016, the Huron Wendat Nation (HWN) and Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO) requested financial compensation to assist them in the review.  Council discussed this in 2016 and decided not to provide financial support.  This was communicated to them by letter in 2016 which was the last time the Town formally heard from GBTTCC.   A follow up email was submitted to the Town in 2017 on behalf of MNO expressing interest.  We did present to and had meaningful discussion with the Beausoleil First Nation on the Official Plan Review in late 2016.

Did they respond and provide comments?  To date no formal comments have been submitted by any indigenous community on the Town’s Official Plan.   Upon request we provided the GIS data to the HWN and full copies of the draft OP were provided to all our indigenous communities in February of 2018.


Question:  Please clarify the current feasibility studies the Recreation and Community Services (RCS) department is working on and the status of the arena:

The Service Delivery Review (SDR) recommended that the Town complete a feasibility study to outsource recreation program delivery to a third party.  This was a long term goal of the SDR.  Council requested that the feasibility study be completed sooner for Council’s consideration.  It has been added as a referral item for the department.  This item is currently being worked on.

There was a 2016 capital project for the RCS department to complete a feasibility study on the construction of a new arena and community centre.  A report was brought forward for completion of the study.  Council directed staff to remove the feasibility of  building a new arena from the analysis and focus on what it would take to keep the current facility going.  A Building Condition Assessment was completed and the results brought forward to Council.  The item was referred back to staff to investigate and include the option of completing a one-time massive retrofit similar to what was completed in Oro-Medonte.  The follow up report to Council is still outstanding and has been added as a referral item.


Question: Why would a downtown business recieve an invoice from the town for a water meter/water line install from the Main Street Reconstruction Project? 

The invoice recieved by a business from the Town was for the increased diameter water service that was installed to his building as part of the reconstruction project. This invoice includes the difference in price from the installation of a 1 inch (included in original contract) to a 2 inch line.  Town staff met with business owners and outlined the costs that each would be responsible for paying as part of the installation of a larger service size to the building.


  1. Why were the secondary plans (please provide your proper terminology)  requested?  The adopted OP lists six areas as “future study areas” on Schedule B1. I would review Section 3.7 of the new OP regarding “why” they are important sites in the Town as it sets out the policies very clearly for how future development will occur.  
  2. What secondary plans were requested?  (the requested $ values are not required).  Upper Main Street, Town Dock, PSS, PGH, Ojibway Landing and Rolling Sands were all identified as future study areas.  PSS and PGH study areas were grouped together as one secondary plan called the “Bluefields” study.
  3. Which plans have been accepted in our 5 year plan and when (date)?  Which were denied by council?  All but the Rolling Sands secondary plan were included in the 10 year P&D Capital Plan during the 2018 budget discussions held in 2017. 
  4. During which COW meeting were these plans presented and discussed?  I believe they all would have been included in the first budget meeting.

Downtown Community Improvement Plan and Design Guidelines were first in the P&D Capital budget for 2017 at a cost of $50,000.  This was lowered to $30,000 in the 2018 budget but Council removed it during one of the budget discussions.


Question: What authority do Town election officials have to asist voters?

As per our Municipal Election Procedure Manual listed on our website here:

Page 16 - excerpt

“Electors Requiring Assistance The election official may permit an elector who needs assistance in voting to have such assistance as the election official considers necessary.

Oral Oath to Vote with Assistance A voter who requires such assistance to vote at a Help Centre may ask an election official for assistance. The election official shall require the voter making the request to take the Oral Oath to vote with assistance on the “Oral Oaths at Help Centre” Form.

Oral Oath of Friend of Elector In lieu of the election official providing assistance, the voter may request that a friend accompany the voter at a Help Centre and assist the voter. Any friend assisting shall be required to take the Oral Oath of Friend of Elector on the “Oral Oaths at Help Centre” Form. No person shall be allowed to act as a friend of more than one voter at a Help Centre. Candidates and Scrutineers may not act in the capacity of a friend of elector.

Oral Oath of Interpreter Where a voter requires an interpreter, such person provided by the voter, shall take the Oral Oath of Interpreter on the “Oral Oath at Help Centre” Form, and shall translate the oaths as well as any lawful questions put to the voter.”


Question: What is the Ojibwa Landing Risk Assessment Study?

Ojibwa Landing is a former landfill meeting the definition of a Brownfield by Provincial legislation. In order to redevelop a Brownfield or enable a change in the land use from a less sensitive land use (industrial/commercial) to a more sensitive land use (mixed residential, institutional and/or commercial) a Record of Site Condition (RSC) is required to be filed under Ontario Regulation 153/04, as amended (O.Reg.153/04).

A Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment is a process established by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to ensure that environmental impacts are well managed, and to ensure that a Brownfield property can be redeveloped into a productive land use.

Question: What is the schedule for its completion?

