Haliburton County will affix magnetic signs advertising the area to physicians to county vehicles and any members of the public particularly those who travel back and forth to the GTA are welcome to put them on their vehicles.
During a March 9 county roads committee meeting Algonquin Highlands Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen who sits on the county’s medical professional recruitment committee explained the recruitment committee had attained funding from the Haliburton County Development Corporation “some of which included signage.”
That signage includes two four-by-eight billboards as well as stickers and magnetic signs for vehicles.
Danielsen said the idea was that the magnetic signs could be attached to county vehicles.
“The thinking was that quite often particularly the roads trucks are all over the county and quite well-seen” Danielsen said.
Algonquin Highlands Reeve and County Warden Carol Moffatt initially took issue with the concept.
“I find the issue problematic” Moffatt said. “To me it seems like the slippery slope of the county truck sign program we’re about to initiate.”
Moffatt said it was about equitable application of process and that there might be other groups who would want to advertise their activities on county-owned vehicles.
“It’s the county’s program” Danielsen said.
“So is Hike Haliburton” said Moffatt.
“Has there been any proof those things work?” asked Dysart et al Reeve Murray Fearrey.
Danielsen said the recruitment committee couldn’t afford $1000 advertisements and it was hoped this might be a cost-effective way of attracting new physicians.
Losing two physicians in recent months the Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team currently has 11 doctors on its roster most located at the clinic in Haliburton Village and Dr. Nell Thomas working out of Minden. Danielsen has said the recruitment committee would like to get at least one other doctor working out of the Minden clinic.
“I can live with it either way” said Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin who said while he didn’t want to set a precedent using county vehicles as signboards he also saw merit in the idea.
There are some 30 of the magnetic signs and councillors suggested they could be affixed to private vehicles as well.
“It doesn’t have to be all county [vehicles]” Moffatt said adding it might be particularly helpful if residents who did a lot of driving between the county and Toronto were to volunteer. “Instead of just driving around in circles in our own community.”
The committee also recommended fees be waived for the erection of the billboards along county roadways.