2023 Annual General Meeting
Sunday, July 30, 2023 (10:00 AM)
Bonnie Swaine (BS), President, Boyd Lake
Lynn Palmer (LP), Past President (secretary for meeting), Clear Lake
Jacques Pigeon (JP), Clear Lake
Alex Sandahl (AS), Black Lake
Andre Therrien (AT), Curran Lake
Brian Robinson (BR), Curran Lake
Diane Hislop (DH), Clear Lake
Joanne Vallée (JV), Clear Lake
Lois Finch, LF, Black Lake
1) Call to Order
BS called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m.
Approximately 50 people were in attendance.
2) Approval of the Agenda
Motion to approve: Robert Percy
Seconded : Annabelle Wood
3) 2022 AGM July 24
a) Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the last meeting were available on the website. BS asked for modifications. No changes were suggested.
Motion to Approve: Maurice Pilon
Seconded: François Côté
b) Business Arising
BS reminded the group that Jason Morrison was at the last AGM. She advised that she has met with him and the Mayor of Gore during her mandate. She will speak to this later in her address.
4 President’s message
BS would like to thank the DCC for allowing us to hold our annual meeting and for collaboration over the year. It has been a pleasure for her to be President for the last 2 years. She is the 3rd female president after Revilla Sauve and Lynn Palmer. We have made a few changes and have revised the By-Laws to use more inclusive language.
Secondly, the DCA website will be available in French first, but will be accessible to English with a button.
BS really enjoyed working and learning from the Board Members and thanked them for their contribution to this dynamic community.
On July 2, BS and AS attended a Wentworth Municipal event which sponsored a meeting with local Community Associations. The goal was to improve communications between the associations and with the municipality. Learning about these associations made us realize how lucky we are to have our DCA association. BS thanked France for staffing the registration table, collecting dues and answering member questions.
In closing, the DCA continues to be a strong part of the community and BS is confident that it will remain strong in the future.
a) Dunany Trail
BR noted that he has taken over the Dunany trail dossier from Robert Percy, which are big shoes to fill. The Dunany trail is a year-round asset. Our goal in the last year has been to make access more user-friendly and improve the signage. We have new signs and have BR installed new maps and markers. Also, the access via St. Paul’s church has improved during the last year. This summer has been a challenge to get out in the woods, nevertheless the next few months will be a great time to explore. We will have skiing, snowshoeing and an ad hoc group of ‘groomers’ to keep the trails open during the winter. Special thanks to Pierre Demers and Bill Gauley who keep it cleared on a daily basis – also to Robert Percy, Simon Octeau and Peter Curtin. Thanks to all.
Last March we sponsored our first winter gathering initiated by BS. It was a big success. Currently the Dunany trail ends near the 3rd hole of the DCC. Plans are in the works to extend the trail to Dunany road and we hope to put a little bridge in. If all goes well, it will allow enthusiastic hikers to do a full loop. All of the trail is on private land and BS can’t thank the owners enough for allowing everyone to use their land. Andre Therrien mentioned how much he appreciated the trails and BR thanked him, as well, for being one of the groomers.
JP advised that during the spring he reported on the status of each lake and outlined the parameters we use to measure the quality of the water. The lake water is in very good health because we measure everything and have the results to help us monitor it. We have 16 years of information and statistics and there is a solid improvement in quality over the years. All the lakes are in good health. He thanked the people on each lake who take the samples: Clear Lake – François Côté, Boyd – Bonnie Swaine, Black – Gustavo Labbé, and on Curran it’s Andre Therrien. In the summer, they measure the transparency 10 times and 3 times they get samples that we turn into the Ministry of the Environment and we get their report. If lakes didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be here – they are extremely important.
JP also talked about Climate Change – last year we got a ‘Derecho’ (cyclone) – and on Clear we had trees falling on houses. We have to prepare for more frequent violent weather conditions. We talk about oceans that are heating up, it is the same for our Lakes. We have to be even more vigilant over the years to ensure we keep the quality of water we have now.
