Summary of the municipal council meeting of February 2, 2022

The municipal council meeting was held behind closed doors on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. It was recorded and broadcast on our YouTube channel. The official minutes (in French only) of the meeting are also available on our website.

Introduction/follow-up of ongoing files

  • The Mayor thanked the Assistant Director General Louis Pilon, who will be leaving his position after having worked for the Town for several years. The Director General also personally thanked him for having ensured the interim before his arrival and allowed a good transition, as well as for his involvement in the adoption of the private bill for the Town of Sutton.
  • The Mayor gave an update on the Internet and fibre-optic file. He met with IHR Télécom executives in order to obtain explanations regarding deployment and delays. The delays are mainly due to the cold weather we have been experiencing and the shortage of manpower. They have currently completed the construction of the fibre on 95 km of the 210 km planned, or 44%. Important point to remember: you must sign up to be given priority in these connections, otherwise you will be at the end. Note that contracts will be open and you will be able to change distributors. It is also important to note that IHR is a non-profit organization. The project is financed by both levels of government for an amount between $20 and $25 million and it is our Brome-Missisquoi MRC that manages it and will eventually finance the cost overruns. The Mayor will be the representative of the MRC in the technical committee that will oversee the deployment, as the project must be completed by September 30 to obtain funding.
  • The Mayor reminded everyone that the budget presentation adopted by the Town on January 26 is online for consultation. A great deal of effort has been put forth to provide as much clear and transparent information as possible. 
  • The Mayor informed that, following a citizen’s request, links to projects are now added to the agenda of the meetings and that other improvements will be made by the Clerk, Jonathan Fortin. 

Adoption of four by-laws: 

  • Council adopted the By-law number 73-3-2021 entitled “By-law amending by-law number 73 concerning site planning and architectural integration programs (PIIA) in order to add provisions relating to densification and realization of a project‘: it is simply a matter of adding a supervisory tool to better control the integration of authorized projects.
  • Council adopted By-law number 315 entitled “By-law concerning the creation of a fund reserved for expenses related to the holding of an election and allocation of the necessary sums“: as explained at the previous ordinary meeting, a $60,000 fund must be paid in preparation for the 2025 elections, at an amount of $15,000 per year.
  • Council adopted the By-law number 316 entitled “By-law to impose general and special property taxes and compensations for the year 2022“: according to the adoption of the budget at the January 26 meeting.
  • Council adopted the By-law number 317 entitled “Code of ethics and good conduct for elected representatives of the Town of Sutton“.

Tabling of one draft by-law:

  • Tabling of draft by-law number 318 entitled “By-law decreeing an expense of $3,019,799.70 and a loan of $3,019,799.70 for the refection of North Sutton road, between Route 139 and Favreau road, and the replacement of 14 culverts on North Sutton, Draper, Vallée-Missisquoi and Schweizer roads“.


  • Council approved the salary adjustment for the Director General for year 2022, following his appraisal. The Mayor underlined Pascal Smith’s great qualities as director and leader. As the Town does not have a performance bonus system, progression is made by a one-step increase on the salary scale.
  • The Director General mentioned that the managerial personnel’s annual appraisals had been completed this week, and every employee will move up one salary step. The Town is proud to be able to rely on motivated and competent management and unionized employees.
  • The committee noted the resignation of Louis Pilon, the current Assistant Director General (see Mayor’s introduction).
  • Council confirmed the hiring of Harry Pressoir, Urban Planning Advisor, and the Mayor congratulated him on his excellent work.
  • Council confirmed the forthcoming hiring of a Recreation and Community Life Officer: the recruitment process being underway, this allows the hiring to proceed before the next council meeting.


  • Council approved the payment of $18,415 in financial contributions to the Corporation de développement économique de Sutton (CDEC) for projects included in the 2021 budget (for the Christmas Market and activities held last summer).
  • Council confirmed receipt of three payments relating to 10% contributions for park purposes, totalling $24,565. It should be remembered that the sums paid are allocated to the Park Fund. In the future, the Council would like to consider the possibility of using some of the lands transferred to connect them via new paths.
  • Council approved remuneration indexing for non-elected members of the CCUDD at a rate of 5.1% for the year 2022.


  • Council authorized the signing of a new agreement with the SPA des Cantons which will entrust the agency with the handling of dangerous dog cases, sale of tags, stray cats and complaints about domestic animals.  


  • Council approved the allocation of funds from the park fund to finance work on the petanque ground located at 7 Academy Street and the purchase of bicycle racks.
  • The Council recognized the NPO Sutton Curling Club as an organization in its Policy regarding the recognition and support of organizations.
  • Council agreed to produce an endorsement letter to support Sutton School’s grant application for its community greenhouse project.


