O'Connor Township

Country Living at its Best

Phone: 807-476-1451
Email: twpoconn@tbaytel.net

Welcome to O'Connor Township

FIRE PERMITS - Fire Permits required between April 1st and October 31st

RESTRICTED FIRE ZONE IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF ONTARIO UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has implemented a Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) across the entire legislated fire region of Ontario due to impacts related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a proactive action by the Ministry to reduce the number of preventable human-caused wildfires to ensure that emergency response capacity is maintained. Minimizing wildfires will ensure that the province is able to address any emergency fire situations, as well as reduce necessary contact among staff, and between staff and the public.
This RFZ is effective April 3, 2020 and will be in effect until such time that the MNRF can determine that emergency response capacity will not be impacted by COVID-19. See link for more information on the Restricted Fire Zone Declaration due to COVID-19.

FIRE AND INCINERATOR PERMITS CAN NOW BE REQUESTED ONLINE.  See link under "Important Links" this page. Once approved, permits will be emailed back during regular office hours.

  • Fire Permits are required between April 1st and October 31st,
  • Fire Permits are required for ALL outdoor burning, with the exception of small fires for cooking or warmth,
  • Fire Permits valid for 15 days, Incinerator permits for the entire fire season,
  • Permits may be revoked at anytime at the absolute discretion of the Township’s Fire Chief Henry Mattas.

Fire permits may still be picked up at the Township Office, 330 Hwy 595, however due to COVID-19, please call ahead at 476-1451.

Interim Tax Bills

The second installment of O’Connor Property Taxes are due Thursday, April 30th.  Please see your tax bill, which was sent out in February, for the amount due.  Payments can be made by cash, cheque, internet or telephone banking.  For more information please contact the Municipal Office at 476-1451.  

MPAC PROPERTY ASSESSMENT NOTICES

Request for Reconsideration deadline extended
The Request for Reconsideration (RfR) deadline for property owners who disagree with their property assessment is usually March 31 of the applicable tax year. MPAC has extended the 2020 RfR deadline to fall 16 days after the Province lifts its COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency.

2020 Property Assessment Update Postponed
As part of the Ontario Government’s Economic and Fiscal Update on March 25, 2020, the Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, announced the Province’s decision to postpone the 2020 Assessment Update, which would have seen the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) update the assessed value of every property in Ontario this year.
In lieu of providing municipalities with updated assessed values for 2021, MPAC will deliver property assessments based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values, which is the same valuation date MPAC used for this year. For example, if your property value in 2020 was $300,000, municipalities will use this same value to calculate your property taxes in 2021.
MPAC will continue to conduct regular business, including updating property information, completing tax applications and managing Requests for Reconsideration and appeals.
If you have questions about your assessed value or the postponement of the 2020 Assessment Update, visit mpac.ca or call 1-866-296-MPAC (6722) or TTY: 1-877-889-MPAC (6722).

Office Hours:

PLEASE DO NOT COME INTO THE OFFICE. 

CALL AHEAD FOR INFORMATION AT 476-1451. 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - 9:00 a.m. to Noon, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fridays  - 9:00 a.m. to Noon

Council Meetings 

At this time Council have agreed to continue with regular Council meetings, however due to COVID-19 the format in how meetings will be attended will need to change.  A decision will be made early next week as to how our meetings will be made accessible to council members, staff and the public, so as not to have a group meeting greater than five people as per provincial limitations.  Please continue to check our website for current updates on Council meetings.  

The next regular meetings of Council will be held on Tuesday, April 14 and Monday, April 27, 2020
Regular meetings of Council shall be held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:00 p.m., except for the months of July, August and December. Only during the month of December, a meeting will be held on the third Monday. Where any of the meeting dates fall on a statutory holiday the meeting will be held on the Tuesday of that week at 7 p.m.

2020 Budget Meeting dates have been set. The Road and Fire Department budget meeting will be held on Monday, April 20, 2020 at 7 p.m. and the Administration Budget meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 7 p.m.  These meetings may be rescheduled due to COVID-19.

