Mark Furey, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, says his government will not force amalgamation on Pictou County and is willing for a study of governance in Pictou County to include multiple options.
At one of the Municipality of Pictou County meetings, councillors expressed concern after they heard that the province might want the governance study to include only two options: full amalgamation or status quo.
But Furey says he wants to work with the municipalities here to find what works best for them. His staff is reviewing the terms of reference for the proposed study, which will include funding from each of the municipalities and the province, but he said he doesn’t intend to limit the options.
“To be quite honest, I’ve said to the elected leaders, you’re only limited by your own imagination,” he said.
He said the opportunities could include two towns joining together, a town and the municipality or simply more shared services.
“There’s any number of opportunities,” he said. “We’re not advocating any one model.”
Furey is currently making a tour to all the different municipalities in the province and said he looks forward to talking about the possibilities. He said the Queens county model is a great example of communities looking at what works best for them. There the Municipality of Queens County and Town of Liverpool jointly asked the government for help amalgamating.
While voicing his support for the study, Furey did say they want to make sure they are making accountable use of the study which is why his staff is looking at terms of reference.