People in Pictou County got an eye-opener this week out of a comment from a Trenton town councillor.
We can expect a variety of reactions to Don Hussher’s mention that the Town of New Glasgow was not amused – in the royal sense – with Trenton starting a weekly market, apparently because New Glasgow felt it had already established the local farmers market. But the revelation of New Glasgow’s attitude certainly rubbed some people the wrong way.
For starters, as Hussher rightly noted, it was a petty complaint from New Glasgow.
Additionally, the Trenton market, held on Thursdays, could hardly be seen as an attempt to compete with its neighbouring town, whose farmers market is Saturday mornings.
On the level of local politics, we received this explanation: regarding its aim to kickstart a more streamlined approach to municipal roles, New Glasgow was offering the market as an example of Trenton not co-operating.
Of course, in the overall context, this comes after New Glasgow initiated a quest for a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the Town of Pictou and Municipality of Pictou County. The three other towns, Trenton included, expressed some dismay that they weren’t included from the get-go – but were told they would be welcome to sign on. It’s meant some strained feelings.
As to the market reference specifically, perhaps New Glasgow was, as suggested by Hussher, simply stretching for an excuse to provide an example of non-cooperation.
Possibly, and if so, it’s an extremely poor example. Another market on a different day is, if anything, an added opportunity for vendors – meaning, good planning on Trenton’s part.
Community markets with local produce and crafts – local is what it’s about, the more local, the better. It means buyers can walk downtown – rather than drive to the neighbouring town.
Finding ways to think regional, to reduce duplication and streamline municipal services is a different kettle of fish.
Let’s not get those two things confused.