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Regional appeal board deliberating Corner Brook city council's denial of Country Haven crematorium plans - The TelegramWednesday, March 27, 2019
Coun. Bernd Staeben, who had initially voted in support of the request, had a change of heart.
Parsons appealed the decision and a hearing was held by the West Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board in Deer Lake Thursday morning.
The appeal board's mandate is not to determine the merit of Country Haven's application. Rather, it must determine if city council abided by the proper rules and regulations in considering its decision.
Board chairperson Lloyd Walters asked if the city had provided a specific reason why the application had been rejected.
Lori Lee Sharpe, the city's solicitor, noted that city staff must cite a specific reason if its recommendation to council is to refuse an application. In this case, staff's recommendation had been to approve it, but the final decision was still left to city council's discretion.
Sharpe said each member of council voted according to their own consciences and the resulting decision did not legally require providing a justification of each council member's reasons for voting how they did.
The board was also told each council member, before they cast their votes, had access to both feedback received from a public notice about the crematorium proposal advertised in The Western Star and the results of surveys sent to 150 households in the area immediately around the funeral home.
There was also some discussion about whether the city correctly treated the crematorium as a discretionary use for the funeral home or if it should have been treated as an accessory use. Sharpe said, either way, the process would have resulted in city council voting according to their own consciences.
Parsons told the board that a story published by The Western Star three days before council's second vote may have been a factor in swaying council's vote. In that story, a woman living near a crematorium in Stephenville, complained about the emissions coming from the facility.
The owner of the Stephenville crematorium refuted what the woman was claiming. Likewise, Parsons contends the emissions from the controlled burning of a state-of-the-art crematorium is safer than a backyard barbecue.
Parsons also told the board he was asked by the city to hold a public forum with his funeral home's neighbours just days before the vote took place. He said that was an impractical request, given such short notice and it would have had to be held on a weekend.
Parsons does want to hold a public forum and will if he gets another chance to add the c...
Convicted sex offender Donnie Snook allowed escorted absence from prison - CBC NewsWednesday, March 27, 2019
Police say Snook, who is serving an 18-year prison sentence for abusing boys in two provinces, will be in St. John's, N.L., until Saturday.Correctional Service Canada notified the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary of Snook's arrival in St. John's earlier this week, according to Const. James Cadigan."He's only permitted to attend particular locations in the accompaniment of correctional officers and he'll be returned," Cadigan said.Snook's father died Feb. 24. The funeral will be held in St. John's on Friday, according to an obituary.Snook will be held at Her Majesty's Penitentiary, a provincial jail, overnight during his time in St. John's, Cadigan said.In 2013, Snook admitted to 46 sex crimes against children, including sexual assault, making and distributing child pornography, and extortion.'He hurt a whole community'Snook's crimes sparked outrage and shock in Saint John, where he was a popular youth pastor in the south end.For years, Snook ran a hot lunch program for underprivileged children, "deliberately" placing himself "in the positions to abuse young boys and seriously harm the community which supported him," Judge Alfred Brien wrote in Snook's sentencing decision.Snook was paraded through Saint John City Hall by RCMP following his ...
Deer Lake council follows through on appealed decision and formally rejects crematorium application - The Western StarWednesday, March 27, 2019
The opponents protested outside the town hall during several subsequent council meetings.
The decision of council was appealed by residents Kayla Critch and Stephen Brent. In February, the West Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board conducted a hearing of the appeal and eventually decided to reverse council's decision.
That set the stage for council to revisit the application, which finally made its way to the council agenda this week.
The vote to reject the application was unanimous. Coun. Dave Parsons, who was absent from the public meeting, would not have been permitted to vote if he had been there due to his conflict of interest.
Coun. Myra Spence, whose husband's company could have been considered for work on the crematorium project, was deemed to not be in a conflict of interest and was allowed to vote Monday.
The appeal board had based its decision on the fact a crematorium is not listed as a permitted or a discretionary use within the Town Centre zone in the town's municipal plan.
Mayor Dean Ball said there are likely several undertakings within Town Centre that the municipality has actually approved in the past, but which are not specifically mentioned in the town's plan.
He gave the example of the cannabis outlet that recently opened in the area. It was not listed as a specific discretionary use when it was approved since the sale of cannabis has only recently become legal.
"This is the first time this has happened to us that I'm aware of," said Ball. "There are lots of things not listed as itemized as discretionary use that we've done in the past.
"I guess with this being a bigger issue with a higher profile and closer to people's hearts, the appeal board decided the decision should be reversed."
Ball said the original decision was based on information provided by staff and this discretionary use issue was not foreseen. He said Parsons could always apply again, but the mayor doesn't believe that will happen.
Parsons could not be reached for comment as of deadline Tuesday to see if he still plans to pursue the crematorium. He has said in the past that, despite the rising demand for a crematorium service in the Deer Lake area, it would not be feasible for his business to build one somewhere other than at the funeral home's location on Main Street.
A new municipal plan the town is awaiting approval by the provincial government does specifica...
Grand Falls-Windsor Pays Tribute to Man Known for Keeping Town Clean - VOCMWednesday, March 27, 2019
The Mayor of Grand Falls-Windsor is paying tribute to a man who became a fixture in and around the central Newfoundland town.Billy Ballard was a familiar sight, traveling around town with his bike and cart picking up garbage and recycling items.
(Photo by Glen Fewer on Facebook.)
Ballard passed away on Sunday, September 2 at the age of 75.
Mayor Barry Manuel says Ballard made a “significant contribution” to the community. By keeping the town clean and beautiful.
The funeral mass will take place tomorrow morning at 11:00 from St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Grand Falls-Windsor.
View the obituary at this link.
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2 N.L. funeral homes with suspended licences still offer prepaid services to new clients - CBC.caSaturday, March 02, 2019
Two Newfoundland funeral homes that had their licences for prepaid funerals suspended two years ago still appear to be accepting money from new clients for these services.An undercover CBC News investigation has found that Sunset Memorial Funeral Home in Grand Falls-Windsor said it would take money in trust for prepaid services, while Gordon Woolfrey Funeral Home in Lewisporte said it would accept money in trust or through insurance.A Sunset Memorial employee explained how it works over the phone."What happens is obviously a person would come in and select the funeral of their choice, the services and things like that," the employee said."And what happens is then, basically you have a couple of different options in regards with the payments, that sort of thing. What happens is the funeral is paid in full, that price is obviously locked in and money goes into a trust account, and obviously there would be no further payments then."Employees for Botwood, Sunset Memorial and Gordon Woolfrey fu...