Clarrie MacKinnon’s fight to keep his constituency in one piece tops his list of highlights for 2012.
The Pictou East MLA said things didn’t look good for his riding this past summer when the Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries announced in two separate reports that Pictou East be absorbed into either Antigonish or Guysborough counties.
In the end, the riding remained the same.
“That fight went on for an extended period of time and the key factor was the hearing that took place in Westville,” he said.
He said the meeting allowed many Pictou East residents to voice their concerns over the possible split of the riding.
“A lot of people of in Pictou East were enraged and distraught over the recommendations,” MacKinnon said.
Other highlights for the Pictou East MLA includes the recently completion of work at the Adult Residential Centre in Riverton.
MacKinnon said he had lobbied for improvements at the Riverton home and is pleased to see they are near completion.
“You can see the three units in front which have been there for sometime, but there have also been major renovations inside the main building,” he said, adding he recently toured the home and was pleased to see the residents are happy with the renovations.
MacKinnon said he is also happy to see construction begin on the Northeastern Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Priestville.
He said work is progressing on the new jail and the province will save millions of dollars by building one facility rather than two smaller ones in different parts of the province.
“It will also create 110 good paying jobs that will be coming there,” he said. “Thirty or 40 of them will be transfers, but there will be 70 new jobs in Pictou County.”
As for 2013, MacKinnon said he is eager to see work continue on the new emergency room and pharmacy for the Aberdeen Hospital. He said Pictou County’s three MLAs united to get funding for this project and they are all pleased to see the preparatory work being done.
Maintenance and paving or rural roads will continue be a priority for 2012, he said, adding he is pleased a number of roads in rural Pictou County were chip sealed or paved last summer.
“The province’s five-year plan is just out, ensuring more will be done in 2013 as well,” he said.
In addition, MacKinnon said he also looks forward to seeing local municipalities continue to work together.
He said a recent partnership between New Glasgow and the Municipality of Pictou County is a perfect example of how communities can work together for the betterment of taxpayers.
“I see more co-operation taking place now than ever before,” he said. “That itself is a step forward. A more united voice for Pictou County has to come about and that united voice can take several different forms.”