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West coast towns interested in being part of the regional discussion

WS-web-30092017-regional gov
WS-web-30092017-regional gov

The Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment is holding in-person consultations across the province this fall to seek feedback on implementation of a potential regional government model for Newfoundland and Labrador.

A session has been scheduled to take place in Corner Brook on Oct. 18 from 7-9:30 p.m. at the College of the North Atlantic.
The Western Star checked in with some mayors and councillors of a few municipalities around the area to get their thoughts on regional government and if their communities will take part in the consultation process.

Joe Park
Mayor of Mount Moriah
“Regional government does work. It works in good ways. It works in bad ways. The unfortunate thing is if you’ve got regional government there might end up being an extra taxation to the people.
"So if it’s going to increase taxes to the people, then it’s going to have to be looked at very seriously. But if there’s not going to be substantial cost to the people it’s a good thing to have.
"I can’t say what our new council might be for, but if it’s going to be more taxation then I’m not going to be in favour of that.
"I have no problem getting involved (in the consultation). If they want my two cents they can certainly have it.”

Glenn Savard
Re-elected to council in Humber Arm South
"Even if it is Corner Brook taking in both sides of the bay and Corner Brook and Massey Drive, I can see it being a positive thing.
"I know right now Corner Brook by itself is struggling with a pool.
"Any way for any small municipalities or towns to save money to do whatever is certainly a great thing. If we can put facilities to facilitate large areas, then it’s certainly a great thing.
"We’d be very interested in partaking in discussions.

Heather Humber-Shears
Newly elected to council in Humber Arm South
“I know it’s something that the elected council is planning to discuss in some detail.
Right now I don’t feel that I’m really in a place to make a comment on that.
I’m sure there’s good and bad to it.”

Donna Thistle
Mayor of Steady Brook
“I believe in regionalization. And I believe my personal opinion is shared by some other councillors. Not all. And we would be very interested in working with the provincial government and other communities to find a model that works for everybody.
"I can’t answer why (regional government would work), what I can say is it’s almost like we have to find out how.
"The why is self-evident in my opinion. The why is because we’re a province of 500,000 people divided into 289 municipalities and the current structure just doesn’t work economically.
"It’s the how we need right now. And the investment needs to come in showing communities the arithmetic of how it could work better for us economically.”

Holly Walsh
Mayor of Massey Drive
E-mailed reply: A lot depends on the model of regional government being proposed. We are a very diverse province and the values and priorities in one area are not necessarily the same as in another region.


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