Disposal Site Hours

The Disposal Site will continue to operate regular hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We ask that residents simply drop off their garbage in the designated areas for proper disposal and avoid socially interacting with others. 

Norwest Community Health Mobile Services

Due to COVID-19, the Mobile Health Services Team will not be traveling to rural communities within the district of Thunder Bay to help protect the health of the community. The current situation will be reassessed in the near future.  Please see link under "Important Links" to the left of this page for more information.

Ontario Energy Board COVID-19 Update - Time of Use Pricing

 The Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. As a result, starting on March 24, 2020, residential and small business customers on time-of-use (TOU) pricing will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day the electricity is consumed. This means that TOU customers will be paying the off-peak price throughout the day as long as the Emergency Order remains in place. The Government has indicated that it intends to keep the 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing in place for 45 days.

 

The 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing applies automatically – no customer action is required. Some customers may receive a bill before their utility or unit sub-meter provider is able to implement the price change, in which case they will receive a credit on the following bill.

 

Diabetes Canada 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and crucial physical distancing orders by governments that non-essential services be stopped, the pick-up of all textile donations by Diabetes Canada from homes and donation bins across Canada stopped on March 23. This also resulted in the temporary lay-off of the more than 500 staff who manage our donation bin service.

Sadly, some residents continue to drop off donations at our bins even though we cannot empty them at this time; and some individuals are using Diabetes Canada donation bins to dump garbage and more. This is posing a serious health and safety issue. We have contacted government agencies to help us to remove the garbage however we have not yet been successful. We simply do not have the financial resources to deploy staff to clean the garbage around our more than 5,000 bins.

Our organization relies on your generous charitable clothing donations as a crucial source of revenue that supports diabetes research, sends kids with type 1 to camp and sustains our efforts to end the fight against diabetes. Additionally, more than 100 million pounds of textiles are diverted from landfill annually. With an extended stoppage of service, Diabetes Canada has lost one its major sources of revenue which impacts millions of Canadians with diabetes and prediabetes.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Please see links below for COVID-19 Updates;

NOTE:    PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE OFFICE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.  PAYMENTS CAN BE MADE ONLINE OR THROUGH TELEPHONE BANKING.  IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR NEED INFORMATION TO SET UP ONLINE PAYMENTS, PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE AT 476-1451.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND COOPERATION.  IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION AFTER THE "OFFICE HOURS" SECTION.

The Township of O'Connor would like to encourage all residents to read and follow the information provided below.  As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, we strongly urge people not to panic, but rather take proper precautions given by the World Health Organization (WHO), Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Public Health Agency of Canada,  Provincial and Federal Governments to prevent and protect you and your families from exposure to the virus.  Please see websites below.  

Statement from the World Health Organization;

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.

Learn more about how to protect yourself at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Symptoms of COVID-19

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease. The Government of Canada is currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered to be rare.

Symptoms have included:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia in both lungs

In severe cases, infection can lead to death.

You can help stop COVID-19 by:

Calling for medical advice if you

  • Develop symptoms

AND

  • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.  Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Being prepared

Although China remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, more countries are reporting cases. Some countries may not have the capacity to detect or contain the disease. This means global efforts to stop the spread of the disease may not be enough to prevent a pandemic (global outbreak).

At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

While a COVID-19 outbreak is not unexpected in Canada, our public health system is prepared to respond. PHAC, along with provincial, territorial and community partners, continues to reassess the public health risk, based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.

In order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, everyone has a role to play. It takes more than governments and action from the health sector to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Each of us can help our country be prepared in the event of an emergency by understanding how coronavirus spreads and how to prevent illness.

There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Stay home when you are sick and encourage others to do the same.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
    • Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Contact the Government of Canada for COVID-19 information

Several social events and organisations have cancelled or closed due to the Pandemic. This includes the Norwest Mobile Health Clinics, Oliver Paipoonge Libraries, Kakabeka Legion and Community Centers.  

 

Help for Those in Need during COVID-19 Pandemic

Please call the Township office at 476-1451 if you are self-isolating or practicing social distancing and are not able or not wanting to go out.  The Township has a list of wonderful residents of the Township that have offered to help those in need.  If you wish to add your name to the list of volunteers, call and we will add your name.  Neighbours helping neighbours.  Truly country living at its best!

