In October 2022, Town and County Municipal Councils voted to ask the province to consolidate the two units into one.

We often get asked the question, why consolidation? Antigonish is one community divided by two municipalities. The world has changed significantly since the municipal boundaries were established. The expectations of municipalities have grown.

In partnership with our provincial and federal governments, municipalities are now being placed in leadership roles to manage government regulations for infrastructure, find solutions to support better conditions for affordable housing, address the impacts of climate change, recruit and retain employees, place a focus on tourism, manage financial resources, place a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, environmental health, accessibility, rural connectivity, and emergency measures, while also providing quality water, sewer, and waste services and recreational opportunities that all residents deserve.

Considerable work has gone into mending and creating a positive relationship between our municipalities; removing the barriers and borders that keep us from working together. However, this leadership and alignment in our perspectives will only take us so far. When the people change, and they will, so will this alignment. There are multiple examples in our joint history of instances where the US vs THEM, mentality took over and in the end no one wins.

Antigonish deserves a better approach; to form a government that better reflects our whole community. Yes, our current model works, for now. But we have an opportunity to charter a path for Antigonish that holds a bright future for generations to come. This can be achieved by merging into one municipal unit to offer more services.

While it’s true, the County and Town have many shared priorities and are partners on many wonderful community initiatives there is more we want to do.

There are many benefits to consolidation to consider. Will there be bumps along the road, of course. A fear of change shouldn’t stop us from doing what is in the best interest of Antigonish.


Currently, Antigonish is split into two municipal units governed by boundaries that were made more than 130 years ago. Decisions are made in silos in the best interest of each individual unit, not the overall community. Consolidation allows for more effective governance. Big decisions have to be made in the near future. The work has to be done whether we are one unit or two. It would be easier and more efficient to do as one unit.


Many staff including the two CAOs with the highest salaries, spend hours every week meeting and representing their respective municipalities on various issues and committees. These same officials spend significant time coordinating between the two units on the shared initiatives our community enjoys. This duplication could be spread out to allow for better and expanded services for our residents.


For community groups and organizations who have volunteers presenting and looking for funding from two councils, consolidation would mean working with one government instead of duplicating your time and efforts.


Municipalities are being faced with more challenges than ever before. Climate change, accessibility, tourism, and housing just to name a few. These challenges are more easily faced as one unit working together than as two. We both currently run very lean operations, by consolidating and reducing the duplication we will have more capacity to face these challenges. We want Antigonish to continue to grow and be successful into the future.


From legal, engineering and consulting fees to staff duplication, to garbage trucks and snow plows collecting and plowing on one end of a street and not the other, there are many efficiencies that would be seen as a result of consolidation.


Projects which will benefit the community would be more easily obtained with one unit making decisions. On projects that we have worked on in the past, questions are always raised regarding where something is located, who pays for what portion, what is the governance model etc. Discussions can go south pretty fast if the two units do not agree on some of the details. If there is one unit, and council makes a decision to pursue a project, then it happens with much less red tape.


These principles were created by Town and County Councils to guide the creation of a consolidated municipal unit:

  • Take a Regional Approach to Municipal Services
  • Build Vibrant Individual Communities
  • Communicate Regularly About Progress and Decisions
  • Continue Fair Taxation and User Pay Approaches
  • Value Our Existing Municipal Staff
  • Ensure Fair Representation for Urban and Rural Residents
  • Enhance Environmental Sustainability