The two factors we need to consider are wind and abundant rain. Which led JP to make a few recommendations:
- It is important that the trees around a property are regularly trimmed and pruned to ensure that the air can get through.
- Drainage – with the incredible rains it’s important to ensure that your drainage is well done. And to make sure that the water has a place to go and doesn’t end of up in the lake.
- Also need to maintain the ‘river bands’ to protect the lakes to help prevent the run-off from reaching the lake. We need to make sure we don’t have too much phosphorus in the lakes.
JP asked for questions. Peter Curtin (PC) asked about inspections to septic systems and whether that still happens. JP advised that it varies across municipalities. In Gore you have to show the invoice from the company who does the maintenance to the municipality. The best process is the filtering process. They will come to your house, drain and filter it and put the juice back in – which keeps the bacteria alive, which is important. As far as he can tell, he has no indication that people are not doing their best to do their maintenance. If a cement system is well maintained, it is good for 30 years; the weak point is always the weeping field. If you go past one that is smelly, let JP know. Peter mentioned that dye was put in the systems in the past. JP mentioned that with the water sampling of the lakes that we do, if there were problems, we would know.
PC proposed that the DCA investigate whether or how the DCA could become more involved when the President speaks to the mayors. JP could talk to the municipal inspectors to see if they are willing to collaborate, because it is a big job. Bob Percy mentioned that when we did inspections in the past, the municipality was not doing inspections or taking care of it. He said that if the people that pump the system found a problem, they would report it to the municipality. Revilla mentioned that when the ice went off Clear Lake in 2001, she was on the Municipal Council and they started an environmental committee in Wentworth and we got our first budget to start the septic system program. Sharon Leslie noted that she remembered going around and putting the die in sinks to track issues. Alex Sandahl mentioned that there are 2 issues: the pumping of the holding tank and the integrity of the system itself. He would be happy to speak to the 4 municipalities to ensure efforts are coordinated.
Action: AS to speak to municipalities about the quality of septic systems
AT talked about the Dunany Road – it’s 15 kilometers and is a provincial road. For Lachute, the speed limit is still 70 km/hr. There have been a lot of complaints about speeding and Lachute has installed an electronic sign to raise awareness and will meet with the MTQ; we should hear more from Lachute. For the Gore section, it’s 70 km/hr., but Gore has accepted to make a demand to the MTQ to reduce the speed limit, but have not yet received a response. Wentworth had the speed limit reduced to 60 km/hr. We had a digital speed sign up for 3 weeks, which tells you the speed you are going, but also collects data which shows the number of cars, the speed, the average speed, how many times violations have occurred, etc. For a 21-day period (starting at the end of June) there were 14,580 vehicles, 694 vehicles per day. Fridays are the busiest day. Over ½ the people are going over the speed limit. There are some dangerous spikes when people are going over 110 or 120 km/hr. We will continue to follow up.
The curve just South of the Curran Road intersection is the site of many accidents, mostly motorcycles that can’t handle the corner and end up in the woods. There are at least 5 – 6 accidents/year. We are trying to figure out how to mitigate that. We’ve placed a motorcycle sign up. The next step is to try to get some yellow flashers below the sign. AT has talked to Wentworth who is talking to the MTQ. The next step would be to re-do the intersection. When these accidents occur, we always submit a report to the MTQ. If residents have a problem with the road, you can go on their website and call to report the incident – AT encouraged residents to contact them if they have complaints.
We have also asked for signage for noise, but the MTQ forces us to take these signs down each winter.
The intersection of Neill/Dunany is a blind intersection which has been a concern. The road intersection sign is missing. We have requested brush clearing from Wentworth and the MTQ to help.
In the spring, we are clearing up litter on the Dunany road. In April, after the snow is gone, before golf, we walk around, bringing garbage bags informally to try to keep the roads clean. Thank you to everyone who has done that. This year we counted 15 large garbage bags over that 1-month period. Next Spring, we want to add Stevenson Road for 1 km.