Other resources are:

  • 211 - Phone or google 211 and ask or use their search feature to discover a list of service providers in the Thunder Bay area.
  • St. John's Ambulance, 345-1712 - Contact for information regarding volunteer opportunities and services.
  • Pharmacies - Contact your pharmacy to inquire if they provide prescription delivery, or to have it prepared in advance for quick pick-up (and possibly if there are groceries they can add to the list).
  • Driving Miss Daisy, 630-0890 - Delivery service for groceries or prescriptions.  Call for more information.
  • Superstore - Shop online and pick up your groceries without entering the store.  See website at https://www.realcanadiansuperstore.ca/
  • Walmart - Shop online and pick up your groceries at Customer Service.  See website at www.walmart.ca   

Emergency Text Messaging

Stay updated to Emergency Events in the Township of O’Connor; road closures, power failures, floods and other weather related events, Municipal Events and Reminders.  This service is provided as an information notice line to the public and is not capable of receiving replies.  Messages received will relate only to Social Events hosted by O’Connor Township or service disruptions that will take longer than 1 hour.  Text notifications is a voluntary, opt-in service.  By signing up, you are responsible for your cellular plan and all associated charges with sending and receiving text messages.  If you wish to remain anonymous, you can opt out of attaching your name to the text, however, it will help us direct specific text messages for your area if you give your name.  Your contact information will NOT be shared with third parties.  For instructions on how to sign up for Emergency Text Messages, please click on the link below.

Emergency Text Messaging

Fire Department Meetings Cancelled Until Further Notice.

O'Connor Community Centre Closed Until Further Notice.

Outdoor Skating Rink - Closed for the season

Thank you to all the great volunteers  who helped to keep our rink up and running for the season.  A special thank you to Ralph Backstrom who provided the tricks of the trade to make that excellent surface.  Hope those who skated this year enjoyed the longer season and the new lights.

Hope to see you all out again next season.

O'Connor Community Club

The Community Club will be hosting two fundraiser sales, Mom's Pantry Products and Veseys bulbs.  Books for Veseys bulbs catalogue can be viewed at the Township office during regular business hours or from any one of our Community Club members.  Order  for Veseys must be submitted into the Township office or to Diana Bockus by April 14thCheques should be made payable to the O'Connor Community Club. 

Mom's Pantry items will be in on Wednesday, April 8th.  If you placed an order, we will be calling you to give you instructions for your pick up time.

Thank you for your support.

The next scheduled meeting for April 1,  2020 has been cancelled.  Please watch for rescheduled date.  We are always looking for new members and volunteers to help host  community events.  If you would like to join please come out to the next meeting or call Linda or Lorna for more information at the Township office - 476-1451.

TOWNSHIP OF O'CONNOR - OFFICIAL PLAN

January 30, 2019, the Township of O'Connor's new Official Plan was approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, with some modifications and has come into effect as of January 31, 2019.  A Office Consolidated copy will be made available in the near future, on-line, as well as hard copy  from the office, if requested.

TOWNSHIP OF O'CONNOR - ZONING BY-LAW

The Township of O'Connor Zoning By-law will now be updated to incorporate the new Official Plan.  A Public Meeting will be held in the near future for review of the proposed Zoning By-law.  A draft copy of the document will also be available in the near future.

Council

Council for the 2018-2022 term has been set. Congratulations to our new Council members.

Mayor Jim Vezina (middle), Councillors (from left to right)  Jerry Loan, Wendy Handy, Alex Crane and Bishop Racicot.

2018 Election results for Council

Thank you to everyone who came out and voted and to Jonathon Hari for also putting his name forward.

Thank you also to Kevin Foekens, the outgoing Councillor, for 4 years of dedication and service to the Township of O'Connor as a Council member.

For School Board results please go to www.elections.ontarioschooltrustees.org or go to the City of Thunder Bay website.

In accordance with the Municipal Elections Act,  the Clerk as Returning Officer conducts elections for the offices of one Mayor and four Councillors.  The term of the new office commenced Monday, December 3, 2018 and serves for four years.