  • A look back on a citizen’s question from the previous session relating to increases in power outages and available statistics. ANSWER: The Mayor contacted Hydro-Quebec. Contrary to popular belief, power outages in the region are down 36%. The two main causes are vegetation and equipment failure. Hydro-Quebec has planned major vegetation clean-up work this year and investments in remote control of equipment that would reduce outages. It should be noted that local outage indicators do not take into account large general outages such as the one that occurred at Christmas.
  • A citizen inquired whether a request to reduce the speed to 30 km/h on Route 139 in the urban zone could be added to the request to the MTQ under item 11.1. ANSWER: The Town intends to put together a complete file and meet with the Minister of Transportation to present a list of requests.
  • A citizen representing a group of citizens criticized the fact that the delays in processing permit applications are not improving. ANSWER: All municipalities have the same difficulty finding inspectors. A new job posting is expected soon. The Mayor has personally examined the urbanism department operations, where the three current employees are working very hard. They need reinforcement, which is why a position addition was approved in the budget adopted last week.
  • Sutton Library asked if a date had been set for a public consultation on the future of the John-Sleeth Centre. ANSWER: First step is an inventory of all our community equipment which is planned between now and April. Meetings will be held with organizations, citizens, architects and urban planners.
  • A citizen asked if a resolution would be passed on maintaining the Town’s bilingual status as Potton and Brome Lake have done. ANSWER: Before receiving the opinion of the Office québécois de la langue française, a resolution would be legally useless. Sutton’s bilingual status remains a commitment of the Mayor and Council.
  • A citizen requested the following:
    • How does the Town collect and use its data using two figures of Sutton’s population, i.e. 4,300 and 8,000 related to the influx of tourists, to assess the expenditure? ANSWER: the figure of 8,000 is not related to tourists, but to non-permanent residents in addition to the 4,300 permanent residents. Non-permanent residents pay taxes and utilize the services.
    • If the Town collects information on the activities and impacts of visitors on expenditures. ANSWER: No. Only the federal government census is used.
    • Who within administration regularly gathers data on visitors. RÉPONSE : No one.
    • Whether the Town can give a percentage of spending dedicated to permanent residents versus visitors. RÉPONSE : The Town has no such data.
  • A citizen:
    • Has produced a table analyzing the permits issued in Cowansville, suggesting that Sutton do the same for taxes paid by the owners. ANSWER: We do not follow Cowansville’s lead and repeat the answers given at previous meetings.
    • Believes that the President of the Appalachian Corridor should not sit as a councillor given the influence of the organization. ANSWER: The Mayor is familiar with the organization, which has a very high ethical standard and receives funding from government and foundations, both public and private. It is a very important means for the government to achieve its goal of preserving 17% of land. There is no conflict of interest here. However, if a matter concerning the Appalachian Corridor were to be discussed, the said councillor would withdraw from the decision-making process.
    • Asked about public consultations on urban planning by-laws:
      • Why people registered as lobbyists did not identify themselves as such during the meetings. ANSWER: As the consultation was public and at the Town’s request, there was no need to do so.
      • Why did Kenneth Hill, President of Sutton Affordable Housing, list properties publicly? ANSWER: This information is public.
      • When will the briefs submitted be published on the website and whether the names will be indicated. ANSWER: They are already published on the website and the names are listed.
      • Why are the Urbanism Department’s monthly activity reports no longer available? ANSWER: A quarterly report will be published on the next council meeting.
      • What is the situation with Stantec who has already received $80,000 from the Town? ANSWER: After completion of the public consultations, we are in the process of determining what actions are to be taken in the coming months. A correction must be made: they have not received $80,000, but rather $45,000 so far.
    • Asked why the figure of 8,000 people was used in the budget and requested the revision of the budget. ANSWER: This point has already been addressed previously.
    • Asked what improvements were made to the Town employees” working conditions and if access to the UMQ report was possible. ANSWER: The report is confidential. It was well documented and stated that employee salaries were well below average. The Mayor has no intention of reexamining this matter, and we need to look forward.
    • Asked why the costs of professional services, electricity and fuel were impossible to control or limit. ANSWER: There is no way to limit these costs, except by limiting the services to the citizens that go with them, which is not an option. 
  • A citizen asked accounting questions:
    • Was the Town’s line of credit utilized as of December 31, 2021? ANSWER: No.
    • What is the general bank account balance as of December 31, 2021 as shown on the bank reconciliation? ANSWER: $345,855.41.
    • What is the balance of the Working capital fund reserve as at December 31, 2021? ANSWER: Balance on the books of $361,191.32.

For more details on each point discussed, please watch the meeting on our YouTube channel.

Next council meeting will be on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. (See 2022 meeting schedule).