BS asked for questions:
John Wilson asked if there any thoughts of putting no litter signs up? AT will look at that.
Mike Cockhill suggested that if we are putting up another sign for the motorcycles it should be further up the road to give them a chance to slow down before the curve. Peter Curtin asked about going from Dunany Road to MacDougall Road and noted that it is a blind corner. His 2nd issue is the condition of MacDougall Road, he was wondering if the DCA could help.
Duncan Campbell mentioned maybe that a guard rail might be good for that corner on Curran.
Secondly, there is talk about moving photo-radar down to the Municipal level. He suggested the DCA may want to follow up on that. Also, in 5 years, the Dunany road may go back to its former state (which wasn’t very good) which will help keep the speed down. AT noted that, after some research, they thought that a guard rail on the curve might be even more dangerous.
LF noted that Dunany activities are winter and summer. There is a Walking Club on Thursday mornings; the Knitting club meets Wednesday afternoons at Wentworth Community Center; the Bike Club will start again in September. ‘Vie active’ is twice a week led by Mary Chuprun, for young and old. Glee Club, with Cathy Leslie. Artists meet Thursdays at the Wentworth Community Center and there will be an Exposition by Dunany Artists on the 24th and the 25th of August. Fantastic paintings and other activities. There are 3 book boxes available for everyone: one on Neill, one on Boyd and one near the old Wentworth Community Center.
Also, if you would like to be a member of the Lachute library, it’s free for members of Wentworth, you just need an ID. Gore has a library that is open on Monday. It’s new, has lots of new books and lots of kids’ books. SPANK is back courtesy of Chris Jackson. There are 2 more times this summer. The Dunany Equipment Sharing Community initiative is a new thing – we have walkers, canes, supports for your neck, your knee…. If you need anything contact June Parker, Revilla Sauve or LF – you can rent for free at any time. We also live on a Golf Course, there is a lot happening.
Wentworth Community has the Recreation Park – it’s lovely and in the winter, there is a skating rink. On the golf course, residents of Wentworth can play 2 times for free. Grace Park also has a beach and picnic area. There is also the Lake Louisa Social Club and they are celebrating their 100th anniversary. They have swimming lessons and tennis. Gore also has some trails. There will be a Community Breakfast on August 5 and star gazing on Aug 12. Morin Heights also has a lot of activities and along the Aerobic Corridor there is now a story board and there are Farmer’s Markets everywhere.
All the activities are listed on the Dunany website.
e) Fish stocking
BS read the report submitted by Rod Armstrong. There was no stocking in 2022. This year 2023 Boyd and Clear will receive trout on the Thanksgiving weekend. She encouraged people to come out to see the stocking process. Rod would like to thank France/Jacques on Clear and Jim Armstrong and Eileen Paragas on Boyd for allowing him to use their docks. Fishing is a wonderful sport. Enjoy eating them. Try to use angling techniques to release trout that aren’t harmed.
DH was pleased to say that there are no incidents to report again this year. She wanted to thank all the residents and eyes and ears of the community and a special thank you to June Parker who is our contact with the SQ. She noted that there is a list of those involved in our Neighbourhood Watch program on the desk at the entrance and thanked everyone for their work to keep our community safe.
JP noted that the felt painting hanging above the Registration Table was donated and made by Jane McMerty and represented the DCC logo. He thanked her for donating it to the DCA.
He spoke about the website Dunany.ca. There are 132 pages. There are 2 key things: articles and pages. The main pages are updated continuously. For instance, there is a page on purple bladderwort – in the past few years it has significantly reduced. The website also has a record of all the articles that have been written over the past 15 years. It also references our history. It is basically an archive.
In our communication, we will continue send emails with different activities or information that are relevant to members. Members can communicate by clicking the language of their choice.
The website is in good shape and if you have any comments, JP asked that people put them on the website.
