City council notebook | Stratford Beacon Herald


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Policy on Civil Marriage Ceremonies Under Review

Sarnia takes a closer look at how she delivers wedding ceremonies.


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Since 2015, the town hall has offered ceremonies in addition to marriage licenses.

But during the COVID-19 pandemic, no ceremonies were held at city hall, Clerk Amy Burkhart told council.

There were 80 in 2019, she said.

“We provide a service that people have access to, it’s just when City Hall is closed that they don’t access it,” Coun said. said Mike Stark.

Mayor Mike Bradley said the city should take a closer look at whether it should continue to offer ceremonies.

“If you’re asking for a report, I think you should ask how much is staff time,” he said. “I am thinking of the clerk in particular who is due to run for office next year.”

There was no public consultation when the city started offering ceremonies in 2015, he said.

The discussion was triggered by a notice of motion from Council. Nathan Colquhoun has called on the city to offer “bare minimum” wedding ceremonies for those who wish, including no pre-consultation meetings, no vow approvals, and no religious text or language.

“I just think we need a simpler way to do it,” Colquhoun said.

The city is able to offer this bare minimum, following the processes outlined in the legislation, Burkhart said.

“The marriage law says that no particular form of ceremony is required except that the marriage ceremony must include certain statements, which we can provide at the bare minimum.”

There is an hour-long consultation with the couples before “building the ceremony to their liking,” she said.


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“If they want the bare minimum, then that’s definitely what we can deliver.”

Com. Terry Burrell requested more information ahead of the vote, and the board unanimously approved Colquhoun’s motion to be tabled until a staff report was prepared.

The marriage license fee is $ 150 and the ceremony fee is $ 300, according to He notes that the city does not currently reserve civil ceremonies.

Canatara cabin donation request postponed

A request from the city’s heritage committee to donate $ 1,000 to rebuild the old Canatara Park hut that has been moved to the Lambton Heritage Museum in Grand Bend will await city budget deliberations.

The Council voted 5-3 for the postponement, along with the Council. George Vandenberg declaring a conflict because he sits on the committee that requested council approval to donate his operating budget to the cabin rebuilding campaign of $ 100,000.

It shouldn’t be for committees to spend their tax-funded operating budgets on donations, Councilors Mike Stark and Terry Burrell agreed.

“The unelected should never be able to allocate money to city taxpayers,” Stark said.

The decision was up to the council, the council said. Brian Blanc.

“They’re just making a recommendation,” the advisor said, noting that he agreed with the recommendation as it promotes heritage.

“It’s part of their mandate, and I think it’s a good use of the money.

The cabin, which is said to have been built in Goderich in the 1830s and descended from Lake Huron to Sarnia a century later, has been in Canatara Park since 1971.


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It had fallen into disuse over the decades and was removed to make way for a new cabin in the park.

The move of the historic cabin, which has ties to Canatara Park benefactor Maud Hanna and former Sarnia city councilor and builder Lorne Hay, cost the city approximately $ 55,000, the CEO said. of community services, Stacey Forfar.

All but White and Councilors Margaret Bird and David Boushy voted for the postponement.

The Canatara Cottages campaign has raised about $ 22,400 to date, according to the Lambton Heritage Museum.

Pathways, plows, play areas and wastewater treatment contracts awarded

Sev-Con Paving has the contract for $ 418,000 to construct a multi-use trail connecting East and Russell Streets through the Bluewater Health property.

Construction was scheduled to begin later this year and include the extension of cycle lanes on Russell Street.

The only bid received for the project was less than the estimate of $ 450,000.

The grants help to cover part of the costs.

The $ 686,000 offer from Viking Cives Ltd. for the supply and delivery of two plows is within the budget of $ 690,000, staff said.

Savings from further fleet acquisitions in 2021 kept procurement on budget, staff said.

The estimated cost was $ 672,000.

Park N Play, which completed an accessible playground upgrade in 2019, won the $ 240,000 contract for a land at Tecumseh Park.

Summa Engineering Ltd. was awarded a $ 225,000 contract for new hardware for a plant automation system called Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition at the Sarnia Wastewater Pollution Control Center.

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