What is a municipal services corporation?

    Quite simply, a municipal services corporation is a corporation whose shares are owned by a municipality, or a municipality and one or more other public-sector entities. These corporations are connected to the municipality, but are at arms-length as they have autonomy over their operations. A municipal corporation is overseen by a board of directors, with regular reporting to the municipality. Examples of existing municipal services corporations are the Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation, the Picton BIA, and PEC Public Library.

    How will this affect me as a resident?

    First and foremost, municipal tax dollars will no longer be used to promote Prince Edward County as a destination. Less than 1% of your tax bill currently goes to tourism marketing or promotion, yet those dollars will be freed up to spend on other community priorities. 

    The Municipal Accommodation Tax is estimated to generate approximately $800,000 in 2021. Half of this will be transferred to the DMO for destination marketing and visitor services, the remaining half will be managed by the municipality, invested in projects that support tourism but that also provide benefit to residents, such as wayfinding signage, tourism management activities like additional washroom and garbage maintenance in summer months, improvements to amenities like parks, boat launches and trails, or infrastructure improvements in tourism areas like Main Streets.

    How will this affect visitors?

    This should create an even better visitor experience as significant funds will be re-invested into the destination through tourism development and promotion.

    How will this affect my tourism business?

    The new DMO will create an avenue for you to directly influence strategic priorities and budget decisions related to destination marketing. The DMO will also act as a dedicated voice for the sector, allowing for promotion of the area without requiring council approval.

    What is the purpose of this first phase of consultation?

    This round of consultation is required to establish the legal filing of the Municipal Services Corporation that will act as the DMO. Public consultation as well as a case study and a municipal by-law is required to allow the corporation to exist. If /when these are passed at Council will consider this by-law at a special meeting on Thursday, April 14 and, if approved, the legal filing can proceed and the corporation will formally exist.  

    When will we get to provide input on the marketing, operations, and other details of the DMO?

    Decisions related to the new DMO's budget, strategy, marketing plans, by-laws, policies and partnerships are all subject to future consultation once the inaugural board of directors is in place, and will not be addressed during this phase of consultation. These future consultations are anticipated to take place in Spring 2022.  

    How can I participate in a facilitated consultation session?

    If you are interested and available to answer the survey questions during a facilitated Zoom session with a group of your sector peers, please submit a request to attend here: https://forms.gle/Jjd2gHamRY4iCDa49. You will be notified either way, no later than Wednesday, March 16.

    How are session participants selected?

    All requests to attend will be reviewed and those selected will represent a diversity of voices within that sector. For example: new and established businesses, central and rural businesses, large and small operations, BIPOC owned/operated businesses, etc.  

    What if I don't get into a facilitated consultation session?

    Tourism stakeholders not interested or unable to attend a session can still provide feedback through a digital survey that includes the same questions covered in the sessions. The survey link will be shared and posted on Have Your Say and through The County's communication channels by Wednesday, March 16. Feedback collected through the survey and sessions are equally weighted.  

    Why can't there be more people per session?

    Each session can have up to 12 stakeholder / sector participants. This will allow time and space for everyone to share and be heard within the two-hour session.  

    Could there be more sessions?

    These 8 sessions covering various tourism sectors are within the scope of funds and timeline leading up to the April 14 special meeting of Council. There will be additional consultation opportunities on the new DMO's by-laws, policies, values and operations in the next phase of the project.  

    What am I missing by just completing the survey?

    Stakeholder / sector feedback collected through the survey and the consultation sessions are equally weighted. Consultation sessions are facilitated by a third party and information is shared and discussed between sector peers.

    Why isn't the notice/consultation period longer?

    We are working efficiently this spring to transition the DMO work from the municipality to the new DMO in a way that avoids any gap in services provided to the sector. This timeline allows us to ensure the new DMO is legally established, and able to recruit for directors and staff in time for the 2022 tourism season.  

    When do the residents and/or businesses not directly within the tourism sector get to provide feedback on the DMO?

    Those affected by tourism but not actively part of the tourism sector are invited to share their questions and comments on Have Your Say or by contacting tourism@pecounty.on.ca. An in-person public information and feedback session will be held for residents and those not directly within the tourism sector on Monday, April 4. Details will be shared on Have Your Say and through The County's communication channels in late March.

    How do local organizations & associations related to tourism fit into this?

    Representatives of local organizations and associations related to tourism are welcome to submit a request to participate in a facilitated consultation session related to their sector. If you are interested in having an information session for your members/association/organization please contact tourism@pecounty.on.ca.

    What advice will the consultants give in the final report?

    The Stakeholder Engagement Facilitators' role is to collect informed stakeholder/sector feedback, and summarize what they hear. This summary will influence the recruitment process for the inaugural DMO board of directors by way of the staff report going to Council on April 14. The consultants are not hired to provide their personal advice or recommendations.  

    What will the Directors do?

    The inaugural Board of Directors (along with their inaugural staff) will be charged with the development of a clear common goal, mission, vision, and strategy for the DMO. They will help align priorities and sectors, and influence working relationships between The County, tourism stakeholders, and the DMO. They will also establish the corporation's governance framework, by-laws, policies, and committees which set the foundation for future operations.