The remaining field investigation work associated with the project is to be completed in the Fall of 2018. Once that is completed and the information from this last field investigation has been received the risk assessment will be completed and filed with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECP) in early 2019. Each review of the risk assessment and subsequent resubmissions by the MOECP is estimated to take approximately 5 months to complete and will most likely require two (2) submissions to address their review comments. Once the risk assessment has been approved it is estimated that it will require another 4 months to file the record of site condition for the property. The estimated schedule for the completion of the project based on the foregoing is the Spring of 2020.


Question: What if somone who is responsible for a vulnurable person gets their voter information?  What security measures are in place to stop them from voting?

It is important to remember that those with the responsibility of the care of the vulnerable sector I assume have agreed within their own personal employment contract to not defraud any individual under their care including their financial resources or medical information/medication.   A voter letter being opened by an employee and voted upon would be illegal and if investigated the person could be charged with mail fraud and voter fraud and I would guess a very high risk of the loss of their job.   If a support worker brought in a person under their care to a paper-ballot poll and the voter requested the assistance of the caregiver – this person would have the same power as opening and using a voter information letter.  Additionally in Tiny and Tay Townships they are using a “Vote by Mail” voting system where the same potential risks exist – those working with the vulnerable population have the opportunity to defraud them by completing their paper-ballot, but at the risk of charges and loss of job.

The internet and telephone voting system is a way for a majority of voters to have the time and accessibility of voting.  A risk for fraud in any voting capacity exists – however I think the risk of punishment against those who commit fraud will be the factor that will stop those from continuing.  If a report is brought forward to me regarding any instance of fraud or other tampering of the election, I can assure you it would be investigated with the assistance of the OPP.

I have included an excerpt from our Election Procedures Manual (page 27) below:

Although many provisions of the Act deal with voting places, ballots and ballot boxes, etc. the
same must be used interchangeably with the alternative forms of voting since the principle of
the Act must be maintained and is therefore enforceable and subject to penalties.
Offences, Penalties and Enforcement (s.89 and 90)

The principles and the integrity of the election process are enforceable. Section 89 of the Act
provides for penalties and enforcement of corrupt practices and other offences during an
election process. These include a person who:

• votes without being entitled to do so;

• votes more times than this Act allows;

• induces a person to vote when that person is not entitled to do so;

• before or during an election, publishes a false statement of a candidate’s withdrawal;

• furnishes false or misleading information to a person whom this Act authorizes to obtain information;

• without authority, supplies a voter credentials/ballot to anyone;

• takes, opens or otherwise deals with a ballot without having authority to do so; and

• deals with voter credentials/ballot, without having authority to do so.

No person shall solicit a Voter Information Letter containing voter credentials from an eligible elector. All valid complaints or knowledge of solicitation shall be reported immediately for investigation of corrupt practices. If a person is convicted of an offence and the offence was committed knowingly, the offence also constitutes a corrupt practice.


Question: Because every voter has a unique ID and PIN number supplied by the town, would be possible for someone, after the election is complete, to view who voted for whom, by accessing the files in play? What guarantees are in place that this will not happen as one on the tenets of our democratic system is the sanctity of the secret ballot?

Dominion's Internet Voting solution protects the privacy, anonymity and integrity of the voter's ballot throughout the voting process. We do not identify the ballot with elector information when the ballot is secured in the electronic ballot box.

Once the voter has confirmed their ballot choices and casts their online ballot, the system updates the election database, creates audit records and an electronic ballot image with timestamp, and therefore provides multiple ways to verify that votes have not been modified. In addition to the separation of ballot and voter information, our solution conducts multiple checks on the integrity of the ballot before it is cast into the electronic ballot box. After pressing the Submit button, the ballot information is:

Encrypted to protect the information contained in the ballot

Hash coded (the entire ballot bitmap hash is calculated and appended to the ballot image) to ensure the ballot is not altered by malicious intent before reaching the election servers. Personal information held within the Internet Voting system never becomes public, and is properly secured within its database. We follow all applicable federal, provincial and municipal privacy laws and host the solution in Canada. In addition, all access to the voter data is tightly controlled and all system accesses are audit logged.

It would be violation of the voter privacy if the system was designed and configured to record every step that was performed by the voter. Essentially, this would allow reconstruction of voter selections and link voter to the votes. Therefore, the Dominion Internet Voting Solution  maintains the audit log at the system backend (server) side when the voting session has started and when it has finished, with the additional information such as IP address, session ID, ballot ID, etc. For additional auditing purposes, Dominion Internet/Telephone Voting Solution also  keeps an electronic ballot image record for each ballot cast that can be used for auditing as well as any recount purposes.

All electronic records are Digitally Signed but maintain voter privacy: If user side (voter) digital signatures are used for ballot signing, the voter privacy would be violated. As such, the jurisdiction would be able to link a voter to the ballot, which would be unacceptable. However, the client side digital certificates can be supported for the voter authentication which will provide mutual (two-way) authentication between the voter and Dominion Online Services web server.