 

O'Connor Township News

O’Connor Community Centre Blessing Box

Uncategorized / November 25, 2019

Ashlee Burton of Giant Hearts Thunder Bay with fellow volunteers, Eric Klages and Darcy Penasie, came out on November 4th to install their 15th blessing box at the O’Connor Community Centre.

The "Blessing Box" is a community pantry.  It is open for anyone struggling with food insecurity and everyone is welcome to donate supplies. Giant Hearts are looking for non-perishable foods, hygiene products and baby items as supplies for the box.

Thank you to Shelley Thorne, O’Connor resident, for arranging the placement of O’Connor’s Blessing Box.

     

Lake Superior Scottish Regiment

Uncategorized / November 25, 2019

On September 21st, Mayor Jim Vezina attended a Memorial Dedication, located at Current River Park, for the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment (LSSR) to honour the 52nd (New  Ontario) Batallion.  Please note that on the monument are names of residents from the Township of O’Connor. Please click on the links below to see pictures and watch videos of the  dedication and why this memorial was built.

Picture #1

Video #1

Video #2

Clean Water Waste Water Fund (CWWF)

Township News / November 21, 2017

The Township of O’Connor was fortunate this year to receive funding from the Clean Water Wastewater Fund (CWWF), through both the   Federal and Provincial governments, to replace several road culverts throughout the Township.  This fund covers 50% of the total cost of the  project.

To cover the Township’s share of the project we will also be using funds from the Federal Gas Tax Fund (FGT) and the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) to change approximately 60 culverts in our road system.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Uncategorized / April 4, 2017

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has developed communications material to promote awareness of the change to income thresholds under Seniors Co-Pay Program (SCP) and encourage eligible seniors to apply.

Updated income thresholds:

  • Single senior - an income of less than or equal to $19,300; or
  • Senior couple - a combined income of less than or equal to $32,000.

Patient benefits:

Eligible seniors:

  • Can save an average of $130 per year in out-of-pocket drug costs
  • Pay no annual deductible and a co-payment of up to $2 for each prescription.

To find out more go to Ontario.ca/SeniorDrugSavings

NorWest Community Health Centres – Mobile Health Services

Township News / December 1, 2015

New Hours for the Norwest Community Health Centres - Mobile Health Services

Please note:  The New Hours for the Thursday Clinics at the O'Connor Community Centre - 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The clinics are every second Thursday at the O'Connor Community Centre - 330 Highway 595.  They are also here on the third Wednesday of the month by appointment only. See events calendar for dates.  For more information or to make an appointment please call 626-8474.

A video produced by the Canadian Institute for Health Innovation and funded by the Ontario Government was filmed in the Township of O'Connor and surrounding area.  This video details the need for their mobile service and the services they do provide.  To view this video please click on this link.  Password is "thunderbay".

Service Ontario Launches Not-For-Profit  

Township News / June 30, 2015

Service Ontario has launched a new section for not-for-profits in Ontario making it faster and easier for organizations to get the services and information they need to start, operate and grow their NFPs.

The new site features information on government open call programs for funding, ideas on how to start and manage a not-for-profit organization, a section to help organizations understand the laws that affect the sector, research about the sector, government initiatives that support the sector, and much more.

Please follow the link to visit this new resource: www.ServiceOntario.ca/NotForProfits

The O’Connor Community Centre

Township News / June 29, 2015
The O'Connor Community Centre is available for rentals with the basement kitchen and main level renovations, including a new accessible platform lift.  With reasonable rental rates the Community Centre is waiting for you.  To book your event please call the Township of O'Connor office at 476-1451.
If you would like to rent the Community Centre for an event and someone attending may need to use the platform lift you or someone you appoint must be trained on its operation.

WSIB Ontario – Bill 119

WSIB Ontario - Bill 119 - Mandatory Coverage for the Construction Industry
If you work in construction, the rules for mandatory WSIB coverage have changed.  Do you run your own construction business? Are you the purchaser of construction services? Big or small, with workers or without, you still need to know what's changed. Find out what it means for you.