6) Financial Review
JP noted that we have 203 households. Our goal was to collect $6,700 – he is at about $7,000 – so he thanked everyone for their collaboration. The preferred mode of payment today is e-transfers. JP noted that we get many with the same names (first names). He asked, if you only keep your first name to identify yourself, please indicate your full name or address in the ‘Message’ section of the e-transfer.
b) Financials and Budge
AS presented the financial results of the year ending December 2022. The financial statements are a numerical reflection of the actions of the community. The Dunany trail was improved ($4,500). We spent $0 on fish stocking, but we have put $3,000 in the budget for 2023. Our interest rates are very low. We also spent funds on the gift that the DCA gave to the DCC for the 100th anniversary – a wonderful sign you saw when you came in. That was in our budget. We had forecasted a deficit of $7,000 and resulted in a deficit of $4,307.55
In looking at our balance sheet, we are in very good shape. In terms of cash and cash equivalents we have almost $17,500, we have adequate cash resources to do our activities in the future. We also have an accrual for insurance and for the beaver trapper. That represents the activities for 2022.
c) Financial Review Committee
AS asked Annabel Moore, Chair of our Financial Review Committee to speak to the results. AM advised that she has reviewed the books for this year and is comfortable that the Financial results are a true reflection of the activity. AS asked for a motion to approve.
Motion to Approve: Dianne Burk
Seconded: Maurice Pilon
AS noted that our 2023 budget was developed and approved by the Board. The only change is for fish stocking, budgeted at $3,000.
We are forecasting to have a balanced budget for 2023.
d) 2024 Dues
JP advised that the dues for 2024 will remain the same as those for 2023.
9) Nominating Committee Report for 2023-24
LP, Chair of the Nominations Committee proposed that the following DCA members be nominated to the Board of Directors for the period of one year from the AGM on July 30, 2023, to the ensuing DCA AGM in 2024:
Président Alex Sandhal Lac Black Lake
Past president Bonnie Swaine Lac Boyd Lake
Secretary Lynn Palmer Lac Clair – Clear Lake
Treasurer (Interim) Alex Sandhal Lac Black Lake
Communications/environnement Jacques Pigeon Lac Clair – Clear Lake
Director Trudy Adams Lac Black Lake
Director Lois Finch Lac Black Lake
Director Johanne Vallée Lac Clair – Clear Lake
Director André Therrien Lac Curran Lake
Director Brian Robinson Lac Black Lake
Motion to Approve: Laurie Lincoln
Seconded: Annabel Wood
Expression of Thanks
BS spoke to the great contribution of Diane Hislop who joined the Board in 2019 and has been responsible for Neighbourhood watch and working with June Parker with the Sûreté du Québec. As she did this morning, under her leadership, she has been able to report that ‘there is nothing to report’ and we live in a safe community. From all of us, thank you so much Diane.
10. Questions and Varia
Revilla Sauve introduced Dianne Choquette who is a member of the Environment Committee for Wentworth. Revilla highlighted a decorated chair which was a project started by the Quebec City Mayor Bruno Marchand. It is a ‘Chair of Generations’ – Revilla wanted to show the Community what the Dunany Juniors have produced over 2 Tuesdays; we had 15 juniors contributing. The goal of the initiative is to remind us that today’s decisions determine the future of our children and grandchildren and that the environment should be part of every decision. It will be put in the City Council room so that Councillors will be reminded to think of the future when making decisions. Dianne Choquette provided additional details on the program. She thanked Revilla for the work that they are doing in the Environment Committee. She congratulated the DCA for the work we are doing on the Environment. She noted that it was wonderful to see so many people at an AGM. She also thanked the DCC. At the beginning they thought that there we no kids in Wentworth – there are only 7 kids in Wentworth younger than 7 – so it was great that there were so many children up in the summer.
Message from the Incoming President – Alex Sandahl said a few words. Alex is clear with his mandate especially with the feedback that he received today. There are big shoes to fill in a long line of DCA Presidents. It’s important to continue our activities and traditions that we’ve had for over 60 years. He noted that it will be his pleasure to represent members to protect the community we love so much.
Meeting adjourned at 11:40 –
Motion to Approve: Bill Gauley
Seconded: Sharon Leslie