Molly’s Bistro Bakery owner, Molly McInerney, expressed concern about the direction the township’s community services department is going, in a letter tabled at a March 9 Minden Hills council meeting.
“It seems every time I turn around, they are quashing or cutting back events in our community,” McInerney wrote.
She said the Coby Island Hockey Tournament, traditionally held in Minden over the Easter weekend, shifted to Haliburton last year.
“Last Easter weekend, our beautiful community was like a ghost town and Haliburton was bursting at the seams with activity. Not a great economic strategy for our community,” she wrote.
Another event that moved this year was the Minden District Fur Harvester’s Trapper’s Workshop, which went to Wilberforce.
“Every cancelled event affects the economics of this town,” she wrote.
McInerney added while the Canada Day celebrations “have been the envy of the County for years,” the Crazy River Raft Race was not included in 2022.
She said she heard it was because of insurance but, “I don’t understand why this suddenly became an issue. It is the main attraction to our Canada Day event and why we have such a great attendance. It is the finale to the day, the front page of the paper, it’s a tradition among families and friends to participate by either entering or rooting them on. I’m worried that no race will result in fewer people attending and less new visitors to our town and less money being spent.”
She said the department and CAO should be investigating insurance now to make sure the race is part of 2023 Canada Day celebrations.
“If we don’t step up our game and get things back on track, some other community will step up their game and take that audience away from us. I can see it now… Crazy Canoe Races on Head Lake.”
McInerney added while the community has welcomed the Haliburton County Huskies, it has resulted in less space in the community centre and affected some organizations hosting fundraising dinners and auctions. She added the Scouts and Guides are using upstairs space as well, after being moved to accommodate the Huskies.
Coun. Tammy McKelvey asked, “can we go to another insurance company? Can we look at other options? Communities are doing all sorts of things on the water.” As for the other items in the letter, she added, “I, too, have concerns with the things that we’ve had here that are leaving.” She said another is the over-55 hockey. “We do need to look at something.”
CAO Trisha McKibbin said every year they make a request about the Crazy River Raft Race to their insurer. “We certainly can make that request through our broker to see if they can source out different insurance. This past year, they weren’t able to find coverage for us.” She said another option is a third-party organization getting insurance through their own coverage.
Mayor Bob Carter agreed a service club sponsoring the event might be able to get insurance a lot easier. He said it’s harder to find municipal insurers, and when they do, policies are restrictive.
Coun. Ivan Ingram suggested talking to Port Hope, which has the Float Your Fanny Down the Granny River Race.