Provincial minister looks forward to working with municipalities on initiative

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Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey says he wasn’t aware of the Town of New Glasgow’s plan to work with the Municipality of Pictou County and Town of Pictou to establish a Memorandum of Understanding until Friday morning.

“I’ll be honest,” he said. “There hasn’t been any discussion between New Glasgow and this office.”

He said he’s looking forward to what the content of the MOU might be, however.

“We certainly appreciate New Glasgow and their vision and their commitment to regional dialogue. We also recognize the value of joint services and more joint projects.”

Furey met with the towns and municipal leaders in Pictou County two weeks ago and had very productive and informative discussion with them, he said.

But during that time he also came to realize that there was a real lack of consensus among the municipalities and within the individual councils in regard to the governance study. He said during that time he also became aware of the previous studies that had been done on governance in the region dating back to the 1960s and continuing until 1996 with no significant change taking pace.

It was for those reasons he said he came to the conclusion that it would be a waste of taxpayer money to fund a study in that context.

He said by no means does that mean the department is washing their hands of the Pictou County municipalities. He said he sees a lot of opportunity for this area but believes there has to be a more collective effort.

He said he certainly looks forward to working with the municipalities in the future.

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Pictou County

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