    What are Directors responsible/liable for?

    Directors must act honestly and in good faith in the best interests of the organization. When making board decisions, a director must put the organization’s interests above their own and above another organization to which they have fiduciary duties.

    Directors are responsible for the assurance that the organization is:

    • Carrying out its purpose as set out in the articles of incorporation. All the organization’s activities, programs, strategic directions or other actions must be related to the purpose.
    • Complying with all the organization’s legal, legislative and regulatory requirements.
    • Behaving in a financially responsible manner.
    • Properly managed through staffing.

    Directors don’t have to make perfect decisions or be experts; however, each director must exercise the care, diligence, and skill in their decision-making, and in fulfilling their responsibilities, that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances.

    Directors must demonstrate due diligence in the degree of care, attentiveness, and vigilance given to their decisions. For example, each director must:

    ✅ remain well informed

    ✅ attend meetings regularly

    ✅ review all background materials before the meeting

    ✅ exercise their best judgement and apply critical thinking

    ✅ vote according to their own opinion

    Directors can be held liable:

    • Collectively (as a whole board) and individually (as one director) for an organization’s failure to comply with certain specified legislative requirements, or for a breach of a requirement, if the directors do not take prudent steps to ensure that the organization meets these obligations.
    • For acting in a way that is outside the scope of their role as a director, but that has an impact on the organization.
    • For breaching their Duties of Care and Loyalty.

    Who can apply to be a Director?

    Any individual who is at least 18 years of age, and is a resident or property owner in Prince Edward County can apply to be a Director.

    How many director positions are there?

    The inaugural Board of Directors will have six (6) public positions and one (1) municipal representative (likely a Councilor appointed by Council.) Specific roles within those positions - such as Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, etc - will be appointed by the Board at their first meeting.

    How much time/energy will Directors need to commit?

    The amount of time and effort involved in being a Director on the inaugural DMO Board will vary. Expect to contribute 10-20+ hours/month in the first year as the DMO is established. Once established, the amount of time and effort will fluctuate depending on the season and projects on the go. All Directors are expected to review agendas and materials prior to meetings, be present at meetings, and follow up on commitments as a result of meetings.

    How long is the term of a Director?

    Directors of the new DMO will have staggered terms of two (2) or three (3) years to ensure Board continuity and good governance. The total number of terms available to a Director will be defined in the corporation's by-laws.

    What if I am appointed as a Director but cannot complete the term?

    Although we hope that all those appointed to the Board of Directors will be able to complete the term they commit to, we know that life happens and that is not always the case. The inaugural Board will establish a policy around the resignation of Directors.

    How does someone apply to be a Director?

    The Destination Marketing Organization Board Director application form is available on The County's website here. Complete the form and submit it to apply as a Director. Alternative formats are available upon request. Any questions can be sent to the Clerk’s Office at clerks@pecounty.on.ca or call 613.476.2148 ext. 1020 between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

    What does the application process entail?

    The online application form asks for:

    • Your contact information
    • Confirmation that you are eligible to apply
    • Confirmation that you understand the role and associated responsibilities
    • Previous experience and relevant skills
    • Your motivation for applying
    • Your feedback on four (4) questions related specifically to the new DMO
    • Your sector/organization/association connections that are relevant to the role
    • A reference

    And the option to upload supporting documents, such as a resume. 

    When are the applications due?

    The County is accepting DMO Director applications here until 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

    When will I know the status of my application?

    All applicants will receive notice of the status of their application between May 25 and May 27, 2022, from the Clerk's Office.  

    Is there an interview?

    The DMO Director application form has been designed to balance interview and behavioural-style questions with the municipality's standard skills/experience questions in order to help the Nominations Committee select those that are skilled, representative, and the best fit for the role. Interviews may be conducted if necessary.  

    If I work in tourism, or own/operate a tourism business, is that a conflict of interest?

    Tourism sector experience is a welcome qualification for Directors on the inaugural Board! Be sure to read the responsibilities and liabilities section of the application form thoroughly to understand your role as a Director. There may be times when a Director will need to declare a pecuniary or conflict of interest as it pertains to specific decisions being made by the Board.  

    Are Directors compensated?

    All Directors shall serve without remuneration as volunteers, and no Director shall directly or indirectly receive any profit from their position as such. A Director may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in performing their duties.

    Where will Directors meet/gather to do business?

    Meetings will take place within Prince Edward County at a to-be-determined location that is mutually agreed to by the inaugural Board of Directors. Meetings will likely take any relevant COVID-19 protocols into consideration, including the option to meet digitally.

    If I'm not selected for the inaugural Board of Directors, can I still get involved with the new DMO?

    Yes! Everyone can engage with the new DMO in some shape or form. Once the inaugural Board of Directors has had the chance to meet and establish their governance framework and by-laws, they will likely promote the various opportunities for stakeholders to get involved either as partners, committee members, advisors, volunteers, or staff.