The Province of Nova Scotia wants to double our population by 2060. As a small business owner and councillor, I understand the importance of a sustainable, growing population. Antigonish is very fortunate to have two large economic engines, a regional hospital, and...
On Friday, July 7, the Municipality of the County of Antigonish appeared in Nova Scotia Supreme Court at the Antigonish Court House for an action filed on behalf of three Antigonish County residents.
We have said it before and will say it again: Antigonish is one community of people that live together with shared cultures, work together in diverse industries, and rely on each other for our social and economic well-being. The current political boundaries between the Town and County don’t affect our sense of belonging to the greater Antigonish community.
As a community, we have progressed despite this artificial boundary, not because of it.
Antigonish is a growing community. It is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family. Both County and Town Councils have been working hard to attract development to the area and making infrastructure decisions to support this growth.
However, with growth comes challenges.
I love my community. I have dedicated a significant amount of my personal and professional time to the beautification of Antigonish, in particular Main Street, and making it a destination and a public space to be enjoyed by residents and visitors. This includes considering everything from benches, garbage cans, and landscaping, to signage and murals. It also includes flowers.
Antigonish provides us with an interesting example of forward thinking. The councils representing the town and county unanimously voted, in September 2021, to embark on a journey to explore what a merger could look like for Antigonish. This self-initiated process provided an opportunity to have meaningful discussion about the past and the future, especially one that is focused on addressing the serious aforementioned issues.
When Hurricane Fiona blew into Antigonish, staff from the Town of Antigonish and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish worked around the same table for 10 full days responding to the needs of the entire community. There were no municipal boundaries in our emergency response. The needs of one jurisdiction were never put above another. That’s because Antigonish is one community.
We are one community and should be governed by one municipality.
On Monday, February 13, the Municipality of the County of Antigonish appeared in Nova Scotia Supreme Court to have a hearing time, date and location set for an action filed on behalf of three Antigonish County residents.
We understand and respect the varying views, differences of opinion and strong emotions some residents feel with respect to consolidation. However, we feel obliged to speak up concerning the disrespect, taunting, intimidation and threats shown towards several Town & County Councillors, Warden McCarron, and especially Mayor Boucher.
At two Special Council Meetings held on Thursday, October 20, 2022, both Town and County Councils voted to move forward with consolidation. Both councils passed a motion that stated: Municipal /Town Council requests the provincial government consolidate the Municipality of the County of Antigonish and the Town of Antigonish into one municipal unit through special legislation.